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Hemp-based products leading to legal headaches for some users

On Behalf of | May 17, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Despite the lethal dangers of drugs like opioids, one of the most controversial drugs in the United States continues to be marijuana. This is because the legal status of the drug and its derivative products is always changing. State laws don’t match one another, and many states don’t conform to federal laws.

Products derived from marijuana and hemp have started to become legal, largely because most contain only trace amounts of THC, which is the high-causing ingredient in marijuana. But a patchwork of state/federal laws combined with varying manufacturing standards means that some people are getting arrested for drug crimes even when using or possessing a completely legal product.

A good example is CBD oil (cannabidiol), which is derived from hemp and should contain no THC or only negligible amounts. Federal legislators legalized CBD oil last year, and it can now be purchased over the counter in many stores here in Minnesota. People take the product to help with pain, anxiety, sleep disorders and other maladies.

Unfortunately, some users have found that CBD oil manufacturing standards are such that certain brands contain higher amounts of THC than others. Even if the amount is not high enough to cause impairment, it might still be high enough to show up on a drug test. THC is also fat-soluble, which means that it can be stored in the body and build up over time to detectable levels.

As a result, some CBD users have lost jobs or didn’t get hired because they failed drug tests. In other cases, drivers pulled over and tested for drugs could potentially be arrested for having any detectable levels of THC in their body (since there is no “legal limit” for driving, unlike with alcohol).

We must hope that in time, the United States will reach some sort of consensus on the legal status of marijuana and its derivative products, and will therefore be able to better regulate quality, reduce drug arrests and avoid situations like those mentioned above. Until that time, if you are facing drug charges related to pot or any hemp/marijuana products, please discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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