Federal law allows THC

By William E. Henry, Indiana NORML Chairman

A year after federal changes were made to the Controlled Substances Act that allows tetrahydrocannabinol, Indiana and federal leaders still have not moved on furthering THC study or removing federal drug testing provisions for THC in the workplace.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 contains a specific exception to amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow THC possession and consumption in hemp derived products.

This law contained a massively overlooked and important detail placed at the end of the bill.

That last part reads: “(b) TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL.—Schedule I, as set forth in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)), is amended in subsection (c)(17) by inserting after ‘‘Tetrahydrocannabinols’’ the following: ‘‘, except for tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp (as defined under section 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946)’’.

Approved December 20, 2018.”

https://www.congress.gov/115/plaws/publ334/PLAW-115publ334.pdf

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2018-title21/pdf/USCODE-2018-title21.pdf

7 USC 1639o: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/[email protected]/chapter38/subchapter7&edition=prelim

The substance THC derived from hemp, is the same THC as derived from any other cannabis plant. This amendment removed all restrictions from THC, so long as it is derived from what the federal government classifies as hemp. This means THC has been free and open to study federally since Dec. 20, 2018.

This also means Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and his repeated phrasing that federal law prohibits study, or legalization, is false. The State and federal legislatures have been skating on the excuse of federal law preventing or limiting study of THC and cannabis. With this law present, no one can say that anymore. Tetrahydrocannabinol in hemp is legal, so anyone can extract it and conduct a medical study.

This also tells us Gov. Holcomb is simply being advised on the law by staff lawyers and is not personally educated or knowledgeable of federal laws surrounding these matters.

Governor Holcomb and his administration, along with our legislature, have had a year to “learn more,” as he stated in an interview with David Williams, WISH TV 8, Dec. 18, 2019, and have done nothing except continue to violate Hoosier’s federal rights.

This also means citizens who are subjected to and tested under any federal drug testing guidelines for THC are also having their liberties violated each day that policy remains active against current federal law.

THC is the only cannabinoid tested for in the federal panel urine screen test. That policy is maintained and recommended to Congress through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Specifically, Director Ron Flegel, Division of Workplace Programs Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

I spoke with Flegel, he wasn’t even knowledgeable on details of the federal law change citing THC as still being on the Controlled Substances Act and said nothing of the provisions made for hemp THC.

When I repeatedly pointed out his policies conflicted with federal law, he tried to tell me there was nothing he could do.

I asked if he was willing to recommend to Congress for removing THC from the substances on the testing panel. “No,” he said. He would only entertain the possibility of looking at the samples closer to show whether the THC was derived from federally allowed hemp, or what is known as marijuana.

The administration refuses to acknowledge having the power to shore-up federal law and policy administratively, and recommend the same changes be made in Congress.

This puts directors of all federal agencies recommending these drug testing policies to Congress in violation of federal law.