Monday, June 18, 2007
CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
Tom Murphy 207-542-4998
North Dakota Farmers to File Lawsuit Against DEA to Grow Industrial Hemp
June 18 Teleconference for Media to Feature Legal Team and Plaintiffs
BISMARCK, ND — Two North Dakota farmers will file a lawsuit Monday, in federal court in Bismarck, in an effort to end the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) ban on commercial hemp farming in the United States.
The farmers – State Rep. David Monson, Osnabrock; and Wayne Hauge, Ray – will hold a local press conference in front of the William Guy Federal Building at 10 a.m. CST, shortly after filing the lawsuit. Also attending is North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, who issued state licenses to grow hemp to the two farmers earlier this year.
Following the media availability, Monson and Hauge will join Washington, DC-based attorney Joe Sandler and Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra, on a nation-wide telephone press conference. The teleconference begins at 11:05 am CST (12:05 EST). The call in number is 1-800-896-8445 and the conference ID is 7HempFarm. Following brief remarks the participants will be available to answer questions.
WHO: Rep. David Monson, North Dakota House assistant majority leader, farmer
Wayne Hauge, Seed breeder, licensed hemp farmer
Roger Johnson, North Dakota agriculture commissioner
Tim Purdon, Vogel Law Firm, Bismarck, attorney for the plaintiffs
Joe Sandler, legal counsel for VoteHemp.com
Eric Steenstra, president, VoteHemp.com
WHAT: Media Availability and Teleconference on New Lawsuit to Grow Hemp
WHERE: William Guy Federal Building, 220 E. Rosser Ave., Bismarck, ND 58501
WHEN: Monday, June 18, 10:00 am CST Media Availability, Teleconference 11:05 AM CST
Teleconference call in number is 1-800-896-8445
Conference ID: 7HempFarm
More on the Lawsuit
The North Dakota Legislature recently removed the requirement that state-licensed industrial hemp farmers first obtain DEA permits before growing hemp. The question before the U.S. district court will be whether federal authorities can prosecute state licensed farmers who grow non-drug oilseed and fiber hemp varieties under federal marijuana laws.
"The legislative action was a direct response to the DEA's refusal to waive registration requirements, including $3,440 in non-refundable yearly application fees, and the agency's inability to respond reasonably to the farmers' federal applications in time for spring planting," says Eric Steenstra, Vote Hemp's President and co-founder. Please click here to read a PDF of the DEA letter that was ND's last straw.
Vote Hemp, the nation's leading industrial hemp advocacy group, is providing financial support for the lawsuit. If successful, states across the nation will be free to implement hemp farming laws without fear of federal interference.
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Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural 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.
Please click here to listen to a recording of the teleconference. (mp3 file 13MB)
Please the North Dakota Case page for more information on the case of Monson vs DEA.