Hemp Industries Association Files Petition Against DEA

Hemp Industries Association Files Petition Against DEA to Defend Lawful Hemp-Derived Products from Agency Overreach
19 Jan 2017 5:41 PM

Suit Seeks to Defend Hemp Farmers, U.S. Businesses and Consumers from Illegal Attempt to Schedule Non-Psychoactive Hemp Derivatives as ‘Marihuana Extract’
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), the leading non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, filed a Petition for Review on January 13, 2017, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, seeking to block the implementation of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) recently announced Final Rule regarding “Marihuana Extract.” The proposed DEA Final Rule attempts to unlawfully designate hemp-derived non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, as “marihuana extract,” and append the Controlled Substances Act to add all cannabinoids to its Schedule I. Furthermore, this action by the DEA contravenes clear Congressional intent and legal parameters for the production and consumption of hemp-derived products containing cannabinoids, enacted by Sec. 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill).

To read the full petition, please visit:

https://hoban.law/sites/default/files/2017-01/17.01.13%20Petition%20%5Bfinal%5D.pdf

The DEA does not have the authority to augment the Controlled Substances Act; that power resides with Congress. Congress has clearly mandated, through the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2016 Omnibus Spending Law that the Controlled Substances Act does not apply to hemp grown in state pilot programs, and that it is a violation of federal law for agencies such as DEA to interfere with these programs. The DEA’s proposed rule regarding cannabinoids thumbs its nose at Congress and threatens to undermine the market for legal hemp products containing cannabinoids, including those produced in the U.S. under state laws that regulate hemp cultivation and processing pursuant to, and in accordance with the federal Farm Bill. These products, such as hemp foods and supplements, fall outside the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and are not subject to regulatory control by the DEA.

“Hemp-derived products containing cannabinoids are an increasingly in-demand category within the hemp market—and U.S. consumers constitute the largest market for hemp products worldwide,” said Colleen Keahey, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. “We are committed to defending the rights of our members, of entrepreneurial hemp farmers, businesses and consumers, who all are acting entirely within the legal framework of the CSA and Farm Bill, including those adversely affected by trying to source American-grown hemp and hemp derivatives to supply this demand. The DEA’s attempt to regulate hemp derived products containing cannabinoids lawfully sourced under the CSA, and farmed and produced under the Farm Bill in states like Kentucky and Colorado, is not only outside the scope of their power, it’s an attempt to rob us of hemp’s economic opportunity.”
The DEA has made previous attempts to interfere with legal hemp products, notably from 2001-2003 when the agency contended that hemp food products such as cereals, hemp seed and hemp oil, are a Schedule I substance due to trace insignificant residues of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. On February 6, 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in response that hemp is not included in Schedule I; that the trace THC in such products is similar to trace opiates in poppy seed bagels, and does not render them controlled substances. The HIA believes this 2004 ruling sets strong legal precedent for the current petition, which asserts that cannabinoids derived from lawful portions and varieties of the Cannabis plant exempted from control under the CSA and through the Farm Bill, may not be regulated as “marihuana” or “marihuana extract” by the DEA.

More recently, in 2014, the DEA interfered with the implementation of state pilot programs for hemp farming, when the agency unlawfully seized 250 lbs. of certified industrial hemp seed imported from Italy. The viable hemp seed had been legally sourced to supply six hemp research projects licensed by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and coordinated in conjunction with Kentucky State academic institutions. The seed was quickly released, following the filing of a lawsuit against the DEA on May 14, 2014 by then Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, now U.S. Congressional Representative James Comer.
“Over a decade ago, the Ninth Circuit held that non-psychoactive hemp is not controlled by the CSA,” said Patrick Goggin, co-counsel for the HIA. “The DEA is again attempting to schedule under the CSA cannabinoids and non-psychoactive hemp beyond its authority. We believe the Ninth Circuit will invalidate this rule just like it did in 2004.”
To date, 31 states have passed hemp legislation that allows their farmers to cultivate hemp according to guidelines set forth in the Farm Bill. Per these guidelines, U.S. farmers planted nearly 10,000 acres of hemp in 2016. Farmers and agri-business across the country have invested many millions of dollars in infrastructure to comply with federal law; this retroactive misreading of statute puts the livelihood of these law-abiding companies and individuals at risk.
Recent DEA pronouncements indicate that DEA is threatening to flout prior court rulings, and assert regulatory authority over hemp seed, oil, and products made from hemp seed and oil, which have always been exempt from the Controlled Substances Act. HIA continues to monitor these developments, and will consider further actions to resist DEA’s unlawful attempts to regulate legal hemp products.
# # #
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp’s many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org.

