Fine Young Cannabis

Fine Young Cannabis
Posted by FoM on September 14, 2001 at 12:47:39 PT
By Nick Davis
Source: Missoula Independent
Though often accused of being backward or behind the times, the 2001 Montana Legislature placed Montana among a group of forward-thinking states and organizations with the passage last April of Senate Bill 261, which could free the growth of industrial hemp from the auspices of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed by Congress in 1970. The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. B.F. “Chris” Christiaens (D-Great Falls) and in the House by Rep. Christopher Harris (D-Bozeman), legalizes the growth and sale of “industrial hemp”–that is, “all parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L. containing no greater than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol”–within Montana’s borders. 
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical that produces the high sought by users of marijuana. “Any THC level of one percent or less is generally regarded as useless in the effort to get high,” says John Masterson, director of the Montana chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and a co-organizer of the Sixth Annual Missoula Hempfest, to be held in Caras Park Saturday, Sept. 8 from noon until 11 p.m. Supporters of the effort to legalize industrial hemp point to the prevalence of hemp as a wonder plant of sorts before the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively ended its viability as a cash crop. According to The Emperor Wears No Clothes, the so-called “hemp bible” written by Jack Herer in 1985 and currently in its eleventh edition, “hemp is, by far, Earth’s premier, renewable natural resource.” For years the fiber derived from hemp plants was essential to a boggling number of industries: shipping (Herer estimates that the U.S.S. Constitution–“Old Ironsides”–held at least 60 tons of hemp in rigging, sails, etc.); textiles and fabrics (80 percent of all clothing, tents, sheets, linens, etc. were made from hemp until the 1820s); fiber and pulp paper (75 to 90 percent of all paper in the world was made from hemp until 1883); paints and varnishes; lighting oil and various medicines, to name but a few. In the early 1900s, hemp’s potential as a cash crop was limited by the relatively labor- and time-intensive process needed to extract the fiber from the plant. By the time harvester technology caught up to the plant, the Tax Act of 1937 had nipped a potential star crop in the bud. However, enough of a gap between efficient processing and taxation existed for magazines such as Popular Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering to trumpet hemp as a savior for the American farmer. A 1938 article from Popular Mechanics entitled “New Billion-Dollar Crop” hailed hemp as “a new cash crop with an annual value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has been invented which solves a problem 6,000 years old.” The article goes on to say that “hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability…and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.” As for the farmer, hemp must have been seen as a miracle plant: “Hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from three to six tons per acre on any land that will grow corn, wheat or oats,” the article reads. “It has a short growing season, so that it can be planted after other crops are in. It can be grown in any state of the union. The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for next year’s crop. The dense shock of leaves, eight to twelve feet above the ground, chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land that has been abandoned…” Additionally, Herer claims that hemp’s potential as a biomass fuel, when converted to methane, methanol, or gasoline, could end acid rain, sulfur-based smog and actually reverse the greenhouse effect. The reasons behind the Tax Act of 1937 are numerous, but hemp supporters believe that racial paranoia and corporate greed were primary to the anti-hemp cause. The prevalence of pot smoking among black jazz musicians and Mexican laborers led to a Reefer Madness hysteria that identified marijuana as the cause for Mexicans’ perceived laziness and the desire among blacks to rape white women. Additionally, the man who pushed the Tax Act through Congress, Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry Anslinger, was the nephew-in-law of Andrew Mellon, a head banker for the DuPont Company. DuPont had just patented a process for creating plastics from oil and coal as well as the chemical process for making paper from wood pulp. The Missoula Hempfest will showcase the versatility of