Hemp: North Dakota Farmers Lose Appeal in 8th US Circuit

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #614)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis last Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss a lawsuit by a pair of North Dakota hemp farmers who argued they should be able to grow hemp crops without fear of federal prosecution.

[inline:hemplicense.jpg align=right caption="first North Dakota hemp license signing (agdepartment.com )"]Farmers Wayne Hauge and David Monson, who is also a Republican state representative, were awarded licenses from the state department of agriculture to grow hemp three years ago. They sought approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and after the DEA failed to respond, they filed suit in US District Court in Bismarck. There, US District Judge Daniel Hovland dismissed their suit.

The DEA considers hemp to be marijuana. It took a successful federal court challenge to force the DEA to continue to allow for hemp food products to be imported, but American farmers are still forced to stand on the sidelines and watch as their Canadian, Chinese, and European counterparts fill their wallets with profit from hemp sales.

"I guess the next step is we'll have to take it to Congress," Hauge told the Associated Press. "The fastest and easiest way to handle this would be for the president to order the Department of Justice to stand down on all actions against industrial hemp," he added, alluding wistfully to the department's announced policy shift on medical marijuana.

But Congress has other things on its plate, Monson told the AP. "With all the other things, hemp is not high on their priority list, and I can understand that," Monson said. "Somehow, we need to get enough states involved so Congress can take action on it," Monson said.

Adam Eidinger, a spokesman for the industry association VoteHemp, said he was disappointed, but not surprised, by the decision."The 8th Circuit is kind of conservative, so I can't say I'm totally surprised," he said.

No word yet on whether VoteHemp and the farmers will pursue the case any further.

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Rick Meier (not verified)

This is just the type of action on the part of our so called leaders which points to their collusion with "Big Oil".

Tue, 12/29/2009 - 4:03pm Permalink
Dr Andrew Katelaris (not verified)

In reply to by Rick Meier (not verified)

The repeated refusal of amerikan authorities to grant any Hemp farming licences, even when permitting the cultivation of medical Cannabis, reinforces the idea that the prohibition launched in 1937 was aimed at industrial Hemp, using the drug issue as a "smoke screen". One hectare of industrial Hemp can absorb over 20 tons of carbon dioxide and presents serious ecologists with the most rapid and practical strategy for Earth repair. Isn't it about time we became serious about Hemp?

Tue, 12/29/2009 - 4:48pm Permalink
mlang52 (not verified)

I wonder how much carbon soot and CO2 go into the atmosphere when these guys burn the entire plants. I am sure it is a lot more than smoked flowers! And burning ditch weed does not release much THC! They should look into figuring out how to recycle the ditch weed they burn, shouldn't they?. Not that I support the global warming theory, as now presented. It is just a thought concerning more hypocrisy coming from the government! The prohibition against producing hemp in our country, is absolutely the most childish, insane thing I can think of, right now. Do these people leave their brain at the doors when they make these decisions?

Wed, 12/30/2009 - 2:32pm Permalink
Strawman (not verified)

Folks, Remember, EVERYTHING is orchestrated by the OZ... Behind the scenes, Big Oil cannot afford to have HEMP competing for the market share...The same was true for ALCOHOL... Prohibition was a behind the scenes scam by Rockefeller...Gasoline became king, then legalization of alcohol followed...My LOVE and LIGHT to ALL!

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 11:41am Permalink

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