Brandon Turbeville—The United States currently maintains the largest incarcerated population in the world. It routinely sees armed men throw men, women and children to the ground, guns drawn, and subsequently thrown into cages over the possession of plants. The police state has ballooned and Americans have been terrorized for decades as a result.
But just when you think it couldn’t get any worse than the laws themselves, the Rutherford county sheriff’s office in Tennessee has stepped in to demonstrate that cops don’t need laws to conduct raids, make arrests and close businesses.
In fact, they don’t even need to know what they are arresting people for or what the offending substance may or may not do.
They may not even need to know what the substance is. In fact, at least when it comes to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, the Smyrna Police Department, Murfreesboro Police Department, La Vergne Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, DEA, and FBI. There doesn’t seem to be a limit on what they might not know.
In mid-February, Rutherford County Law Enforcement along with the aforementioned agencies, received a court order from Circuit Court Judge, Royce Taylor, to conduct 23 raids, close 23 stores, and issue 21 indictments over sales of CBD products.
“We’d like to inform the parents to be aware of what your children are bringing home with them,” said Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.
“It’s an illegal drug. It’s a CBD product. It’s a derivative of marijuana. And it’s an illegal drug except in medical situations.”
Rutherford County District Attorney General Jennings Jones backed up the Sheriff by saying, “If you possess this without a prescription, you’ve broken the law. If you are selling it without a prescription, or you’re not a pharmacy selling it to someone with a prescription for it, you’ve broken the law.”
Indeed, it seems this type of sentence and word repetition is a common trait of people who are authoritarians at heart and enforcers in terms of best qualification.
The problem, of course, is that CBD products made from industrial hemp are not illegal in any state of America. The police chiefs, sheriff, investigative bureaus, circuit court and grand jury have all concocted a massive threat, conspiracy, and crime out of thin air.
Unfortunately, it has resulted in loss of income, and loss of freedom for a number of people and businesses as well as a massive waste of taxpayer money and law enforcement energy. We’d like to see a report of how many crimes with actual victims were committed and unsolved during the time this heap of law enforcement agencies were “investigating,” drawing up paper work and raiding these businesses.
No doubt, this “investigation” which also involved an undercover sting operation, could have been better served stopping violent crime, or for that matter, an actual crime in the general area.
And on a side note, it should be pointed out, that this giant coordinated law enforcement activity could have saved a lot of that taxpayer money by sending one officer in a patrol car to 23 different stores to simply look at the product and confirm that it was being sold. Thus, the “investigation” could have taken one-one hundredth of the man power, one-one thousandth of the cost, and five times the intellectual activity that it did.
Perhaps these agencies would have lucked out and the officer they sent to the stores would have been able to read, use the internet and a small dose of common sense. With a little luck, the whole stupid ordeal could have been avoided and one skilled officer could have saved the Sheriff from being humiliated at his own press conference.
See video below:
What mainstream outlets that covered the raids are not telling their audience is that Sheriff Fitzhugh seemed to legitimately believe that the CBD products got people high and that that’s why they were being purchased. He also seemed to genuinely believe that they were illegal. In all fairness, the DEA, a virtual terrorist organization, did classify CBD oil as Schedule 1, along side heroin. (Keep in mind the DEA may label chocolate bunnies as Schedule 1 substances if ever they threaten Big Pharma’s profits over the Easter holiday.)
However, the U.S. Congress legalized hemp products in 2014 and every state in the Union has legalized CBD produced from hemp. So surprisingly, as stupid as the Sheriff and his operation may seem, they may actually find a loophole with which to pursue the case.
Tennessee Hemp Industries Association President Joe Kirkpatrick says that the case is essentially closed already, since the product is clearly from an industrial hemp source and is thus, clearly compliant.
The label states that the CBD is derived from hemp. Perhaps, it should be more specific and say “industrial hemp”, but the product is compliant. Unless law enforcement can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this CBD was derived from a marijuana source rather than an industrial hemp source, they are in clear violation of the law, and the victims of this action should be entitled to petition for any economic and/or punitive damages applicable under the law.
The law is very clear that an ingestible or topical industrial hemp derived products are legal as long as the product contains less than 0.3% THC. It is not clear from the labeling whether the product contains CBD isolate or full spectrum extract, but both are legal under Tennessee law.
The TNHIA wants all products in Tennessee to be compliant and provide accurate sourcing data which would be easily achieved by a QR code on the labeling which would describe the source of the genetics, the farm and any third party certificates of analysis that exist as a result of batch testing.
But perhaps Mr. Kirkpatrick has an overly optimistic view of the Tennessee and American legal system. Interestingly enough, both Kirkpatrick and Fitzhugh seemingly have cases.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, U.S. Congress essentially defers to the DEA and FDA as to what drugs and substances are considered illegal.
The bill was essentially a blank check written to authoritarian agencies. The DEA subsequently added CBD to Schedule 1 alongside heroin thus making CBD an illegal substance. However, the 2014 Farm Bill states clearly that industrial hemp products are legal, given that they stay below certain threshold of THC.
Both laws are clear and they contradict one another.
Thus, when two laws are in conflict, the natural process is for U.S. Federal Courts to examine the laws by going back to the U.S. Constitution. Ironically, the U.S. Constitution that is written on hemp paper which should settle the debate immediately.
The U.S. Federal Appeals Court is currently hearing a lawsuit challenging the DEA’s ban on CBD.