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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