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‘A grand experiment’, Tobacco farmer’s crop biggest in Ky.,

  • By Rebecca Walter, New Era Staff Writer
  • Updated Sep 10, 2015

     

    Hemp crop biggest in state

    Beside a humming industrial combine, Crofton farmer Kendal Clark gazed across his field, home to the largest hemp crop in Kentucky.

    During the harvesting process Tuesday, Clark said while the future is foggy, there is great potential for this year’s crop.

    “It’s been a learning experience, that’s for sure,” he said. “But it is showing some potential when it didn’t have the best chance in the world. It’s really turning around more than I would have imagined.”

    The crop, planted in mid-June, is a first for Clark, who is primarily a tobacco farmer. He said he’s already been contacted by several agencies, including the Epilepsy Foundation and various pharmaceutical chains, for potential uses for the crop.

    “The possibilities for this crop have barely been tapped,” he said.

    While this is the first year Clark has grown hemp, he is no stranger to the farming game. He has been harvesting most his life and full-time since 1977. Farming is embedded in his family’s roots, and his parents grew hemp during World War II under a federal contract.

    New beginnings

    Before planting, Clark had to obtain a permit, which he said was a lengthy process. Clark is working through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program, which stemmed from the passage of two separate laws — Senate Bill 50 passed in 2013 and the Farm Bill signed into law February 2014.

    Doris Hamilton, coordinator of the Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, confirmed Clark’s hemp field is the largest in the state.

    Clark is among 99 people approved to plant hemp this year. Last year, the first year hemp production was legal in more than 50 years, that number was only 20.

    Hamilton said the approval process is selective and only about a third of applicants were approved this year. Individuals have to go through a background check and orientation before beginning production.

    She said the scale of hemp plots this year ranges from small greenhouses to the extent of Clark’s field. Clark’s main field is approximately 60 acres, and he has small additional fields bringing the total up to 100.

    Hamilton said yields varied across the state, with some “very successful” and others not so much.

    “The rain in July was detrimental to a lot of folks,” she said. The first six weeks are the most crucial, Hamilton added, and if there is too much rain and not enough sunlight, it can damage the crop.

    Hamilton expects crops across the state will be developed into several products, ranging from oil to Cannabidiol, used in various medical treatments.

    Last year, there were hemp crops in Pembroke and Dawson Springs. Katie Moyer, a local hemp advocate and partner in a new hemp-based company, Legacy Hemp, said the Dawson Springs crop didn’t survive, and the crop harvested in Pembroke is still bundled and waiting for its next move.

    Moyer said the next step for Clark’s crop is to put the seed in bins where it can dry. Then the seed cleaning process will begin.

    “We are in a good position to benefit big time from this crop,” she said.

    A historical crop

    Hemp was first grown in Kentucky in 1775, and the state became the leading producer in the nation. The peak production was in the mid-19th century, with 40,000 tons produced in 1850, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

    Production dropped off after the Civil War, and Kentucky became almost the exclusive producer of hemp.

    Federal legislation passed in 1938 outlawed the production of cannabis, including hemp. But production revved up again during World War II.

    Clark’s parents were contracted under the government to produce hemp during the war. The crop, like their son’s, was planted in north Christian County. It was used to make rope for the U.S. Navy.

    The crop has faced a certain stigma because it is a variety of cannabis sativa, which is of the same plant species as marijuana.

    But Clark said the crops are distinctly different, pointing out how easily the difference can be detected by looking at it. He has faced a few jokes around the community about growing hemp, but said the response has generally been positive.

    Looking to the future

    Clark said he plans on planting hemp again next year, taking what he has learned this season and carrying that knowledge into next year’s crop.

