Originally Posted On: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/-putting-users-ncna1122561
CBD, hemp and similar legal products are confusing the police and putting users at risk
The FDA needs to get to work and officers need to get trained so those who use these products don't continue to be wrongly punished.
When Anuedy Gonzalez was pulled over outside of Amarillo, Texas, on Dec. 6, he was prepared. He handed the highway trooper a lab report showing that the 3,350 pounds of hemp he was transporting from California to New York was perfectly legal under both Texas state law and federal law. But that didn’t keep him from spending Christmas in jail and facing federal drug trafficking charges that carried a potential life sentence.
The lab analysis detailed how the hemp — marijuana’s non-intoxicating but lookalike plant cousin — contained less than 0.3 percent THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana), meaning it’s a legal substance. But the report wasn’t enough to keep the law enforcement officer from arresting him.
Though the charges were eventually dismissed, Gonzalez’s experience shows how confusing and risky it is to work in the industries using marijuana-adjacent products such as hemp and CBD as laws and regulations rapidly evolve — or don’t exist at all. The Food and Drug Administration needs to get to work and law enforcement officers need to get trained so those who use these products aren’t wrongly punished.
And an even larger group of people is currently in jeopardy than those working in the field: people seeking alternative approaches to chronic health conditions by using hemp, CBD and other low-concentration THC products. (Unlike THC, which produces a “high,” CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating chemical compound called a cannabinoid that offers a host of potential health benefits.)