Too Late To Plant Hemp, Licensed Farmers File Suit

  Too Late To Plant Hemp, Licensed Farmers File Suit

Posted by CN Staff on June 22, 2007 at 15:03:09 PT
By Sue Roesler, Farm & Ranch Guide 
Source: Farm & Ranch Guide 

Bismarck, N.D -- Two farmers licensed to grow 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 VoteHemp.
VoteHemp is a national non-profit organization that seeks to help U.S. farmers grow hemp for economical benefits.The lawsuit basically asks the DEA to do “nothing” to farmers who grow hemp, says attorney Tim Purdon with the Bismarck law firm that is representing the farmers in the legal action.“We want the DEA to do, basically nothing. We are seeking a declaration of judgement that says that the DEA shall not prosecute licensed hemp farmers in North Dakota,” Purdon said. “It's the same thing (nothing) that (DEA has) done for the last 10 years.”According to VoteHemp attorney Joe Sandler, the lawsuit is a formal “effort to end the DEA's obstruction of commercial hemp farming in the United States.”  While the lawsuit doesn't help farmers with planting hemp this year, the courts could answer quickly - or not. The DEA has 60 days to respond to the lawsuit.Roger Johnson, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, said the farmers had no choice in filing the lawsuit since the DEA has not issued them a license.DEA sent a letter back requesting more information from the farmers after they applied for licenses but since then, have taken no action.In this past North Dakota Legislature, the state became the first in the union to put a law on its books saying farmers no longer have to obtain a license from the DEA to grow hemp.Johnson, however, was afraid if the lawsuit was not filed, the DEA would attempt to prosecute the farmers with a felony anyway after they planted hemp.Sandler said the DEA has no jurisdiction over hemp anyway. The “intent” of Congress, initially, was to separate hemp from marijuana, since hemp had been grown in the country for decades before DEA became an agency.“It was the intent of Congress to keep hemp stalk, fiber, seed and oil exempt from drug laws. Hemp falls under Commerce laws,” Sandler said.The two farmers give much the same reasons for wanting to grow hemp on their farms: economical profits above current crops and cheaper inputs to grow it.Monson said that the profit margin for hemp is far and above what wheat and barley bring him. On his farm his inputs have grown, and if he gets 70 bushels to the acre, his gross is about $200 for barley and slightly more for spring wheat.However, talking to Canadian farmers who are growing hemp in the same weather region as he is (25 miles to the north), he discovered their profit margin, not the gross, was more than $200 an acre.“In addition, as far as inputs, we don't have to spray hemp, and the fertilizer requirements are similar to wheat, barley and canola,” Monson said.In its short growing period, he said hemp grows tall and quick, crowding out weeds and eliminating the need for spraying.When he realized DEA was not going to issue a license to him this spring, he went ahead and planted HRSW into those acres set aside for hemp.In a later interview, Hauge said he researched hemp for a long time, and liked what he read. Hemp would be a cheaper and easier crop to grow, would keep weeds down, and would easily fit into his crop rotation.“Many farmers in my area are growing legumes, and we are restricted to growing year after year of legumes,” he said. “In the next two years after peas, we need to put in broadleafs, making hemp a good rotational crop.”Hauge wanted to grow a crop that would bring economical benefits not just to him, but to all farmers across the state.“In our small communities, we are looking for ways to bring economic growth,” says Hauge. “I'm a certified seed grower and have had several certified crops. I'd like to grow certified hemp seed. It would go through the same process as other seed I grow, with the seed being cleaned and inspected. I'm set up for that.”Monson said he is more interested in growing the hemp to crush the seed for oil such as is done with canola and sunflower. He has been certified to have the hemp seed crushed on his farm.He explained seed crushing manufacturers have portable units that crush the seed in the field, so the crop would not require transportation, another DEA sticking point.Monson said he was first attracted to hemp as a farmer in the northeastern region of the state after finding scab year after year in his wheat and barley crops.“Since 1993, several farmers have been seeing scab in the wheat and barley,” he said, adding that will definitely be a problem in eastern North Dakota this year due to the wet weather. “Hemp is a very valuable tool in the rotation for breaking up the scab cycle.”Farmers in the region have basically given up on durum because of the rain, he said. For several years, he had to burn his wheat acres prior to harvest because they had zero value due to the disease.Johnson added that scab is growing across the state and nation. There are three varieties of HRSW with some degree of resistance, but no varieties of durum.“If you have spores in your field, plus moisture, and your crop is beginning to head, that's a recipe for total disaster,” he added, saying that the economic cost to farmers because of vomitoxin and scab was over a billion dollars.Complete Title: Too Late To Plant Hemp, Licensed Farmers File Federal SuitSource: Farm & Ranch Guide (ND)Author: Sue Roesler, Farm & Ranch GuidePublished: Friday, June 22, 2007Copyright: 2007 Farm & Ranch GuideContact: mconlon farmandranchguide.comWebsite: http://www.farmandranchguide.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Vote Hemp Farmers Suing DEA Over Right To Grow Hemp Won't Rule on ND Hemp Licenses in Time Hemp Licenses Issued 

