Monday, November 07, 2005

Startling Hemp Ruling by Calif. Fed. Judge

From my inbox:

In a dramatic stroke of a pen, Federal Magistrate Gregory Hollows told U.S. Attorney John Gisla that he needed to explain to the court why plaintiff Ron Kiczenski’s hemp is not covered by the 9th Circuit’s ruling that hemp is not under the jurisdiction of the DEA.

Kiczenski, of Lucerne, Calif., filed suit in 2003, asking for a peremptory injunction to prevent the DEA from taking any action to prevent or punish him for planting industrial hemp.

Gisla originally argued that Kiczenski had no standing, because he had not yet been arrested. Hollows asked Gisla if he maintained that since Kiczenski had not yet been brained by a mugger, he had no right to take action to try to assure that he would not be.

Kiczenski has maintained a holistic religious argument that God created seeds to grow, and that he, Kiczenski, has a natural right to plant and grow seeds. Within his argument, he has repeatedly mentioned the benefits of hemp to mankind.

Judge Hollows, while apparently sympathetic to that argument throughout a series of hearings and briefs, had not seemed to want Kiczenski to go down the Religious Freedom Act route. He did, however, state that Kiczenski had standing, and that he would set the case for trial.

In December, 2004, Hollows filed an order stating that he would hear the case, but he wanted more briefs. During 2005, Kiczenski and Gisla traded briefs, and trial date was set back a couple of times.

Then, on October 28, Judge Hollows filed an order containing some excoriation of Gisla for not bringing to the court’s attention the 2004 9th Circuit’s decision that “because the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") did not follow the correct procedures for scheduling a substance, it had no authority to regulate drugs which were not scheduled.

Specifically, the court found that the Final Rules banning Cannabis plants which are not within the Controlled Substances Act's ("CSA") definition of marijuana or which do not contain synthetic THC, could not be enforced.”

Hollows further said, “that the parties shall file simultaneous briefing by November 21, 2005.”

It surely appears to me that there are several organizations and interested parties that should be overheating their pens getting an “amicus curiae” brief filed in support of Kiczenski and Judge Hollows.

You can read the entire series of court papers by going to

While the HIA case was largely about the importation of hemp products into the U.S., Hollows’ interpretation seems to go further. There may have never been a better opportunity since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 for advocates of both the holistic position and of the hemp farming position in the United States to influence a federal judge to do the right thing.


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