Hemp Users Prepare To Fight DEA Rule

Hemp Users Prepare To Fight DEA Rule
Posted by FoM on February 04, 2002 at 08:18:37 PT
By Michelle Morgante, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
The energetic 60-year-old woman with cropped white hair and sea-green eyes doesn't fit the usual profile of a drug pusher. But inside Gertrude Spindler's cozy condominium, there's trouble cooking. The Drug Enforcement Administration is steeling itself to put Spindler out of business and make sure she keeps her wares away from would-be buyers. There's no meth lab in Spindler's bath tub, nor an Ecstasy ring in the garage. 
She's using a family recipe to create her Alpsnack snack bars that include hempnuts. And under a recent DEA ruling, she may as well be selling heroin. Hempnuts come from hemp, an industrial plant grown outside the United States that is related to marijuana. Fiber from the plant long has been used to make paper, clothing, rope and other products. Its oil is found in body-care products like lotion, soap and cosmetics. Entrepreneurs like Spindler argue the nuts and oil from hemp are among nature's best sources of essential fatty acids. Twice a day, she swallows a spoonful of raw hempnuts, which she says improves -- no pun intended -- her joints. "I hate chemicals. I like natural things," Spindler said. "God has given us those natural things and we should use it." But the DEA objects. In October, the agency declared that food products containing even trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC -- the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana -- were banned under the Controlled Substances Act. It ordered an immediate halt in the production and distribution of all goods containing THC that were intended for human consumption. It gave until Wednesday for all such products to be destroyed or removed from the United States. DEA spokesman Will Glaspy said the agency simply is upholding the law. "A lot of people did not understand the law. The clarification says if a substance contains THC and is intended to enter the body then it is an illegal product," Glaspy said. Hemp and marijuana, as the DEA sees it, are different parts of the same plant, he said. And THC in any amount is an illegal drug. The ruling has galvanized hemp-product manufacturers, who contend the DEA violated the law by failing to hold hearings or accept public comment before issuing its declaration. The Hemp Industries Association, which represents U.S. hemp product manufacturers and Canadian hemp exporters, has challenged the ruling in the federal court and asked for a stay of the deadline. Meanwhile, association members are continuing to produce and sell their goods, arguing that since the DEA did not issue a standard to measure THC levels they will follow standards set by Canada: By that scale, the THC is so negligible it could be considered undetectable -- and certainly far below any level that would produce a "high." "There is no such thing as a true zero in nature. It's like how the government allows trace levels of arsenic in water or alcohol in orange juice," said David Bronner, an association member who is chairman of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, an Escondido-based company. Association members argue that hemp is not marijuana, just as field corn used for livestock feed is not the same as sweet corn eaten by humans. "But it's part of this whole drug warrior ideology where they just associate anything that looks like cannabis to drug culture," Bronner said. "They're making it a drug-war issue." So far the DEA has not taken enforcement action against people continuing to produce hemp food products, Glaspy said. What will happen after Wednesday remains to be seen. In the United States, hemp is a $100 million industry, mainly in textiles and cosmetics. The food product sector was worth $5 million last year, but has been doubling in size for the past three years, Bronner said. Spindler launched her one-woman Alpsnack business last year. She produces 1,500 bars a month and sends them to distributors in six states. The threat of being shut down worries her. "It hurts. But I have some very strong feelings that it's going to work. It's going to be settled," she said. On the Net: DEA: Hemp Industries Association: Source: Associated PressAuthor: Michelle Morgante, Associated Press WriterPublished: February 4, 2002Copyright: 2002 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:FTE' s Hemp Links Without Hemp Foods: Why Should We Care? Does Homework on Hemp Foods After Rule Imports Run Afoul of DEA Rule
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #6 posted by FoM on February 04, 2002 at 17:50:03 PT
Hello Roger
I really smiled at your opening sentence. It's sounds heavenly there. Keep up the good work!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Roger Christie on February 04, 2002 at 17:43:09 PT:
 Been there - done (some of) that
Dear People,Aloha from a rainforest on this smoking volcano. Aaron Anderson and I were arrested and prosecuted for perfectly legal, sterilized hempseeds in 1991 here in Hawai'i. The prosecutor and police wanted to shut us up for being "vocal hemp activists" and upsetting their little war. We took it as a plus for our advocacy and fought the insane charge until being acquitted in 1998! Then we sued the prosecutor and our county government for selective prosecution in Federal and State court. Last August we settled with the county for at total of $75,000., most of it going to our super lawyer, Steve Strauss, who fought long and hard for our rights.Now the D.E.A. maniacs are at it again, only more so. Reason for more unity, in my opinion, among the hemp and cannabis supporters.  I understand that 'hemp' seemed easier and safer to the past. Now it's all the same to the feds.Hopefully the H.I.A. will get an injunction to keep hempseeds on the shelves. Whether, or not, that happends, I suggest enjoying the highest form of legality and recognition for cannabis and hemp...religious freedom for all of it. Check it out!All the best to you,Roger ChristieThe Hawai'i Cannabis MInistry
"We use cannabis religiously.' (temp. off-line)
(808) 961-0488 24/7 Ministry Helpline
 * The Hawai'i Cannabis Ministry *
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Dark Star on February 04, 2002 at 14:08:10 PT
It the Oil!
Didn't you know that when THC is synthetic and placed in sesame oil (Marinol) it is no longer dangerous, without medical benefit, or the scourge of mankind? It's magic, that sesame oil!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Dave in Florida on February 04, 2002 at 13:37:39 PT
Go Figure
"A lot of people did not understand the law. The clarification says if a substance contains THC and is intended to enter the body then it is an illegal product," Glaspy said.And that make Marinol what? It contains THC and is intended for human consumption and is schedule 3. I reckon that because a drug company makes it, it is deemed ok by the fed, but the plant in the backyard makes us support terrorism.Jose: I am a pilot myself, but never did skydive. I figured it would be too much fun, and become another expensive hobby!! I pass thru Deland on my way to Daytona to race my sports car, the other expensive hobby next to flying..
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Jose Melendez on February 04, 2002 at 12:05:33 PT:
Can I buy a pound or two?
I have been eating pot seeds for years since I read they are high in linoloenic and linoleic acids (essential fatty acids that are necessary for life.)
Frankly, it's too expensive that way, and I've always felt that I need (as this article hints) about a mouthful a day.So, if you can, ship me a couple pounds UPS COD. Maybe we'll get lucky and the shipment will get held up, then we can sue...
Jose Melendez
Skydive DeLand
1600 Flightline Blvd. 
DeLand, FL
Arrest Prohibition 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Dark Star on February 04, 2002 at 09:53:04 PT
Whither Hemp?
Most stores that carry hemp materials have no idea that this is going on right now. Should they expect to be raided on Wednesday?I am sitting on a case of hemp oil, 10 lbs. of whole seed, and a couple of pounds of decorticated seed, not to mention a variety of other products. If the government chooses to make me a felon, I will have lots of company. They will also need to find a jury willing to convict me, and that could prove a problem. My expectation is that this misguided over-the-top policy will be seen as another excess in the War on Some Drugs that will aid in its subsequent defeat.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment