Monson vs. DEA – North Dakota Hemp License

On June 18, 2007  two North Dakota farmers who had been granted state hemp farming licenses, Rep. David Monson and Wayne Hauge, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota in an effort to end the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) obstruction of commercial hemp farming in the United States. The legal actions requested that state licensed hemp farmers receive assurances that no federal agency could hold them criminally liable under the Controlled Substances Act. Ultimately the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the DEA had the authority to regulate hemp as marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Vote Hemp supporters funded the legal action.

Below we have archived many of the case filings, supporting documents, the published U.S. Court of Appeals opinion, video of the press conference, audio recordings of the oral arguments and a teleconference with the plaintiffs and others involved in the case.

You can search our press releases page for Vote Hemp statements on the Monson v DEA case.

Please also see our North Dakota page for the industrial hemp legislative history of North Dakota.

Video – Monson v DEA Press Conference – November 14, 2007

On June 18, 2007 the two North Dakota farmers granted state hemp farming licenses, Rep. David Monson and Wayne Hauge, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota in an effort to end the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) obstruction of commercial hemp farming in the United States. If successful, the legal action would result in licensed hemp farmers receiving assurances that no federal agency could hold them criminally liable under the Controlled Substances Act. Vote Hemp’s grassroots supporters are funding the legal action.

Please click below to listen to a recording of the June 18, 2007 teleconference discussing the filing case of Monson vs DEA. Participants were: Rep. David Monson, North Dakota House assistant majority leader, farmer; Wayne Hauge, Seed breeder, licensed hemp farmer; Roger Johnson, North Dakota agriculture commissioner; Tim Purdon, Vogel Law Firm, Bismarck, attorney for the plaintiffs; Joe Sandler, legal counsel for Vote Hemp; Eric Steenstra, president, Vote Hemp.

On May 18, 2010, North Dakota’s Speaker of the House, David Monson, and North Dakota farmer Wayne Hauge filed a legal action against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The DEA has delayed the approval of the farmers’ applications for federal licenses to grow industrial hemp for more than 3 years. Both farmers have recieved state liscenses to grow hemp for the past four growing seasons under North Dakota’s industrial hemp program. Monson and Hauge are seeking federal registrations that would enable them to cultivate oilseed and fiber varieties as farmers in Canada and Europe already do.

For over a decade, North Dakotans have tried to implement non-drug industrial hemp farming under a state licensing program. Even though the state does not require farmers to obtain permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to grow hemp, Monson and Hauge have done so to ensure their farms will not be raided by federal drug control agents.

Petition for Review – Monson v. DEA (PDF 152kb)
David Monson v. Drug Enforcement Administration – United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – May 18, 2010

Petition for Review – Hauge v. DEA (PDF 160kb)
Wayne Hauge v. Drug Enforcement Administration – United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – May 18, 2010

Opinion – U.S. Court of Appeals Case No: 07-3837 (PDF 52kb)   
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit – District of North Dakota – Bismarck – December 22, 2009 [PUBLISHED] [Bowman, Author, with Melloy and Smith, Circuit Judges]
Civil case – Controlled Substances Act. District court did not err in concluding the cannabis plants plaintiffs proposed to cultivate fell within the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana and that their planned cultivation of industrial hemp under North Dakota state law was subject to federal regulation under the Controlled Substances Act; plaintiffs had standing to challenge the Act because they established they were targets of DEA action and showed actual injury sufficient to confer standing; their claims were ripe for review, and the district court did not err in finding that further efforts to exhaust the DEA’s administrative procedures would be futile; Congress has the authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate marijuana that is grown on a large scale for the undeniably commercial purpose of generating products for sale in interstate commerce; Congress’s decision to regulate the manufacture of all marijuana plants – regardless of the grower’s ultimate purpose – was a rational means of achieving the congressional purpose of controlling the supply and demand for controlled substances and state law restrictions, such as prohibiting the plant from leaving the farmer’s property, did not place the cultivation beyond Congress’s reach.

Monson v DEA – Oral Arguments – Case 07-3837 (mp3 7.8mb)
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit – November 12, 2008

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota in Civil Case No. 4:07-cr042 (PDF 960kb)
Filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit – February 19, 2008

Monson v DEA – Order Granting Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss  (PDF 92kb)
Order by the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota – November 29, 2007

Monson v DEA – Transcript of Proceeding (PDF 1mb)
Taken at United States Courthouse, Bismarck, North Dakota before the Honorable Daniel L. Hovland, United States District Judge – November 14, 2007

Monson v DEA – Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgement (PDF 352k)
Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota – October 26, 2007

Monson v DEA – Brief Of Amicus Curiae (PDF 3.1mb)
North Dakota State University In Support Of Plaintiffs’ Cross-Motion For Summary Judgement And In Opposition To Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss. Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota – October 25, 2007

Monson v DEA – Brief in Opposition to Defendants’ Rule 12(b) Motion to Dismiss and DEA In Support of Plaintiffs’ Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment (PDF 164kb)
Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota – September 19, 2007

Also included with the September 19, 2007 filing were: Exhibit A: Affidavit of David Monson (PDF 704kb); Exhibit B: Affidavit of Wayne Hauge (PDF 664kb); Exhibit C: Dr. T. Randall Fortenberry (PDF 1.6mb); Exhibit D: Declaration of Gero Leson (PDF 196kb); Exhibit E: Affidavit of Burton Johnson (PDF 964kb).

Monson v DEA – Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss and Defendants’ Statement Of Material Facts Not In Dispute (PDF 1.5mb)
Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota – August 20, 2007

North Dakota State University letter to DEA (PDF 176kb)
The letter is in support of the Application of David C. Monson as a Manufacturer of Controlled Substances. The letter is signed by Associate Professor Burton Johnson, Ph.D. and Dean and Director Kenneth Grafton – July 27, 2007

Monson v DEA – Civil Action – Complaint for Declatory Judgement (PDF 120kb)
Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota – June 18, 2007