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OCA & Hemp Food Industry Battle DEA in Federal Court

U.S. Newswire

September 15, 2003 Monday

Hemp Food Industry Battles DEA in Federal Court;
Final Oral Arguments in San Francisco Sept. 17


News Advisory:

Lawyers representing 250 companies in the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) will make final oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals located at 95 Seventh Street, San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 17, at 4 p.m.

At the hearing, HIA lawyers will argue that the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) attempt to ban nutritious hemp foods misinterprets the Controlled Substances Act and violates the Administrative Procedures Act.

WHO:

Hemp Industries Association vs. Drug Enforcement Administration

WHAT:

Final Oral Arguments in Federal Court Over Legality of Hemp Food

WHEN:

Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 4 PM PDT

WHERE:

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 95 Seventh Street, San Francisco

If this new "Final Rule" were to take effect, it would ban hemp seed and oil and consequently destroy the multimillion-dollar hemp food industry. Due to a Court ordered Stay, hemp foods remain perfectly legal to import, sell and consume while the Court hears arguments and renders a decision. The hemp industry expects a decision on the "Final Rule" in the next six months.

Background Re: HIA vs. DEA in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals The DEA's "Final Rule," issued on March 21, 2003, is virtually identical to an "Interpretive Rule" issued by the DEA on October 9, 2001 that never went into effect because of a Ninth Circuit Stay issued on March 7, 2002. The hemp industry won a major victory against the DEA on June 30, 2003 when the Ninth Circuit invalidated the "Interpretative Rule." On March 28, 2003 the HIA and the Organic Consumers Association petitioned the Ninth Circuit to once again prevent the DEA from ending the legal sale of hemp seed and oil products in the U.S. through their "Final Rule" and on April 16, 2003, the Ninth Circuit again issued a Stay.

U.S. hemp food companies voluntarily observe reasonable THC limits similar to those adopted by European nations as well as Canada and Australia. These limits protect consumers with a wide margin of safety from workplace drug-testing interference (see hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at http://www.testpledge.com). The DEA has hypocritically not targeted food manufacturers for using poppy seeds (in bagels and muffins, for example) even though they contain far higher levels of trace opiates. The recently revived global hemp market is a thriving commercial success. Numerous personal care products now use hemp as a key ingredient in skin cream, lip balm and soap. If upheld, the DEA rule could prohibit the importation of hemp oil, effectively denying these personal care companies a key ingredient in their products. Unfortunately, because the DEA's Drug War paranoia has confused non-psychoactive industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive "marihuana" varieties, the U.S. is the only major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing of industrial hemp.
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Visit http://www.votehemp.com/media.html to read scientific studies of hemp foods and see court documents. For more information or to arrange interviews with representatives of the hemp industry, call Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186 or 202-744-2671 (cell). http://www.usnewswire.com
 
CONTACT: Adam Eidinger, 202-744-2671 (mobile)

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