8th Circuit Court rules industrial hemp is still marijuana

(Courthouse News Service) – Two North Dakota farmers failed to convince the 8th Circuit that cannabis grown for industrial hemp is not technically marijuana and should not be regulated under federal law.
The court in St. Louis upheld dismissal of the farmers’ lawsuit seeking a declaration that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not apply to industrial-use cannabis.
The appeals court pointed out that the Act defines marijuana to include all cannabis plants, regardless of the THC concentration.
“The CSA likewise makes no distinction between cannabis grown for drug use and that grown for industrial use,” Judge Pasco Bowman wrote.
The three-judge panel rejected the notion that industrial hemp is not marijuana under the Act, or that Congress has no authority to regulate their state-sanctioned cultivation of cannabis.
Judge Bowman said Congress had a “rational basis” for regulating the cultivation of all cannabis plants in order to effectively regulate marijuana.

The “rational basis” here is that North Dakota farmers can’t grow tall, reedy hemp plants that could never ever get anyone high, because that will confuse the law enforcement officials who are working to eradicate short bushy cannabis plants that are grown to get people high. Somehow, in Australia, Canada, and China to name a few countries, police who are tasked with eradicating illegal cannabis in those countries that have legal hemp have no difficulty whatsoever distinguishing the two crops, but American police are just baffled by basic agriculture.

Silly as it sounds, that’s the court’s argument. We’d never be able to “effectively regulate marijuana” if farmers were growing hemp. Not that we’re actually “effectively regulating marijuana” now. Prohibition of marijuana is the absence of regulation — no regulations on who can buy it, who can sell it, where it can be sold, what age you must be to purchase it, where it can be used, what THC potency is allowed, whether the crop can be grown with certain pesticides and fertilizers, and what penalties should be leveled for failure to follow the regulations. Yes, there are laws against marijuana that makes all of those actions a crime, but by definition you can only regulate something that is legal.
Prohibition doesn’t make those actions go away, it just makes them crimes. Therefore, those actions are occurring in an unregulated manner. So how is it, again, that growing an industrial hemp plant is preventing the government from regulating something that prohibition made unregulated?

0 thoughts

  1. Maybe we should send the whole judicial system to agricultural school. That would be another reason to keep it illegal, we’d have to pay to support that too!

  2. I hope the GREEN ECONOMY comes to Montana. There is a woman who obtained her state license to grow hemp and is prepared to plant this coming spring in Ennis, MT. 140 leased acres does not sound too bad. I hope to see her crop, if the DEA lets her!!!

  3. I`m terrified. These idiots are making the rules of this country. We need a slate cleaning. PLEASE vote these morons out.

  4. Thats what law enforcement/government does best..claim ignorance when the situation doesnt benfit them or puts them in a bad light.Ignorance is no longer and acceptable excuse. It worked when the public wasnt wise to their tactics, these days that wont hold water.
    I hear theres a possiblity of serious solar flares in the coming years. Serious enough to cause emp type disruptions in electronics effectively throwing the world back to the stone age. Maybe thats what it will take , a big smack to the side of the head of humanity . A way of nature saying, You petty squabbles mean nothing . Maybe then this world will pull its head out of it back side.

  5. All the farmers in America should be given a handfull of seeds. If laws aren’t following the public conscious, It’s everyones responsibility to defy those laws. It’s time to save democracy or or officially call it dead.

  6. lest we forget that industrial hemp provides unwanted competition with paper and textile producers of other sorts. and of course american cops can’t tell the difference, most of them can’t find their own ass with a flashlight and a map!

  7. Big pharma may have contributed to this. after all, Hemp=cheap effective medicine with minimal side effects.

  8. So three judges get to decide the fate of these farmers. Brilliant! Bet there would have been some sort of turn out of people if it wasn’t the dead of winter there.
    It’s insane for North Dakota to act this way. They are probably the least populated state in the U.S. and the cops most likely know each and every farmer on a first name basis.
    There’s more to the story here besides their bogus concerns.

