For Immediate Release
Monday, October 29, 2007
CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
Tom Murphy 207-542-4998
NDSU Files Amicus in Support of Hemp Farming Lawsuit
DEA Makes Feeble Argument that Hemp Can be Turned into Drugs
BISMARCK, ND — North Dakota State University (NDSU), a publicly funded land grant university has taken the unprecedented step of submitting an amicus brief in support of two North Dakota farmers, Rep. Dave Monson and Wayne Hague, who filed a lawsuit in June to end the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) ban on state-regulated commercial hemp farming in the United States. In the amicus, NDSU states that since 1999 they have waited for DEA to grant their application to grow non-drug industrial hemp to create varieties best suited for the North Dakota climate and soil conditions. NDSU contends these farmers should be granted relief from the court, as it is pointless to wait for DEA's decision on licensing because the school's interaction with the DEA shows the federal agency has no intention of cooperating with a premier agricultural university let alone private farmers. The amicus can be read online. Due to DEA's obstructionism, the North Dakota Legislature removed earlier this year the requirement that state-licensed industrial hemp farmers first obtain DEA permits before growing hemp, enabling the plaintiff farmers to bring their case.
In a Reply to the DEA's Opposition to the farmers' Motion for Summary Judgment filed Friday, lawyers for Monson and Hauge argue that not only do the farmers have standing as they are licensed by the state to grow industrial hemp and do not have to risk arrest before growing the crop, but that DEA is ignoring that the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) exempts non-drug hemp seed, oil and fiber from control. DEA is improperly extending its authority under the CSA into purely intra-state regulated industrial hemp farming that places only exempt non-drug hemp fiber and seed commodities into commerce, that not only did Congress not intend to regulate, but cannot regulate via the CSA under the Commerce Clause.
With support of the landmark litigation coming from all branches of the North Dakota government as well as the Attorney General's office who represents NDSU, the DEA has resorted to raising outlandish claims that somehow non-drug industrial hemp can be used as a drug even though impossible by definition, and in Canada and European countries where hemp is grown for export to the US, there is no such activity taking place. Gold can hypothetically and has in some instances been extracted from seawater, but the minimal concentration makes it technically and economically inefficient and commercially non-viable to do so. There are trace opiates in poppy seeds consumed on bagels, that could also be hypothetically be concentrated; but just as with industrial hemp is not a practical source of drugs for the illicit market.
"The DEA is making a feeble defense, and is basically saying the farmers in North Dakota could divert their non-drug industrial hemp crops to make drugs, even though that is economically impossible and no one does that anywhere in the world. The media should be very skeptical of any 'facts' the DEA purports as DEA has realized the strength of the farmers' case and is furiously backpedaling, asking for discovery on facts it previously held to be undisputed in a desperate bid to sow confusion," says David Bronner, President of the Hemp Industries Association whose company, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps imports hemp oil from Canada for their soaps.
Monson v. DEA will be argued in court on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 in Bismarck, North Dakota. Oral arguments begin at 10:00 am CDT in the William L. Guy Federal Building, 220 E Rosser Ave Bismarck, ND and will immediately be followed by a press conference on the courthouse steps.
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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.