Supporters of Industrial Hemp Continue Quest 

Supporters of Industrial Hemp Continue Quest 
Posted by FoM on December 21, 2001 at 08:13:37 PT
By Jim Getz of The Post-Dispatch 
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
When a bill to study industrial hemp was rejected recently in the Illinois Legislature, its supporters were left with a conundrum: How do you study a potential crop if you can't legally grow it?A meeting of the minds has brought out some possibilities, said state Rep. Patrick Lawfer, R-Freeport, the sponsor of the bill. He had watched legislators who originally supported the idea melt under the heat of Gov. George Ryan's veto.
"There was discussion that maybe there could be some laboratory work accomplished, and maybe an economic study of industrial hemp," Lawfer said of a meeting among representatives from Ryan's office, Western Illinois University, the University of Illinois and Omni Ventures, a group of farmers from southwestern Illinois."It was pointed out that there really hasn't been a study to look at biomass, to be combusted for energy, in this state. The feeling is industrial hemp could fit right into that."Because they have been getting low prices for corn, soybeans and wheat over the past few years, some farmers hope eventually to grow hemp, called a value-added crop because farmers can also sell various products made from it.The bill would have permitted the University of Illinois to apply for a federal permit to grow industrial hemp in test plots. WIU would have, and still could, study law enforcement issues regarding hemp vs. its botanical cousin, marijuana.Opponents say legalization of hemp would send a mixed message to children. In his veto, Ryan agreed with that argument and also said other studies had shown that markets for hemp are not doing well economically."The governor has taken the position that they can study it without growing it," said state Sen. Evelyn Bowles, D-Edwardsville, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. "How you can do that, I don't know. He lost me on that."Bowles also disagreed with Ryan's argument about a lack of markets for hemp products."Thirty-seven countries in the world are growing hemp and making products," she said. "They seem to be thinking it's an economically viable crop."In general, hemp has about one-tenth the THC, or drug, content of marijuana. Lawfer said laboratory experiments could focus on producing hemp with zero THC. "But on the other hand," he said, "that may or may not be valuable information because you wouldn't be able to duplicate outdoor growing conditions."Lawfer said that university officials did not commit to specific studies. "It was simply an exchange of ideas, and we didn't ask for commitments," he said.Bowles and Lawfer are retiring from the Legislature after the election in November, but Lawfer does not believe their absence will kill the issue."I think there are members of the General Assembly who are going to keep this issue on the front burner," he said. "I have no regrets over what we were able to do."Published in Metro on Friday, December 21, 2001.Complete Title: Supporters of Industrial Hemp Continue Quest for Acceptance Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)Author: Jim Getz of The Post-Dispatch Published: Friday, December 21, 2001Copyright: 2001 St. Louis Post-DispatchContact: letters post-dispatch.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:FTE's Hemp Links Seeks Other Avenues for Research for Industrial Hemp Study Shelved
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 21, 2001 at 14:24:24 PT
St. Louis
St. Louis Univarsity is where cannabinoid receptor sites in the brain, were discovered, in about 1988.
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Comment #1 posted by John Markes on December 21, 2001 at 11:37:01 PT
Of Course...
They always assume that kids and the general population are terminally stupid...
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