Ban on Hemp in Foods Draws Protests 

Ban on Hemp in Foods Draws Protests 
Posted by FoM on December 04, 2001 at 15:13:38 PT
By Jennifer Skalka, Monitor Staff
Source: Concord Monitor 
If they get the pre-lunch munchies, employees at the Drug Enforcement Agency in Concord could step outside their offices to snack on food provided curbside today by the New Hampshire Hemp Council.At 197 Loudon Road, passers-by can enjoy a hodgepodge of hemp products including pretzels, blue corn chips, nut butter and chocolate bars. The council's gesture aims to counter the DEA's recent introduction of federal rules outlawing hemp in food. 
Similar actions in 70 cities around the country are also happening today."I'm upset because they're harassing a legitimate industry purely to perpetuate their wealth generation scheme at the expense of our survival," said Mark Lathrop, president of the New Hampshire Hemp Council and owner of the Monadnock Hemporium in Keene. "You will no sooner get marijuana from a hemp plant than you will zucchini from a butternut plant." The new DEA rules say that hemp products are illegal if any amount of tetrahydrocannabinols, or THC, the substance that causes a high, enters the body. Under the rules, hemp coffee, beer, ice cream or snack bars are forbidden, while lotion, cosmetics, shampoo and clothing are not. The rules amend the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to include hemp in the most dangerous category of drugs with heroin, LSD and marijuana, according to Tom Hinojosa, a special agent with the DEA in Washington, D.C.The goal of today's action is to draw attention to the rules, which hemp industry organizers say were introduced into the federal register, instead of being presented to Congress, to avoid public debate. Organizers are hoping the national action will inspire people to write their elected officials in opposition to the rules and to offer their support for a lawsuit in California's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.The lawsuit contends that the DEA rules are not a clarification of an existing law, as agency officials contend, but a new law altogether. Plaintiffs, which include the Hemp Industry Association, Nutiva, Inc., Hemp Oil Canada and Nature's Path Foods USA, Inc., say that processed hemp seed and oil and products made from such seed and oil were not regulated under the Controlled Substances Act.The hemp industry says sales of hemp food and body care products exceeded $25 million in the United States in 2000, up from less than $1 million a decade ago.The latest DEA rules were introduced on Oct. 9. The agency is taking public comment until Monday. Anyone who has purchased a hemp food or beverage product has until Feb. 6, 2002, to dispose of it.Source: Concord Monitor (NH)Author: Jennifer Skalka, Monitor StaffPublished: Tuesday, December 4, 2001Copyright: 2001 Monitor Publishing CompanyContact: letters cmonitor.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:FTE's Hemp Links Hemp Archives Seller Goes To Bat Against DEA Rule Threatens To Shut Down Hemp Industry
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Comment #11 posted by Robbie on December 05, 2001 at 11:02:44 PT
Hey Path
I'm trying to understand what you were arrested for. There is currently no Federal ban on hemp products in place. It shouldn't matter what the local or state laws are, so your arrest should easily be dismissed. And, if it's not, push back hard! If the DEA can come into California and ignore state laws, then you can say that state and local laws are superseded by the federal law, which does not (at the moment) ban hemp products. I'd like to see what happens with your case.
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Comment #10 posted by Path on December 05, 2001 at 08:30:37 PT
I'm not entirely sure what I'm charged with. It says UPN(M?) on my appearance ticket. Could that stand for Unlawful Pocession of Narcotics? I thought they would have booked us un disorderly conduct or something since that would've looked less silly in court and been harder to disprove in court with our word against theirs. However, when a cop tells you "the constitution doesn't matter when a uniformed officer is asking you something" it's hard to comprehend how they think at all. Cops like to think they're the best thing in the world. They chastised us for not answering their questions when they certainly didn't answer ours. They were also far more hostile and stern to us than we were with them. I said thank you and have a nice evening when we left, not a word or a smile from them. Oh well.
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Comment #9 posted by Jose Melendez on December 05, 2001 at 06:14:23 PT:
the right path
Right on Path,
Those cops knew it was a waste of time... but they all got paid for "working" with you. Let's see, assuming a low figure of $15 per hour, if there were four cops interacting with you for four hours each, it made them at least $240.
When you go to court, you might point out that drug war is only enforced on cannabis users, while you can be sure those cops had a good time at the bar with the money they made by not having to fight REAL crime. 
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Comment #8 posted by freedom fighter on December 04, 2001 at 21:47:41 PT
Online poll
61.6 - Block the Ban
38.3 - Uphold the Ban1237 votes..
