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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
Ryan Fletcher 202-641-0277
North Dakota Speaker of the House David Monson and ND Farmer Wayne Hauge File Suit Against DEA in U.S. Court of Appeals to Grow Industrial Hemp
Lawsuit Filed During Week Long Campaign to Give Farmers the Right to Grow Non-Drug Industrial Hemp
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, North Dakota's Speaker of the House, David Monson, and North Dakota farmer Wayne Hauge filed a legal action against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The DEA has delayed the approval of the farmers' applications for federal licenses to grow industrial hemp for more than 3 years. Both farmers have received state licenses to grow hemp for the past four growing seasons under North Dakota's industrial hemp program. Monson and Hauge are seeking federal registrations that would enable them to cultivate oilseed and fiber varieties as farmers in Canada and Europe already do. The 'Petition to Review' can be read online at: http://www.votehemp.com/petition
For over a decade, North Dakotans have tried to implement non-drug industrial hemp farming under a state licensing program. Even though the state does not require farmers to obtain permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to grow hemp, Monson and Hauge have done so to ensure that their farms will not be raided by federal drug control agents. Monson stated, "In this time of economic hardship, American farmers should not be hamstrung by an irrational and counterproductive federal policy that preempts legitimate and rational state prerogatives to grow nondrug industrial hemp."
"If the lawsuit is successful, Monson and Hauge will force the DEA to implement reasonable and timely procedures for granting licenses for the cultivation of industrial hemp," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp, a leading hemp farming advocacy group.
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Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a 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.TheHIA.org. BETA SP or DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request from Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.