In a not so surprising move, U.S. District Judge Dan Hovland said he would decide by the end of the month, whether to throw out the case of two North Dakota farmers who want to grow industrial hemp under state law, or instruct the DEA to let it happen.
The action took place in Federal Court today, and according to a report from KFYR-TV in Bismarck, ND. the judge said it might be better for changes in federal law to amend the definition of “industrial hemp”. To this observer, that would end any hopes of legalizing industrial hemp anytime soon, maybe in our lifetimes.
Two bills have been introduced in congress, both by Texas Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), calling for a change in the law decriminalizing industrial hemp. The first, introduced in 2005, died before getting to the floor, and the second, H.R. 1009 also seems destined for the circular file due to inaction. Let’s face it, it’s election time, and I doubt very many lawmakers up for reelection at this time would dare stick their necks out in favor of taking a stand for legalizing industrial hemp.
Two North Dakota farmers, Dave Monson and Wayne Hauge sued the federal government claiming the state of North Dakota has set up regulations giving farmers the right to cultivate hemp for commercial purposes. The DEA wants the case thrown out of court, something the judge declined to do today.
If you’ll recall I promised to follow up on the court hearing after my first blog Opinion: California Governor Nixes Industrial Hemp While North Dakota Moves On. Judge Hovland did not set a date for this decision, but we’ll stay on top and keep you informed.
In the meantime another action against the DEA, this time by North Dakota State University as outlined in this story, Another North Dakota “David” Challenges the DEA apparently did not get a hearing today. Again, we’ll keep you up to date.
Will it ever happen? Will the DEA or our government ever give up their stranglehold on this most versatile and sustainable crop? Again, I refer you to Vote Hemp, if you’re interested and join in their crusade to legalize industrial hemp.