    “It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve been learning,” he said. “It has intrigued us enough and really hasn’t had a fair chance this year with the weather. We just want to give it the best shot we can.”

    The exact economic impact is still unclear, and it may be months before an answer is known.

    “This is a grand experiment,” Clark said. “But you have to start somewhere.”

    Hemp facts

    – The first hemp crop in Kentucky was grown in 1775.

    – An estimated 55,700 metric tons of industrial hemp are produced around the world each year.

    – China, Russia and South Korea are the leading hemp-producing nations and account for 70 percent of the world’s industrial hemp supply.

    – More than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.

    – Current industry estimates report U.S. retail sales of all hemp-based products may exceed $300 million per year.

    – It is illegal to grow hemp without a permit from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).

    — Information from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s website

    Reach Rebecca Walter at 270-887-3241 or rwalter@kentuckynewera.com.

    CONTINUE READING…

  • Farmers, Industry Leaders Excited About Future of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky

    KENTUCKY — Kentucky Hemp is coming back. Fiber, seed, fuel, oil, and artisan products are simmering in the recently revived hemp industry.

     

    kentucky-set-to-be-first-state-to-legalize-hemp-production.si

     

    SEE GRAPHIC HERE

    Research and debate about bringing hemp back has circulated since the 1990s, when other countries like Canada and Australia re-legalized hemp production. Finally, last year, the 2014 Farm Bill provided a framework for U.S. state agricultural departments and universities to plant hemp seed on U.S. soil as long as individual state law allows it.

    Now, Kentuckians are turning their research and theories into a promising hemp industry.

    “We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” said Josh Hendrix of the newly formed Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA). “We haven’t had a hemp industry for over 70 years.”

    He says research is necessary to reduce risk to farmers. His organization and others, who have participated in hemp trials, are testing for the best seeds to plant, and the best way to harvest and process hemp crops. Part of KYHIA’s mission is to disseminate its research and provide education about the hemp industry.

    Hemp production was deterred in the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Then, in 1970, the Controlled Substance Act coupled hemp with the drug, marijuana, making hemp illegal as a narcotic. Hemp does not hold the drug’s THC properties, but the plant is from the same genus, cannabis, and looks similar.

    Before 1937, 98% of hemp seed used in the U.S. came from Kentucky. Now, they have no seeds. Hemp trials have used seeds imported from other countries.

    “2014 was a celebratory year, just to get seed in the ground,” said Hendrix. “2015 has seen a nice expansion, with 326 applications.”

    Kentucky farmers can submit applications to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to participate in the hemp revival. They must provide production plans to be approved, and pass a background check to appease the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

    Kentucky U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with two Oregon senators, submitted a bill on January 8, 2015, to decouple hemp from marijuana, and remove hemp production from DEA enforcement.

    “We don’t know if or when it might become a legal crop,” said David Williams, of the University of Kentucky. “We also do not know how large an industry the market will support. We extrapolate based on data from other markets, but we cannot know exactly what the market will be in the U.S.”

    A Promising Market

    Kentuckians have deep roots with the hemp plant, and have grand plans for bringing the industry back. Industries, like tobacco and coal, are facing hard times, and hemp may offer both profitable alternatives.

    Hemp advocates, like Hendrix, also see hemp as a crop to sustain dwindling family farms, and increase young and new farmers. Artisans can use hemp for cloth, beauty products, teas, and countless other items. The organic market for hemp is also highly profitable and growing.

    Seventh generation family farmer, Andy Graves, grows conventional grains like soy, wheat, and corn. His generation is the first in his family to not grow hemp. The Graves family was the top hemp seed producer when hemp was legal, and is set on renewing that legacy.

    “The market is so big,” Graves said. “We haven’t even scratched the surface.”

    Graves is also the CEO of Atalo Holdings, Inc. The group contracted 5 farms to grow hemp in 2014 and for 2015 they’ve expanded to 26 farms. Atalo has three subsidiaries: Hemp Oil Kentucky, Kenex, and Kentucky Hemp Research and Development — each focuses on seed, fiber, and research and development, respectively.

    Oil from seed, Graves said, has a quick return. Once Atalo has a revenue stream from oil, it will invest in fiber operations. Fiber operations have a higher barrier to entry because of the cost of new machinery.

