Published on February 19th, 2008 | by Max Lindberg

North Dakota's Hemp Battle Continues

hemp.JPGTwo North Dakota farmers, State Representative David Monson and Wayne Hauge, have taken their fight to legalize hemp farming to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

The pair, licensed by the state to grow industrial hemp, filed a federal lawsuit last year, asking that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ban on industrial hemp farming in North Dakota be lifted. The court dismissed the suit in late November, saying industrial hemp and marijuana are the same, a contention the DEA will not consider changing.

According to a release from Vote Hemp, the appeal asks the court to rule in favor of the farmers, allowing the State of North Dakota to regulate the growth of industrial hemp under it’s existing laws.

Hemp farming in America has been banned by the DEA for 50 years, even though, according to the release,

“Scientific evidence shows that industrial hemp, which includes the oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis that would be grown pursuant to North Dakota law, is genetically distinct from the drug varieties of Cannabis, and has absolutely no use as a recreational drug”.

A copy of the appeal is available in a PDF file at the Vote Hemp website.

Several other states, most notably California, passed legislation to allow cultivation of industrial hemp, but have been unable to get past the DEA’s stubborn refusal to change it’s stance on the subject.

California legislators approved a bill, as we stated, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the legislation, repeating almost word for word the DEA’s position on the subject without leaving open a door to confront the DEA as the North Dakota farmers have done.

Way to go, Arnold.

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About the Author

My home state is Illinois, and my hometown a little railroad/farming community named Galesburg.We lived on a small farm during my high school years and I became very aware of nature and it's wonders. I loved the out of doors, working with animals, plowing fields and harvesting crops. Those were very good years.After a stint in the Army during the Korean war my broadcasting career took off at the local radio station, a 250 watt "teapot" as it was called in those days. My first job was as an engineer, then the ham came out and I became an announcer/newsman, graduating after several years to a larger market and a stint as a TV journalist/photographer. Cold, wet weather led me to the southwest where I've lived for most of the last 40 years, with a couple of years out to have fun working as a private investigator in San Francisco, and a few years working in Las Vegas hotels and casinos. In all, its been a real ride.After retiring a few years back I became fascinated with the efforts being made to find alternative energy sources. I've watched our environment deteriorate during my lifetime, and now it's my chance to join the chorus of intelligent and caring individuals making a difference one day at a time.

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