This targets ALL hemp foods, and to a certain extent cosmetics as well. It would be a disaster for the hemp food industry and spark a totally unnecessary and hurtful new war. I urge you to get involved. Read this. Do what you can. Keep in mind it would probably take a hundred pounds of hemp protein powder to isolate even enough THC to get as much as you would get in one toke of a bad joint! Don't let them fool you, this is just another narrow minded and short sighted hassle. What it means is that US farmers will keep getting the short end of the International stick. While every other farmer on the planet now gets to grow hemp, US farmers will have to keep sitting idle and experience the profits slipping out of their hands, a profit they could surely use right now. But so far, not even Willie Nelson has been able to reverse this prohibition. But maybe that's because Farm Aid has kept a too low hemp profile in my opinion. Test hemp crops have been planted in the USA, but most of them are tiny, and often surrounded by cameras and barbwire fences! I'm kidding you not. The whole thing is ridiculous. In the meantime, Canada and dozens of other more enlightened nations are getting the leg up on good ol'American know-how, as American hemp companies are going abroad to finally be able to reintroduce this amazing crop into our agriculture and economy. As the bumper sticker says: "Drug abuse is bad. The drug war is worse!"

Remy C.

Subject: Re: DEA regulations
Date: Mon, Dec 18, 2000, 12:54 PM
From: "Don Wirtshafter" 

Doug McVay of Common Sense for Drug Policy managed to find the DEA's public notice of this new policy. The DEA's announcement of their proposed regulations regarding Hemp was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, November 30, 2000. Three rules are to be published simultaneously. When, is the question.
I have pasted a text version below.
This is as bad as we had feared and the calls for action that went out over the weekend are for real. This is really stupid politics. This is the last gasp of our dead dog drug czar. If they can succeed in getting these regs published in the next 40 days, our life will be hell for years.It will be handed to the new Republican administration who will tone it down and look like heroes for screwing the industry in a worse way. We have to beat this before it hits publication.
David Frankel has the right idea.  We need to get on our Congressmen and Senators to question this end-run ASAP.  
The problem is that the DEA published this trial balloon two weeks ago and nobody noticed it.  So they now have the confidence that they can enact the interim rules without much of a backlash from Congress.  This is why we need each of the 435 Representatives and 100 Senators to raise some hell about this right now.  We need to let the DEA know that this is forever going to hurt the Democratic Party.  
The notice below is one more clarification that this is all about drug testing.  Nothing more.  And the research shows that there is not a product on the market that is capable of affecting a drug test.  It just is not happening.  They don't like that soldiers and transportation workers are blaming hemp oil products for their failed tests anyway (and getting away with it much of the time.)  This is why they are working so hard to get our products out of the country and our businesses shut down.   
The actual rules are not published yet.  If we can move quickly to get our individual representatives to make the right inquiries, we can hold this up until after January 20th, when we get a new set of eggheads in office to ruin our lives.
Don Wirtshafter
Ohio Hempery, Inc.
[November 30, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 231)]
[Unified Agenda]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
[Page 74025]
Department of Justice (DOJ)                         Proposed Rule Stage
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant
Legal Authority: 21 USC 802; 21 USC 811; 21 USC 812; 21 USC 871(b)
CFR Citation: 21 CFR 1308

Legal Deadline: None

DEA is planning to publish three rules simultaneously in the Federal Register regarding the status of products manufactured from the cannabis plant. It is anticipated that the three rules will be as

The first rule will be an interpretive rule, which will provide DEA's interpretation of existing law with respect to the listing of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances
Act (CSA) and DEA regulations. [Please see ``Additional Information'' for further details].

The second rule will be a proposed rule which will propose to revise the wording of the DEA regulations to more clearly reflect DEA's interpretation of the law as set forth in the interpretive rule. The proposed rule would make clear that the listing of THC in Schedule I includes both natural and synthetic THC and that any substance containing any amount of THC is a Schedule I controlled substance--even if such substance is made from ``hemp.'' The third rule will be an interim rule, which will exempt from application of the CSA and DEA regulations certain industrial ``hemp''
products. DEA would be issuing this rule to allow the continuation of what have historically been considered legitimate industrial uses of "hemp" Under this rule, industrial "hemp" products such as paper, rope, and clothing may continue to be marketed in the United States without being subject to the CSA. At the same time, in order to protect the public health and safety, the interim rule will not allow "hemp" products that result in THC entering the human body. In this manner, it will remain clear that the only lawful way THC may enter the human body is when a person is using a federally approved drug or when the person is the subject of federally approved research.