    Hemp seed can be harvested using the same equipment as conventional grain. As far as processing, Graves said that seed pressing equipment that is currently used for chia and sesame seeds can also be used for hemp. He will add chia and sesame to his portfolio as well.

    Graves is using the most popular hemp seed for oil: Finola, from Finland. Atalo has guaranteed a no loss crop by securing a deal with Hemp Oil Canada to buy any seed Atalo cannot sell.

    ‘We haven’t scratched the surface of the market.’

    Atalo has been approved for 356 acres of hemp, and is hoping for up to 500. 10-12 acres will be devoted to organic hemp seed production. Their research and development subsidiary aims to be an educational asset to the hemp industry in the U.S., Graves says.

    Hendrix, Graves, and Williams all emphasize that they are building a new industry from the ground up. It will take research and time, but, Hendrix believes they have “the right people, the right place, and the right time” to build the industry and create jobs.

    The Hemp Capital of the U.S.

    Other groups germinating in the Kentucky hemp industry include The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, which focuses on biomass and high capacitance graphene nano-sheets; and Sunstrand LLC, which focuses on industrial fiber. There are many others cropping up. Stay tuned, says Graves, new developments are breaking on Kentucky soil.

    The laws may not be set yet, but hemp advocates in Kentucky are confident that their state will soon be known for more than bourbon, and re-claim their name as the ‘Hemp Capital of the U.S.’

    CONTINUE READING…

    JOIN THE KENTUCKY INDUSTRIAL HEMP ASSOCIATION (KYIHA) HERE

    Mitch McConnell’s Love Affair with Hemp How the Kentucky senator picked a fight with the DEA and became one of Washington’s top drug policy reformers.

    Last May, a shipment of 250 pounds of hemp seeds left Italy destined for Kentucky as part of a pilot project made legal by the 2013 federal farm bill. Kentucky farmers had long hoped for a crop that could fill the void left by the decline of tobacco, and many thought that industrial hemp, which is used in a vast array of products, could be that crop.

    The hemp seeds cleared customs in Chicago, but when the cargo landed at the UPS wing of Louisville International Airport, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized it, arguing that importing hemp seeds required an import permit, which could take six months to process. If farmers couldn’t get those seeds into the ground by June 1, the entire first year of the hemp pilot program would be dashed.

    The DEA would have succeeded in blocking the seeds from reaching Kentucky farmers and university researchers but for the efforts of the state’s agricultural commissioner, who sued the agency and, most improbably, Mitch McConnell.

    McConnell—then the Senate’s minority leader—worked furiously to free the seeds from the DEA’s clutches and continued the pro-hemp drumbeat throughout 2014, as he campaigned for reelection. This year, as Senate majority leader, he’s taken a further step by co-sponsoring the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015. While the farm bill carved out an exception to allow hemp cultivation in Kentucky, the 2015 bill would remove hemp entirely from the list of drugs strictly regulated by the Controlled Substances Act. It would, in essence, legalize hemp production in the United States.

    “We are laying the groundwork for a new commodity market for Kentucky farmers,” McConnell told me. “And by exploring innovative ways to use industrial hemp to benefit a variety of Kentucky industries, the pilot programs could help boost our state’s economy and lead to future jobs. … I look forward to seeing industrial hemp prosper in the Commonwealth.”

    Yes, Mitch McConnell said that. About hemp.

    To grasp how McConnell—the quintessential establishment Republican—came to champion industrial hemp, you must first understand the economics and internal politics of Kentucky, as well as McConnell’s relationship to Kentucky’s junior senator, Rand Paul. It’s also helpful to know that close to $500 million worth of hemp products produced by Canada and other countries is already sold in the United States through such stores as Whole Foods. McConnell’s move also has potential ramifications beyond the marketplace, providing a credible threat to the Controlled Substances Act since it was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970.

    “The fact that Majority Leader McConnell is a co-sponsor of a hemp bill shows how fast the politics are changing on this issue,” said Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit group that favors reform. (Bill Piper should not be confused with Billy Piper, former McConnell chief of staff and current K Street lobbyist).

