Hemp Today, Gone Tomorrow?

  Hemp Today, Gone Tomorrow?

Posted by FoM on January 05, 2001 at 07:01:38 PT
By Joel Miller 
Source: WorldNetDaily 

I’m a naughty boy. If the DEA gets its way, I’ll be one pretty soon, that is. You see, yesterday I went to my local health food store and purchased -- you might want to remove any children from the room and cease reading if you have a heart condition -- hemp. To be more specific, it was a bottle of hemp-seed oil, containing all those wonderful omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that otherwise would have to be consumed by too many mouthfuls of cod liver. 
Right now, hemp seeds and oil are perfectly legal for human consumption, which is nice because a squad of DEA agents swooping down from the rafters to arrest me and confiscate my salad dressing is none to pleasant a thought. Unfortunately, as I warned a few months ago, it may not remain legal much longer. Better hide that salad dressing, after all. The latest word on this comes from Roberta Rampton in the Jan. 4 edition of the Canadian agricultural weekly Western Producer. Seems our good friends at the U.S. Department of Justice plan to announce -- by bureaucratic fiat -- a new set of administrative rules which will place hemp products in the hands-off category. Whatever for? Citing concern that the ever-growing use of hemp products is "confounding our federal drug control testing programs," retiring federal drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey announced his perturbation with pot’s nonpsychoactive botanical cousin in a June 10, 2000, letter to Hawaiian Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink. Because these products "are of significant concern," explained McCaffrey, "we are discussing an appropriate solution within the Departments of Justice and Treasury." As for the so-called appropriate solution, according to the Drug Reform Coordination Network, the DEA wants to stretch its interpretation of a 63-year-old law to include hemp products in the Controlled Substances Act. The new rules will bar “'hemp' products that result in THC entering the human body,” says DEA. “In this manner, it will remain clear that the only lawful way THC may enter the human body is when a person is using a federally approved drug or when the person is the subject of federally approved research." If these proposed rules goes through, Canadian and other foreign suppliers of hemp food products will be stopped at the borders, and hemp consumers will be forced to eat birdseed on the sly for their daily dose. This is for our own good of course. The new rules are being enacted, says DEA, “to protect the public health and safety. ...” Pardon me while laugh my socks off. While marijuana contains about 5 percent THC by weight (some varieties have twice that much and more), hemp -- the near-beer of the cannabis family -- contains less than l percent and is cultivated solely for industrial or food purposes. Because the presence of THC is so slight, it’s easier to die of smoke inhalation toking on hemp than it is to get high; the trace amounts of THC render hemp effectively nonintoxicant. As a result, it’s as big a threat to “public health and safety” as lettuce. Regardless, DEA and its bureaucratic overling, DOJ, are pressing forward with banning any products made from hemp that humans might ingest. The other pretext for barring hemp, as McCaffrey stated, is that hemp products are mischievous gremlins for drug testing. Nonsense, of course. The trace amounts of THC that might accrue in subject’s system should hold no sway in testing. The standard dose of hemp oil is about 1-2 tablespoons per hundred pounds of body weight; a July 2000 study published by the North American Industrial Hemp Council, conducted by Leson Environmental Consulting of Berkeley, Calif., had participants ingest three times that dose (the amount was so large researchers commented that "Even hemp food connoisseurs rarely consume such quantities.") Despite the heightened dose, study participants fell beneath the THC threshold that would trigger a positive on most drug tests. Similar studies have yielded the same results. So much for McCaffrey’s “green herring,” right? Not quite. The drug warriors in this country don’t care about reality. Banning hemp products is a symbolic victory over the cannabis culture sprouting up in America. While it may be hard to round up street-corner, dorm-room and night-club pot sellers, it’s pretty easy to stop an 18-wheeler from Canada with the words “Hemp Products ‘R’ Us” emblazoned on the side. Unfortunately, it won’t be easy to put an end to this idiocy. Several federal agencies have to approve of DEA’s new rules before they to go into effect. DOJ has already signed off. The departments of Commerce, Customs and Treasury have yet to do so. But don’t hold your breath. If this administration has proved anything in eight long years it is that it his no compunction about running roughshod over the constitutional division of powers. You say executive bureaucracies are not supposed to make law; that’s the prerogative of the legislature. Sure. But if you call it “administrative rule,” then it’s just peachy, isn’t it? Same goes for executive orders. As presidential aide Paul Begala said in July 1998, “Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.” Who needs Congress? The DEA’s hemp ban is a clear breach of constitutional authority and should be stopped. Yeah, it’s a small thing to those of you who don’t use hemp products -- probably not worth your time to write an e-mail to your congressman, urging him to put a halt to DEA's powergrab. But what are you going to do when it’s something you do care about? People’s ears and hearts get smaller as Big Brother gets bigger. What are you going to do when no one listens to you? Joel Miller is the commentary editor of WorldNetDaily. Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)Author: Joel MillerPublished: January 5, 2001Copyright: 2000,, Inc.Address: PO Box 409, Cave Junction, OR 97523-0409Fax: (541) 597-1700Contact: letters worldnetdaily.comWebsite: Oil Sales in Jeopardy To Ban Food Made from Hemp Articles - Joel Miller