Clarification of Listing of Tetrahydrocannabinols  NPRM 11/00/00

Exemption from Control of Certain Industrial Products and Material
Derived From the Cannabis Plant  Interim Final Rule 11/00/00

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: None

Additional Information: While agencies are not required to include information regarding interpretive rules in the Unified Agenda, DEA is providing a description of this interpretive rule for informational purposes. The interpretive rule will provide DEA's interpretation of existing law with respect to the listing of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and DEA regulations. The rule will further provide DEA's interpretation of the current legal status of products containing THC. In recent months, DEA has received numerous inquiries from members of the public about the legal status of products made from ``hemp'' (portions of the cannabis plant excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana). As stated in this rule, DEA interprets the CSA such that any substance containing any amount of THC is a Schedule I containing any amount of THC is a Schedule I controlled substance--even if such substance is made from "hemp."

Agency Contact: Frank Sapienza, Chief, Drug and Chemical Evaluation
Section, Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control, Washington, DC 20537 Phone: (202) 307-7183 RIN: 1117AA55

New DEA Regulations Prohibiting Industrial Hemp
Date:  Sun, 30 Jul 2000

From:  Representative Cynthia Thielen,
Assistant Republican Floor Leader of the Hawaii House of Representatives:

I recently returned from Washington, DC where I met with Congress members and government officials about industrial hemp.  I learned that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be publishing its new rules shortly in the Federal Register. This email is a warning to you in the industrial hemp industry, and I ask you to forward it to others who may be affected by these DEA regulations.

1.  DEA INTERPRETIVE RULE.  First, the DEA will be interpreting the Controlled Substances Act and its own regulations as declaring any products that contain any amounts of THC to be a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, even though such products are made from portions of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the definition of marijuana. However, the DEA also will publish in the Fed. Register a Proposed Rule and Interim Rule, the latter of which will create exemptions to its Interpretive Rule.  Otherwise, as DEA notes, its Interpretive Rule standing alone would declare as "controlled substances" a wide variety of cannabis derived products historically allowed by the federal government.  For example, hemp based paper, hemp clothing, hemp rope, and bird seed containing hemp all would be considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the DEA Interpretive Rule if they contained any trace amounts of naturally occurring THC.

2.  PROPOSED RULE.   DEA's Proposed Rule will revise the wording of its own regulations so that THC refers to both naturally occurring THC and synthetic THC, making both Schedule 1 marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

3.  INTERIM RULE.  DEA's Interim Rule will exempt portions of the cannabis [industrial hemp] plant from control to the extent such products are not used or intended for use for human consumption.  DEA concedes that hemp paper, clothing and rope "legitimately used" cannot result in THC entering the human body.  Hemp animal feed (including birdseed) is included in this category.  [I credit Kenex for winning the "birdseed war" and letting trade resume for this product.]

4.  Personal care hemp products are in question.  Since hemp based shampoos, lotions, etc. come into contact with the human skin, DEA evidently searched for evidence that THC could be absorbed into the skin.  However, lacking such evidence at this point, those hemp products are not yet outlawed.  However, if comments on the new rules claim that THC is absorbed into the human body from personal care products, then I believe DEA will take steps to outlaw them.  This is evidenced by DEA's action in considering hemp lip balm as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in its rules, and therefore hemp lip conditioner will be prohibited in the USA.  Body Shop, please take note!!