    ***

    The story of how Mitch McConnell evolved on the hemp issue began in 2010. Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite, was running to replace the retiring Jim Bunning in the U.S. Senate and spent much of the primary season blasting McConnell, who not only represented the establishment but also supported a different Republican candidate. The McConnell-Paul relationship changed dramatically after Paul prevailed in the primary and McConnell vigorously stepped in to support him in the general election against the Democratic nominee, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.

    The bond only grew when Paul came to the Senate in 2011. Paul encouraged McConnell to consider the hemp issue because it was favored by conservatives and Tea Party types, according to two sources familiar with those discussions. McConnell listened.

    The other Kentucky Republican who played a role in McConnell’s evolution was Jamie Comer, the state’s newly minted agriculture commissioner. In August 2012, Comer held a news conference before the 49th annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast—a big shindig on the Kentucky politics circuit—to announce that legalization of hemp in the state would be his No. 1  priority in the next legislative session. Paul and U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, another Kentucky Republican, were there to support Comer; each later testified in support of Comer’s measure before the state Senate agriculture committee in February 2013, along with Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Louisville.

    “I engaged with Jamie Comer,” Yarmuth told me. “He reached out to me. From the beginning it’s been a bipartisan thing.”

    In Washington, D.C., McConnell was approached multiple times from hemp supporters back home. After the fourth such approach, the senior senator from Kentucky turned to his chief of staff, Josh Holmes, and said, “We’ve got to look into this.”

    ***

    If, like the average U.S. senator, you are unfamiliar with the botany of the cannabis plant, here’s a quick primer:

    For starters, hemp is sometimes referred to as marijuana’s “cousin,” which is an unhelpful metaphor because hemp and marijuana are actually the same species, Cannabis sativa. They are simply different strains, and they are cultivated and harvested in different ways.

    The cannabis plant is dioecious, which means its male and female flowers grow on different plants. This is unusual: Dioecious species—including gingkoes, willows and a few others—make up only 6 percent of all flowering plants.

    Hemp is produced after the male plant fertilizes the females—something that happens almost immediately once the plants flower. Marijuana, on the other hand, is produced from the unfertilized flower of the female plant. A person interested in growing marijuana wants only female plants; a plant that shows signs of male flowers is plucked immediately, before it can mature and pollinate the females around it.

    Pollen contamination is one of the chief concerns of marijuana growers, legal and illegal, because as soon as a female flower becomes pollinated, she stops making her THC-rich resin and begins focusing entirely on seed production. (Hemp is defined by Kentucky law as containing less than 0.3 percent THC; unfertilized marijuana flowers could have THC levels of 20 percent or more.)

    For decades, the law enforcement lobby has peddled anti-hemp talking points that just didn’t add up. During the 2013 farm bill debate, the DEA asserted that, “It can be extremely difficult to distinguish cannabis grown for industrial purposes from cannabis grown for smoking. This is especially true if law enforcement is attempting to make this determination without entering the premises on which the plants are being grown.”

    James Higdon is a freelance writer based in Louisville and author of The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History. He can be reached at @jimhigdon. Full disclosure: His father, Jimmy Higdon, is a Republican state senator in the Kentucky state legislature.

    Continue Reading »

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    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/mitch-mcconnell-hemp-115671.html#ixzz3TKOJY7Z0

    The White House: Release and pardon Marc Emery

     
     
    Christopher Seekins

    Granby, CT

    Some stand for freedom, others oppose it. Each brings us in a different direction. For those of us who enjoy our freedom we thank people like Marc who has a global vision of standards. The United states constitution was founded on common law jurisdiction. This is essentially a contract of protection for the people. The states of America have adapted the Uniform Commercial Code which governs international contracts of protection. The Uniform Commercial Code or UCC particular to 1-103.6 indicates statutory jurisdiction in Admiralty Courts such as the US courts must have standards in accordance with common law jurisdiction reserving rights and remedy there of. The ability to extort a person into a plea bargain is not merit to cause injury to Marcs life or take away the freedom from others lives that he generates living freely. Marcs actions have not hurt any one and there is no justification to injure many lives in this case. Marc amongst other things is to thank for bringing freedom of the press to Canada with the opening of his book store and petitioning of the public as true democracy makes possible. Marc is a patriot of every country and should be treated as such. To do anything else is of a criminal nature.

