DEA

RSS Feed for this category

Drug Policy Forum of Kansas: Medical Marijuana Action Alert

Would you please take one minute to call your member of Congress and ask him or her to vote in favor of the medical marijuana amendment that the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on next week? Rep. Dennis Moore is the only Kansas Representative to vote last year in favor of the Hinchey amendment [pronounced HIN-chee]. If he is your Representative please let him know you appreciate his vote to prohibit the DEA from wasting taxpayer money to arrest medical marijuana patients in the 12 states where it is legal, and hope he will vote Yea again. Please call now: (202) 224-3121 Give the operator your zip code and ask to be connected to your representative’s office or call them directly: Rep. Jerry Moran 202-225-2715, fax 202-225-5124 Rep. Nancy Boyda 202-225-6601, fax 202-225-7986 Rep. Dennis Moore 202-225-2865, fax 202-225-2807 Rep. Todd Tiahrt 202-225-6216, fax 202-225-3489 When the receptionist for the congressperson — not the Capitol switchboard operator — answers, say something like: "Hi, this is [name]. I live in [city], and I'm calling to ask that my representative vote for Rep. Maurice Hinchey's [HIN-chee's] medical marijuana amendment to the Justice Department's spending bill, which I understand will be considered on the House floor next week. The amendment would prohibit the Justice Department from spending taxpayer money to arrest medical marijuana patients in the 12 states where medical marijuana is legal." Then, please follow up by using the Marijuana Policy Project’s easy online legislative system to e-mail your member of Congress. Calling and e-mailing take only one minute each. The House of Representatives has voted on this amendment the last four consecutive summers, but — since last November’s midterm elections provided the most favorable conditions for passing federal medical marijuana legislation — this year the amendment has the best chance it has ever had of passing. Would you please take one minute to call your congressperson today? Doing so could have a huge impact on the outcome of next week's medical marijuana vote. Please help us promote innovative drug policies by sending your tax-deductible donation today. Become a member -- add yourself to our mailing list by going to our web site www.dpfks.org.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

ASA: Tell Congress to STOP Funding Medical Marijuana Raids

Dear ASA Supporters, My name is Toby. In 2005, my partner David Harde, a patient and caregiver, and I were raided by local authorities in an investigation. In light of the fact that case could not successfully be prosecuted given California state law, our case was turned over to the federal government. The reason I am sharing my story with you now is because the U.S. House of Representatives will soon debate the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. This amendment could have prevented the devastating story I want to share with you. A few days prior to July 4, 2006, eight federal agents arrived at our door. We were handcuffed and carted off to the Federal Court House in Sacramento. The only thing this experience has taught me is that the federal government will use fear and intimidation to tear families apart. The details of this experience are still overwhelming. We are not dangerous people, or are we a threat to anyone. It's estimated that the federal government spent nearly $200,000 on the eight agents and other resources used to conduct this “sting” operation. This is why the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment is so important to both taxpayers and patients alike. Knowing that the federal government does not recognize state protection of medical marijuana patients and providers, David and I, like so many others made the difficult decision to resolve the case against him as quickly as possible. We chose to take a plea bargain. To my devastated surprise, David was sentenced to years of prison time, will have to serve a lengthy probation, pay astronomical fines. It feels like an eternity will pass before we will have our lives back. To David’s credit, his friends, relatives and local community members sent letters to the judge, appealing for a more lenient sentence. As a result, the judge issued a sentence for David well below the minimum sentencing guideline - the first time the judge had taken such action during his tenure on the federal bench. Still, 30 months is a long time to be away from those you love. Sadly, our story is only one of dozens of cases (http://www.safeaccessnow.org/section.php?id=184) that could have been prevented by the passage of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. It is up to compassionate people like you to educate your representatives on this amendment. On behalf of David, myself and all the victims of the federal attack on medical cannabis, I ask you to contact your representative today. We are under a time constraint so I am asking you to take action now. Here are two ways to contact your representative: 1. E-mail Your Member of Congress. Visit ASA’s action page (http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=3471) to send your Congressional Representative an e-mail urging him/her to support the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. 2) Call Your Member of Congress. Every single phone call counts! Call your Congressional Representative and tell them if adopted this amendment will do two things: (a) Conserve taxpayers’ money by blocking funding for DEA raids in legal medical cannabis states against state certified medical cannabis patients and caregivers. (b) Protect legal medical cannabis patients from having their homes and workspaces unnecessarily raided by the DEA. For phone numbers of your representatives, visit www.house.gov or call the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Give the operator your zip code and ask to be connected to your U.S. Representative. This experience has changed our lives, broken our hearts, mended our love and taught us to be open with our needs and know that family, friends, and community will respond with abundance and love. Please help prevent further stories like mine from happening to other patients and providers. Please do the compassionate thing and contact your representative today (http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=3471). Thank you, Toby
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