the plant, with booths displaying crafts and goods as well as food products and herbal remedies made from hemp. Live music and educational speakers round out the day’s events. Included in the speakers’ lineup is Dr. Ethan Russo, a Missoula neurologist who authored the Missoula Chronic Clinical Cannabis Use Study, a report that examined the health of six of the eight remaining patients eligible for low-grade, federally-provided marijuana. Nora Callahan, head of the anti-drug war November Coalition, and Sen. Christiaens are also slated to speak. Despite the Legislature’s action and the innumerable arguments for promoting industrial hemp, it is unlikely we will be seeing the leafy crop dotting the Montana landscape anytime soon. The state Department of Agriculture, as required by the new law, recently petitioned the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for an exemption to the CSA that would allow state farmers to grow hemp. The DEA responded with a request for more information, but ominously included an agency letter, addressed to a coalition of groups that had petitioned for industrial hemp in 1998, that categorically denies any interest on the DEA’s part to consider such requests. Since the DEA makes no legal distinction between industrial hemp and wacky weed, only an act of Congress will wrest control of hemp from the DEA. Should that occur, the Montana Department of Agriculture will be ready. Department spokesman Mike Sullivan says that although the state will not act against the wishes of the federal government, “We do believe that industrial hemp has the potential to be a significant cash crop in this state.” Note: State opens door for industrial hemp but waits on feds.Source: Missoula Independent (MT)Author: Nick DavisPublished: September 13, 2001 Vol. 12 No. 37 Copyright: 2001 Missoula IndependentWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:NORML Hempfesthttp://www.missoulahempfest.comFTE's Hemp Links Good for The Brain Articles - Hemp
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 15, 2001 at 20:40:37 PT
Ethan Russo, MD 
That's great Dr. Russo. I've never been to any events centered around Cannabis or Hemp. It has to be very interesting. Thanks for all you are doing!
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Comment #8 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on September 15, 2001 at 20:29:29 PT:
Missoula Report
Today was the Hempfest in Missoula, Montana. I just got home from giving my speech. There were several hundred enthusiastic folks there, with lots of hemp booths and cannabis-related materials. Hopefully they will help get us on the ballot next year. Onward to critical mass!
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Comment #7 posted by ekim on September 15, 2001 at 19:46:46 PT:
Very nice Bruce42
Please continue to study our future is in your hands. There is a shift in thinking now. Reading your comments I feel a lot better. 
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Comment #6 posted by bruce42 on September 15, 2001 at 18:37:29 PT
sorry chemists of the world.
Before ya'll complain please accept the fact that I put all the fancy-smancy chemistry bits in VERY, VERY, VERY simplified words. By no means take what I say as the basis for some great technical paper or something. Go track down a qualified organic chemist or good textbook for that, cause I am by no means versed on anything more than very basic phyisical chemistry.Free The Weed! Woo Hoo! Thanks, Dr. Russo!
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Comment #5 posted by bruce42 on September 15, 2001 at 18:28:15 PT
No problem. There is indeed great opportunity here for biomass diesels. Diesels would be a good choice for hybrid technology as their relatively high torque is good for driving generators and as diesels aren't quite as good as gasoline engines when it comes to rapid acceleration, they would benefit greatly from having an electric assist on takeoff. I'll try to explain with words how a typical hybrid system works- click on this link for a real picture:, an IC(internal combustion)/electric hybrid is exactly the same as a normal IC setup, with the exception of strategically placed electric motors, a bigger battery, and some extra wiring and controllers. To start the car, juice from a big battery or battery pack spins a motor coupled to the engine through a clutch (the same old clutch on a manual shift car) as a result, the engine starts. A the engine idles, it charges up the batteries just used by spinning that starting motor and using it as a generator. (those unfamiliar with this concept simply need to realize that any lectric motor can become a