Federal Judge Daniel Hovland has dismissed the case brought by two North Dakota farmers who want to grow industrial hemp in that state. In his decision, the judge said the issue needs to be addressed in Congress rather than in the courts.
State licensed farmers David Monson and Wayne Hauge filed the lawsuit in June, hoping to end the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) ban on commercial hemp farming in America. Lawyers for the farmers, according to a release from Vote Hemp, are considering an appeal on a number of issues, especially since the court ruled that any hemp was marijuana, as claimed by the DEA.
Scientific evidence has shown that industrial hemp will produce no psychoactive effects if ingested. DEA lawyers stated during the court hearing earlier this month that if the plant contains THC in any level, no matter how minute, it is marijuana, and hence illegal to grow. That, they said, is the way the law is written, and Judge Hovland agreed with the DEA’s position.
The DEA has, according to Vote Hemp, sent a “Memorandum of Agreement” to North Dakota State University (NDSU) which would, if signed by the school, allow them to grow industrial hemp
for research purposes. NDSU originally requested permission to study hemp eight years ago, but never heard from the feds.
So again, the DEA wins and American farmers, business and the public will have to buy hemp products from foreign sources. A bill has been introduced in Congress, defining industrial hemp and taking it out of the “drug” category. However, it is still in committee with no known hope of advancement to the floor before the next Congress convenes in 2009. Then, the process will have to start all over again.