#227 The DEA And Hemp Hysteria

Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002
Subject: #227 The DEA And Hemp Hysteria

DrugSense FOCUS Alert #227 Feb 12, 2002

The DEA and Hemp Hysteria

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #227 Feb 12, 2002

Well the day finally arrived last week. The DEA’s self-imposed
‘interpretative ruling’ of the 1970 federal Controlled Substances Act
puts millions of Americans at risk of arrest should they be found in
possesion of a wide range of food and beverage products that may
contain hemp or hemp based ingredients.

First issued on Oct 9, the DEA initially provided a ‘grace’ period of
90 days before they would begin active enforcement of their ruling.
Americans found in violation would be subject to the same penalties
currently leveled against those who violate federal laws against
marijuana possesion and/or distribution.

Thanks to the efforts of America’s hemp industry and their lawsuits
against the DEA, this enforcement period has been further extended
until Mar 18. DEA Director Asa Hutchinson exclaims that his agency is
‘simply enforcing the laws created by Congress’, and at the same time
ignores all rational discussions that show the foolishness of
criminalizing these products.

The Feb 10 issue of TIME magazine carried a very good summation of the
current state of affairs as well as some up close information about
the hemp industry in Kentucky.

PLEASE CONSIDER writing a letter to TIME magazine TODAY and thank them
for their coverage of this topic. You might also include indications
of your support for the DEA’s cessation of ending their plans to
criminalize hemp based foods and beverages.

You might also review any recent issue of TIME, and examine their
Letters page. Most printed letters in TIME are short and focus on a
single concise point. However these relatively small letters carry
enormous equivalent advertising value due to their huge circulation
and readership.

Thanks for your effort and support.


It’s not what others do it’s what YOU do

NOTE: _SHORT_ Letters Needed! See Target Analysis Below


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The CONTACT info for TIME is:



Time Magazine Letters, Time & Life Bldg., Rockefeller Center, NY, NY 10020



Pubdate: Mon, 18 Feb 2002
Source: Time Magazine (US)
Issue: Vol. 159, No. 7
Copyright: 2002 Time Inc
Contact: (mailto:letters@time.com)letters@time.com
Website: (http://www.time.com/time/)http://www.time.com/time/
Details: (http://www.mapinc.org/media/451)http://www.mapinc.org/media/451
Author: John Cloud
Bookmark: (http://www.mapinc.org/hemp.htm)http://www.mapinc.org/hemp.htm (Hemp)


Not if you want to get high, anyway.

But if hemp isn’t a drug, why is the DEA treating it like

No one is saying Kentucky doesn’t offer its share of distinctive
intoxicants. Bourbon and tobacco have long been popular drugs here,
and even in these abstemious times, a well-known member of the
political class will occasionally pour his visitors a glass of
moonshine from a Mason jar with plumped cherries bobbing on the bottom.

But the farmers around Lexington are mostly old-fashioned men with a
serious problem: the decline in demand for U.S. tobacco.

And when they tell you they know of a crop that could help replace
tobacco and maybe save their farms, they aren’t promoting any stoner
foolishness. True, the crop they hope to grow is known to botanists as
Cannabis sativa, but different races within that species can have
widely varying amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), the
merrymaking chemical in pot. Marijuana will typically have anywhere
from 3% to 20% THC. Hemp is bred to contain less than 1%. You could
roll and smoke every leaf on a 15-ft. hemp plant and gain little more
than a hacking cough.

Next month, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration is set to
begin enforcing a new rule treating foods that contain “any amount of”
THC ( even nonpsychoactive amounts ) as controlled substances, making
them as restricted as heroin.

Anyone possessing such foods is supposed to dispose of them now,
though hemp sellers and eaters won’t be prosecuted until March 18.
Nationally marketed products include the Hempzel Pretzels, baked in
Pennsylvania, and Organic Hemp Plus Granola, made in Blaine, Wash.
Gastronomically speaking, a ban on these earthy-tasting comestibles
would be no great tragedy–though the hemp-crazy Galaxy Global Eatery
in New York City serves an apple pie with a delightful hemp crust.

Economically speaking, though, a ban could ruin the 20 or so companies
that make and sell more than $5 million worth of hemp waffles, salad
oils and other foods a year. Hemp Universe here in Lexington stopped
selling food weeks ago, and Whole Foods Market of Austin, Texas,
recommended last week that its 129 stores remove hemp products.

Other retailers are holding firm, saying hemp foods contain such tiny
traces of THC that the chemical wouldn’t register in a routine lab
test. But that’s not the same as having zero THC, and the threat of
further DEA action has prompted seven hemp companies to ask the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals to block the rule. They say the DEA is
effectively creating a new law, not interpreting existing statutes. A
Canadian hemp firm has filed a claim saying the DEA is violating NAFTA
by failing to provide scientific justification for a rule that “will
be nothing short of an absolute ban on trade in hemp food.” ( The
Canadian government has also formally objected. ) The DEA’s position
is that U.S. drug laws clearly ban THC–any THC. The court’s decision
will turn on the historically murky question of whether Congress
intended hemp to be part of those laws. Some antidrug groups–
including, most stridently, the Family Research Council–believe
allowing hemp foods would send a pro-marijuana message.

Many farmers are watching the case because it shows how hard the
government will fight a growing movement to legitimize hemp farming in
the U.S. Right now it’s legal to sell hemp products but illegal to
grow the hemp used in them, which is imported.

The global market for raw hemp is expanding.

Foods are only a fraction of the hemp-product universe, which includes
Mercedes door panels, Body Shop Body Butter, Armani place mats, and
countless humbler items such as twine, carpet and diapers.

These nonedibles would remain legal under the rule. But if the court
doesn’t intervene, investors may think twice before supporting a
business associated with drugs.

If hemp cultivation were legalized, could it really save U.S.

That’s unclear, but legislators in more than 20 states have asked for
research. They know that a year after Canada allowed hemp cultivation
in 1998, its farms were already growing 35,000 acres.

The U.S. has taken a different, more tangled approach to the plant,
one that reflects the quick assumptions of the war on drugs.

(Note: for space reasons, the rest of this article has been cut, but you
can read the remainder here:
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02/n230/a03.html )



To the editors of TIME:

re: This Bud’s Not For You (Feb 10)

The Drug Enforcement Administration clearly wants to hide from their
nefarious ‘interpretative ruling’ about hemp based food and beverages.
DEA head Asa Hutchinson peeks from behind the skirt of the U.S.
Congress and proclaims that he cannot ignore the law. Should his
agency’s ruling prevail against the current legal actions of the hemp
industry, several million otherwise law abiding Americans will be
re-defined as criminals.

Since none of the hemp based food products made in America contain
sufficient THC to create even a twinge of a ‘high’, the DEA’s ruling
has nothing to do with public health or safety. Instead it comes down
to nothing more than a desire to further expand Washington’s War on
Americans, formerly known as the War on Drugs.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen Heath (contact info)


TARGET ANALYSIS Time Magazine Circulation 4,250,000

Time has several published letters in the MAP archive. They tend to be
extremely short, between 23 and 83 words, with an average of 65 words.
On the other hand, if you can generate a short powerful reply to this
article you could potentially influence a huge audience. A one inch
LTE published in TIME Magazine has an equivalent advertising value of
more that $25,000!!



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Prepared by Stephen Heath http://www.drugsense.org/dpffl – DrugSense
FOCUS Alert Specialist