  9. I find it interesting and disappointing that we are the number one consumer of hemp products, and yet we can’t grow it here without prejudice. FYI, hops are a member of the Cannabaceae family. Yet they are completely legal to grow. Hopefully nobody tries to smoke it. Might mean yet another fruitless DEA move to make it illegal as well.
    It’s also strange that possession of hemp oil,clothing, and fibers are legal, but growing it isn’t.(without prejudice) Such wonderful products can be made from hemp. I believe its around 25,000 and counting. I pray, that for the sake of our economy, our country(DEA) wakes-up and smells the truth.

  10. Maybe we should make all poppies classified as Herion poppies in the USA and all Corn to be classified as illegal Stilling grains for moonshiners. either of these choices would be just as logical as these idiot judges rulings.Anyone who is pro-prohibition is Clearly Anti-American……No less.

  11. After the disapointment of this ,Lets keep the momentum going .As much as 2009 has brought in the Cannabis reform,2010 will be “OUR” year.The goal is just over the horizon and the Hemp movement as well as the Medical Marijuana is rolling( pun intended) along.”We the people”. Regulize, Happy New Year

  12. They are right. The whole “hemp” versus “marijuana” language and dialog is BS. Crap. Hemp = cannabis = marijuana End of argument.
    In China, Australia and Canada it is not what you are growing that makes the difference between “hemp” and “marijuana”, but who is growing it and why.
    Now, let’s go on to changing the laws so that as little regulation as possible is necessary. Why should anyone have to worry about any kind of regulation of cannabis growing if they are not going to sell the crop for anything but fiber or seed? Regulation should be at the point of distribution, not before the seed goes in the ground. Let the farmers grow any kind of cannabis they want as long as they keep the flower and leaf on the farm, mulched under or whatever else they are doing with the flower and leaf now.
    Then, those who do intend to grow for distribution of flower and leaf, regulate and control that if that’s the best that people can stand.

  13. It’s time for Native Americans to step up.Obama’s promise to not interfere with states where medical marijuana is legal should also apply to states where hemp farming is legal.This should also apply to sovereign lands owned by Native Americans.

  14. And with all due respect…and for the record…This kind of thing is happening in the XXI st century.Judge Pasco Bowman: only you but only you understand what is going on in between your two ears but if I were you and this is friendly advice,I would seek help and consult.Also I feel sorry for you that your education failed to make you an intelligent man.

  15. As I have said all this year, JURY NULLIFICATION! It is the key to getting our liberty back. It is this act that the citizens can use to rule over or overrule their wayward government agents/employees. We/employers must teach this important American concept to every American, young and old alike, if we wish to free those held unujustly by our wayward government.
    We as a society or sub-society must force this wayward government to chance to the will of the people. we can do this peacefully by taking our seeds that we throw in the trash and plant them in the face of this wayward government. By passively and peacefully planting your hemp seed in the face of the unjust will help bring this issue to a head. Media will not be able to ignor the tens of thousands of plants popping up on main street, court house lawns, and other government held property sitting in plain view.
    After this issue is pushed into the main media focus by the two acts listed above we as a sub-culture in this society file a Class Action Writ and a Class Action Title 42 1983-1986 in every Federal Judicial District in the United States. It will not matter if we win these cases or not, we will load down the Court System forcing them into open debate and Jury held cases over this Constructive Fraud placed on the people when our Congress unlawfully abrogated our liberty and misunderstood our Constitution.
    2010 should be the year we set the goal of freeing our brothers and sisters from these unjust acts of government. 2010 should be the year we set to push harder and faster upon the branches of government to correct this injustice.
    2010 is the Year of Jury Nullification on Cannabis. This should be the year we free ourselves from the tyrants who act so unjust and lie about the facts.
    Please send the word out this New Years, let the Americans know that the change is now, this coming year, no more tomarrows, it is today. Lets make the New Years resolution to be not for ourselves but for those unjustly held in our prison system. This year we as a sub-culture of American Society will make space in our overcrowded prison systems by freeing all those unjustly held for their part in the unlawful Cannabis laws.
    Lets make some noise, lets charge down the tracks with the truth in one hand and our Constitution in the other.
    Just think about what I have said here, we can bring this issue to a much needed close and we can and will have our liberty as we define it not how the wayward government defines it. Are you out there? Do you hear this cry for change? Then let US act as one voice and change this situation once and for ALL of US.
    Stomped On My Rights is a Son of Liberty and will settle for nothing less.
    The time is TODAY!

