Newsbrief: Hemp Food Industry Sees Looming Victory in DEA Battle 10/3/03

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Based on final arguments before the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on September 17, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is predicting it will prevail in its battle to prevent the DEA from banning hemp foods. HIA filed suit on behalf of some 200 North American hemp companies to block the DEA from implementing regulatory "final rules" that would do just that.

"Retailers and manufacturers of hemp foods should be confident that we will win this case," said David Bronner, a board member of both the HIA and Vote Hemp, and Chair of the HIA Food and Oil Committee. "The three judge panel seemed in agreement over our main argument that the DEA's 'Final Rule' ignores Congress' specific exemption in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) under the definition of marihuana that excludes hemp seed and stalk from control. Based on the questions posed to the DEA, it appears the court reasonably views trace insignificant amounts of THC in hemp seed in the same way as it sees trace amounts of opiates in poppy seeds," said Bronner.

In what could be described as an idiosyncratic reading of the Controlled Substances Act, the DEA rejects the plain language exempting hemp seed and its products from the act. But the court wasn't buying it, even Judge Alex Kozinski, whom the hempsters had regarded with some trepidation. According to the transcript, Judge Kozinski read back the relevant section to DEA attorney Daniel Dormont three times. By the third occasion, a frustrated Kozinski growled "...I tried to say it once before. What this tells me is Congress knew full well that stalks and seeds and fiber could be carriers of some level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They were aware of that. Nevertheless, it said unless you do the extracting part they are not marihuana under the definition. That is what it says to me."

The HIA expects a ruling within six months. In the meantime, hemp foods remain perfectly legal, thanks to the HIA's aggressive legal strategy. In earlier rounds, the HIA managed to fend off a DEA "interim rule" with a court-ordered permanent injunction. That "interim rule" is identical to the "final rule" now under scrutiny by the court.

Visit to read the complete transcript of the oral arguments.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #305, 10/3/03 Editorial: Rush Limbaugh and Oxycontin | Hurwitz Arrest Galvanizes Opposition to Justice Jihad Against Pain Doctors | Swiss Marijuana Legalization, Prescription Heroin Blocked by Parliament | "Rough Riders" Go Free For Now: Suburban Jury Fails to Convict Oakland Police Rogues | Drug Czar Office Safe for Now: House Votes for Five More Years of Same Old Drug War, Senate Vote Pending | Newsbrief: Hemp Food Industry Sees Looming Victory in DEA Battle | Newsbrief: New Hampshire Supreme Court Says Garbage is Protected Property | Newsbrief: Canadians Smuggling Marijuana in Garbage Exports to United States | Newsbrief: Alaska Marijuana Initiative Back on Track | Newsbrief: Eleven Years for Selling Baking Soda | Newsbrief: Barbarism in Office -- Australian Mayor Calls for Lethal Injections for Drug Users | Newsbrief: New South Wales Medical Marijuana Approval | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar

This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]