DEA Stands Down: Allows Kentucky To Go Forward With Hemp Planting

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 23, 2014

    The Drug Enforcement Agency is permitting Kentucky farmers to go forward with plans to engage in the state-sponsored cultivation of industrial hemp.

    According to the Associated Press, representatives from the federal anti-drug agency late Thursday granted Kentucky regulators permission to import an estimated 250 pounds of hemp seeds.

    The agency had previously confiscated the seeds, which Kentucky officials had ordered from Italy. In response, Kentucky’s Agriculture Department sued the agency last week.

    After two federal hearings, as well as a face-to-face meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), DEA officials on agreed to authorize the shipment of hemp seeds to go forward — ending the approximately month-long standoff. Kentucky’s first modern hemp planting may occur as soon as this weekend, the Associated Press reports.

    In February, members of Congress approved language (Section 7606) in the omnibus federal farm bill authorizing states to sponsor hemp research absent federal reclassification of the plant. Since then, five states — Hawaii, Indiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Utah — have enacted legislation authorizing state-sponsored hemp cultivation. (Similar legislation is pending in Illinois and South Carolina.)

    Kentucky lawmakers initially approve legislation regulating hemp production in 2013.

    According to a 2013 white paper authored by the Congressional Research Service, a “commercial hemp industry in the United States could provide opportunities as an economically viable alternative crop for some US growers.”

    66 responses to “DEA Stands Down: Allows Kentucky To Go Forward With Hemp Planting”

    1. claygooding says:

      I wonder if they will still be viable?

      It would be like them to treat them where they won’t sprout.

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      Wow! Mitch McConnell went to bat for hemp. Red state to green state. The times, they’re a changing.

    3. Julian says:

      How’s that 3o’clock road block workin for ya Ms. DEA director Michelle Leonhart? … Oh, whats that? You got smacked down by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel, from your own Republican army? Daaaaaaaamn, in your FACE?! Looks like cannabis elections have created some defectors in the Koch Party. By the way, how much money has the DEA lobbied towards Republicans this year? Why not make the appropriate recommendation to reschedule cannabis so you can disband with a shred of dignity? Yeah, that’s right; The DEA traded in their dignity for asset forfeitures and executive privilege.
      Damn, I wish they would have put up a fight to watch them get slapped in the Supreme Court. Anyone with a case against the DEA;
      Do not sue for collateral damage, awards, or settle for money. Get a lawyer from NORML, get the ACLU and open up a legalfund website for donations. Then sue the pants off the DEA for being unconstitutionally organized under the C.S.Act. With Florida tipping us over the half way mark in November, the Supreme Court will finally hear a marijuana case addressing the constitutionality of the DEAs breach of power from legislating drug policy out of an executive agency. We can nullify the C.S.Act; it was written by Nixon’s drug czar out of the executive branch. If Obama wont do it, sue the DEA, Eric Holder and the whole “Justice” Department, just like Comer did here in Kentucky. We’ve got their tails between their legs, now we need to rub their nose in it. Bad DEA! BAD! SIT DOWN! Now fetch…
      Anyway, just in time before planting season is over. Kentucky is a fertile powerhouse for domestic hemp production. Nice to see some Republicans investing in something that makes sustainable sense. God Bless Ag. Commissioner James Comer; Ag. Commissioners from every state could learn a lot from watching this guy.

    4. dudpud says:

      Good, just think it’s odd that “Mitch McConnell” comes to save day. Total P.R. move if you ask me. But once again perfect timing for DEA to pull a stunt like this. Politics suck but I’m glad we have NORML to deal with it.

    5. TheOracle says:

      Bravo! I hope in the future Senator McConnell will also apply pressure to the Drug Enforcement Administration when it comes to legalizing recreational cannabis, like tell Leonhart to shut the f*** up.

    6. Sadie says:

      What legal standing did the DEA have to do this? Did they not realize it was put in the new farm bill?

    7. bobwv says:

      Thank you Dragon Slayers.

    8. Demonhype says:

      Could this be the beginning of the time where the DEA finally accepts its defeat? I mean, the defeat of the DEA is inevitable at this point, and they will have to admit defeat at some point or be inevitably crushed into the dust, but it would be nice to see them stop pissing in the wind and admit it finally.

    9. Demonhype says:


      They don’t care. The DEA has been overreaching for some time now, and has even been complicit in helping drug cartels achieve their ends. They are trying to preserve their failed little war, because it’s been quite the money train for them for the last thirty years, what with the private prisons, drug testing companies, and other Drug War Profiteering industries giving them loads of cash to keep this farce going.

      All in keeping with history: The Drug War has never once been intended to keep society safe, but to help those in power persecute those they deem unfit, undesirable, or inconvenient. It was made illegal when the Mexicans and black people were smoking it, and Nixon started the whole official Drug War thing in order to stick it to the anti-war hippies, to manufacture a reason to arrest them since, at the time, it wasn’t kosher to brutalize and arrest white folks for exercising their civil rights of free assembly. All illicit drugs combined haven’t the ability to negatively impact our society the way the Drug War has–like burning your beard in order to eliminate your beard lice, or cutting off your foot to eliminate your toe fungus. And the Drug War needs to go.

    10. End of the Rope says:

      Kentucky should just toss everyone of those seeds in the trash and order a new shipment that hasn’t been touched by the untrustworthy hands of the DEA. They can never be trusted on any of this. Mark my words, that down the road we will look back on this and point to it as the moment that these two faced morons did something to these seeds. They’ve either marked the seeds with trace chemicals or damaged them in some way. At no point in time should their hands be on those seeds while we can’t see them. Order a new shipment and start over!