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Court Brief Slams DEA’s ‘Indefensible’ Rationale For Firing Agent Over Positive THC Test Attributed To CBD Hemp Product

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) fired a former agent based on an “unjustifiable, unlawful, and inexplicable” rationale after he tested positive for THC after using CBD products that were marketed as being derived from federally legal hemp, an attorney argued in a new brief in a federal court case challenging the removal.

Anthony Armour—described by DEA itself as an “outstanding” special agent during his 16-year tenure—was terminated in 2019 following a random drug screening that revealed traces of THC metabolites. He admitted to taking CBD for chronic pain as an opioid alternative—and he turned over the products he believed to be federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill—but DEA upheld his firing even upon appeal.

In a brief submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this week, the former DEA agent’s attorney, Matt Zorn, challenged a series of arguments from the agency, asserting that it relied on “undeniably flawed evidence” to support its claim that Armour unlawfully used marijuana by consuming a CBD product he believed to be within the federal definition of legal hemp.

“This is all indefensible enough. But [DEA’s response] disturbingly sheds new light on how an outstanding DEA agent landed a draconian

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