Confusing federal positions

Supporters of growing industrial hemp in the United States continue to encounter roadblocks, courtesy of the federal government.

North Dakota is one of 15 states allowing some industrial hemp production, although no hemp is grown here because the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has thus far refused to issue any permits to North Dakota farmers. This week, hundreds of pounds of industrial hemp seed was confiscated by federal authorities in North Dakota. The seeds, seized at the U.S./Canada border, were headed for Colorado.

The man transporting the seeds, Tom McClain, is a hemp activist. He bought 350 pounds of hemp seeds in Manitoba, with intentions of bringing the seeds to Colorado, where officials have allowed 40 hemp-cultivation applications. As of Thursday, McClain had yet to be charged with a crime.

As we’ve said numerous times before, we continue to be amazed at the blatant contradiction perpetuated by the federal government. DEA officials refuse to allow states like North Dakota to grow industrial hemp because, in part, the seeds could be manipulated to enhance the psychoactive chemical THC, the same intoxicant contained in marijuana. Yet the feds expressly look the other way when Colorado and Washington approve recreational marijuana use, despite those state laws clearly violating federal laws.

We continue to be baffled.