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Navy War College Warns Service Members Against The Risk Of Pepsi’s New Rockstar Energy Drink

April 26, 2022

Under the 2018 U.S. farm bill, Hemp got federal legalization, with products containing its non-intoxicating derivatives (i.e., CBD) are exponentially produced and sold at grocery stores and gas stations across the country.

Recently, PepsiCo hit the shelves with a new Rockstar energy drink. The energy drink has been confirmed by the Naval War College (NWC) to contain a considerable amount of hemp seed oil which could alter the drug test of service members, specifically telling them to stay off the beverage on Wednesday. Explicating its ability to make Sailors and Marines pop-positive on drug tests.

Already military branches had made it clear to its members upon their noninvolvement, the latest advisory sent by the Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor of NWC, which now is obtained by Marijuana Moment, has specifically addressed its service members to the new rockstar unplugged in the market, especially reminding them of their strict cannabis abstinence.

The military branch has explained in detail how, although the federal legalization hemp had attained, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) haven’t released guiding regulation concerning the marketing of CBD-infused foods or drinks. To avoid the unwitty consumption of THC that would affect drug test, service members are advised to stay off limits.

NWC affirms the conclusion, saying hemp seed oil contains a considerable amount of CBD, let alone for THC. And develops conspiracy that PepsiCo might have especially taken cautious to prepare such products in a way that would make people test positive for THC.

Again, Navy service members have taken deliberate measures to put on notice:

“Sailors and Marines are prohibited from using any product made or derived from hemp, including CBD, regardless of the product’s THC concentration, claimed or actual, and regardless of whether such product may lawfully be bought, sold, and used under the law applicable to civilians,” the notice says. “Please be mindful of the food / beverages you consume.”

Marijuana Moment reached out to Pepsi Cooperation and the public affairs officer for NWC who disclosed that the warning was “an internally distributed email.” He said. “Routine policy reminders are always excellent practice” at the college. The representative for Pepsi was not available.

The practice of messaging service members in the military on hemp and CBD has been quite consistent, although some notice bars were raised above the others, they kept at it. For example, the U.S. Air force base in Massachusetts warned its pilots that they face disciplinary action if ever they were found to possess any products of hemp, even if it was owned by their pets.

The Navy, on its path, enacted a notice in 2018 warning ranks that they had been entirely barred from consuming any form at all of CBD or hemp products, however legal the federals have made them. Later in 2020, the Navy explained its intention for the reason.

Back in 2019, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued a policy banning all active and reserve service members from any form of hemp product usage, including CBD. In 2020, the DOD reaffirmed service members of their CBD off limit rule.

In the same year, 2019, a year after hemp got legalized by the federal government, the Air Force reached out to service members with a notice to warn them against using CBD products commonly found in the market.

The military officials warned service members specifically that they should be careful around “grandma’s miracle sticky buns” which have every probability of containing marijuana. Coast Guard sailors as well warned sailors against marijuana, or even visiting any state-legal dispensaries.

NASA even warned employees against CBD products that could contain an unauthorized THC concentration, taking it had chances of making them test positive for drug tests, thereby costing them their jobs.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, one of the few agencies pushing the new proposal of drug testing notices has significantly affected the prior drug testing policies. The agency released guidance to the coordinators of the federal agency drug program in 2019, the guidance explicated concerns about THC appearing in CBD products resulting in failed drug tests. In 2020, SAMHSA issued an updated warning after many states have moved to vote for the legalization of cannabis.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) having such a rigid stance on marijuana has faced several criticism. For example, last month, VA released press on how it won’t provide any form of support for treatments involving or prescribe marijuana as part of its new grant intended to prevent veteran suicide.

The Department has become an uncontrolled source of frustration for marijuana advocates and service organizations of veterans who tirelessly have been pushing for extensive research into the therapeutic potential of cannabis.

Senate and House committees held joint hearings last month in an attempt to hear the point of view of the veterans service organizations (VSO), on how Congress and the federal government could better serve their unit, the committee as well brought up discussions on how the unit could ease their restrictions on marijuana.

The VSOs echoed the same plight they had ever raised with lawmakers, specifics of it ranged between the various present groups, but in summary: the military veterans would still be entitled to VA benefits even when allowed to consume marijuana and Congress needed to do something about it.

Veterans of the military force would have freedom to discuss medical marijuana treatment without any fear that they might lose their VA benefits according to a recently passed bill sponsored Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA). The legislation was to systematize existing policies that allow VA doctors to discuss medical cannabis with their patients as well as provide protection for veterans who came clean about marijuana treatment history. This was proposed for the policies to be enacted as law that couldn’t be changed later administratively by prospective VA leaders.

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) made cautious efforts to protect their cloud of federal workers as more states have voted for marijuana to be legalized. Earlier this year DNI said federal employers should not reject security clearance applicants immediately over prior use of marijuana, and to especially use discretion when dealing with those with cannabis investment on their stock portfolios.

The Department of Transportation took a different approach in 2020, in their cannabis policy in a notice they released that had no intention to test drivers for CBD.

The Biden administration made efforts to institutionalize a policy that would grant waivers to certain federal workers who had admitted to prior cannabis use. It all suffered from advocates with released reports that showed how dozens of staffers were fired and punished given their honest history with marijuana.

Jen Psaki, Press Secretary of the White House has previously made attempts towards minimizing the exponential fallout, without much success. Her office released a statement last year stating that no one was indeed fired for “marijuana usage from years ago”, nor was anyone terminated “due to casual or infrequent use during the prior 12 months”.

The FBI also updated its hiring criteria last year, making it a policy that candidates are automatically disqualified from joining the agency if they admit to have consented within a year of applying. Previously, applicants of the agency couldn’t have consumed or had any alliance with cannabis within the past three years.

The Congressional committee released a press last year to the federal agencies in an attempt to urge them to reconsider their stance on firing or punishing employees who consume marijuana in accordance with the state marijuana legalized status.