Newsbrief: DEA Issues Final Hemp Rule, Would Ban Hemp Food Products in Weeks, Hempsters Fight Back 3/28/03

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In final rules on hemp foods published on March 21, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) essentially banned the sale of all hemp food products in the US by April 21. The final rule is almost identical to the DEA's interpretive rule on hemp foods that was issued in October 2001, but never implemented because of a court challenge by hemp interests. Today, the Hemp Industries Association and several hemp food and cosmetics manufacturers will ask the US 9th Circuit District Court in San Francisco to once again put the kibosh on the DEA's scheme to end the legal sales of hemp seed and oil in the US.

"The DEA's charade of supposedly protecting the public from safe and nutritious hemp food is finally going to end," says David Bronner, Chairman of the Hemp Industry Association's Food and Oil Committee. "The court is currently hearing a substantive challenge to the "Interpretive Rule," and in light of the announcement of the "Final Rule," the hemp industry is optimistic that the Court will ultimately invalidate the DEA's rule, as one of the prime criteria in granting the stay was whether the hemp industry is likely to ultimately prevail on the merits of the case," added Bronner.

Although Congress specifically exempted non-viable hemp seed and oil from control under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the DEA has asserted authority under the CSA to ban hemp foods. That move has not gone unnoticed. More than 115,000 public comments -- the vast majority opposing the rule -- were submitted to the DEA since the interpretive rule was published, and the hemp industry, through its Vote Hemp project ( has organized public demonstrations and financed the legal effort to rein in the DEA.

The US is the only major industrialized country to ban the growing and processing of industrial hemp. Now it wants to stop us from consuming it, too.

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Issue #280, 3/28/03 The Week Online Needs Your Help | Editorial: I Smuggled Coca Soap into the United States | Road to Vienna: British Government Chides International Narcotics Control Board on Cannabis Rescheduling Critique | Will Canada Marijuana Decriminalization Be Collateral Damage in Iraq War? | Maryland Legislature Rebuffs Drug Czar, Passes Medical Marijuana Bill, Awaits Governor's Signature | DRCNet Interview: Ed Forchion, the New Jersey Weedman | Newsbrief: DEA Issues Final Hemp Rule, Would Ban Hemp Food Products in Weeks, Hempsters Fight Back | Newsbrief: Bill to Allow Syringe Purchases Moving in Illinois Legislature | Newsbrief: Bill to Restrict Needle Exchanges Gets Push in Rhode Island | Newsbrief: Colombia to Get $100 Million Bounty for Supporting Iraq War | Newsbrief: More Americans Dead in Colombia | Newsbrief: Lawsuit Charges Chicago Cops with Pattern of Illegal Stops, Searches of Minorities | Newsbrief: Bush to Nominate Woman Prosecutor to Head DEA | Newsbrief: Silence on Pusherstrasse -- Christiania Drug Sellers Strike for Future of "Free City" | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Jobs at WOLA | The Reformer's Calendar

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