generator, you just need to provide some spinning power. one fun experiment is to take a pair of LEGO electric motors placed shaft to shaft and coupled together. if you juice up one motor with some batteries and connect a light bulb to the other, the bulb will light! just remember thermodynamics- nothing is 100% so if you just powered the bulb with the batteries it would be brighter!) Anyway, now when this battery pack is charged, and the engine still idles, some auto companies make it so that the clutch disengages, letting the IC engine do as little work as possible, and sometimes they make so the engine shuts off! Now before you get worried, remember that electric motor. Now that the batteries are full (it doesn't take much to start the engine, so the charging time is only mere seconds) when you hit the accelerator pedal, the motor spins up (if the engine was off, it starts up again- the whole engine shut off trick is done when the catalytic converor is warmed up and running efficiently so this would happen for example if you were sitting at a stop light for several minutes, or if you parked the car for a while with the engine running) Anyway, the engine starts, the motor spins, and the car moves. Once you've accelerated, the IC engine takes over (because it is most efficient at cruising speeds, electric motors are best for acceleration- how handy!) and since it really doesn't take much power to keep a car rolling, engine power can be diverted through that electric motor so the batteries get recharged. All the time, our cute little bio-diesel is sipping at the gas tank daintily. Now say you get to town, turn to the off-ramp, and hit the brakes. Now, the engine coasts (clutch out) and the inertia of the car spins the motor, charging up the batteries (topping them off) and slowing the vehicle (physics- take energy of car motion, convert it to electric potential. as more of the car's kinetic energy is converted to electricity, the slower the car goes. of course, you need regular brakes, too! otherwise, you might coast for a long time if the batteries were full and the regenerative system was shut off!) moving on, now that the car is sitting still again, the cycle can repeat itself. Whew- pictures really are worth a thousand words!As a side note, cars are moving to a 42V system, so watch for that in the future. The reason? Cars have too many gidgets and gadgets nowadays, so they need more juice. Plus, you can use a combination starter motor/alternator (fancy generator) to start the car and make juice! No more serpentine belts and teeth on the starter to grind off! Now all the pumps and A/C can run on the 42V of whopping battery power.Another thought (sorry I'm so disorganized) for those who don't know, the reason biomass fuels are good is because the fuel you burn is essentially carbon storage material. When you burn a hydrocarbon or any carbon type stuff, you get CO, CO2, and H2O as byproducts. If the fuel is dirty you might get NOx, and other nasty things, too. When you burn fossil fuel you take carbon, which is potential CO2, out of storage and put it in the sky. As we cut down trees and rainforests, that CO2 can't be sucked up and re-stored as carbon by those plants fast enough and we get CO2 surplus in the air. Biomass fuels on the other hand take carbon stored in living plants, release it as CO2 when it is burned, but the crops of plants that are growing to provide the fuel reclaim the CO2 and turn it back to carbon. Essentially you recycle CO2. Hemp is a good plant for fuel because recaptures and stores lots of CO2 as carbon fuel, plus it has plenty of nice fatty acids and oils that can be refined to produce great quality fuel (plus those same fatty acids are great fuel for people too! I mean, how many hints do you have to drop before people realize how good a thing hemp is!?!?!?!?!?!?). Any of you who grow indoors and are high tech enough to have CO2 enriched grow setups know how much cannabis loves to soak up CO2! Those plants get big in a hurry! And, biomass fuels have low or no mineral contaminants so they emit low or no levels os nasty NOx and sulfur compounds when they burn! Sulfur compunds lead to acid rain, BTW. Sulfuric acid. H2SO4 -> water plus sulfur oxides.Yowza! that got long. I hope you found it interesting anyway. I am going to save this text for future reference, so if you need it for reference, just ask and I can repost's another neat pic and some cool links:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 15, 2001 at 12:09:45 PT
Bravo Doc!!!!
I never thought I'd see the day when I'd read a Doctor says Free The Weed! You're the best! Have a great time and tell us about it when you get back please!
