This is a special North Dakota issue of the Weekly
News Update. There is enough current
news that we expect to send another regular issue
later this week.
New in this issue is the work of photographer
Luke Zigovits. Going forward, the Hemp Shorts section
his pictures of hemp. This week we will
fittingly start with some hemp seedlings.
A quick reminder that
Standing Silent Nation will be aired on PBS on
July 3 at 10:00 PM (please check your local
listings). If you would like an email reminder sent to
here and select the "Send Me A
Reminder" button just below the "Watch Trailer"
Radio commentator Scoop
Nisker has a tagline on every broadcast:
"Remember, if you don't like the news, go out
and make some of your own!" This is sometimes
easier said than done. The news on the
hemp farming lawsuit in North Dakota in this
issue was almost a decade in the making, thanks to
the perseverance of a few individuals. You can read
more about the
case on our North Dakota Legal Case page. You may also
find of interest there the
recording of the recent June 18 teleconference
discussing the filing of the case.
Vote Hemp is funding the lawsuit, thanks to your
support, and it is an example of why your donations
are so vital to our efforts.
Please make a contribution
to Vote Hemp today to help us continue fixing the
situation here in the U.S.
We need and truly appreciate your support!
Weekly News Update Editor
|Will the Courts Tell the DEA the Difference Between Hemp and Pot?
By Jacob Sullum
Reason - Hit & Run
June 22, 2007
Two North Dakota farmers, one of them a state
legislator, filed a federal lawsuit this week
asking for a judgment declaring that the
federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does
not prohibit their cultivation of industrial
hemp. In 2005 North Dakota legalized hemp
farming, but the necessary state licenses
initially required approval from the U.S.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This year,
after it became clear that the DEA would not
give its blessing to hemp cultivation, the
state legislature amended the law to waive
that requirement. But now would-be hemp
farmers are worried that if they proceed with
their plans they could face federal prosecution.
The DEA refuses to distinguish between
non-psychoactive hemp, which by definition
contains less than 0.3 percent THC, and
marijuana, which has a THC concentration at
least 10 times as high. Hemp is legally grown
in many countries around the world where
marijuana is prohibited, and products made
from hemp fiber, seed and oil are legally
sold in the United States. But because of the
DEA's intransigence, the raw material for
these products cannot be grown in this
country without fear of arrest.
In their lawsuit, state Rep. David Monson
(R-Osnabrook) and Wayne Hauge, who has a farm
in Ray, North Dakota, argue that the DEA is
misreading the CSA, which specifically
excludes the stalks, oil and sterilized
seeds of Cannabis plants from the definition
of marijuana. This definition, carried over
from the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, reflects
Congress' intent to allow the continued
cultivation of hemp. Monson and Hauge argue
that it's unreasonable to claim that Congress
meant to ban industrial hemp.
|ND at Center of National Hemp Fight
By Jonathan Rivoli
The Bismarck Tribune
June 22, 2007
When North Dakota farmers David Monson and
Wayne Hauge filed a lawsuit against the U.S.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) this week over
growing hemp, they said they were simply
looking to even the agricultural playing field with
their Canadian counterparts.
But in taking their battle to the federal
courts, Monson and Hauge have placed North
Dakota at the center of a national fight over
whether industrial hemp should be grown in
"This is a very big deal," said Tom Murphy,
national outreach coordinator for Vote Hemp,
an advocacy group that's funding the lawsuit.
|2 Farmers Suing DEA over Right to Grow Hemp
By Donna Leinwand
June 18, 2007
Two North Dakota farmers who want to grow
hemp are filing a federal lawsuit today to
challenge the Drug Enforcement
Administration's (DEA) ban on the plant that is the
same species that produces marijuana.
Hemp can be imported from Canada, Europe and
China, but growing hemp in the USA is
illegal, the DEA says.
"Hemp is marijuana," DEA spokesman Garrison
Courtney says. "There's no distinguishing
feature between marijuana and hemp."
Too Late to Plant Hemp, Licensed Farmers File Federal Suit
By Sue Roesler
Bismarck Farm & Ranch Guide
June 22, 2007
BISMARCK, ND — Two farmers licensed to
hemp in North Dakota filed a lawsuit in
federal district court this week attempting
to keep the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) from charging them with a crime after
they put the seed in the ground.
North Dakota Rep. Dave Monson, a legislator
and wheat, barley, canola and soybean grower
in northeast North Dakota, and Wayne Hauge, a
barley, durum, pea, lentil, black beans and
chickpea grower in northwest North Dakota,
filed the lawsuit that is being paid for by
Vote Hemp is a national non-profit
organization that seeks to help U.S. farmers
grow hemp for economical benefits.