    Release and pardon Marc Emery

    Marc Emery is a Canadian businessman and political activist who owned and operated Cannabis Culture Magazine, Pot-TV, the BC Marijuana Party, and Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters (previously the BCMP Bookstore, and HEMP BC before that.)
    He was also the world’s most famous marijuana seed retailer and the biggest financial supporter of the marijuana movement world-wide until the US Drug Enforcement Administration and Canadian law enforcement arrested him in Canada and shut down Marc Emery Direct Seeds in July 2005.
    Marc is currently imprisoned in Yazoo City medium-security prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi after being extradited on May 20th, 2010 by the Canadian government. He was sentenced on September 10th in Seattle federal court to 5 years in prison for “distribution of marijuana” seeds, though the US Drug Enforcement Administration admitted it was actually for his political activism and financing the marijuana movement (see below for that DEA document).

    FACTS ABOUT MARC EMERY:

    • Marc Emery is a Canadian citizen who never went to the USA as a seed seller.

    • Marc Emery operated his seed business in Canada at all times, with no American branches or employees.

    • Marc Emery declared his income from marijuana seed sales on his income tax, and paid over $580,000 to the Federal and Provincial governments from 1999 to 2005.

    • Marc Emery is the leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, a registered political party that has regularly participated in elections.

    • Marc Emery has never been arrested or convicted of manufacturing or distributing marijuana in Canada, as he only sold seeds.

    • Marc Emery gave away all of the profits from his seed business to drug law reform lobbyists, political parties, global protests and rallies, court litigation, medical marijuana initiatives, drug rehabilitation clinics, and other legitimate legal activities and organizations.

    • Marc Emery helped found the United States Marijuana Party, state-level political parties, and international political parties in countries such as Israel and New Zealand.

    • Marc Emery has been known as a book seller and activist in Canada for 30 years, fighting against censorship laws and other social issues long before he became a drug law reform activist.

    • Marc Emery has been a media figure for 20 years with regards to marijuana and drug law reform. He is very well-known to Canadian, American and international news media organizations.

    • Marc Emery operated his business in full transparency and honesty since its inception in 1994, even sending his marijuana seed catalogue inside his magazine “Cannabis Culture” to each Member of Parliament in Canada every two months for years.

    Marc openly ran “Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds” from a store in downtown Vancouver and through mail-order from 1994 to 2005, with the goal to fund anti-prohibition and pro-marijuana activists and organizations across North America and the world.
    Marc always paid all provincial and federal taxes on his income and made no secret to anyone of his seed-selling business. Marc was raided by police for selling seeds and bongs in 1996 and again in 1997 and 1998, but despite the seizure of his stock by police, the Canadian courts sentenced Emery only to fines and no jail time.
    Canadian police then pressured the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to launch a cross-border attack against Marc. They arranged to have him charged under America’s much more severe laws against seeds.
    Marc was arrested in Canada by American agents in 2005, and originally faced a minimum 30-year sentence in the US, with the possibility of life behind bars. After years of legal efforts, and ensuring his two co-accused received no prison time, Marc made a plea-bargain for a five-year sentence in the US. Marc had originally secured a deal with US officials to serve his five-year sentence in Canada, but the Conservative Government of Canada refused to allow this, and forced him to be extradited to the US.
    The US Drug Enforcement Administration admitted on the day of Marc Emery’s arrest that his investigation and extradition were politically motivated, designed to target the marijuana legalization efforts and organizations that Emery spearheaded and financed for over a decade.

    Here is the original text of DEA Administrator Karen Tandy’s statement released on July 29th, 2005 (also available in its original letterhead form by clicking here):

    “Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group — is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.

    His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today.

    Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General’s most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets — one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada.

    Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”
    On May 10th, 2010, Marc was ordered extradited by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson. He was taken to the USA on May 20th. Marc was forced to endure three weeks of complete solitary confinement for recording a “prison podcast” over the phone for release on the internet. You can listen to his 2009 “Prison Pot-casts” by clicking here.
    Release and pardon Marc Emery

    Kindest of regards
    Christopher Seekins
    www.gorillagrow.org
    CEO Harmony World Wide

    Petition Letter

    USE THIS LINK TO SIGN PETITION!

