Drug War Attacks Hemp Food and Doctors 

Drug War Attacks Hemp Food and Doctors 
Posted by FoM on April 08, 2002 at 17:19:34 PT
By David Kravets, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
The government fought a two-pronged battle in the drug war Monday, arguing in a federal appeals court that it can ban hemp foods and strip doctors of their licenses for recommending marijuana. In the case brought by the hemp industry, the Drug Enforcement Administration asked a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to let it outlaw food products containing hemp. The court last month blocked the DEA from enforcing a ban it enacted in October, pending the outcome of the case. 
Hemp is an industrial plant related to marijuana. Fiber from hemp plants long has been used to make paper, clothing, rope and other products. Its oil is found in body-care products such as lotion, soap and cosmetics and in a host of foods, including energy bars, waffles, milk-free cheese, veggie burgers and bread. DEA attorney Daniel Dormont said the government banned food made with hemp because "there's no way of knowing" whether some products may get consumers high. Hemp food sellers say their products are full of nutrition, not drugs. They say the food contains such a small amount of the active ingredient in marijuana that it's impossible to get high. In October, the DEA declared that food products containing even trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol -- the psychoactive chemical known as THC that is found in marijuana and sometimes in hemp -- were banned under the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA ordered a halt in the production and distribution of all goods containing THC that were intended for human consumption. The DEA also ordered all such products destroyed or removed from the United States by March 18, but the 9th Circuit suspended that order so it could decide whether federal law may classify hemp food as an illegal controlled substance such as heroin. The court did not indicate when it would rule on either the hemp case, or a separate medical marijuana case judges also heard Monday. In that case before the same three-judge panel, the Department of Justice asked the court to lift a 2000 order that prohibits the government from threatening to revoke doctors' federal licenses to dispense medication if they recommend marijuana to sick patients. Justice attorney Michael Stern said doctors are interfering with the drug war and circumventing the government's judgment that marijuana has no medical benefits. Doctors who recommend marijuana in the eight states that have medical marijuana laws "will make it easier to obtain marijuana in violation of federal law," he said. Graham Boyd, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, told the court that the government was trying to stifle doctor-patient interactions. "That is speech that is protected by the First Amendment," he argued. The case stems from an order by U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who prohibited the Justice Department from revoking doctors' licenses to dispense medication "merely because the doctor recommends medical marijuana to a patient based on a sincere medical judgment." Alsup's order also prevents federal agents "from initiating any investigation solely on that ground." The case was an outgrowth of Proposition 215, which California voters approved in 1996. It allows patients to lawfully use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Following the measure's passage, the Clinton administration said that doctors who recommended marijuana would lose their federal licenses to prescribe medicine. He said the doctors would be excluded from Medicare and Medicaid and could face criminal charges. Other states with medical marijuana laws include Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court said clubs that sell marijuana to the sick with a doctor's recommendation are breaking federal drug laws. Several pot clubs continue to operate in cities including San Francisco. In February, the government raided one San Francisco club and agents shut down a West Hollywood cannabis club in October. The cases are Hemp Industries Association v. Drug Enforcement Administration, 01-71662 and Conant v. Walters, 00-17222. Complete Title: Drug War Attacks Hemp Foods and Doctors who Recommend Pot Source: Associated PressAuthor: David Kravets, Associated Press WriterPublished: Monday, April 8, 2002 Copyright: 2002 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Sites:ACLU Links Raids Medical Marijuana Club For Hemp Foods, a Decisive Moment to Argue Before 9th Circuit Court - April 8th
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Comment #4 posted by lookinside on April 09, 2002 at 08:35:32 PT:
The lowest court in the land...
The Supreme Court has consistently shown a disregard for the Constitution. They pander to the corporate interests and religious right.Their places in history are assured. They have proven themselves incapable of independence from the corruption prevalent in our nation's Capital. They will be referred to as the worst Supreme Court our nation has ever suffered.
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Comment #3 posted by el_toonces on April 08, 2002 at 19:43:08 PT:
Raise your BET......
....sorry about the typo:)>
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Comment #2 posted by el_toonces on April 08, 2002 at 19:42:22 PT:
I'll raise your best,Paul.....
