Pubdate: Thu, 11 Apr 2002
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Poughkeepsie Journal
Author: Jen Rog


On Oct. 9, 2001, without public notice, the Drug Enforcement Administration 
issued an interpretive rule making illegal hemp foods containing harmless 
infinitesimal traces of naturally occurring tetrahydrocann-abinol (THC), 
the active ingredient in marijuana, under the Controlled Substances Act. 
Because trace THC poses no drug abuse potential, Congress had exempted 
non-viable hemp seed and oil from control under the act like poppy seeds 
containing harmless trace opiates.

Sterilized hemp seeds, available in the United States for decades, are an 
exceptional source of protein, and two essential fatty acids. Independent 
studies confirm that trace THC found in popular hemp foods cannot cause 
psychoactivity or other health effects, or result in a confirmed positive 
urine test for marijuana, even when unrealistically high amounts of hemp 
seed and oil are consumed daily. Popular hemp foods include oil, hulled 
seed, pretzels, tortilla chips, energy bars, waffles, bread, salad 
dressing, cereal, ice cream and even non-dairy milk.

The DEA's ban of U.S. hemp food sales clearly conflicts with NAFTA. The DEA 
provided no notice to U.S. trading partners or foreign companies to provide 
input into its ruling; conducted no risk assessment; and has not similarly 
regulated poppy seeds and their trace opiates.

This misguided reinterpretation of an already existing law proposed by the 
DEA costs the cottage hemp industry billions of dollars, and now will cost 
American taxpayers who knows how much? Why?


Jen Rog, New Paltz
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