Hemp Grower's Seed Nabbed at U.S. Border

  Hemp Grower's Seed Nabbed at U.S. Border

Posted by FoM on October 26, 1999 at 12:42:54 PT
By Roberta Rampton, Winnipeg bureau 
Source: Western Producer 

Jean Laprise targets the bulk of his hemp product sales to customers in the United States. His company, Kenex Ltd., has always shipped its goods without incident. 
So when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) seized a truckload of hemp seed on Aug. 9, Laprise was shocked. He didn't comment publicly about the seizure for six weeks, in hopes of resolving it quickly and privately. But last week, there was no resolution in sight for the southern Ontario company. The saga started when U.S. customs officers at the Windsor-Detroit border crossing seized hemp seed destined for a birdseed plant in Baltimore, Maryland. The seed could not germinate if replanted because it was sterilized. THC content Kenex included documents with the shipment showing it was sterilized. The company also included laboratory analysis reports showing the seed's tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content as 14 parts per million. Laprise said the DEA is calling the shipment a "controlled substance" because of its THC content. But Laprise said the DEA's zero-tolerance policy for drugs conflicts with U.S. law. "Whether you're in the U.S. or Canada, sterilized hemp seed has no THC limitations on it," he said. "We knew what the law said before we crossed the border." Repeated calls over three weeks by The Western Producer to the DEA's media relations office were not returned. The DEA also demanded Laprise recall 17 other shipments of oil, seed, meal, granola bars and horse bedding. Laprise said that's impossible, since most of the products have already been used by customers. However, U.S. officials have since told Laprise they would not prevent horse bedding or fibre from moving across the border. He has shipped both without incident for more than a month. Laprise speculated the DEA is using his company as a "test case" for its zero-tolerance policy. However, he has not yet received any explanation in writing from the agency. Laprise received his first correspondence from U.S. customs officials on Oct. 21. The letter said the customs department would release the seed if Kenex: • Provides an affidavit stating the seed will not be used for human consumption. • Pays seizure and storage costs, which Laprise estimates could run from $5,000 (U.S.) to $10,000. • Agrees that neither Kenex nor its customers will sue the U.S. government for seizing the seed. Laprise said he finds the conditions unacceptable. And even if he agreed to them, he would have no guarantee that future shipments would not be seized. "So we're nowhere." Laprise also said the seed was seized before it technically entered the U.S. His truck driver had pulled into the toll house yard, and had not yet gone to the company's customs broker to have the load cleared for entry. Kenex's lawyers have prepared a lawsuit under the North American Free Trade Agreement, and a complaint to file in the federal district. But Laprise said they have not yet filed the lawsuit or complaint in hopes the matter will be resolved. The Canadian embassy in Washington has sent letters to customs and DEA officials calling for the immediate release of the seized seed and cancellation of the recall. Pubdate: October 28, 1999Related Articles & Web Sites:Kenex LTD. Latest Casualty of U.S. War On Drugs

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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on October 26, 1999 at 18:57:50 PT

The gloves have come off... as well as the mask

If anyone has any doubts as to the continuing collusion between the major petrochemical companies and the federal government, here is something to dispel those doubts. The hemp industry was becoming too threatening to the Powers-That-Be, and they have decided to attempt corporate infanticide (just as they did 62 years ago through the ruse of cannabis prohibition) before the general public hears too much about it. Consider this as well: developments over the past twenty years in diesel engine design have increased fuel efficiency so that the idea of getting fifty or more miles to the gallon is not a dream, anymore.Rudolf Diesel originally planned his engines to run on hempseed oil.Now, who, pray tell, might not want a cleaner burning, renewable, politically neutral source of fuel? (I say 'politically neutral' because the preponderance of national policy decisions have revolved around oil. Just look at the Gulf War; does anyone here honestly believe we fought a war to liberate the Kuwaiti people from the cruel oppression of Saddam? Or, did we just fight him to maintain the oil flow? No one has to die to maintain a field of hemp; can the same be said of oil?)Like I said, the masks are coming off. The PTB are now showing their hands, in no uncertain terms. 
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Comment #1 posted by desert tripper on October 26, 1999 at 17:49:48 PT:

DEA=Despicable, Extremest Advil-Poppers!!

Doesn't the DEA have anything better to do? Not only do they harass and imprison honest, peaceful citizens for growing an innocuous herb, they go after natural substances which only remotely relate to the herb they have hypocritically decided is evil! If the seeds are sterile and contain no THC, what business do they have confiscating them? If a private party did this, they would go to jail for grand theft and/or extortion!If this doesn't uncover the drug war and Drug Bizarro Barry McHypocrite for the SHAM they really are, nothing will!
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