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Comment #8 posted by dddd on January 06, 2001 at 11:57:48 PT
It's true sm247.It is scary to write the government nowdays.I dont blame people for being scared either.If they think you are at all suspicious,or want to check you out,they can,and will. If anyone thinks that they are anonymous on the web,,they are not.Last week,some guy back east tried to hack around some California ondcp website and they tracked him down in a day or so.They have the keys to I.D. everyone who has an online computer.It doesnt matter if you have some masking or encryption thing,big brother can,and will find you if he wants to.It wont be long until they control the internet.They will basicly own it.Look at the recent Time Warner/AOL merger.Most all major ISPs are owned by huge corporate conglomerates already......... None the less,it's true that if we dont speak out,thing will only get worse faster..........dddd
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Comment #7 posted by sm247 on January 05, 2001 at 23:34:21 PT

People fear writing congess
People are scared to write in letters to congress they fear being tracked, watched or harrassed in some way.I have heard people say things like "they will take my children away" or "I could lose my job" "I have a house to lose"I have noticed websites with thousands of hits but look how many comments people are actually leaving comments. They are scared . Where would we be now if Thomas Jefferson was so scared to write our constitution ?? 
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Comment #6 posted by dddd on January 05, 2001 at 10:37:30 PT

 Thanks for the reminder Ethan.I have written many letters to the powers that be,but I've sort of slacked off lately.It's true that one the most effective,and only ways we can change things,is through encouraging peole like Joel,and annoying politicians with numerous letters. Daniel Forbes is extra cool FoM.I emailed him a thank you note when he had his first article in Salon.He wrote me back the next day.He is a good person.Keep on keepin' on...............dddd
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 05, 2001 at 09:21:22 PT:

Good Idea
Good idea Dr. Russo, Joel Miller does a fine a job. We should let him know that we appreciate him. He hasn't been writing many articles since our election snafu and I'm glad he did this one.I wanted to tell all of you that I had a pleasant surprise this morning when I opened my e-mail and found a thank you for posting my article from Daniel Forbes. I thought that was great. Thought I'd share that with all of you since it is all of you that are making this site a popular drug policy news discussion page.
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Comment #4 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on January 05, 2001 at 08:59:08 PT:

D4: Persevere!
I hope that the energetic folks that frequent spend an equal time encouraging authors such as Joel Miller, and writing continuous diatribes to the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. We can make a difference. It is only when the weight of public opinion is heavily on our side that the political weathervanes we call legislators will lean toward lifting the cruel hand of prohibition.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on January 05, 2001 at 08:57:28 PT:

Why hemp oil is so important for health
Hemp seed oils are important elements of cell wall maintenance, cholesterol reduction, and a host of other incredibly important factors in maintaining health. it any wonder why the pharmaceutical corporations (whose early noxious potions were based upon the petro-based coal tar derivatives, and are still dependant upon petro based chemicals) are trying to have their cat's-paws in the government quietly throttle the hemp industry in the nursery? This is why you are not seeing anything about this in the American media; the obvious question of *why* the government is soooo concerned about destroying the hemp industry when it's prime product is so *good* for you?
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on January 05, 2001 at 08:49:56 PT

No one knows
 Sometimes,,when I think about stuff like this,and the absurdities of the drug war,and marijuana prohibition,I think,"Where is everybody?"....It seems like almost no one is really aware of what the hell is going on here. I guess I would mainly have to chalk it up to myfavorite gripe of corporate/government manipulation of the national media. Very few people are aware of what is really happening.....
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on January 05, 2001 at 08:08:30 PT:

Joel's a Gem
May his journalistic banner fly long and high!
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