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Comment #7 posted by Shishaldin on December 04, 2001 at 21:46:15 PT
DEA Taste Test - Oakland
Hey Robbie-Sorry I didn't get a chance to say hi to ya in Oakland today. (I was there in my HIA baseball cap shouting, "Protein! Essential Fatty Acids! Amino Acids! Everything your body needs!) It was great having the opportunity to inform the general populace about this amazing plant, and to expose the stupidity/arrogance of the DEA's "re-interpretation".This was my first real hemp/MJ protest, and it certainly won't be my last. Meeting Chris Conrad, his wife Mikki, along Richard Rose of HempNut (Happy Birthday, Richard!) was a great experience for me. They're warm, friendly, and awfully generous people and it was a privilege to meet them. The SSDP folks represented and they deserve a big UP for their spirited efforts, too.There were about a couple dozen of us, and police presence was virtually nil (sorry to hear about your experience, Path). I guess we didn't come off as too threatening. The reception to the message was mixed, some too busy or dismissive to listen, but others had a genuine interest and we did get signatures to our VoteHemp ( petitions.We've still got a long row to hoe, but today's demonstration only served to strengthen my resolve and commitment.Peace and Strength,Shishaldin
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Comment #6 posted by freedom fighter on December 04, 2001 at 21:40:36 PT
Hey, Path
What are you charged with?Gee, they must think you were a terrorist.. eheh! Peaceff
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Comment #5 posted by Path on December 04, 2001 at 19:56:06 PT
I did my part
Me and a couple other members of our school's SSDP chapter set up shop downtown in front of the Justice Complex. It was all going well, if a bit slow, and I was getting worried that we wouldn't really accomplish anything since most of the people we spoke to firmly believed in our cause so we were mostly preaching to the converted. None of the news stations we called showed up either, but if they had, they surely would have caught something. After about 3 hours of sitting at our table some cops came out and asked us what permit we had. I said we were allowed to gather peacefully and speak freely by the 1st ammendment of the constitution. They told us to leave again, and we politely declined, which is when they started to get aggitated. They started to raise their voices and I asked them if our food was threating to them. Apparently it was since they got more and more perturbed until they finally cuffed us and took us inside. We were there for about two hours while they wrote us all up. The one who spoke to me said I aught to be cautious that with the amount of controlled substance we had, (with the fact that they were baked and we were being distributing them compounding the charges) we could be looking at federal felony charges. I chuckled quietly to myself, being most polite to everyone the whole time. In the other room I heard cops making dumb jokes (they really are ignorant) and one person mutter about this getting thrown out. In any case, they let us go with an appearance ticket for Dec. 19. I'll get the school legal team to help us out, maybe SSDP or NORML will be nice enough to send a cannabis expert should this go to trial, but I really can't see how they have any rational argument at all. As we were leaving a couple cops were chuckling over the absurdity of the whole ordeal. They knew it was a waste of time too.
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on December 04, 2001 at 18:26:55 PT
Online Poll - It's Close!
It asks:How should the court rule on the ban on the sale of hemp foods?Block the ban - 50.3%Uphold the ban - 49.6%Online Poll: 
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Comment #3 posted by CorvallisEric on December 04, 2001 at 17:18:26 PT
speaking of analogies - thanks Robbie
I really like the poppy seed analogy. Chemically, biologically, and medically the analogy of poppy seeds with hemp is perfect. And you WILL fail a sensitive-enough drug test. And you might even get slightly high - and probably very sick - if you eat enough. And you might possibly extract some morphine, etc.So, what are the differences? Some suggestions:1 - Poppy seeds are part of a well-established tradition and industry whose customer base and profit are much greater than hemp's. $25 million annually (including both banned and non-banned products) is not enough to buy respect.2 - The U.S. Govt. is obsessed with one drug, marijuana, beyond all reason. Until persuaded otherwise, I don't yet buy the hemp-driven argument for current prohibition (oil and timber industry, DuPont, etc). Rather, I agree with the income-driven argument (narcs, prison guards, coerced drug treatment providers, employee-assistance providers, drug testers, helicopter mfrs, thermal-imaging mfrs, etc, etc).In other words, the legal status quo and its extension by the DEA are just simply good business in the New World Order where principles and values are just commodities for sale to the biggest conglomeration of bidders.
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Comment #2 posted by CorvallisEric on December 04, 2001 at 16:31:29 PT
zucchini and butternut
I don't mean to come across as a crank, but I wish people would stop using analogies like "You will no sooner get marijuana from a hemp plant than you will zucchini from a butternut plant.". Someone here mentioned sweet corn vs field corn - now that's a credible analogy, common ancestry with generations of selective breeding (I'm guessing). Does it help our cause to engage in endless "yes it is" / "no it isn't" arguments with the antis? This is an honest question - I don't know the answer. Sometimes I fear that the Western world's whole political discourse has become so debased that the only thing that matters is how often and loudly one can lie.
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Comment #1 posted by Robbie on December 04, 2001 at 15:51:11 PT
Good article!
 :-) By the way:The rules amend the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to include hemp in the most dangerous category of drugs with heroin, LSD and marijuana...said Tom HinojosaChris Conrad had a basket of opium poppy seed biscuits, to point out that poppy seeds are not illegal, yet they are still opium.Our national drink is Coca-Cola. Though not drugs, per se, the brand represents its origination as a currently illegal drug.
Chris Conrad page
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