Sunday, October 18, 2009

Planting seeds of discontent

If I hadn't clicked on the link to Woody's blog Whiskey, Dogs & Weed to try to win his fabulous prize for being the 100,000 reader, I would have missed this item by my old friend Phil Smith about a terrific civil disobedience action at DEA HQ where some hemp activists "took shovels to the lawn and planted hemp seeds. Within a few minutes, they were arrested and charged with trespassing."
Hoping to focus the attention of the Obama administration on halting DEA interference, North Dakota farmer Wayne Hauge, Vermont farmer Will Allen, HIA President Steve Levine, hemp-based soap producer and Vote Hemp director David Bronner, Vote Hemp communications director Adam Eidinger, and hemp clothing company owner Isaac Nichelson were arrested in the action as another dozen or so supporters and puzzled DEA employees looked on.

"Who has a permit?" demanded a DEA security official. "A permit -- that's what we want from the DEA," Bronner responded.
Classic case of the DEA trumping state's rights here. Several states have authorized hemp farming and research but the DEA has been refusing to issue the licenses required to allow them to proceed. The irony is hemp products can be sold here legally but the plant can't be grown because the DEA refuses the acknowledge the vast difference between agricultural hemp and the psychotropic cannabis plant. "According to the hemp industry, it is currently importing about $360 million worth of hemp products each year from countries where hemp production is legal, including Canada, China, and several European nations." That's money that could be bolstering our lagging economy instead.

On a vaguely related note, I also stumbled onto Phil's report on the latest developments in Prince of Pot, Marc Emery's extradition case. Some four years after his arrest for selling cannabis seeds to US customers, he's in a Vancouver jail awaiting transfer to a US prison to fulfill the Bush era vendetta against marijuana smokers. Yet another waste of the US taxpayers' precious resources. Details on how you can help stop this travesty at the link.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]


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