Tuesday, November 3, 2009

North Dakota Farmer For Industrial Hemp

Time for a new course on industrial hemp

Posted: Sunday, November 1, 2009 2:00 am

I am a fourth generation farmer, grandfather of three, and have never
been arrested for anything. I traveled to Washington, D.C. to join hemp
business leaders in a symbolic planting of hemp seeds on DEA
headquarters' front lawn. This action was taken to raise awareness of
the distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana. Today non-dairy
milks, protein powders, cereals, soaps and lotions are made from the
nutritious omega 3 rich hemp seed, while everything from clothing to
building materials to automobile paneling is made from the fiber and
woody core.

Along with another North Dakota farmer and state Rep. David Monson, I am
involved in a lawsuit against DEA, now in the Eighth Circuit Court of
Appeals, to prevent DEA interference with licensed North Dakota farmers
cultivating and processing industrial hemp under North Dakota's state
industrial hemp program. However, it has been almost a year since the
case was given to the judges to decide if states can act without federal
government intervention.

I personally do not harbor a grudge nor have an agenda against the DEA,
I have the greatest respect for those who serve our country, whether
local police or members of the armed services who are now abroad. The
DEA is carrying out its Bush-era mandate to not allow cannabis in the
United States, just as any soldier given an order by a superior officer
and I respect that. It is time, however, to change the order and make
the international non-drug standard of 0.3% THC the point at which hemp
cultivars of cannabis are under control and regulation by USDA as an
agricultural crop.

The ideal immediate policy approach, similar to the recent medical
cannabis directive from the Dept. of Justice (that oversees the DEA)
directing DEA and US Attorneys to respect states' medical cannabis laws,
is for the DOJ to simply direct DEA to respect and not interfere with
state industrial hemp programs.

Further, Congress should pass legislation allowing cultivation of
industrial hemp under state industrial hemp programs. There is a hemp
bill currently in the House of Representatives that has not yet been
given a committee hearing because it needs more sponsors. I recently
sent a letter to my state's representative asking why if our state has
had such an overwhelming support for cultivation of industrial hemp by
both Democrats and Republicans, as well as the Governor of North Dakota,
that he has not co-sponsored that hemp farming bill. You too, regardless
of the state you live in, should contact your state's elected
representatives to sponsor this hemp farming bill and communicate with
the DOJ to change DEA policy.

Only when hemp is no longer deemed an illegal crop, can true R&D be done
and American farmers catch up with the rest of the world. Imagine a
house either built new or modified with hempcrete that is lighter yet
stronger than traditional wood frame construction, or hemp blown-in
insulation which resists pests and molds, and a wind generator in the
back yard with blades made with hemp fibers, and your daughter who goes
to her first school prom wearing a dress made of hemp. All this can be
done now, but imagine the possibilities when hemp is free to study in
universities across the US.

The time is now to change the order to DEA. Nine states have passed
legislation supporting cultivation of industrial hemp. The people
understand that hemp is simply a crop with great potential. Will hemp be
grown on a million acres? Not the first couple years, but other
countries are supplying the booming US market.

Do I have regrets for participating as one of the "Hemp Six" in
ceremonially seeding hemp on DEA's front lawn? No, I do not. I will,
however, not do it again. Like I told my sons when they were growing up,
"do a job right the first time." A video available at Vote Hemp's web
site (www.VoteHemp. com) shows the action; Vote Hemp represents thousands
of citizens, including farmers, businesses and consumers, who support
re-commercializing of industrial hemp as a sustainable profitable
rotation crop for American farmers. Vote Hemp sponsored my participation
in this event and has paid for my legal expenses in the law suit against

As you sit reading this and nodding your head in general agreement,
don't put off contacting your state's representatives to have Obama's
Department of Justice order DEA to stand down on actions against seeding
industrial hemp in the United States.

(Wayne Hauge is a fourth generation farmer from North Dakota who grows
barley, chickpeas, durum and lentils, and someday industrial hemp near

http://www.bismarck tribune.com/ news/columnists/ article_85211e5a -c56d-11d\
e-b17d-001cc4c002e0 .html

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