DEA Reinstates Agent After CBD Use, Resolves Legal Battle

DEA reverses stance on CBD use

A Triumph for CBD Users: The DEA’s Settlement with Anthony Armour

In a noteworthy development, a former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, Anthony Armour, has successfully reclaimed his position, along with back pay and benefits, following a settlement with the agency. Armour, who dedicated 13 years to the DEA, faced termination in 2019 after a routine drug test revealed traces of THC in his system. His defense, centered on the use of CBD products for pain relief, initially fell on deaf ears as the agency accused him of violating its drug policy.

Armour’s determination led him to file a lawsuit against the DEA in May 2023, seeking not only reinstatement but also back pay, damages, and attorney fees. He argued that his THC exposure was inadvertent and unintentional, asserting that the CBD products he relied on were legal and widely accessible. Furthermore, Armour contended that the DEA’s drug policy was both ambiguous and outdated, alleging discrimination based on his disability.

Fast forward to January 2024, and the lawsuit reached a settlement, marking a significant turn of events. The DEA agreed to reinstate Armour as a special agent while providing him with back pay and benefits. The settlement includes assurances that Armour will not face any disciplinary measures or retaliation from the agency. Additionally, the DEA committed to reviewing and revising its drug policy to address the challenges posed by CBD products.

Armour’s case adds to a growing list of legal disputes involving CBD users who have faced job loss due to failed drug tests. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound derived from hemp or marijuana plants, widely embraced for its potential health and wellness benefits. However, CBD products can harbor trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, which could trigger a positive drug test result.

Steven Dudley, a clinical toxicologist and director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, points to the risk of THC contamination in CBD products due to inconsistent labeling, manufacturing, or testing standards.

A study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology revealed that 18 out of 84 CBD products examined exceeded the legal THC limit of 0.3 percent.

The legal status of CBD products remains ambiguous, varying across state and federal laws. While the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and hemp-derived products, the DEA continues to categorize CBD as a Schedule I substance, aligning it with marijuana and heroin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not granted approval for most CBD uses, except for Epidiolex, a prescription drug prescribed for specific epilepsy conditions.

The lack of consistent regulation and oversight concerning CBD products poses a substantial risk for consumers who may inadvertently consume THC and face potential legal or professional consequences. Several CBD users who have faced job loss after failed drug tests have taken legal action against the product manufacturers, alleging false advertising, fraud, and negligence.

Others have embarked on advocacy initiatives to garner public support and raise awareness about the need for policy reform concerning CBD usage.

Armour’s resolution with the DEA stands as a rare triumph for CBD users who have been unjustly penalized for using a legal and beneficial substance. It also underscores the pressing need for clearer and more consistent laws and regulations governing CBD products, as well as increased education and research into their effects and advantages.

DEA reverses stance on CBD use
DEA reverses stance on CBD use


***

Trap Culture is the preeminent curator of the most immersive and engaging cannabis-friendly social events in Arizona. From food festivals and comedy showcases to private parties and concert series, each Trap Culture event is meticulously planned and coordinated with interactivity, inclusivity and the individual experience in mind. Whether you are looking for a new way to celebrate the night, enjoy your favorite cannabis products, or connect with the local community, Trap Culture has something for you. Visit our website to learn more about our upcoming events, our blog, and our store. Follow us on social media to stay updated on the latest news and promotions. Join the Trap Culture family and experience the best of Arizona‚Äôs cannabis culture.