DEA's Efforts To Outlaw Hemp Could Go Up in Smoke

DEA's Efforts To Outlaw Hemp Could Go Up in Smoke
Posted by CN Staff on January 17, 2004 at 22:02:01 PT
By Bloomberg
Open the plastic bag and a musty smell wafts up from some brownish green matter; this is the stuff the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not want you to have. You can get it, anyway, if you know where to look. And if things go as they should, it will soon become a lot easier to find.It is hemp protein powder, the latest food product made from the hemp plant. Not as tasty, by itself, as hemp granola, it's edible when added to soups and brownies.
There's nothing mind-altering about it, and if you think there is, you're confusing hemp with its cousin, marijuana. Same species, different strain; one gets you high, the other gets you healthy.Nonetheless, the DEA has been in court for two years arguing that hemp food products should be as illegal as marijuana if they contain even a benign smidgen of marijuana's psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.To the DEA, it matters not that hemp foods have too little THC to have an effect on people, nor that they are healthy sources of protein, fibre and omega-3, a hard-to-find essential fatty acid."The DEA has never said that anyone can get high from them or that they pose a harm," government lawyer Daniel Dormont argued last year. All that counted was whether they contained detectable THC.THC levels are so low in hemp seeds that they have less hallucinogenic potential than poppy seeds, a popular and legal opiate.Court of appeals judge Alex Kozinski asked: "What's stopping the agency from outlawing the poppy seed bagel tomorrow?"Taken to court by the Hemp Industries Association, the DEA has so far lost all of three preliminary rounds.The same panel that heard arguments about whether to kill the hemp ban altogether had temporarily blocked the DEA from putting it into effect two years ago.In allowing sales to continue pending a ruling, the judges are not worried youths will ruin their lives on HempScream ice cream.Chief Judge of a circuit court Mary Schroeder asked Dormont: "Did you take into account the objections of people who might say this [ban] doesn't make a lot of sense?"He acknowledged the policy was unpopular and said the agency balanced this against its view of the law.Judge Betty Binns Fletcher asked Dormont: "What possible policy does the DEA have for saying that these substances have any capacity for harm?" This does not sound promising for the DEA's war on hemp. The question is whether the association will win by a two-to-one or three-to-zero vote."We're not going to win on a technicality," said association spokesperson Adam Eidinger, "We're going to win outright."It is not only a domestic matter and has stirred a trade flap with Canada, which allows hemp food possession with intent to distribute, as long as it contains no more THC than 10 parts per million."It's sort of a - let's face it - a humorous subject," said Canada's department of foreign affairs and international trade spokesperson Andre Lemay. While the US tried to outlaw edible hemp, "we encourage people to grow it".Canadian-grown hemp provides the raw material for hemp foods. Kenex, a company whose existence depends on distributing hemp food products to US markets, filed a complaint against the US under the North American Free Trade Agreement alleging $20 million in damages. The case is on hold until the court rules.Likewise, the survival of Californian hemp and flax food maker Nutiva could be at stake as 65 percent of its sales came from hemp products, according to founder John Roulac.While Whole Foods and independent natural food stores sold hemp foods, Roulac said some retailers had rejected them because of their shaky legal status."We're really at the tipping point," he said. "We need a clean break with a court ruling."Or do they?Sales of HempPlus Granola, made by Nature's Path of British Columbia, soared 104 percent in the second quarter last year on news of the DEA controversy, said spokesperson Kevin Greenwood.The publicity brought in new customers and users stocked up in case the granola was outlawed, said Greenwood, adding that its hemp products brought in millions of dollars annually.Certainly legitimate businesses would lose sales if forced to give up their hemp food products.But will the more daring hemp eaters and suppliers actually quit if the DEA wins?Marijuana has been illegal since 1937, and yet government figures suggest almost half of high school seniors have smoked it.Maybe prohibition is exactly what the industry needs. Hemp lords would smuggle the stuff in and US dealers would have a new product. "Hey kid," a pusher would say, "want a hit of essential fatty acids?" - BloombergComplete Title: US Drug Agency's Efforts To Outlaw Hemp Could Go Up in Smoke  Source: Bloomberg.comPublished: January 18, 2004Copyright: 2004 Bloomberg L.P. Website: Articles & Web Sites:HIA News Hemp Links Demonized Seed - LA Times Court Overturns Ban On Hemp In Food
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Comment #9 posted by Virgil on January 19, 2004 at 13:19:32 PT
One more thing
Hempola is already a trademark on their products. To be absolutely serious, if I ran Hempola, I would call the Reform chips. Doritos is always the munchy food that is characterized in the media and Reform chips would offer health conscious people a product to purchase in support of the new diet that is coming. The best name for Hempola hemp chips would be "Reform", healthy chips without transfat from your good friends at Hempola.
