DEA Lifts Hemp Seed Embargo 11/19/99

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(courtesy NORML Foundation,

Nov. 18, 1999, Pain Court, Ontario: In a major victory for the hemp industry, the Drug Enforcement Agency has lifted a recent hemp seed embargo and is now allowing sterilized seeds from Canada into the United States. In August, the DEA instructed U.S. Customs to stop the importation of all hemp seed products into the U.S. The first seizure was a 53,000 pound load of sterilized birdseed imported by Kenex Ltd. That shipment remains in Customs' storage, pending an agreement between Kenex and the DEA.

Since THC is considered a controlled substance under US federal law, the DEA initially took a hard line stance on seeds containing as low as 14 parts per million THC. US Customs has now been instructed to allow shipments of hemp seed products containing trace amounts of THC to enter the country.

"The DEA tried to expand their jurisdiction by a twisted interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act, but their attempt to change the rules threatened to destroy the Canadian farmers and industries who invested in this remarkable crop and totally violated the NAFTA treaty," said Don Wirtshafter of the Ohio Hempery. "In the end, the DEA had to back down due to industry pressure and high level complaints from the Canadian Embassy in Washington. Hopefully, now the hemp industry can pick up the pieces and recover from this low blow." "We got the zero tolerance policy reversed, and basically got the DEA to abide by US law," said Jean Laprise, Kenex owner. "We accomplished our goal and are looking forward to doing a bigger business in the future."

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Issue #116, 11/19/99 Hypocrisy II: More Special Treatment for Politicians' Families | Youth Violence Subcommittee Holds Field Hearing on Heroin Upsurge | Reformers Express Concern to Bolivian Government Over Illegal Arrest of Leonilda Zurita | In Memoriam: Gil Puder | New Mexico: Governor Holds Forum on Legalization, Top Cop Resigns, Republican Chairman Acknowledges Authoring Private Pro-Decriminalization Paper in 1997 | "Judge Judy" on Drug Users and Their Families: "Let 'Em Die" | Student Conference Report | DEA Lifts Hemp Seed Embargo | McWilliams and McCormick to Plead Guilty | Drug Education: New Publication from The Lindesmith Center | Needle Exchange Forum: Newark, New Jersey 20-Nov | New Report on Injection-Related AIDS Finds Prevention Neglected in Large States and Major Cities | Editorial: Guest Editorial: US Senate Should Pass Forfeiture Reform Bill

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