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Comment #3 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on September 15, 2001 at 12:06:02 PT:
Thanks, Bruce
Thanks for the tutorial on alternatives. One of the things I hope to mention when I talk tonight is biodiesel. When I was in the UK this summer, I rented a car. The British motorways are extremely challenging. You cannot sit in one place at a set speed. There is always some slow lorry in front, or some bloke in back that wants to go 95 MPH. The car I rented was a Peugeot turbo-diesel. I was very surprised, but this car had power, excellent acceleration and after 460 miles in 4 days, the tank was just under half-full.I was thinking, what if we all had cars such as this and ran them on hemp oil biofuel? Even better would be a hemp biodiesel/electric hybrid car? It would mean: less pollution, a fine new business for farmers, and no reliance on foreign petroleum suppliers whose politics hold us hostage. This is an agenda we need to advocate now. It highlights the intersection of cannabis, hemp and politics. Free the weed! Clinical cannabis now!
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Comment #2 posted by bruce42 on September 15, 2001 at 10:14:15 PT
U.S. Auto Makers
I am a student member of SAE, the Society of Automotive Engineers. As such a member, I was entitled to receive the monthly Automotive Engineering magazine produced by the society. Although it is a magazine, it is more journal than entertainment. It is technical, informative, and thorough. Unfortunately, it is not widely availible to those outside the mechanical engineering field (I am a computer engineer, but was an ME student for a short time).Using information from this journal I would like to outline a couple of the advanced technologies being pursued by the big three and offer my thoughts on the biofuel issue. Before we think too little of U.S. automakers we must realize that consumers in the U.S. have tastes in autos that are very different form consumers in Europe and Asia. In America the S.U.V. is king, and we cannot forget that the legacy of the American V-8 is not dead. The difficulty for U.S. automakers is to appease consumers, after all they are for profit enterprises, and at the same time meet or exceed current air quality standards and future standards. To this end, the big three have pursued programs for the development of low emission or zero emission vehicles. One example of such programs is fuel cell development. The big three have, in a matter of less than a decade, taken a dangerous and unreliable fuel cell system that filled a small van and turned it into a quiet, safe and zero-emission system that fits in the engine compartment and the undercarriage of a small car (think Ford Focus). To this end, the big three have developed fuel cells that covert straight hydrogen and fuel cells that reform petrol products and use the extracted hydrogen. While direct hydrogen conversion fuel cells are essentially zero-emission, the only byproduct is water or steam, petrol reforming fuel cells release CO2, although the amounts are far less than a petrol burning engine and there are no NOx or CO emissions. The problems with fuel cells include cost, the public, and infrastructure. Fuel cells are not widely produced or sold so the cost is high. Production on a large scale would reduce costs, but the metals, namely platinum, needed to catalyze reactions in a fuel cell are expensive. The scond problem, the public, stems form the fact that American consumers are simply in love with gasoline powered piston engines. They love the sound, the feel, and the fuel. But, the biggest hurdle that fuel cells face is infrastructure. All agree that direct hydrogen conversion fuel cells, the case where hydrogen itself is stored onboard and used as fuel, is the cheapest, lightest, and most efficient system for automotive fuel cells. Unfortunately, a nationwide system for the distribution and production of hydrogen fuel doesn't yet exist and will not for decades. On a more postive note, the probelms of safely storing presurized hydrogen onboard are being addressed now with existing material and thermal technologies. Auto makers project that fuel cells will be viable, cost-effective propulsion solutions in 15-25 years.In the mean time, current and fast approaching stringent emission regulations are forcing U.S. auto makers to pursue technically and economically viable hybrid platforms. Due to the wide popularity and poor fuel economy of the S.U.V., U.S. automakers are focusing hybrid efforts on those vehicles. From the website:"...Instead of opting to pursue hybrid-electric vehicle development with an eye toward touting a large percentage gain in fuel efficiency, GM is concerned more