Cannabidiol or CBD, an important non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp plants, has been growing in popularity across the United States due to widespread reports of medical benefits for a variety of different ailments.
In most states, CBD is sold openly in stores and online, however, the compound still exists in a murky legal grey area, which allows authorities to arrest people on a whim for something most people perceive as perfectly legal.
Last year, the DEA issued a statement to "clarify" their stance on the legality of CBD, saying that the substance has always been illegal. These laws have been rarely and selectively enforced, but people out there are still getting locked up for possession of CBD.
One such case happened late last month, on July 30, when detectives intercepted multiple packages of CBD gummies that were being shipped to a man who works as a wholesaler for cigarettes and other items that are often sold at gas stations. According to The News Observer, one of the packages were opened at a UPS terminal in Raleigh, North Carolina and police were called to investigate.
The packages reportedly contained over 200 pounds of CBD gummies, all of which the wholesaler, 47-year-old Ayman Tamim Nu Man Alqazah, believed to be legal.
Alqazah was arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana, despite the fact that there is no THC in the items that were shipped to him.
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Although the ridiculous prohibition laws are at the root of this problem, the UPS workers who reported the packages to police are also responsible for putting this man behind bars. Without the "see something, say something" snitch culture that is encouraged by police, the drug war would be unenforceable.
If nothing dangerous is happening and no one is getting hurt, there is no reason to get the police involved. Even with serious crimes, calling the police should not be taken lightly, as they run the risk of escalating the situation into greater violence.
Earlier this year, a Tennessee judge has ordered 23 stores (mostly smoke shops) to be padlocked and shut down following a police investigation which discovered the shops were selling CBD (cannabidiol).
Luckily, many states are beginning to disobey federal prohibitions against hemp, even allowing farmers to grow without fear of prosecution.
As The Free Thought Project reported last month, more than 70 percent of the states in the country have passed laws legalizing industrial hemp production and farmers in more than 30 percent of states have taken part in producing industrial hemp, even with the threat of federal prosecution.
Although hemp was just officially made illegal in 1970 as a part of the Controlled Substances Act, it was not considered as a viable source for most commercial merchandise throughout the 20th century as a result of cannabis prohibition. Prior to cannabis prohibition, hemp was used for a surprising number of industrial products, including most paper, fabric, textiles, and paints.
As the Free Thought Project has reported, hemp production—if it were legalized nationally—could replace a number of products that pollute the environment, and could make the current plastic straw debate completely irrelevant.