The Coaltion To Save Hemp: Overview On DEA Proposals to Ban Hemp
As Americans have become more health and environmentally conscious, the demand
for hemp products has grown substantially. Hemp seed oil is one of the best
natural sources of the two essential fatty acids that our bodies can't
manufacture and we just can't live without. In addition to its health
properties, hemp oil has potential as an alternative to petroleum-based fuels
and plastics, and its fiber could replace trees as the primary source of pulp
for paper and timber for construction. Perhaps most importantly, hemp can be
grown without the use of chemical pesticides because of its natural resistance
Indeed, the future potential of hemp seems boundless, but dangerous obstacles
lie ahead. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is currently working
to make many hemp products illegal, including nutritional supplements and hair
and skin care products. The DEA wants to ban any hemp product that is ingested
or applied topically.
Since hemp products contain naturally occurring trace amounts of THC -- the main
psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana -- the DEA says hemp products must be
outlawed because they are confounding the federal drug testing programs. For the
record, hemp products do not cause a psychoactive "high." Similarly, eating
poppy seeds does not have the same effect on a person that consuming heroin
does, yet consumers of poppy seeds sometimes test positive for opiates.
Of note, the Department of Justice, in a letter to the DEA, reported that the
THC levels in hemp products are too low to trigger the psychoactive high
associated with marijuana, and they are not purchased, sold, or marketed with
the intent of having a psychoactive effect.
The DEA's main argument is that the consumption of hemp products and the use of
marijuana are indistinguishable in drug tests, and that diminishes the
government's ability to identify marijuana users through current tests.
Contrary to the DEA's position, recent evidence shows that the consumption of
hemp products does not affect the outcome of drug tests. A study commissioned by
the Canadian government concluded that "persons who frequently consume food
items containing hemp seeds and oil are very unlikely to fail a workplace urine
test for marijuana."
Any day now, the DEA will formally propose its new regulations to ban numerous
hemp products. While most new regulations must undergo a 30-day public comment
period, it is unclear whether the DEA will allow any opportunity for comment
whatsoever. There is no time to waste.
Coalition to Save Hemp, overview
DEA getting close to *banning* hemp foods and cosmetic products!
Letter sent by CSH on 1/12/01
The DEA has now officially announced that it intends to ban most hemp
products in the United States, including food made from sterile (non-
psychoactive) hemp seeds and hemp-based personal-care products.
Whether or not you expressed your outrage in October when we first
heard about the DEA's plans, please visit http://www.SaveHemp.org now
to send an updated pre-written letter to all of your elected officials
and the DEA.
(Many legislators who are now in office were not in office in October.
In addition, legislators who contacted the DEA in October on behalf of
their constituents were told that there wasn't any official proposal
to ban hemp -- which is no longer true. Visit http://www.SaveHemp.org
to send your second round of letters today!)
Under the DEA's proposed regulation, literally millions of Americans
will be criminalized for possessing shampoos, lotions, and soaps that
have the slightest amount of naturally occurring THC, the primary
active ingredient in marijuana. (It is impossible to get a
psychoactive effect from hemp-based shampoos and soaps, but the DEA is
proposing to ban them nevertheless.)
Those who are arrested for shampoo or soap will face up to one year in
federal prison and a $10,000 fine -- the same penalties they would
face if they were arrested for possessing a small amount of marijuana.
If someone is arrested with a stockpile of (currently legal) hemp
products that weighs hundreds of pounds, it stands to reason that
the defendant would face a 5- or 10-year mandatory minimum prison
sentence -- or even the death penalty -- under federal law.
There are already 700,000 arrests every year in the U.S. for marijuana
offenses. Our nation's beleaguered criminal justice system doesn't
need the additional strain of processing 100,000's of additional
arrests that will result from the illegal possession of non-
psychoactive shampoos and soaps.
We don't need another front in our nation's failed war on drugs.
Please oppose the DEA's hemp ban before it is allowed to take effect.
Coalition to Save Hemp
P.S. Please distribute this message as widely as you can. Thank you!
Joel Miller's random fire
Get hemp to the jive
Joel Miller, WorldNetDaily.com (US Web)
With the DEA threatening to ban nonintoxicating hemp products for various,
spurious reasons, I think it's wise to take a quick look at what we'll be losing
if we allow this unconstitutional powergrab to go forward.
