Vice Squad
Monday, September 29, 2003
Hemp and Code Names and Victory in Russia

Michael Alexeev, an economist at Indiana University, has passed along a report on a hemp confiscation
in the Amur region of the Russian Far East (click here if your Russian is good). Seems that agents of the
federal drug control agency Gosnarkontrol have apprehended three locals and confiscated 430 kilos of
dried hemp. The seizure and the arrests were part of the program code-named "Hemp-2003." (Professor
Alexeev's comment on the name: Doesn't it sound like a jazz festival? Still, it sure beats Operation Holocaust.)
The authorities have filed a criminal suit against the three villagers. If convicted, the culprits will face prison
terms from 7 to 15 years. It looks like Russia, too, can now safely declare victory in the War on Drugs.

Industrial hemp is illegal in the US, though not illegal in many other parts of the world. Hemp food products may
be on the verge of escaping the jurisdiction of the DEA.

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