Hemp

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Hemp: The Anti-Drug

In discussing the bill to legalize industrial hemp cultivation in California, the New York Times hits the nail on the head. Responding to complaints from law-enforcement agencies and ONDCP officials that hemp fields would provide a hiding place for commercial marijuana plants, the Times throws it back at ‘em:

To some people intimate with the nuances of marijuana, however, the idea of hiding marijuana in a hemp field, where the plants would cross-pollinate, provokes amusement. "It would be the end of outdoors marijuana," said Jack [Herer], 67, a marijuana historian and author who runs a group called Help End Marijuana Prohibition, or HEMP. "If it gets mixed with that crop, it's a disaster."

Once again, the drug warriors have followed their own ignorance into a counter-intuitive position that contradicts their stated goals. Widespread hemp cultivation could leave huge portions of the state unsuitable for commercial outdoor marijuana growing, a result they’ve been quite unable to achieve by conventional means.

Further proof that the drug warriors in Washington, D.C. don’t have a clue.

Honestly, I’m surprised they don’t just start claiming it gets you high. It would be our word against theirs. But I guess if they said that, then it would be their fault when some hippie asphyxiates from trying to smoke his pants.

Update: Months later, they're still trying the same line.

Location: 
United States

Industrial Hemp: California Assembly Passes Hemp Bill, Will Schwarzenegger Sign It?

The California Assembly Monday passed a bill that would allow farmers there to produce hemp oil, seed, and fiber for nutritional and industrial purposes. The bill, AB 1147, was sponsored by Assemblymen Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine), and passed by a margin of 43-28. It has already passed the state Senate and now awaits the signature of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/hempplants.jpg
hemp plants
Hemp is a $270 million industry, but American farmers are at a disadvantage because federal law bans its production -- but not its importation. California law currently mirrors federal law in failing to differentiate between industrial hemp and marijuana. If signed into law, the California bill would not mean farmers there could begin growing hemp, but it would add pressure on the federal government to revisit the issue.

Both hemp and marijuana are members of the cannabis family, but are different cultivars within that family. Hemp contains only trace levels of THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in recreational marijuana, but its fibers are used in paper, clothing, car parts, and building materials, and its seeds and oils are used as food products.

"Hundreds of hemp products are made right here in California, but manufacturers are forced to import hemp seed, oil and fiber from other countries," said Leno during debate on the bill. "When this bill becomes law, it will be an economic bonanza for California."

The bill passed on partisan lines, with only one Republican joining Democrats to vote for it. GOP lawmakers resorted to Reefer Madness-style posturing to explain their opposition. "As a conservative Republican, I can't have my name attached to hemp," said Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia). According to Mountjoy, the bill would make the fight against marijuana cultivation more difficult because hemp "sends off the exact same heat signal that is used to spot marijuana crops." Assemblyman John Benoit (R-Palm Desert) sang the same tune, claiming marijuana and pot plants are "indistinguishable."

But law enforcement officers in the 30 countries where hemp is grown legally seem to be able to tell the difference, a point that Assemblyman Leno made. The differences between marijuana and hemp are such that "a five-year-old could tell the difference... Law enforcement who have the gift of sight would have no trouble."

"We thank legislators from both parties that listened to the facts about industrial hemp and made an historic decision to bring back the crop," said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, an advocacy group that supported the bill. "Passage in the California Legislature is a major accomplishment for the authors and sponsors of the bill, as well as for thousands of environmentally-conscious voters, farmers and businesses who wrote California legislators," says Steenstra.

No word yet on whether Schwarzenegger will sign or veto the bill.

Mother Nature Implicated in Massive Marijuana Grow-Op

Your tax dollars at work:

From the The Norman Transcript
A call from a concerned farmer in southeast Norman led Cleveland County Sheriff's Department deputies and Norman police officers to a field of 8,889 "wild" marijuana plants growing on private property early Monday morning. The plants ranged in size from 3 feet to 9 feet tall and would have a street value of up to $1,000 each, or around $8 million total, if allowed to grow and be harvested in the coming months, said Captain Doug Blaine, of the Cleveland County Sheriff's Department.

Now I’m not surprised about the plants. Feral hemp, also known as ditchweed, is indigenous to the region. The shocker here is that these officers, in a fit of unbelievable idiocy, actually attempted to place a street value on it. Ditchweed doesn’t get you high! It’s as worthless as the dirt it was yanked from.

And so it appears we may have stumbled upon the most absurd over-estimation of a marijuana crop’s value in the whole stupid history of bored police officers over-estimating the value of marijuana crops.

But you can’t fault the “concerned farmer” who called it in. With Captain Doug Blaine calling the shots, I’d kill every plant in my yard just to be on the safe side.

Yet despite its abundance of ill-informed sensationalism, this article ironically fails to mention the real danger posed by the feral hemp plant. Any commercial marijuana growing in proximity to such a sizable crop of ditchweed stands a strong chance of becoming pollinated by its impotent cousin. The result would be hybridized marijuana of extremely poor quality.

Thankfully, marijuana enthusiasts and bored Oklahoma police can agree on one thing: the ditchweed’s gotta go.

Location: 
United States

Fifth Annual Lakota Hemp days

September 1-4, Manderson, SD, Fifth Annual Lakota Hemp Days. At Kiza Park, three miles north of town, visit http://www.hemphoedown.com for further information.
Date: 
Fri, 09/01/2006 - 9:00am - Mon, 09/04/2006 - 9:00pm
Location: 
Manderson, SD
United States

Canadian Senator and Former Mayor Roasts UN Anti-Drug Chief in E-Mail over "World Drug Report"

We didn't get the permission back in time to include this in issue #441 of Drug War Chronicle, but Sen. Campbell wrote back and said it's okay. In an e-mail sent to Vancouver drug reformer and harm reductionist Mark Haden, Vancouver's former mayor, Larry Campbell, now a Senator, wrote the following e-mail, titled " UNODC World Drug Report 2006 full of scientific insults," with permission to distribute it:
"UNODC Executive Director, Antonio Maria Costa claims that the world is experiencing a devastating "cannabis pandemic." This gentleman is the same person who said we were putting "cannabis oil" on pasta. It was pointed out that is hemp oil which is not a sativa product. He didn't know the difference and appeared not to care. Simply another high paid UN stooge. Isn't it amazing that the US only supports the UN when they toe the US 'drug war' line."
Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/311/campbell.shtml to read DRCNet's November 2003 interview with Campbell.
Location: 
United States

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