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Court Overturns DEA's Ban in Hemp Foods
10 February 2004 - Rob Kampia

The hemp food industry has just won a major victory, defeating the DEA's attempts to ban all foods with even trace, insignificant quantities of THC.

The Marijuana Policy Project supports the rights of food companies to use nutritious hemp in their products. This victory represents one more blow against the DEA and against the absolute prohibition of hemp and marijuana.

After a two-and-a-half-year lawsuit, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Hemp Industries Association and against the DEA. As Judge Betty Fletcher wrote in the decision, "they [the DEA] cannot regulate naturally-occurring THC not contained within or derived from marijuana -- i.e. non-psychoactive hemp. ... The DEA has no authority to regulate drugs that are not scheduled." Please visit to read more about the issue and to download the decision in its entirety.

As the case closed, the DEA agreed that hemp foods have no abuse potential. In his final arguments, DEA attorney Daniel Dormont stated, "The DEA has never said, has never focused on the particular products, and said anyone can get high from them, or that they pose a harm to people." (To download the hearing transcript, please visit .) Despite this, and in the face of widespread outrage over the DEA's proposal, the DEA still attempted to ban hemp-based foods, claiming falsely that hemp- based foods would interfere with drug tests.

The DEA was only able to justify its war on hemp because marijuana is illegal. If marijuana were legally regulated, the DEA would not have been able to claim that hemp products containing THC were also illegal. To help MPP in its battles against the DEA -- and MPP's effort to end the war on all marijuana users -- please consider visiting to make a donation.

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A special thanks to Keith for all his support and insight.
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