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When I inprocessed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord here in the immaculate Pacific Northwest, I had no idea what I was in for. I'd spent my entire career up to that point fighting to get stationed at home again (I'm a Tacoma boy), and all of a sudden, when I show up, we get a briefing during reception about substance abuse. The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP), to be precise. What floored me was that the command had a policy banning soldiers from using products that contained hemp, hemp oil, etc.
Recently, we had a change of command in terms of JBLM, and I thought that it might be possible that the new commanding general would have changed what I (and I'm sure most people on this site) believe is an outdated and ridiculous policy on hemp products. Well, I was wrong. After doing some homework late at night with the help of my trusty friend, Google, I found that this policy is not JBLM policy, it is Army policy. According to AR 600-85, soldiers are not permitted to consume hemp or anything that contains hemp oil.
This discovery was sharpened by another one-that Vega has hemp protein in it! I read the label quite a few times and must have overlooked it.
In any case, I've been forced to scour the natural foods community for an acceptable alternative. After more research, I settled on pea protein, and found one source at my local store. This is a total let-down for me, because I fully understand three important facts that the Army does not:
1. Consumable hemp products are an amazing source of nutrients for the human body.
2. Consumable hemp products will not alter your consciousness like marijuana does.
3. Consumable hemp products evidently have a near-invisible THC signature (I went through three
bins of Vega over a period during which I took serveral urinalyses, none of which returned positive).
Unfortunately, the Army (in its infinite wisdom) does not understand this, and continues to cling to this obsolete and completely ridiculous policy. In the meantime, I am forced to substitute an amazing source of protein and nutrients for a source that, while very decent, is nothing near what hemp is.
In any case, I will continue to turn my non-military buddies on to Vega, and all of my friends on to Thrive and one-step nutrition. Maybe the Army will pull its head out of its fourth point of contact on at some point in the future, before I retire. Until then, I'll be relying on pea protein and sending hate mail to my representatives in congress.