These proposed rules have been reviewed and evidently approved by the US Justice Department, DEA and Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). A July 10, 2000 letter from Barry McCaffrey (ONDCP) to Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink shows where the federal government is coming from, and I quote in part from Mc Caffrey's letter:

"Many allege that hemp products are only those that are made from the portions of the  Cannabis sativa L plant that are excepted from the definition of 'marijuana' in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). However, industrial hemp products have historically referred to rope, canvas, machine oil, paper, cloth, and oil used in paint and varnish. Such products were thought not to contain tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and were made from various fibrous plants, including plants such as Cannabis sativa, banana and jute.  The United States also has a long history of importing sterile Cannabis sativa L seeds (commonly referred to as hemp seeds) for use as bird and animal feed.  Recently, however, Cannabis sativa L seeds and oil, pressed from those seeds, have been imported for human consumption in various forms of hemp products.  These later offerings include topical solutions, as well as products specifically designed for ingestion.  Such applications for human consumption are confounding [McCaffrey's word] our Federal drug control testing programs, if they contain THC, and are of significant concern."

Once these DEA proposed rules are published in the Federal Register, you will have 30 days to comment on them.  I urge those of you who will be impacted by the proposed ban on hemp products made for human consumption to immediately contact your US Congress members. Ask them to immediately contact Janet Reno, US Attorney and Mr. Donnie Marshall, DEA Administrator to object to these proposed rules which will make hemp consumables a Schedule 1 substance.

The rules apparently will be published in August.  Please get to work on this now!

Representative Cynthia Thielen
Assistant Republican Floor Leader
Hawaii House of Representatives
tel.  (808) 586-6480
fax  (808) 586-6481

Update from Cynthia Thielen
Sent Tuesday, August 08, 2000

Orincon technology distinguishes between industrial hemp & marijuana

I just received a letter from one of Hawaii's Congress members.  He informs me of the latest update from the Drug Enforcement Agency:

 "The Congressional Liason has informed us that although the agency had hoped to have its proposed regulations on industrial hemp published in the Federal Register by now, the agency is still in the process of formulating the proposed regulations.  In addition, there is no known timeline being given for the regulations' release.  My office was told it could take as long as 30 or 60 days."

If you have asked your Congressional members to contact DEA and to object to the new regulations or at least inquire about them "with concern", then maybe DEA is looking more carefully into this.  Or it simply could be that the agency moves slowly.

It's easier to defeat the proposed regulations BEFORE they are published, so keep up the pressure.
On another issue, the effort to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp, I received an email sending a News Release from Orincon Corp. Tthe company  has developed an automatic detection system to locate marijuana from aircraft-mounted sensors.  This Orincon news release states:

"Based on a Hyperspectral Sensor System, which ORINCON developed with Rancho Bernardo, Calif.-based Surface Optics Corporation, the new "pot-buster" camera can detect marijuana plants from an elevation of 5,000 feet, and from several hundred yards on the ground, against a backdrop of heavy vegetation. This sophisticated technology can even differentiate a marijuana plant from hemp, a similar, but legal plant used to make rope and clothing."

This means that law enforcement now has the tools to distinguish, thereby eliminating the major objection of law enforcement to allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp.  Those of you who are trying to legalize the industrial hemp crop, please use this information.

Let me know if you want a copy of the email I received, please.

Rep. Cynthia Thielen

When is Salad Dressing a Drug? 
(Restore list Dec 24th 2000)

DEA Proposes Restrictive
Interim Rule Barring Hemp Foods, Industry & Proponents Gear Up

Late last month, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) set in motion plans to bar hemp-based foods and other hemp products that can enter the human body, such as lotions and creams.  On November 30th, it quietly published a notice of the proposed "Interim Rule" in an obscure federal publication called the Unified Agenda.

The proposed rule change has three parts:  First, the DEA proposes to change its interpretation of existing law to bring hemp products within the purview of the Controlled Substances Act; second, it would change DEA regulations to agree with the new interpretation; and third, it would establish an "interim rule" exempting traditional hemp products that are not designed for human consumption, such as paper and clothing, from being subject to the Controlled Substances Act.

In the DEA's own words, "... [I]n order to protect the public health and safety, the interim rule will not allow 'hemp' products that result in THC entering the human body.  In this manner, it will remain clear that the only lawful way THC may enter the human body is when a person is using a federally approved drug or when the person is the subject of federally approved research."

An interim rule becomes law once it is published in the Federal Register, which can be done without public comment.

The DEA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office) have reflexively battled the hemp industry throughout the Clinton administration.  To justify barring hemp products for human consumption, they have claimed that consuming the products will "confound" drug testing for

Hemp industry members disagree vociferously, and have the science to back their position.

