Hemp Group Takes Case To Top Court 

Hemp Group Takes Case To Top Court 
Posted by FoM on June 27, 2000 at 08:11:08 PT
By Hilary Kreiger, Monitor Staff
Source: Concord Monitor
With rekindled hopes for winning its battle to legally cultivate hemp, the New Hampshire Hemp Council yesterday appealed to a higher power - the U.S. Supreme Court.Since the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March rejected the claim that hemp is distinct from marijuana and therefore not prohibited under federal law, the group petitioned the high court to review the case during its October term.
"We're hoping that somebody will wake up," said Democratic Rep. Derek Owen of Hopkinton, a plaintiff in the lawsuit. "It's a common-sense thing and the Drug Enforcement Administration is so wrapped up in their drive to prevent the proliferation of drugs, they're stepping on everything."Including, Owen maintains, the rights of small-time family farmers like himself who want to grow an environmentally friendly, renewable crop that can be used to make rope, clothing, oil and paper - but not mind-altering drugs."You can't smoke hemp," he said. It is genetically distinct from its Cannibus sativa L. cousin, marijuana, which alone contains enough of the psychoactive element THC needed for a chemical high. The council claims growing hemp and marijuana near each other even results in a cross-pollinated dilution of the drug's effective ingredient.While Owen and his supporters believe the federal law prohibiting marijuana growth exempts hemp because of the biological differences, they say the DEA hampers would-be hemp farmers just the same. Owen wants the Supreme Court to clarify the definition of the illegal substance in order to allow hemp harvests.Rob Blakeney, the lawyer representing Owen and the council, argues the circuit court "misconstrued" certain expert testimony and that the DEA has overstepped its bounds by regulating an agricultural product.The appellate court, though, was swayed by the idea that hemp crops would pose problems for law enforcement. The opinion states that, "problems of detection and enforcement easily justify a ban broader than the psychoactive variety of the plant."Allenstown Police Chief Jim McGonigle, who chairs the legislative committee of the New Hampshire Police Association, which has opposed hemp cultivation, said hemp crops would pose an "enforcement nightmare" with no good way to control the production of illicit marijuana among hemp harvests.But he's not too concerned about this newest challenge. "I'd be surprised if the Supreme Court would even hear their appeal. Two federal courts have already ruled against them, and there'd have to be some compelling reasons for the Supreme Court to even hear the case," he said. "But you never know. They might decide to hear the case just to put it to bed."Mark Lathrop, who founded the hemp council, hopes McGonigle is in for a shock. But he acknowledged that the courts haven't helped his cause so far. "We're pretty disappointed with the courts," he said. "We're not surprised that the courts all along have upheld the federal dogma."Along with the two-year legal struggle, the council and Owen have repeatedly tried to pass state legislation that would legalize industrial hemp.If the bill hadn't been defeated by a close vote in February, New Hampshire could have joined a handful of states whose residents can apply for rarely granted DEA permits to grow hemp.Owen said he isn't sure what hemp products he and his wife Ruth would cultivate if his lawsuit proves successful, but declared that profit isn't his motive. "We're not interested in making a lot of money," he said. "We're interested in promoting a principle. We should be able to grow hemp if we want to."Hilary Krieger can be reached at 528-2027, or by e-mail at: hkrieger cmonitor.comPublished: June 27, 2000 Concord Monitor and New Hampshire PatriotRelated Article:House Reverses Itself on Legalizing Hemp-Growing Hemp Archives:
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Comment #6 posted by exodus on March 16, 2001 at 01:44:58 PT
Micky-jak ripping about in the fog of rasta should not drift beyond the point of remembering JAHs people who sit behind bars of the oppressor.we must all remember to do our part in any way we can in the fight for freedom
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Comment #5 posted by pete mc on March 16, 2001 at 01:25:20 PT:
ill b bak lata ta rite wen i ripped
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Comment #4 posted by mickey on March 15, 2001 at 03:45:53 PT:
yo my lifes all set cause i goign to legalize the green at 2:15 me jak smoke dope no shitso does everyonegod made it for us to smoke up and for paper fuel , siik people and for mickey and jak to become rich and have a house mad out of weed and everything in the world we want all thanx to mr greenp.s my frog bongs the bomb
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Comment #3 posted by MegaStoner on March 14, 2001 at 04:53:06 PT
mickey & ahhhhjaaakkk
you are right,,,now get out there and fight for freedom and sanity
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Comment #2 posted by ahhh jaaakkk on March 14, 2001 at 03:25:37 PT:
da plan
mickeys msg is for all..lissen up n follow..hes got it set out badly..the need for weed..legalize tha fukn greeeeen......mickeys got tha frog bong aaaaaahhhhhhhhh
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Comment #1 posted by mickey on March 14, 2001 at 03:12:12 PT:
legalize the green
weed weed weed alrite i am i stoner i amit that but i also wanted weed to be legalized when i was little. There are so many positives and very few negatives the negatives would be we all stoners would be high 24/7. is that a bad thing? hehe think about all the good things medical reasons like people with aids and other sikness. how us human wouuld stop cuttin down the rain forrest and could grow weed and make paper out of it how we could make fuel!~ weed would save the would for ever but because some dudes that think that when people get high we go skitzo and kill people an crap we have to kill our would wtas wif that? i duno eh. anyways i like ow so many people money because of dope and if it was legized i would just be able to smoke as much as i want when ever i want where ever i want same with all the other people in the world. smokin weed doesn;t make u a crimal does it? no mean u just like going away to never never land for a couple of hours a live some troubles behind wat abpout all the acholic that kill themself everyday? u ever hear of a person ODing on dope? i would think notlegalize the green at 2:15 its for the best.mickey
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