S.D. Farmer Struggling to Grow Hemp

Location: 
SD
United States
Publication/Source: 
Forbes.com (NY)
URL: 
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/11/ap3901737.html

Wear It. Eat It. Drive It. Just Don't Grow It: Ann Woolner

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Bloomberg
URL: 
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_woolner&sid=aEbhDVWvxWwk

The Battle Over Hemp on an Indian Reservation

Location: 
SD
United States
Publication/Source: 
The New York Times
URL: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/03/arts/television/03sile.html

Feature: North Dakota Farmers Sue DEA Over Hemp Growing Ban

Two North Dakota farmers Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Bismarck seeking to overturn the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ban on growing industrial hemp in the United States. The lawsuit seeks a court order barring the DEA from charging the farmers with a criminal violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/hempharvest.jpg
hemp being harvested (courtesy Wikipedia)
Hemp products are legal in the US, but the DEA ban prevents US farmers from growing it, meaning domestic hemp product makers must turn to suppliers in countries where it is legal to grow, including Canada, China, and most of Europe.

Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, but unlike the marijuana consumed by recreational and medical marijuana users, contains only tiny amounts of the psychoactive substance that gets marijuana users "high." But the DEA argues that hemp is marijuana and that the CSA gives it authority to ban it.

The farmers and their attorneys disagree, pointing out that the CSA contains language explicitly exempting hemp fiber, seed oil, and seed incapable of germination from the definition of "marihuana" and are thus not controlled substances under that law. That same language was used to allow the legal import of hemp into the US as a result of a 2004 federal court decision siding with the hemp industry against the DEA.

But while the language of the CSA appears clear, ambiguities remain, said Adam Eidinger, a spokesman for the hemp industry lobby group Vote Hemp. "There is a contradiction in the law when it comes to growing the plant, because you can't grow the plant without producing seeds and flowers, and the DEA claims the act gives it authority over those parts of the plant," he told Drug War Chronicle. "In this case, we have to look at Congress's intent in passing the law, and we think it is clear that Congress intended that hemp be excluded," he said.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/hempforvictory1.jpg
WWII-era federal film encouraging hemp growing for war effort
Monday's lawsuit is only the latest move in a decade-old struggle by North Dakota farmers to grow hemp. The state first passed hemp legislation in 1997, but things really began moving when state Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, a strong hemp supporter, issued the first state permits to grow hemp to farmers Wayne Hauge and Dave Monson (who is also a Republican state legislator) on February 6. One week later, Hauge and Monson sent a request to the DEA requesting licenses to grow their crops and noting that they needed a response by early April in order to get the crops in the ground this year.

The DEA failed to respond in a timely fashion. According to a March 27 DEA letter to Ag Commissioner Johnson, seven weeks was not enough time for the agency to arrive at a ruling on the request. That letter was the final straw for the North Dakotans.

"We are asking the DEA to do nothing, which is exactly what they have done for ten years," said Tim Purdon, one of the attorneys working for Monson and Hauge, at a Monday press conference announcing the lawsuit. "North Dakota's rules no longer require a DEA license, so we are basically asking the court to tell the DEA to leave our farmers alone."

"I applied for my North Dakota state license in January and was hopeful that the DEA would act quickly and affirm my right to plant industrial hemp this year. Unfortunately, the DEA has not responded in any way other than to state that it would take them a lot more time than the window of time I have to import seed and plant the crop," said Rep. Monson. "It appears that the DEA really doesn't want to work with anyone to resolve the issue," Monson added.

"I met with the DEA in February and presented copies of the licenses along with the applications from Hauge and Monson and the checks for the application fee and asked them to please review those applications as soon as possible," said Commissioner Johnson, who noted he had also met with the agency the previous year in an effort to smooth the way. "The DEA did not respond. It was a de facto denial of the applications, which led us to the point of filing this lawsuit," he said. "My strong opinion is that the DEA needs to get off this kick of viewing industrial hemp and marijuana as identical. They need to exercise their discretion to view them differently, like every other industrial country does."

