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For Immediate Release
Friday, July 02, 2004

CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-232-8997, 202-744-2671

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Denies DEA Petition
for Rehearing on Hemp Food Decision

Administration Has Until Sept. 26 to File Appeal

SAN FRANCISCO, California — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and manufacturers of hemp food products who won on Feb. 6 their 2 1/2-year old court battle to keep hemp foods legal in HIA vs. DEA are pleased the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) petition for an En Banc rehearing. The court’s June 28 decision gives the Bush Administration until Sept. 26, 2004 to appeal to the Supreme Court. Sales of hemp foods in the U.S. will be permanently protected if the Bush Administration does not appeal by the Sept. 26 deadline.

“Manufacturers of healthy foods containing omega-3 rich hemp nut and oil are confident that the Administration cannot win an appeal to the Supreme Court,” says David Bronner, chair of the HIA’s Food and Oil Committee and president of Alpsnack/Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. “The three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that the DEA ignored the specific Congressional exemption in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that excludes hemp fiber, seed and oil from control along with poppy seeds. The Court reasonably viewed as insignificant and irrelevant harmless trace amounts of THC in hemp seed, just like harmless trace amounts of opiates in poppy seeds,” says Bronner.

Fighting the DEA’s attempted ban has cost hemp companies over $200,000, but they are prepared to spend what it takes to fight any further appeal to the Supreme Court. “The public and the media should question the DEA’s waste of tax dollars in trying to crush the legitimate hemp food industry,” says Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp. “A Bush administration appeal will fail and only further embarrass the DEA. Appealing the decision is a last-ditch effort to save face at the expense of taxpayers and limited law enforcement resources.”

Hemp Foods are Safe and Nutritious — DEA Rules Were Ridiculous!

Hemp seed is one of the most perfect nutritional resources in all of nature. In addition to its excellent flavor profile, the seed meat protein supplies all essential amino acids in an easily digestible form and with a high protein efficiency ratio. But most importantly, hemp seed and oil offer high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in a perfect ratio of the omega-3/omega-6 acids. EFA’s are the “good fats” that doctors recommend as part of a healthy, balanced diet. This superior nutritional profile makes hemp nut (shelled seed) and oil ideal for a wide range of functional food applications and as an effective fatty acid supplement. Not surprisingly, hemp nut and oil are increasingly used in natural food products, such as breads, frozen waffles, cereals, nutrition bars, meatless burgers and salad dressings.

Eating Hemp Food Does Not Interfere with Workplace Drug-Tests

U.S. hemp food companies voluntarily observe reasonable THC limits similar to those adopted by European nations and Canada. These limits protect consumers with a wide margin of safety from workplace drug-testing interference (see hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at http://www.testpledge.com). The DEA has hypocritically not targeted food manufacturers for using poppy seeds (in bagels and muffins, for example) even though they contain far higher levels of trace opiates. The recently revived global hemp market is a thriving commercial success. Unfortunately, because of their paranoia DEA has confused non-psychoactive industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive varieties, and thus the U.S. is the only major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing of industrial hemp.

Visit www.VoteHemp.com to read court documents and numerous scientific studies concerning hemp foods. For more information or to arrange interviews with representatives of the hemp industry, please call Adam Eidinger at 202-232-8997.

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