.....and agree with you that the Ninth will uphold Judge Alsup on the doctor-patient, DEA license issue but may be reversed by the Supremes should they take the Feds expected appeal; the Supremes have shocked the hell out of me lately with the housing case and their questions in the school testing case this term. In the hemp case, I disagree with you though, as there is room, when interpreting Congressional intent, from the words in the statute to rule that that DEA is acting arbitrarily and capriciously, as that case involves the lower standards of administrative review. But, once again, I would not be surprised nor would I bet on the 9th Cir. being affirmed if the Supremes grant cert on the Feds almost certain appeal.........I can see now how gambling could be addicting:).Be well.El
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Comment #1 posted by PAUL PETERSON on April 08, 2002 at 19:09:07 PT:
Well, this is it, guys. A tale of two cases. A double dipper day. The only way this day could get any more poignant, were if the DC ballot case were added in also, and or if that Supreme Court decision of last year could be rolled into this one also. Here in Illinois, I'm waiting for this 9th Circuit case too-How will I get some doctors to come forward and authorize a few test cases under Illinois' valid, yet long buried MM law, which mandates that the state (DHS) "shall not unnecessarily delay issuance" once a doctor exercises his decision making capability, if the DEA is gonna come right along and snatch up the guy's license to sell those white powdery pills the drug companies really want to sell, etc?And, just about a billion trees and and a billion fish are holding their breaths (I know, I know, they don't hold nothing, really, they just are looking for this unique substance to give a little respite to their very existence).Well boys, recently we had Asa Hutchinson break some ethical rule or law (I ain't saying tonght which one) by sending that threatening letter to Maryland- I'm thinking with the prior Appellate level cases, there "is" a common law "necessity defense" for medical use of pot, which was not overruled or limited by the Supreme Court Case. The Supremes were really clear that they were not going there-because it is well established that the states can authorize mere "possession" of pot for valid medical use-for a small amount, etc. So if the 9th Circuit goes against the federal government on this DEA thingy, the MM train keeps going forward and the feds lose a major battle. If it goes the other way, not so good. Then DC looks like a moot point. No state legislature gets anywhere. We get to wait until the new congress comes in. Then the only thing we get is a bully backlash with an increased Democratic majority in November and more bullying by Asa in Congress this time. My guess? The judges will come up with some lame excuse, and try to outlaw poppy seed muffins or something in sacrifice to the urine god-rather than capitulate and allow this nutrition thing to ruin the focus of the drug war.Part two? I'm guessing that the judges will not overrule the rights of doctors to make informed choices-They all learned this "first amendment right thingy in law school" and they all still like Tom Jefferson even though he grew hemp in his backyard-I'm thinkng even though these things are flip sides of the same coin-they'll surprise us and go with a 50/50 split-go figure. Bet you a dollar, eh? Stay tuned for about a week- The government will be buggng them for a decision so we can get back to this Iraq war buildup thingy. War Columbia can wait-we're still making money there, you know. The franchise sales haven't gotten started for those roller coasters in Bagdad land yet though, and there is a bunch of profit taking waiting. Tony Blair tried to convince Bush that he is on the wrong side of history, but bush showed him his drug stock portfolio, Blair said "nice touch", and went back to Europe with a shake of his head. What do we get from this whole thing? The longest unprotected border in the world between countries-US/Canada, just became a profit taking center for fence builders, that's what. It will look like the Rio Grande real soon. The big place to watch: HAWAII, THAT'S WHAT, with a big religious rights case coming out in a week or two-the judge can't decide how to narrow his ruling so as not to give some important precedent which would be portable to the rest of the US of A. (I'm thinking Bush might just want to force them to leave town too-make em a territory again-so he could invade and impose his secret military rule or something, eh?-Oh well, they'll have dogs on every plane in no time, they will!). Of course, if this 50-50 thing goes the other way (with doctors losing rights-then the Hawaii thing goes the other way too-the judge can then say there is a "compelling need to restrict religious freedom, since there is still a compelling need to restrict medical use, etc.-we'll see won't we? stay tuned). PAUL PETERSON 
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