Don Wirtshafter of the Ohio Hempery is one of the point persons in the current campaign to block the interim rules.  He told DRCNet, "You'd have to be smeared with hemp oil and eat nothing but hemp products for a week, and even then I doubt you'd come up positive."

"That claim doesn't stand up to scientific testing.  We have research results from the Research Triangle Institute and research paid for by the government of Manitoba and Canadian hemp industries, and they don't agree with the DEA."

Yet another study, done by Leson Environmental Consulting in Berkeley, California, also found that "a conflict between hemp food consumption and workplace drug testing is most unlikely"

David Bronner, the grandson of the original Dr. Bronner and head of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, concurred. "A positive test for THC can't happen without super-high consumption of hemp foods, and even then I'd say it's extremely unlikely."

Bronner suggested one explanation for the DEA's concern about hemp foods interfering with marijuana testing. "We had a merchant marine claim our soaps gave him a false positive."

Greg Herriott, the owner of Toronto-based Hempola and head of the Ontario Hemp Association, has run into the same problem. He provided DRCNet with just completed test results for his product. According to Maxxam Analytics, the Canadian laboratory that performed the tests, Hempola hemp seed oil contains "absolutely
no traces of tetrahydrocannabinol."

"This is so bogus," he told DRCNet. "They're blaming other forms of THC ingestion on hemp foods. I'm getting really tired of this crap -- please stop blaming my product."

Bronner's and Herriot's complaints are backed up by apocryphal stories circulating around the country, usually about soldiers who foiled drug tests by claiming they had ingested hemp products. The belief that the "hemp defense" can help one get
out of a dirty drug test has apparently taken hold among enough half-baked pot-smokers to take on the form of an urban myth, one whose consequences are haunting the hemp industry.

"This will hurt our sales," said Herriot, whose company produces hemp oil and hemp flour products.  But he was quick to point out that, as a Canadian concern, his company could survive even without the US market.

Bronner is also vulnerable, but unlikely to have to fold, he told DRCNet. "We could reformulate our products without hemp," he said, "but most other hemp businesses cannot do that."

Hemp industry members and supporters are not just complaining.

Activists have been burning up the wires plotting a counteroffensive, and they are prepared to attack on several fronts.  Industry and activist list-serves have featured calls for a letter-writing campaign urging Congress members to throw a wrench in the DEA's plans by demanding that the rule change be treated as a "major rule" and thus subject to public comment.

Earlier this week, lawyers representing industry members met in Washington, DC, to set in motion the campaign to halt the interim rule.

"The Department of Justice has already signed off on this," said Bronner, "but Customs, Treasury, Commerce, and the Office of Management and Budget all have to sign off, too, so those are all points of attack.  We're just waiting for the lawyers to set up the template."

The Ohio Hempery's Wirtshafter had a sense of urgency.  "If this gets out as an interim rule, it takes immediate effect," he told DRCNet.  "We must fight this now before if passes review by the other agencies."

Hemp advocates are at something of a loss to explain DEA's vindictive attitude, especially given its lack of any scientific basis.

"They're not even trying to fend off those 'hemp defense' claims," said an exasperated Bronner.  "That's because they're looking for any excuse to ban hemp as part of the culture war."

For Wirtshafter, "This is just McCaffrey, his last hurrah."

And that thought brought him some solace.  "This thing still has a way to go down the regulatory pathway," he mused.  "I don't think the Clinton administration has a chance of getting this published, and Bush will have to start all over."

Perhaps, but hemp supporters aren't taking any chances.

DRCNet will be issuing an action alert on this issue shortly. Previous coverage of the ongoing Hemp Embargo saga:

* Alert: DEA Sabotaging Legal Hemp Industry (10/1/99)

* Hemp Embargo Continues (10/15/99)

* DEA Lifts Hemp Seed Embargo (reprinted from NORML News,

* US Drug Czar Commands Customs to Seize All Hemp Seed Imports
  That Contain Any THC (1/21/00)

* Reno Orders Ends to Hemp Seed Embargo, McCaffrey Hopes to Amend
  Controlled Substances Act to Outlaw Hemp (reprinted from NORML
  News, 5/5/00)