With the upscaling CBD market and its products spread across the entire U.S., law enforcement officials are expressing their concerns over the subject of safety of these CBD products. The rise of CBD products poses another interesting question in law enforcement circles:
How should police departments in Arizona respond and address aspiring cops who admit using or test positive for CBD (cannabidiol), the active ingredient in cannabis known for its healing capabilities?
CBD or cannabidiol is a compound derived from the hemp plant, a cannabis genus plant, which has non-psychoactive and anti-inflammatory properties. It is found to be effective in treating pain, acute aches, inflammation, swelling, irritation and improving mental health conditions such as stress, depression, anxiety, seizures, epilepsy and sometimes even life threatening ailments such as cancer and Alzhiemr’s.
The federal government of the United States legalized hemp derived CBD under the Farm Bill in December 2018. It removed the compound from the list of Controlled Substance Act, thereby making it legal for recreational and medicinal use. The maximum allowed concentration for THC, as per the federal standards is measured at 0.3% per unit.
THC or tetrahydro cannabinoid is another compound found in hemp plants that has psychoactive capabilities. It is this compound that is responsible for the “high” that people get while smoking weed.
Nevertheless, the board that regulates police certifications in Arizona has historically regarded the use of over-the-counter CBD based products – such as balms for aches and pains – the same as pot you would find in a medical marijuana dispensaries.
But this changed on June 19, when the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) issued a statement clarifying that it does not view the use or possession of over-the-counter CBD based products as constituting the illegal use or possession of marijuana, a dangerous drug, or a narcotic drug.
This came in as a sigh of relief to many.
Matt Giordano, the executive director of AZPOST, said that CBD has been widely discussed since he started his job in 2018. In a memo that explained the policy directive, Giordano said that future law enforcement officers using CBD products are not trying to get blitzed.
Retrospecting the stigma associated with marijuana and its derivatives, it is definitely a progressive move by the Arizona officials to acknowledge would-be officers who have a history of using CBD based products. Most of the people use CBD products for their medicinal value and not any other “getting high” experience as the THC rates are monitored.
Giordano said that police agencies have seen an increase in the number of applicants that have revealed the use of CBD based products during their backgrounds. He further elaborated that the candidates are not using CBD products to get intoxicated, rather it is just a rub of a product containing CBD oil on their elbow or knee before going for a run.
However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC that were purchased at a dispensary would be considered illegal and not fall under the exemption. AZ Post will continue to prohibit marijuana products that are above the specified THC threshold.
The 2018 Farm Bill signed by President Donald Trump has led to the proliferation of over-the-counter CBD products. From gummy bears, candies, chocolates, burgers, pizza. Coffee, tea, cocktails, beer to topicals, creams, ointments, oils, facemasks, CBD is now being used in an array of consumer based products.
Not only the market is flourishing with such products, there is a significant decrease in the number of opioids sold at pharmaceuticals. Many people have started using CBD as an alternative to medical prescription for sleeping problems and other issues that were not effectively treated by regular prescriptions.
In an email, Giordano admitted that his office could not identify any cases in which a cop was denied certification for CBD use.
The inhibitions about CBD have also raised questions on the other side of law enforcement in Arizona. In October, Phoenix New Times published a report revealing that the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office charged 2 people with marijauna possession in 2017 for having CBD oil.
One of the charged people, Robert Stapleton, tried to explain to the Prescott Valley office who had pulled him over how the CBD vape pen was different from the illegal, marijuana based products containing higher concentration of THC.
The cop called a deputy attorney to clarify on how he should handle the case, and to the surprise of Robert, the prosecutor said to treat the CBD as marijuana instead of a narcotic.