In addition to its obstinate refusal to differentiate between hemp and marijuana, the DEA has also expressed concerns that lawmen would be unable to tell the difference between the two and that people would hide marijuana plants in the middle of hemp fields. That's all bunk, said California cannabis and hemp cultivation expert Chris Conrad.

"First off, this is not a problem for Canadian, British, German, French, and Spanish police, so why are American cops so incompetent compared to the rest of the world, and why should we coddle them for that rather than demand they do their jobs?" he asked. "Also, the fields are registered and police will have the power to enter and inspect at will, so it would be stupid to tell the cops where you're growing, then try to hide marijuana in the field," Conrad pointed out.

The two crops are grown differently for different ends, Conrad noted. "Marijuana is grown for flowering branches, whereas hemp is grown for either stalk or seeds. The stalk crop can be harvested before it flowers, so there would never, ever be any marijuana buds produced." Also, Conrad pointed out, hemp grows straight up and the plants are spaced only a few inches apart, while marijuana plants are shorter and bushier. "Marijuana plants look very different from hemp plants and would be conspicuous from the other plants, especially in an aerial flyover where you would see the area around the marijuana being cleared out from the hemp plants. It's very easy to identify a marijuana patch in a hemp field, and if there is a marijuana plant, it hempifies [is pollinated by the hemp plants] and goes away."

The science and agriculture of hemp probably have little to do with the DEA's intransigent insistence that hemp is marijuana, said Vote Hemp's Eidinger. "This is part of the culture war," he suggested. "When Jack Herer published "The Emperor Has No Clothes" in the early 1980s, the DEA began seeing the call for industrial hemp as part of weakening the links of the criminalization of marijuana." Publication of Herer's book led to a revitalization of interest in industrial hemp, but also associated hemp with the marijuana culture, rather than staid farmers like Hauge and Monson.

Regardless of the past, the state of North Dakota and its farmers are now tired of being collateral damage in the war on drugs, and now they have initiated the legal action that could resolve the issue once and for all.

Vote Hemp Press Release: North Dakota Farmers File Lawsuit Against DEA to Grow Industrial Hemp

