An ex federal agent from Texas has revealed how his three-decade career has been left in tatters after taking CBD oil for back pain.
The former law enforcer tested positive for cannabis during a routine check which showed tiny traces of tetrahydrocannabinol – the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes users high.
With 28 years of distinguished service in North Texas, the now out-of-work enforcer says he regrets massively the decision to turn to what he viewed as a harmless substance in order to treat a long-standing back condition.
Wishing not to be identified, the former Homeland Security undercover agent told broadcaster NBCDFW of his abject despair at losing the job he loved.
“You know, I served the public. I served my country,” he lamented.
“And it’s a sick feeling.”
The now jobless agent explained that he had injured his back while in service, but found no treatments were sufficiently easing his pain enough to continue his duties.
He resorted to purchasing a vial of CBD in March of this year and took some oil using the dropper.
Days later he was selected for a random drugs test which returned positive for cannabis, and he was instantly suspended pending a full investigation.
In a painful twist of fate Texas recently legalised the very product the officer took, but that legislation came too late to absolve him. Federal employment rules, however, remain tight and he would still be subject to disciplinary action.
“I explained to the medical director that I’ve never used drugs in my life, I’ve never tried marijuana,” he added.
“And he said, ‘Well, I can’t use that as an excuse.'”
During his suspension – or ‘administrative leave’ – the federal agent swiftly advanced his retirement plans in order to save the embarrassment of being fired for misuse if drugs.
“It’s a horrible feeling,” he added.
“You feel like you’re a nobody, and you feel like nobody will listen to you.”
Despite the clear rules, the former agent has plenty of support. And, according to the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association’s legislative director – Don Mihalek – he’s one of several federal employees who are in the same situation.
Mr Mihalek revealed there were “more than a couple of dozen” employees under investigation because they used CBD for pain relief.
In each case, it is understood the employees were not aware the product they used contained any THC.
In fact, the bottle purchased by the former Homeland Security officer in this case was specifically chosen because it was labelled ‘THC free’. However, the lab report showed trace elements of THC that, while well below the legal limit, were still enough to show up in a random drug test and end what had been a glittering career.
“If I had known I was going to test positive for this stuff, I would have never taken it,” he concluded.
“I mean, look what I’ve had to go through.”