Making an end-run around the legislative process, the DEA will accomplish its
hemp ban by bureaucratic fiat -- administrative rule -- and entirely skirt
Congress, the constitutionally vested body for making laws. Not only does this
outrageous move show flaming contempt for our representative form of government
-- sidestepping those properly responsible to, and empowered by, the people to
make laws -- but it also shows a grossly asinine attitude about an amazingly
In the next few days, I plan to use this space to catalogue just some of the
valuable uses of the hemp plant and why the DEA and its supporters should think
more than twice about banning its use.
Hemp as food. While the idea of wolfing down products from a plant related to
marijuana might strike someone as a bit odd, there's little to fear. Because
hemp has less than 1 percent THC, it's harmless in the dope category. What hemp
does offer, however, are big pluses in the health category.
Hemp seed oil is a tremendously good source for the two essential fatty acids
our bodies need but do not produce: omega 3s and omega 6s. What's more, despite
the fact that these fatty acids can be found in some other sources, as Dr.
Andrew Weil of the University of Arizona College of Medicine pointed out in a
March-April 1993 article for Natural Health magazine, hemp oil contains the best
ratio of omega 3s to 6s -- one to three.
A widely respected author of numerous books and articles, Dr. Weil points out
that "Deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can lead to skin diseases, heart disease
and inflammatory conditions along with premature aging and disorders of the
central nervous system." Further, he recommends a good intake of omega 3s "to
promote cardiovascular health and protect against many cancers, including breast
And where do you get your vital fatty acids?
"Omega-3's come primarily from salmon, herring, sardines and other oily fish
from cold waters, as well as from egg yolks. ..." While flaxseed will also work
well, "the best source of omega-3's in the vegetable kingdom is hemp seeds." For
those who are inclined toward vegetarianism, who are worried about environmental
toxins in animal sources of omega 3s, or who are allergic to them (like yours
truly), hemp is a Godsend for maintaining good health.
Beyond that, hemp seeds are a prime vegetable source for complete proteins,
containing all eight essential amino acids -- and according to some, hemp seeds
taste better than their vegetable-protein rival, soy, while also being more
Further, as Weil's 1993 article keenly points out, hemp seeds are the only
edible seeds to contain a very rare nutrient -- gamma linoleic acid, or GLA,
which is an active agent in lowering cholesterol. Babies are, of course, fairly
hip on GLA, since one of the primary methods of getting the nutrient is through
our mother's milk.
But since nursing is out for most of us well-adjusted ruddy Americans, the
question arises about how best to ingest this oh-so healthy vegetable wonder.
Dr. Weil recommends simple roasting and eating the seeds. Indeed, the restaurant
Cheba Hut in Tempe, Ariz., shells and roasts its own hemp seeds for its brownies
Whole hemp seeds can be used for snacks, in cooking, even roasted and mixed in
Processed hemp seeds can be used to make non-dairy milk, various styles of
cheese and ice cream, or ground up and used in spreads similar to peanut butter.
After the seeds have been crushed for their oil, they can be processed into
protein powder (hemp seed meal contains about 25 percent protein), baking flour
and can even be used in brewing beer.
Unrefined hemp oil can be taken daily as a dietary supplement or used in salad
dressings and cooking in place of other vegetable oils.
For topical dry-skin care, refined hemp oil can be made into lotions and creams
for your parched epidermis and can even be used to treat skin conditions like
eczema and psoriasis. Skin-friendly soaps are also easily made from hemp oil;
mentioned only for the sake of infamy, Dr. Bronner's "magic soaps" contain hemp
"Eventually," writes Eric Searleman in the Oct. 5, 2000, Arizona Republic, "even
desperately behind-the-curve companies like Franco-American and Campbell's may
jump on the hemp bandwagon. Who knows? Maybe someday there will even be a hemp
roll-up treat for kids."
Unfortunately, if the DEA has its druthers, kids will go to jail for eating
those hemp roll-ups. And, unlike hemp, jail is not nearly so healthy.
Joel Miller is the commentary editor of WorldNetDaily.
© 2001 WorldNetDaily.com (US Web)
WND, Joel Miller's Random Fire
Also visit http://www.globalhemp.com for many up to date, informative articles
on the American hemp crisis.