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Monday, February 6, 2023

The US Army wants to make the sniper uniform out of hemp

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Army soldiers aren’t allowed to use hemp-derived CBD even if it’s federally legal — but the military branch is now asking for information about the use of hemp in uniforms to aid camouflaged snipers.

In a Request for Information (RFI) published last week, the Army said it was interested in exploring alternative materials to improve the uniforms used by snipers to hide from enemy fighters in close proximity. Hemp and jute are among the materials believed to be able to support “the operational and individual clothing of the Enhanced Ghillie System (IGS)”.

“Attention is specifically drawn to twine/thread/thread used to break up the outlines of snipes made of jute, hemp, or similar natural fibres,” the notice reads.

The Army Product Manager’s Apparel and Individual Equipment Division continues, “Approximately 48 pounds of jute count, 3-ply, jute, hemp or similar natural fibres, or natural-colored yarn/thread.” “The current demand for jute/hemp yarn is 400,000 yards.”

“IGS is a new and improved sniper concealment system developed to meet the concealment needs of the Sniper community. IGS should contain adjustable camouflage materials (such as jute, hemp or similar natural fibers) that can be used to alter the appearance of the sniper. IGS Jute, Hemp or others will help of natural fibers in concealment for snipers and scouts during missions allowing them to remain undetected in close proximity to enemy forces.”

Hemp was federally legalized under the Agriculture Act of 2018. Although many have linked the crop to its derivatives such as CBD oil, there is growing interest in its other industrial applications, particularly given its unique durability, versatility, and low environmental impact. Companies market everything from hemp fabric in clothing to hemp concrete for buildings.

The Army now wants to see if the crop has the ability to better camouflage its snipers. The RFI He says hemp can be spun locally or imported from other countries, unlike jute which needs to be spun in the United States even if the fibers come from a foreign source.

“The materials should not pose a risk to the health of the soldier and should show compatibility with prolonged and direct skin contact,” she says. Also, the material cannot “add a significant amount of weight” to a uniform. Responses to the Request for Inquiry are due by July 27.

The House Appropriations Committee recently determined The potential of the hemp crop as a cost-effective alternative to plasticincluding language in three recent Spending Bill reports encouraging research into using locally grown hemp to reduce reliance on plastic imported from China, for example.

Representative Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and member of the Appropriations Committee, is leading the initiative.

Separately, the US Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded funds to the researchers to develop 3D printed hemp concrete for use in affordable housing construction.

The Ministry of Energy also sponsors Hemp fiber insulation development project It is designed to be better for the environment and public health than traditional preparations, the agency announced late last year.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also announced last year that it had awarded a Washington state-based company a $100,000 grant to support the development of Sustainable bricks made from industrial hemp.

But when it comes to cannabis and the military, the Department of Defense (DOD) and various branches of the agency have made clear that there is one use that is off-limits to service members: the consumption of hemp-derived CBD products.

In 2019, the Ministry of Defense announced the policy Ban all active and reserve service members from using cannabis productsincluding the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Department of Defense has emphasized more broadly that CBD is prohibited for service members In previous notices published in 2020.

About a year after the federal legalization of cannabis, the Air Force sent a notice of it Likewise warn against using CBD products which are commonly found in the market. A Massachusetts Air Force base told pilots last year that they could face disciplinary action for it Possession of any type of cannabis productEven if it’s for your pet.

Officials in the military branch also said the previous year that he wanted its members to be more careful. About “Grandma’s Miracle Sticky Cake” which may contain marijuana.

The Navy, for its part, issued an initial notification in 2018 informing the ranks of this They were banned from using CBD and hemp products regardless of its legality. Then in 2020 it released an update Explains his age to change the rule.

The Naval War College has gone so far as to warn sailors and Marines about new cannabis products on the market, Issue a notice earlier this month He says members can drink a new Pepsi-owned Rockstar energy drink that contains hemp seed oil.

The Coast Guard said that Sailors cannot use marijuana Or visit the official dispensaries of the state.

One factor that may have influenced these policy updates is the Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Has issued guidelines for drug program coordinators at the Federal Agency In 2019 it identified concerns about THC appearing in CBD products and causing drug tests to fail. Agency Issue an updated warning In 2020, several states voted to legalize marijuana.

Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced separate criticism over its stance on cannabis issues.

In March, for example, the VA clarified that It will not support treatment with marijuana As part of a new grant program aimed at preventing veteran suicides.

The VA’s stance on marijuana has been a source of constant frustration for advocates and veteran service organizations who have been pressing for expanded research into the therapeutic potential of cannabis.

House and Senate committees Joint hearings were held in March to hear from veterans service organizations (VSOs) on how Congress and the federal government can better serve their constituents, and many groups have raised the need to ease restrictions on marijuana.

The certificate is an echo VSOs have repeatedly raised eyebrows with lawmakers. Details have ranged in scope between the different groups, but the overall message has been made clear: Military veterans are uniquely standing to benefit from marijuana treatment and it is time for Congress to do something about it.

Separately, military veterans He will be “encouraged” to discuss medical marijuana treatment Without fear of losing federal benefits under a recent bill sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.). The main driver of the legislation is to legalize current policies that allow VA physicians to talk about medical cannabis with patients as well as to protect veterans who speak openly about their history with marijuana treatment. By doing so, he will enshrined these policies in law so that they cannot subsequently be changed administratively by future VA leaders.

while, A major committee in the House of Representatives approved two amendments To the defense spending bill that must pass last month that deals with issues related to marijuana in the armed forces.

Both measures authorized the House Armed Services Committee on voice voting during the coding of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The first, from Representative Anthony Brown (D-MD), concerns the criteria for judging cannabis under military law. The other from Moulton calls for a Department of Defense-led study on the medical efficacy of cannabis over opioids in certain conditions.


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