with overall net fuel savings, according to Hsu. Its mild-hybrid ParadiGM system will first be deployed on an SUV from the Epsilon midsize platform in 2004, but can be used on a variety of vehicle types. Epsilon, which GM's Saab and Opel units helped develop, is GM's first global platform, according to GM Vice Chairman Harry Pearce.In introducing the system at the North American International Auto Show, Pearce said, "Converting an efficient IC vehicle into a high-efficiency hybrid vehicle saves more fuel than making an already-efficient design into a super-efficient hybrid. A relatively simple calculation shows why: converting a small car that might get 21 km/L (50 mpg) to a hybrid at 30 km/L (70 mpg) saves 216 L (57 gal) over 16,000 km (10,000 mi) of driving experience. But converting an 11-km/L (25-mpg) vehicle into a 14-km/L (34-mpg) hybrid, while improving fuel economy by only half as much, actually saves more fuel—432 L (114 gal) over 16,000 km (10,000 mi)."With ParadiGM and other "high-volume" solutions, Pearce predicts that GM could exceed 100,000 hybrid unit sales by the end of the decade. "No other automaker can match it," he said of GM's hybrid strategy...."The only technology in the U.S. that has not received much attention is bio-diesel. Bio-diesel is viable and cost-effective, but there is a stigma about the diesel engine in the U.S.- people regard them as noisy, stinky, and dirty. As such, the big three, being the profit oriented organizations they are, haven't pursused a technology that is enviromentally sound, but widely unpopular in the U.S. Only a few hurdles are involved in bringing the bio-diesel vehicle fruition- infrastructure, proven viability, and the public. Most of the infra-structure exists, it just needs a little upgrading and a bit more dispersal. We know it works and works well, but the public does not support it.If we want to promote biodiesel and more specifically, hemp biodiesel, we are going to have to be sneaky about it. We live in a seeing is believing country so tours, demos, and wide publicity are the tools that can make the public reconsider bio-diesel. But, when people ask whats in it, get technical- something like refined vegetable hydrocarbons or something like that. The fact that the car runs on hemp oil needs to be secondary until the people accept the technology. Then when the ask, how much is it gonna cost to run, you say, you could grow the gas in your backyard if we had our way. You know, appeal to their wallets, and stir up that bit of anti-establishment that exists in everyone's head. Personally, I think the best bet for promoting hemp bio-diesel is with Midwest farmers- they are screwed by the government's market policies and are always looking for cheap fuel for the tractors, generators, pumps, and trucks that they need to do all the things they do, and they use lots and lots of diesel. Prove it works, hit their wallets, and be sure to let them know that they can grow the gas, it's better than corn, and the governmnet won't let them.BTW, I am interested in learing more about biofuels. Biomass research gets too little attention in this country. Thanks for posting contact information, and I hope I answered a few of your questions.For more information on SAE, fuel cells, and hybrid vehcles, go to and search for fuel cell or hybrid vehicle. 
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on September 14, 2001 at 19:19:31 PT:
Biofuels now-Why no Hibreds from Big 3 auto makers
Gas is going thru the roof. Now is time to look to biofuels. What is being talked about here is the Cellulose C onversion into Ethanol from whole plant matter like what is being done now with the whole corn stalk. Hemp being 77% cellulose. The plant is cooked then a Enzyme is added to eat the cellulose then inturn they are turned into sugars which are furmented then is distilled. So when you hear about Hemp being used for Fuel it is not cost wise to use the Oil. Mr. Nader has said that Hemp can produce Billions of gallions of Ethanol, Anytime Nader is around get a message to him that you understand that and ask what can we do. Mr.Woosley is the EX CIA Director which is the top Hemp Lobbyist in the USA. Anytime you can get a messege to hime ask him about Ethanol from Hemp. Why has no USA auto maker made a Hibred car like Toyota and Honda. These are questions we should be looking into. You can get "Biofuels news" at DOE National Biofuels Program Naationa Renewable Energy Laboratory 1617 Cole Blvd. Ms-1634 Golden , CO, 80401 Past issues and other related info. At Biofuels web site. Reg your e-mail address and receive electronic notification of future issues at Alert P.O. Box 95085Lincoln, NE 68509phone 402-471-2867e-mail energy site
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