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For Immediate Release
April 14, 2003

Contact Adam Eidinger / Mintwood Media at (202) 986-6186

Court Decision on Hemp Foods Expected This Week
Americans ‘Just Say No’ to DEA Attempts to Ban Hemp Food Products

SAN FRANCISCO, CA Vote Hemp expects the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to rule on a Motion to Stay the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) “Final Rule” on hemp food products by the end of this week. Hemp food products will be all-but-banned in the U.S. on April 21, 2003 without a Court Stay of new DEA hemp rules, and hemp advocates want the public and DEA agents responsible for the ban to taste what they will be missing. Citizens from around the country will be challenging the DEA’s “Final Rule” on hemp food products by visiting more than 70 DEA outposts for a picnic at noon on April 21, 2003.

The new “Final Rule,” issued on March 21, 2003, is virtually identical to an “Interpretive Rule” issued on October 9, 2001 that never went into effect because of a Ninth Circuit Stay issued on March 7, 2002. On March 28, 2003 the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), several hemp food and cosmetic manufacturers 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. Hemp advocates say that the public and Congress need to hear from outraged citizens.

“The Court’s decision will effectively make or break the hemp foods industry,” says David Bronner, Chair of the HIA’s Food and Oil Committee.

At lunchtime, hemp advocates and concerned citizens will set up tables with hemp food products and information near — not on — DEA property. “Our goal is to solicit participation from the public and DEA employees in taste tests and to provide a forum to highlight the absurdity of prohibiting hemp foods,” says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp.

WHO:  Citizens, Hemp Advocates, Vote Hemp
WHAT:  Nationwide Day of Action Challenging the DEA on Hemp Foods
WHERE:  Nationwide at DEA offices (for locations, call 202-232-8997)
WHEN: Monday, April 21, 2003 at noon

The DEA’s previous attempts to ban hemp foods prompted a major public outcry. Over 115,000 public comments were submitted to the DEA against their new rules. On December 4, 2001, Vote Hemp, working with students, nutritionists and hemp manufacturers, organized the first-ever “DEA Taste Tests” at DEA offices and natural food stores in 76 cities around the country in order to educate the public. In 2002, 25 members of Congress wrote the DEA telling the agency that their “Interpretive Rule” that attempts to ban edible hemp seed or oil products containing “any THC” is “overly restrictive.”

North American 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 any psychoactive effects or workplace drug-testing interference (see hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at 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, with retail sales of over $250 million worldwide, is a thriving commercial success. 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.

Visit to read court documents and numerous scientific studies concerning hemp foods. For more information or to arrange interviews with representatives of the hemp industry, please call Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186.





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