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Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 18, 2007 at 21:46:25 PT
I agree.
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on October 18, 2007 at 21:41:07 PT
FoM #8
"Marijuana, which has only recreational and limited medical uses, is the shiftless counterpart to the go-getter hemp, which has a centuries-old history of handiness.""limited medical uses"?Limited?This author, Eliott C. McLaughlin, obviously has not read the studies that Dr. Ethan Russo, Paul Armentano, or Storm Crow have collected.Shiftless? Biased regurgitation of the lazy stoner stereotype. Shame on Eliott C. McLaughlin!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on October 18, 2007 at 11:02:15 PT

Farmers Sue DEA for Right To Grow Industrial Hemp

By Eliott C. McLaughlin October 17, 2007  
(CNN) -- The feds call industrial hemp a controlled substance -- the same as pot, heroin, LSD -- but advocates say a sober analysis reveals a harmless, renewable cash crop with thousands of applications that are good for the environment. 
  Two North Dakota farmers are taking that argument to federal court, where a November 14 hearing is scheduled in a lawsuit to determine if the Drug Enforcement Administration is stifling the farmers' efforts to grow industrial hemp. The DEA says it's merely enforcing the law.Marijuana and industrial hemp are members of the Cannabis sativa L. species and have similar characteristics. One major difference: Hemp won't get you high. Hemp contains only traces of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound that gets pot smokers stoned. However, the Controlled Substances Act makes little distinction, banning the species almost outright.Marijuana, which has only recreational and limited medical uses, is the shiftless counterpart to the go-getter hemp, which has a centuries-old history of handiness.Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 22, 2007 at 12:39:46 PT

Related Article from The Associated Press
Government Wants Industrial Hemp Lawsuit Thrown Out***August 22, 2007(From Jim Monk, WDAY) Fargo, N.D. (AP) -- The Justice Department wants a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two North Dakota farmers who have applied for permission to grow industrial hemp.Dave Monson and Wayne Hauge (HOW'-ghee) sued the Drug Enforcement Administration for not acting on their application. A motion filed in federal court in Fargo asks that the lawsuit be thrown out.The motion was filed by U-S Attorney Drew Wrigley and Justice Department attorneys in Washington. It says D-E-A policies can only be reviewed by a federal appeals court. And it says federal law does not distinguish between industrial hemp and its cousin, marijuana.The farmers' lawsuit asks a federal judge to recognize that hemp can legally be grown in North Dakota, through a state licensing process.Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on June 23, 2007 at 07:57:20 PT

That story about the firefighters is so suspect. I don't know how big a ton of cannabis is...but I'm thinking like maybe it would fit in the bed of one ton (load) pickup truck.You have an entire warehouse on fire. One ton of cannabis and tons of other burning and smoldering metal, wood, and plastic. Firemen, with masks to protect them from truly dangerous fumes... got stoned? I don't believe that story for a minute. If it were'd make a nice YouTube film. I don't believe it's true at all. Guess they thought it would make a "cute" story, though.People love to have such tales to tell...but it seems unlikely to the point of being impossible, to me.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on June 23, 2007 at 07:50:43 PT

Thank you very much. I'm apparently, very acronymn impaired.
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Comment #4 posted by whig on June 23, 2007 at 02:32:59 PT

Prolly do 'em some good, doubt it slowed 'em down
Time just seems to go slower, sometimes..., Texas (AHN) - A Texas warehouse storing over a ton of marijuana caught ablaze yesterday. Firefighters arriving on the scene reportedly got stoned, possibly slowing down efforts to quell the fire.
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on June 22, 2007 at 22:22:44 PT

'What is HRSW?'
Hard Red Spring Wheat I figure they think only farmers care about hemp.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on June 22, 2007 at 22:04:58 PT

An acronymn? For what?
What is HRSW?"When he realized DEA was not going to issue a license to him this spring, he went ahead and planted HRSW into those acres set aside for hemp."
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Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on June 22, 2007 at 17:05:11 PT

There Appears to be a Breakdown in the Matrix
With all of the latest favorable news about marijuana/hemp law reform, you would think Johnny P. would drop his piss test crap.This suit sounds like it has merit. Unfortunately, the Courts hoard all their power too. Can't rule too much against the government. They'll be out of a job.
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