DEA Seeks to Ban Hemp Food Sales

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will ban the sale of all hemp food products effective April 21, barring a successful court challenge by industry leaders. The March 21 ruling by the DEA is virtually identical to the agency's "Interpretive Rule" issued Oct. 9, 2002, which was blocked by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after a challege by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA). HIA spokesman David Bronner said the group, which petitioned the appeals court last week to overturn the agency's ruling, is confident that hemp producers will prevail.

"The DEA's charade of supposedly protecting the public from safe and nutritious hemp food is a finally going to end," Bronner said in a statement. "The court is currently hearing a substantive challenge to the Interpretitive Rule, and in light of the announcement of the "Final Rule," the hemp industry is optimistic that the court will ultimately invalidate the DEA's rule, as one of the prime criteria granting the stay was whether the hemp industry is likely to ultimately prevail on the merits of the case."

The DEA has sought to ban hemp food products because trace amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, are found in hemp seeds. Hemp proponents argue that the miniscule amounts of THC found in hemp seeds are insignificant and non-psychoactive, and that the nutritional value of hemp food products are overlooked by the agency's prohibitionist crusade.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up