    11/30/2010 SB510 Passes in Senate

     

    Does Senate Bill 510 Put Raw Milk in Real Danger?

    by A.K. Streeter, Portland, Oregon on 11.30.10

    Food & Health

     

    Today the U.S. Senate passed Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act. After the recent scandal with eggs, and all of the other food safety issues of recent years (meat, peanut butter, spinach), many people believe this is a positive step – and obviously Senate lawmakers, who voted 75 to 23 to pass SB 510, also think the bill is good. A segment of farm advocates have warned that SB 510 is a severe threat to small farms – and by extension, most raw milk producers – because of the sweeping powers it gives to the Federal Drug Administation (FDA) and the possibility for onerous paperwork and other regulations for farmers. But there’s some good news.

    SB 510 will give the FDA broader jurisdiction, specifically in the wording of the bill that lets the FDA act on “reason to believe.” SB 510 would also allow the FDA to mandate that a company recall a food product it suspects is infected. Thus if the FDA has reason to believe – a very subjective measure – raw milk is harmful, it could attempt to shut down that producer – unless the farmer had gone through the necessary paperwork to get an exemption.

    While SB 510 passed, the Tester/Hagen Amendment that was recently added to the bill excludes small farmers and farms making less than $500,000 annually, by allowing them to apply for exemption from FDA regulatory oversight. The inclusion of the amendment made the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition finally lend support for SB 510.

    As Kari Marion spells out in her blog at JustMeans, the Centers for Disease Control have tallied the big costs of food safety breaches: they “cause approximately 75 million illnesses each year including approximately 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths.”

    To put the dangers of raw milk in perspective in comparison with those annual figures, a CDC representative gave the following statistics in a recent Reuters story: from 1993 to 2006 outbreaks related to raw milk and cheese and yogurt made from it have been tied to 1571 illnesses, 202 hospitalizations and two deaths.

    Even after the inclusion of the Tester-Hagan amendment, the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, another small farm advocacy group is still opposed. FTCLDF president Pete Kennedy told the Daily Caller:

    “The Tester-Hagan amendment is an improvement on the bill, but I think it’s still fundamentally flawed,” Kennedy told TheDC. “I think over time the powers given by the bill could possibly whittle away at the protection provided by Tester-Hagan, they’ll have broad power, and unfortunately under their existing power, what we see right now they seem to have three particular targets, which are raw milk, raw cheese, and supplements.”

    So while the Tester-Hagan amendment is good news for sustainable and local farm proponents, it seems the freedom to choose our food sources is not entirely out of the woods.

    Read more about raw milk at TreeHugger:
    If You Want Safe Food, Know Where It Comes From
    The Raw Milk Revolution: Book Review
    Raw Milk Risks and Benefits Explained
    The Milk Police: Smuggling Raw Milk Across State Lines

    Other Links:

    http://www.stoptheaclu.com/2010/11/18/congress-giving-fda-power-over-our-food/

    http://www.newsday.com/lifestyle/home-and-garden/garden-detective-1.812029/sb-510-food-safety-bill-passes-senate-1.2504410

    SB.510 Food Safety bill passes Senate

    11:47 AM By Jessica Damiano

    The somewhat controversial (in some circles, anyway) Food Safety Modernization Act passed the Senate easily this morning, 73 to 25.

    It’s had a long journey, and it isn’t done yet: The Senate version still has to be reconciled with the House’s 2009 version.

    Whats the fuss? Read about the bill’s pros and cons.

    Senate Bill sb 510 and your right to grow your own food

    Hemp Legalization may Piggyback to Legality on Prop. 19

    November 1, 2010 – David Bronner’s third-generation family business – Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps – imports 20 tons of hemp oil a year from Canada to make soaps, shampoos and skin lotions near San Diego.

     

     

    Now Bronner hopes California’s Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana for recreational use can give impetus to legalizing cultivation of hemp – pot’s (non-psychoactive) cannabis cousin.

    Proposition 19 proponents say the initiative’s language allowing local governments to permit cannabis cultivation – by definition – includes both marijuana and hemp.

