DEA is suing ex-deputy who was 'wrongly fired' for using CBD - Cannabis Moment (2023)

A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officer is suing the agency in federal court after he was fired for testing positive for THC, which he attributes to the legal hemp-derived CBD oil he took for pain relief.

After 15 years as a DEA agent, Anthony Armor was fired in 2019 after a random drug test came back positive for THC metabolites. He immediately informed the agency that he believed the results were related to his use of CBD oil as an opioid substitute after hemp and its derivatives were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.

The agent also voluntarily donated his used products to the DEA, and lab analysis showed that two of the three products contained less than 0.3% THC by dry weight, meeting the federal definition of legal marijuana. A third product was tested at 0.35% THC, still within a scientific uncertainty of +/- 0.08%.

Despite Armor's track record as an exemplary employee working on opioid smuggling, his complaint alleges that the DEA denies all facilities and upholds allegations of alleged use and possession of an illegal controlled substance.

The lawsuit is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and Armor is seeking to have the charges against the DEA reinstated.

In a Friday filing, lawyers for the former attorneys said the court should grant their request for three main reasons: 1) "There is no substantial evidence" that Armor used or possessed illegal drugs; 2) "Armor's There is no" relationship "between the conduct" (i.e. CBD oil use) and the DEA's enforcement mandate; 3) Given the extenuating circumstances, "deletions cannot reasonably be tolerated."

In factual testimony, the attorney explained how the attorney spent his tenure "on the frontline of this country's fight against the opioid epidemic," making him acutely aware of the dangers of opioids. After a career in football and law enforcement, he suffered several injuries that left him in severe pain for which conventional treatments were ineffective.

Only after marijuana and its derivatives, such as CBD, were federally legalized did Armor, like countless other Americans, try a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.

“For Armor and many others in this country, this change represents new opportunities – especially with regard to CBD, the non-THC cannabinoid found in cannabis,” the filing reads. "Armour wanted CBD oil to play a role in treating pain. It's no surprise what he did. From Martha Stewart to Wrigley Field, CBD has taken root in American culture."

At the time he started using CBD, "the DEA had no memos, regulations, guidelines, or guidelines regarding the risk of employees using CBD products or testing positive for cannabis."

In fact, it was during the agency's investigation into Armor that the DEA first issued guidelines warning employees of the risk of taking CBD products and unwittingly ingesting enough THC to test positive for the illegal substance, so claims the complaint.

"None of these signals existed when Armor was using the CBD products he purchased," the attorney said. “On the same day that the DEA changed its employee handbook, the DEA suggested that Armor be removed only on drug use/possession charges.”

"Armor was wrongly broken. Armor did not knowingly or intentionally use illegal drugs. He bought and used legal CBD oil that he knew about. There is no substantial evidence that Armor used or possessed illegal marijuana. Instead, the evidence shows that Armor legal CBD products, resulting in a positive THC urinalysis.While consumption of CBD products was misconduct at the time - and it wasn't - there is simply no connection between that behavior and the DEA's mission to enforce the country's drug laws to maintain."

In addition, the decision to ultimately determine that the agent's actions should be terminated was also "arbitrarily" cut in half by DEA officials in conducting their review, testing CBD products at 0.35% THC just outside that ballpark. were placed.

"Armor has expressed remorse, voluntarily provided relevant information to investigators and is cooperating fully with the investigation. His attempt to prove his innocence by pointing out that he uses legal CBD products is no reason to declare Armor unrepentant." continued Said. "At best, he showed negligence or poor decision-making, not that he intentionally smoked marijuana. Nor was he specifically informed that the use of CBD products could lead to the use/possession of marijuana."

“For whatever reason, the DEA believes it is appropriate to fire a dedicated special agent dedicated to curbing the illegal use of opioids and other controlled substances for the purchase and use of publicly advertised and marketed CBD products for the treatment of pain,” it concluded. "Not only is this sentence deeply flawed from a policy standpoint lacking substantial evidence, it's also hopelessly flawed from a legal standpoint."

While the DEA has since made it clear that its agents cannot use CBD due to mislabelling and the risk of accidental exposure to THC,Changes to the 2021 Job Seeker Policy, updated the pre-federal legalization questionnaire in December 2018 to only ask about marijuana and cannabidiol use.

The DEA is also actively preparingBroader regulation of post-cannabis legalization of marijuana, an official statement earlier this month said the agency would clarify that synthetic cannabinoids are considered illegally controlled substances while acting separately to lift controls on synthetic CBD, which contains up to 0.1% THC.

The legalization of marijuana has prompted many federal agencies to update their marijuana-related employment policies in recent years.

For example Customs and Border Protection (CBP)recently told employees to "say no CBD"Warning that such products are still unregulated and may contain levels of THC that may show up on drug tests.

The Human Resources Division of the US Forest Service (USFS) issued a notice last year warning workers similarlyThe risks of consuming unregulated CBDProduct.

Shortly after marijuana was legalized, NASA also sent a memo to its employees warning people against consuming products containing CBDputting them at risk of losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, other federal agencies are reviewing drug testing and employment policies for employees and applicants in the wake of state-level legalization campaigns.

Agency for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)Employment policies have recently been updatedAs a result, applicants who grow, produce or sell marijuana under state law while in a "position of public responsibility" will no longer be automatically disqualified - and those who violate state regulations on marijuana will no longer be automatically disqualified.

itThe Secret Service also recently relaxed restrictions on past marijuana useby potential agents.

Late last year, preliminary documents obtained by Marijuana Moment showed that the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposed replacing a series of application forms for potential employees withBe more tolerant of past marijuana usethan under the current policy.

The Biden administration will introduce supportive policies in 2021Some employees were firedwho admitted to smoking marijuana before, but some lawmakers pushed for additional reforms.

For example, Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said last year at a congressional hearing on marijuana legalization thathe wants to issue an invoiceDesigned to protect federal employees from being denied cannabis security clearances.

Last year, the nation's largest union representing federal workers passed a resolution supporting marijuana legalization and calling for its implementationNo longer a policy to penalize federal employeesIn states where marijuana is legal, they smoke responsibly outside of work hours.

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) said in 2021 that federal employersApplicants for a safety assessment should not be rejected outrightAgainst past use and those investing in marijuana in their stock portfolios should exercise caution.

The FBI also updated its hiring policy this year and only applicants who meet the following criteria are automatically ineligible to join the agencyAdmitted to using marijuana during the yearusage. Previously, future temps were not allowed to use marijuana for the past three years.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)He also cares about his employeesThey are prohibited from using marijuana or investing directly in the industry, regardless of changes in state laws or "social norms" regarding marijuana.

While the Biden administration has firing policies designed to ensure discretion over federal employment and past marijuana use, this comes after early reports that the White House fired or otherwise disciplined dozens of employees who were honest about their marijuana histories. , the policy has been criticized. by supporters.

White House Press Secretary Jen PsakiEfforts have been made to minimize precipitation, without much success, denied a 2021 statement from her officeNo one fired for 'smoking marijuana years ago'Nor has anyone been fired for "accidental or irregular use in the past 12 months".

Meanwhile, most recently the US Department of Transportation (DOT).Completes Principles for Changing Drug Testing PolicyThe approach could have major implications for truckers, commercial drivers, pilots and other federally regulated transportation workers who use marijuana outside of work.

Read Federal Court of AppealsSawsRegarding the release of the following marijuana drugs by the DEA:

Politicians and government agencies are marking 4/20 as a growing movement to legalize marijuana

Photography Elements Courtesyraw pixelsIPhilip Stefan.

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