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Comment #8 posted by Virgil on January 19, 2004 at 13:12:18 PT
Hempola news
Of course if corn chips are called corn chips and potato chips are called potato chips, chips from hemp will be hemp chips. I was doing some reading at They may have there hands on something hugemongous. They say they have an insect repellant that is effective and does not use DEET, that is recognized as the best thing going until now. But nobody is going to say that stuff is harmless and you spray it all over yourself. It is in the October 9th press release- speak of 50% gains in sales. I am about to become a customer. I am sold on hempfood, I just cannot find it to support a local store. Where I live they call hemp chips imaginary.I would absolutely love to see them come out with wood sugar to go along with their pancake mix. Hempfood is going to take off. It just had to get past its snicker stage. And if the insect repeallant is effective, why would you spray yourself with DEET. It could wipe out all competition. 
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Comment #7 posted by jose melendez on January 19, 2004 at 13:09:55 PT
testing . . .
how about 'mighty munchies'?
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Comment #6 posted by Max Flowers on January 19, 2004 at 12:31:14 PT
Amusing conjecture...
...but in all likelihood they will be simply called "hemp chips."The head start that other countries have over we in the US in the hemp industry is not funny though; the only way we will ever catch up once farmers are finally allowed to grow industrial and fod crop hemp is via the sheer number of acres of farmland we have here. As of right now we have lost the race already since we're not in it.
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Comment #5 posted by Virgil on January 18, 2004 at 10:31:13 PT
Thanks for giving it a go, Jose
Stoned weed seed was going to be my morning answer for any flour product that was stone ground and made from hemp seed.
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Comment #4 posted by jose melendez on January 18, 2004 at 06:03:49 PT
'What would hemp seed chips be called? '
Stone ground.
How to Arrest Prohibition.
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on January 17, 2004 at 23:06:26 PT
Answering my own question again.
I think when the hempflour chips make SNL that it will come out as "Hey dude. Want some dip and weed seed." The munchy response system will command a yes reply, to which you will hear "Fried or baked, dude."This should be the link to the song "Did God Smoke Cannabis" with the Weird Al lyrics-
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on January 17, 2004 at 22:49:14 PT
The hempfoods will be coming
The bad boys at the DEA are starting to be awfully cartoonish about now. It is all misguided to say the least. If the government wanted to stop people from eating bad things children would be asking what is meant by white bread. The one thing that is hard to find out is first hand experience of hemp flour. From what everything I have read it is the most healthy flour/seeds there is on the face of the planet. Because of the expense this seems like it might become known in use as geek bread or yippie bread and appear in some upscale restaurants. But still, if you have to spend 10 cents extra to sell a two dollar burger as opposed to no sale, it seems like the market will have to come.Now who, but who bakes with hemp flour and what does it taste like. Is it true that it has to taste bad to be good for you? The killer app could be on the hemp version of Doritos, the sterotypical stoner food. It would not be corn seeds like the tortilla products. It would not be potatoes as in chips. What would hemp seed chips be called? 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 17, 2004 at 22:05:45 PT
Just a Note
I found this article on this link below and it's not an american paper but it was by Bloomberg so I used their copyright. I don't know why it wasn't in an american paper. I looked but wasn't able to find it in one.
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