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 18, 2007 CONTACT: Adam Eidinger, T: 202-744-2671 or E: adam@votehemp.com, or Tom Murphy, T: 207-542-4998, E: tom@votehemp.com North Dakota Farmers File Lawsuit Against DEA to Grow Industrial Hemp Plaintiffs Seek Federal Recognition of State-Issued Hemp Farming Licenses BISMARCK, ND – Two North Dakota farmers filed a lawsuit today in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota in an effort to end the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) obstruction of commercial hemp farming in the United States. If successful, the legal action would result in licensed hemp farmers receiving assurances that no federal agency could hold them criminally liable under the Controlled Substances Act. Vote Hemp’s grassroots supporters are funding the legal action. A copy of the complaint is available online at: http://www.votehemp.com/legal_cases_ND.html. The farmers – State Rep. David Monson from Osnabrock and Wayne Hauge from Ray – were issued their state licenses to grow industrial hemp from North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson in February 2007. At that time the farmers applied for a DEA permit to grow industrial hemp and import live seed. Over the next few months, however, the agency’s inaction on the applications fueled frustration in North Dakota’s legislature. When lawmakers concluded that DEA had no intention of working cooperatively with the state’s first-in-the-nation hemp farming rules, the North Dakota legislature voted overwhelmingly to drop the DEA licensing requirement from the statute. “I applied for my North Dakota state license in January and was hopeful that DEA would act quickly and affirm my right to plant industrial hemp this year. Unfortunately, DEA has not responded in any way other than to state that it would take them a lot more time than the window of time I have to import seed and plant the crop,” said Rep. David Monson, who is the Assistant Majority (Republican) Leader. “It appears that DEA really doesn’t want to work with anyone to resolve the issue,” Monson added. One of the central arguments in the litigation is that industrial hemp is defined to be those varieties of Cannabis that have no drug value and are cultivated exclusively for fiber and seed. Although useless as a drug crop, industrial hemp plants are distinct varieties of Cannabis sativa L., the same species from which marijuana varieties come. DEA considers industrial hemp plants to be “marihuana,” a controlled substance under Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq., the possession or production of which is subject to severe criminal penalties under that law, including property forfeiture. “We are asking that DEA to do nothing, exactly what they have done for ten years,” says Tim Purdon one of the attorneys working for Monson and Hauge. “North Dakota’s rules no longer require a DEA permit so we are basically asking the court to tell DEA to leave our farmers alone.” The express language of the CSA has specifically provided that hemp fiber, seed oil and seed incapable of germination are exempt from the definition of “marihuana” and are thus not controlled substances under that law. By virtue of this exemption, it is currently lawful under federal law – and has been for almost 70 years – to import into the U.S., sell within the U.S., and make and sell products made from, the excluded parts of the Cannabis plant (i.e., hemp fiber, stalk, seed oil and seed incapable of germination). The farmers seek a declaration that the CSA does not apply to the industrial hemp plants they seek to cultivate pursuant to state law because: (1) only hemp fiber, stalk, sterilized seed and seed oil, items expressly exempted from the CSA, will enter the marketplace; and (2) the industrial hemp to be grown will be useless as a drug crop due to North Dakota legal requirements for extremely low THC levels. Further, to the extent the DEA attempts to argue that, despite these facts, the CSA does apply to hemp farming under North Dakota law, this would be an unconstitutional federal restraint on commerce occurring purely within the borders of North Dakota. “I want to grow hemp because it will fill a niche market in numerous areas,” says fourth generation farmer and certified public accountant Wayne Hauge. “In recent years there has been strong growth in demand for hemp seeds in the U.S., but the American farmer is being left out while Canadian, European and Chinese farmers are filling the void created by our outdated federal policy.” Last year, just over 48,000 acres of hemp were grown in Canada, primarily in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, provinces that border North Dakota. Hemp farmers in Canada averaged $250 CDN per acre in profit in 2006, according to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, an association of businesses, farmers and researchers. Hemp is a good rotational crop with the ability to reduce weeds in future cereal crops. Very few chemicals, if any, are required to grow the crop which is considered a good alternative to those with harmful environmental impacts such as cotton, tobacco and soy. In the largest hemp producing country, China, which grows 2 million acres, hemp hurds are processed into lightweight boards, and hemp fibers, already used in the paper and automotive industries, are finding new uses as reinforcement in plastics for products such as window frames and floor coverings. (In fact, some of these innovative products will be used on a large scale at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, according to news reports.) In Sweden, companies including IKEA, Volvo and Saab have shown interest in hemp fibers and hurds for use in vehicle interiors and furniture. In the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, considerable investments are being made to develop utilize hemp fiber in composites which are used to manufacture auto parts for BMW, Chrysler and Mercedes. In Canada, Germany and Japan, businesses are investigating reinforcing Polylactide (PLA) plastic with hemp fibers in order to widen the technology’s field of applications. # # # Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.HempIndustries.org. BETA SP or DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.
Location: 
Bismarck, ND
United States

chicagovigil.com responds to chicagovigil.org

The DEA is at it again, as Drug WarRant blogger Peter Guither puts it, and is holding another "vigil for lost promise" for people who have died from drugs, this one in Chicago (chicagovigil.org). The problem isn't so much what the DEA says -- some people do die from drugs -- but what they don't say. Hence Guither's vigil for lost promise for people who have died from the drug war (chicagovigil.com redirecting to it). It's too simplistic to blame it all on drugs. Even when it looks like drugs (e.g. it's not someone who was imprisoned under a law or shot by a SWAT team, someone actually died from some kind of drug use), it's often the combination of drugs with the drug laws that created the most deadly mix. Guess who has the top link in Google when searching on "vigil for lost promise," at least right now when I'm posting this?
Location: 
United States

North Dakota Farmers File Lawsuit Against DEA Over Hemp Ban

This afternoon, I particpated in a tele-news conference held in Bismarck, North Dakota, to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit by two North Dakota farmers (including a Republican state representative!) against the DEA for its refusal to issue permits allowing them to grow hemp. North Dakota has passed state legislation permitting hemp growing under strict regulations, and its hemp-friendly Agriculture Commissioner, Roger Johnson, has promulgated the necessary guidelines. Johnson issued state permits to the two farmers months ago and sought DEA approval, but DEA did nothing. Now, the farmers are suing. This case could be a big one, once and for all getting the DEA out of the way of commercial hemp farming. I'll be writing about this in a feature article this week, but in the meantime, you can check out VoteHemp's North Dakota information page here for more detailed info on the case. Too bad somebody has to sue the DEA to get it to uphold the Controlled Substance Act, which specifically exempts hemp from the marijuana prohibition.
Location: 
United States

Editorial: Ending the marijuana monopoly

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Los Angeles Times
URL: 
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-marijuana31may31,0,987800.story?coll=la-opinion-leftrail

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School

StopTheDrugWar Video Archive