DEA Seizes Hemp Seed Products; Threatens Industry

DEA Seizes Hemp Seed Products; Threatens Industry
Posted by FoM on October 01, 1999 at 11:26:50 PT
NORML's Weekly Update News
Source: NORML
Sept. 30, 1999, Detroit, MI: Based on a new interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration has directed U.S. Customs to stop the importation of all hemp seed products into the United States.
The first seizure was a 53,000 pound load of sterilized seed headed to a multi-billion dollar broker of birdseed. The shipper was Kenex, Ltd., of Pain Court, Ontario, Canada's largest producer of hemp food and fiber products. Based on this seizure, Customs has now recalled 14 other loads of hemp products that Kenex shipped in the past six months to U.S. distributors, thus requiring distributors to return their stocks to the border. Jean Laprise, president of Kenex, has been threatened with criminal penalties and $500,000 in civil fines if a full recall is not achieved.  Leaders of the hemp industry met last week in Canada to discuss a unified strategy for ending this new embargo. A court case is being prepared for filing this coming week. A web site and internet campaign are also being designed. All participants at the meeting agreed this is a life or death issue for the emerging hemp industry.  The timing of the DEA action was particularly onerous in view of the upcoming Natural Products Expo scheduled for Oct. 21-24 in Baltimore MD. At least 200 new hemp foods from Canadian and domestic producers were scheduled to be premiered at this show. The government's action leaves entrepreneurs in the dark as to whether these products are controlled substances, and therefore whether sellers will face criminal penalties.   "The DEA's action reverses over 60 years of precedent," said Don Wirtshafter, Esq., of the Ohio Hempery.   The sterilized seeds of the Cannabis plant are specifically exempted from the Controlled Substances Act. Until now, the DEA has never claimed they are prohibited by the act.   "The seeds coming in from Canada are extremely clean, with over 100 times less THC than anything that has entered the country from China previously," said Wirtshafter. "So why are they now kicking the legs out from this emerging industry? Is this because the Drug Czar said hemp would never be economical but we were just about to prove him wrong?"  For more information, please contact: Don Wirtshafter, Esq., of the Ohio Hempery at (740) 662-4367 or Tom Dean, Esq., NORML Foundation Litigation Director at (202) 483-8751. LTD. Drug Hawks Swoop Down on Birdseed - 9/30/99 News NORML Articles:
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Comment #1 posted by Alexandre Oeming on October 01, 1999 at 11:52:26 PT:
Keep pushing
I love how these bullies think that they can just keep pushing the envelope and the people are just going to keep taking it. I disagree. In their insatiable greed, the drug warriors are going to step on too many toes and are going to lose what they have "gained" through their deceptions. I believe there is an Aesop's fable about this very same mindset. Leave it to the thugs to never do their homework.
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