North Dakota Speaker of the House David Monson and ND Farmer Wayne Hauge File Suit Against DEA in U.S. Court of Appeals to Grow Industrial Hemp

May 18, 2010, 13:25 ET from Vote Hemp

Lawsuit Filed During Week Long Campaign to Give Farmers the Right to Grow Non-Drug Industrial Hemp

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, North Dakota's Speaker of the House, David Monson, and North Dakota farmer Wayne Hauge filed a legal action against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The DEA has delayed the approval of the farmers' applications for federal licenses to grow industrial hemp for more than 3 years. Both farmers have received state licenses to grow hemp for the past four growing seasons under North Dakota's industrial hemp program. Monson and Hauge are seeking federal registrations that would enable them to cultivate oilseed, and fiber varieties as farmers in Canada and Europe already do. The 'Petition to Review' can be read online at:

For over a decade, North Dakotans have tried to implement non-drug industrial hemp farming under a  state licensing program. Even though the state does not require farmers to obtain permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to grow hemp, Monson and Hauge have done so to ensure their farms will not be raided by federal drug control agents. Monson stated, "In this time of economic hardship, American farmers should not be hamstrung by an irrational and counterproductive federal policy that preempts legitimate and rational state prerogatives to grow non-drug industrial hemp."

"If the lawsuit is successful, Monson and Hauge will force the DEA to implement reasonable and timely procedures for granting licenses for the cultivation of industrial hemp," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp, a leading hemp farming advocacy group.  

Hemp History Week – May 17-23, 2010 is an unprecedented industry-wide project initiated by The Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp, involving hundreds of hemp manufacturers and retailers. The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is a non-profit trade group representing hemp companies, researchers, farmers and supporters. Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry to remove barriers to industrial hemp farming in the U.S. through education, legislation and advocacy. While 16 states have passed pro-hemp farming legislation to date, Hemp History Week organizers want to influence significant policy changes on the federal level as well.

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SOURCE Vote Hemp