    But the measure variously inspires or infuriates hemp advocates, who are waging arguments over whether it will help or hinder efforts to lift a U.S. ban on hemp cultivation.

    Some say Proposition 19 could invigorate a national hemp industry that already produces more than $350 million in annual sales of clothing, food, paper, carpet and other items – all from hemp grown in other countries.

    Others contend the measure will further link hemp – a cannabis plant that can’t get you high – with marijuana and deal a public relations setback to the hemp movement. While it looks like marijuana, hemp contains only minute traces of pot’s psychoactive elements.

    Hemp fibers, foods and oils are imported from more than 30 other countries, but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration treats hemp cultivation as an illegal activity akin to narcotics production.

    Erwin A. “Bud” Sholts, chairman of the North American Industrial Hemp Council, a Wisconsin group hoping to open up American farmland to hemp cultivation, wants nothing to do with California’s pot initiative.

    “I don’t think we’re interested in legalizing the drug at all,” he said.

    Sholts, a former economist for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, said his hemp trade organization is working with major U.S. companies he won’t name to “develop a strategy” for legalizing U.S. production.

    The last thing his partners need, Sholts said, is California’s Proposition 19. “They don’t want to appear to be pro-marijuana,” he said.

    In its only direct reference to hemp, Proposition 19 says the Legislature may “authorize the production of hemp or non-active cannabis.”

    That is pure political melody to Bronner, president of another pro-hemp group, the Hemp Industries Association.

    “I think the initiative would be very helpful,” said Bronner, who said his business costs would drop by 25 percent if he could cultivate hemp in California.

    Several states have passed legislation urging the federal government to legalize hemp and setting guidelines for a potential resurgence of cultivation.

    In 2006, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1147 by San Francisco Democrat Mark Leno and Irvine Republican Chuck DeVore to endorse hemp cultivation in California. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Leno, now a state senator, said he will introduce new hemp legislation if Proposition 19 passes.

    His earlier bill argued that hemp should be defined differently than marijuana because it is a not a mind-altering substance. While marijuana may contain 5 percent to 20 percent of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp has 0.3 percent or less.

    “They are distant biological cousins,” Leno said. “The analogy is that hemp has as much THC as the poppy seeds on your bagel have opium.”

    Nationally, growing hemp has essentially been illegal since marijuana was outlawed in 1937 – except for one notable period. In World War II, the U.S. Department of Agriculture produced a film – “Hemp for Victory” – that called on “patriotic farmers” to produce hemp for rope, fabrics and other “needs of our Army and Navy.”

    U.S. drug agents have since regarded the plant as an unwanted relative of pot. Authorities contend its similar appearance can shield illegal marijuana cultivation – though pot growers say hemp can cross-pollinate marijuana, killing its potency.

    Last year, Republican Rep. Ron Paul and Democratic Rep. Barney Frank introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act in Congress, seeking to give states the right to permit hemp growing.

    In a joint letter, Paul and Frank argued that hemp’s inclusion with marijuana in the Federal Controlled Substances Act has prohibited American farmers from “competing in the booming industrial hemp market.”

    That market is already booming for John Roulak. His Oxnard-based Nutiva food company – listed in Inc. magazine as one of America’s 5,000 fastest growing businesses – expects to earn $12 million this year on imports of hemp foods from “Hemp Ginger Salad Dressing” to hemp protein shakes and munchable hemp seeds.

    Sales of hemp foods – said to be high in fiber, protein and Omega-3 and Omega-6 – took off after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2004 that the Drug Enforcement Administration couldn’t ban foods containing the plant products.

    Roulak is torn over whether Proposition 19 and greater marijuana legalization will help with hemp.

    “I’ve been in the middle of that debate for too long,” he said. “I’m a voice of stay away from the dope (pot), stay focused on the rope (hemp).”

    Roulak said few people in California are willing to invest in growing acres of hemp – whose market value is far closer to corn than marijuana – for fear authorities will “have their fields cut down.”

    But he said passage of Proposition 19 would give political cover for the next governor to sign a bill legalizing cultivation.

    “We feel optimistic,” he said, “that a bill signed by the governor of California will give us more options legally than we have now.” By Peter Hecht. Source.