  16. #18 Paul: You said, “Why should anyone have to worry about any kind of regulation of cannabis growing if they are not going to sell the crop for anything but fiber or seed?”
    Ask the farmers who have a binding contract with Monsanto, they are obligated to buy Monsanto’s seeds. Idaho is a perfect example, next time you buy french fries from McD or a number of other fast food joints think about the BT that’s sprayed on them or the GMO potatoes they are required to grow. BTW, BT is poison and it disrupts the digestive system of the potatoe beetle. (and I think the pesticide is called BT, not positive, but you get the point of what it does).

  17. Obama’s a conservative and this bs will continue to take place until we get liberal. We’re a conservative country and it’s disheartening.

  18. sorry to burst the bubble on those that think that anything will change. the government isn’t about the people, it’s about money, greed, and power– and then they get the women! just follow politics vigorously for a week or more and u will see how corrupt it really is.
    yes, we have ballot initiatives to legalize. but will enough people that want it legalized vote? probably not. a huge majority don’t vote thanks to the government; they tell u what to think, feel, and behave through corporate-run media that doubles as lobbyists feeding the machine to keep u uninformed. it wont change unless the entire system is gutted. that will only happen through revolution, which in this country, a fleeting thought at best.
    most that already grow or use wont vote–too much money to be made by having it illegal.
    if, somehow, people woke up in california and voted to legalize, then maybe the reform that is needed could happen through countless law suits. yay. i wont be counting on anything as the government has shown repeatedly how corrupt and uncaring they really are. MONEY<CONTROL<POWER<WOMEN—keep voting for these people- yeah, the fools in power now….it will work when this country is completely destroyed politically and the power will reside within the people, for the people. or, dont vote and get the same results.

  19. As long as the anti-marijuana lobbies are paying our legislators to keep marijuana schedule 1,we the people,will have to take our right to the pursuit of happiness from the federal government one state at a time.
    With the recently added fiasco of health reform,that all polls showed to be disapproved of by the majority of Americans,our legislators still passed it.
    We must capitalize on their arrogance and disregard for what America wants. Now is the time to replace those anti-marijuana senators and representatives that
    have added more people to their list of unsatisfied
    We need to be actively campaigning against them,using marijuana legalization and their blunder of passing this health reform bill as the reason they need to go
    and in some instances,just the health reform will work.
    Not sure if your legislators are anti-marijuana,write them about medical marijuana,id you get a letter back that marijuana is schedule 1 and they refuse to support it is one way. Another is to go to opensecrets.org website and search your legislators
    lobby contributors. If they are receiving large donations from the pharmaceutical lobby or the banking industry,they are probably going to vote against any marijuana reform.
    Both the senators from my state receive monies from these lobbies,and both refuse to support marijuana reform.
    Ron Paul and Barney Franks,both major supporters of marijuana reform,receive $0 from those lobbies.
    It may not be a 100% accurate way to verify your legislators support but it is a very good indicator of the way their stick floats and how they will vote on the issue.
    And we don’t have to replace all of them to achieve our goal,but if we can replace enough of them,it will send a message to the others.
    I am already campaigning against my legislators and since the health reform vote,more people than ever are agreeing it is time to replace the ones in my state.

