DEA unhappy with federal hemp legalization

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The drug agency is confused about how to address marijuana because of hemp laws

The federal legalization of hemp hasn’t seen a warm welcome from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as the agency is stating that it has been causing a lot of complications with the US law enforcement. It’s been claimed that criminal organizations are taking advantage of this policy to cover all their illegal activities, including the trafficking of cannabis products. The DEA clearly expressed its critical take on the bipartisan legislation after publishing its annual National Threat Assessment report on Tuesday.

The agency said, “The 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp production at the federal level has further challenged law enforcement, particularly in states that legalized marijuana. For example, investigations in some states in which marijuana production is legal under state law have revealed a significant number of hemp businesses and grow operations that are owned and operated by members of [drug trafficking organizations] illegally producing and trafficking marijuana. According to law enforcement officials, traffickers use their state-issued hemp documentation as cover for large-scale marijuana grows and marijuana loads transported across state lines,” it continues. “Additionally, large hemp grows are sometimes used to hide marijuana plants interspersed throughout the hemp plants.”

The report didn’t give too many details, but it indicates why the DEA is going against these measures, according to the former secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). On the other hand, chief communications officer of Kentucky-based Cornbread Hemp, Jim Higdon, said that it “seems the DEA is saying that they can no longer enforce the cannabis prohibition because hemp is legal,” according to the new report. The DEA still sustains that this policy change is affecting law enforcement, since criminals are getting new opportunities to exploit state legalization.