  20. I recently drove by some cotton fields in Georgia. the amount of fiber mass produced per a plant is tiny. Hemp gives massive stocks in such a small space with no fertilzers nor pesticides neeeded. Hemp for victory!!!

  21. Quote:
    “Judge Bowman said Congress had a “rational basis” for regulating the cultivation of all cannabis plants in order to effectively regulate marijuana.”
    HEY DIPSHIT!! “Knock” “Knock” YO,MORONS!!!Congress Has NOT ONE “Rational” Regulation in place, Marijuana has NEVER been effectively regulated yet, If it were, We would not be having a problem with this issue, Actually it is the Most Unregulated substance out there because it is listed as Illegal.
    Obviously you all are saying that American Cops are too Stupid to tell the difference but in other Countries their Cops ARE smart enough, Just WHAT does that say about the intelligence of our Law enforcement Officers in America today?

  22. I’ve been wondering; did the United States sign any treaties about industrial hemp around the time that the 1937 marihuana tax act was introduced? Like other stupid laws in this country, this may be tied to some agricultural treaty that we made with another country many, many years ago. I would think the government would know how to break a contract that sucks.

  23. Lea #24, Nobody is twisting the arms of farmers to sign contracts to buy seeds. But on the other hand, law enforcement is always poised to grab anyone who is trying to grow cannabis. The issue is confused by the corrupt licenses that exists to: A. Sell cannabis for recreational purposes under the pretense of “medical marijuana”. B. Grow and sell cannabis under the false pretense that it is some special kind of cannabis (“Hemp”) that will not get you high.

  24. LoL to those who voted for that whole change slogan.. You can’t expect change by electing Bush 3.0 and voting 90% incumbents in the house and senate. You need to vote AGAINST all incumbents despite party. This might not initially solve everything, but it will prove that we will end their career when they do not listen to us… and by the next election cycle we will have honest representatives.

  25. good bye monsantos, potash, agrium, oil, big pharma. authority forces jobs become too difficult to complete safely. Enforcement of actually dangerous people or things..
    At the end of the day might we all be reminded once more 450,000 die every from tobacco
    85,000 – alcohol related
    20-40k – alcohol/vehicle deathes,
    10-20k – over the counter/prescription meds.
    0- from cannabis.
    facts are facts. truth is many jobs would be lost.. ultimately those jobs that would be lost, SHOULD NOT EXIST. NEVER should have. I dont think cannabis could right the economy but, it can make your future secure after a period of risk. but use your imagination and play it out.

  26. Remember #36 Jason, it was taxing and regulating that turned the Tobacco business into the poison business. Look into the history of it. Sure Tobacco is harmful, but it wasn’t until government intervention that we had additives! Do you want the marijuana business to also fall into the poison business!!???!!!??
    Please, in 2010, do not vote for the federal taxing and regulation of marijuana!!! There should be no special sin tax on marijuana beyond standard sales tax, and the federal government should certainly NOT have a hand in regulating. Regulating should be up to the state and ultimately the people. I hope that NORML is more clear on this… otherwise we have HMO and additives to look forward to when we should instead be celebrating the legalization of marijuana!!!!!!

  27. Not surprised that’s the best excuse that can be made, not being able to tell the the difference in the tall reedy hemp plants vs shorter cannabis.
    Yet this is who is supposed to decide the best for us all.

  28. What a crock , on this, what would have been Elvis’s 75th birthday ! One of the most famous treasures lost to the the scurge of pharmaceuticals ! Regulation, regulation, When are we the ppl gonna start regulating this imperial federal government ? Plant all your sack seeds out in the open ! FREE the FLOWER you Morons !

  29. It’s sad that hemp is considered marijuana. Back in the day, California’s main produce was hemp, and it was used in so many ways. Plus, hemp is so accessible and grow-able that it really should be an export/product used commonly in the production of fabrics.

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