Industrial Hemp Looked Into More Seriously

Industrial Hemp Looked Into More Seriously
Posted by FoM on April 13, 2002 at 14:17:05 PT
By Drew Landis 
Source: Daily Vidette 
When the concept of industrial hemp is brought up, it is usually dismissed as some kind of hippie rhetoric. But as environmental factors worsen and the need for a serious energy alternative arises, professor of biological sciences Angelo Capparella said he hopes people can shed some of the misconceptions they have about hemp."One of the problems I see, is that there has been a tendency for people who want to legalize marijuana also to be very involved with industrial hemp," Capparella said.
He said this creates an automatic linkage in the public psyche that cannot be broken easily.Gregg Brown, ISU alumnus and Student Environmental Action Coalition activist, contended that this linkage is a result of the aggressive anti-drug campaign undertaken by the United States. Anti-drug campaigns have gone a long way to discredit hemp through its association with marijuana, though Brown said the psychoactive payload of chemicals is relatively nonexistent in industrial hemp.Capparella said, "We've got to break that linkage, and then have a discussion on each issue separately, because they really are separate issues.""On the one hand, you have the drug enforcement agency that doesn't want to break the linkage because they think it will make their job harder," Capparella said. "And you have the advocates of hemp who, even though they say they see them [marijuana and hemp] as separate issues, they're often involved in both."Of course legislation is one of the keys to success for industrial hemp, and its record thus far is unsuccessful, Director of Programs for the McLean County Farm Bureau Mike Swartz said. A law that would have permitted research and development on industrial hemp has been struck down twice at the gubernatorial level."Anything that is going to help boost the farm economy, we're going to generally be supportive of as well," Matt Bisbee, press secretary for Congressman Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), said.Bisbee said Johnson supported the initiatives at the state level when he was a member of the Illinois General Assembly, but stressed the specifics of any proposed legislation would have to be worked out before it gained widespread support.However according to Manager of Public Affairs at Illinois Power Charlie Deal, the real bottom line in determining the feasibility of industrial hemp may be…the bottom line."Whomever it is that's going to make that investment in energy sources looks at what's available; what's a reliable, efficient way of generating power today," he said.He said the most cost-effective sources that still meet the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines are the ones that will be used for now. Those sources do not include industrial hemp."It's hard to say what's going to happen," Deal said.The industrial hemp legislation is currently at a stalemate in Illinois, Swartz said, and Bisbee said he is unaware of any such federal legislation."As long as the public stays quiet, the politicians are going to serve the money interests," Brown said."We've got a presidential administration that's committed to the worst possible choices that can be made," he said, "because it's in the current corporate structure that's where the highest profits are."Brown also dismisses the claim that legalization of hemp would open the door for marijuana."I'm not going to say there's no risk in liberating this plant, but compared to the risks of climate change, acid rain, pesticides, wars…I think if you balance it, where's the biggest risk," he asked.Bisbee said, "As a renewable energy source we are definitely interested in looking into it [hemp]. We're 100 percent behind renewable energy sources."Capparella said he hopes the public realizes the danger they are in soon, before it is too late. He fingered the public, their apathy and their complacency as part of the reason the situation has gotten so bad so soon."Scientists have good solutions but so few of them are being done because the public doesn't believe there's even a problem," he said.He said scientists have been doing the work, its up to the public and the news media to perpetuate those findings. He also said he feels the values of the American public need to be better prioritized in order to bring about change."If your only value is to get as much as you can, then it's no wonder the decisions that are made are made," Capparella said."But if you do have a value that extends beyond your own immediate material wealth, then that will lead to being concerned about...the future."Brown agreed, saying a responsible news media is imperative for a solution to be reached on the industrial hemp issue. "Let's have a debate, let's get real, and we can make a choice," Brown said. "We don't have time to waste. This truth can change everything." Source: Daily Vidette (IL Edu)Author: Drew Landis Published: Friday, April 12, 2002 Copyright: 2002 Daily VidetteContact: vidette ilstu.eduWebsite: Articles & Web Site: Hemp Links for Industrial Hemp Study Shelved To Study Hemp Farming Crops Up Again Bill In Illinois Legislature Promotes Hemp 
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on April 15, 2002 at 00:31:15 PT
Why must I surrender all credibility just because I advocate the legalization of marijuana & simultaneously support the American farmer's right to cultivate industrial hemp? Can any of you anti's answer that one? I doubt it. Both causes are righteous! 
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Comment #2 posted by p4me on April 14, 2002 at 10:30:22 PT
the founding fathers
I am always amazed at intellectuals like George Will that always recite some founding father as to what the Constitution Means. There are only like 4000 words in the Constitution so there are plenty of ideas on elaboration.But in persuing the founding fathers thought arguement, I call up Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin. Washington and Jefferson of course were Presidents that had big money crops of hemp and Franklin was the first American to make paper to break British trade dependency using hemp. Therefore, the founding fathers had no desire to have hemp be an illegal plant. It is not like now when they talk about internet privacy and try to factor technology issues into the Constitution. These people knew what hemp was and no one was stupid enough to thing that Mt. Vernon and Monticello should be seized to buy ping-pong tables for the local, state, and national police. This drug war minus T&A is insanity. I am amazed at just how blind many of our citizens are. Maybe when they or theirs need marijuana for their cancer or AIDS, the blindness will end.Whatever. Don't smoke. VAAI
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Comment #1 posted by Dan B on April 13, 2002 at 15:36:23 PT:
Not Us--You, Capparella
"One of the problems I see, is that there has been a tendency for people who want to legalize marijuana also to be very involved with industrial hemp," Capparella said. 
Let me offer this advice to Capparella: don't shoot your supporters. The fact of the matter is that the legalization of marijuana and the legalization of industrial hemp are related issues that deserve to be associated with the same level of import. Both have to do with freedom, and one will not become legal without the other. If you are realizing that industrial hemp and marijuana are related issues, the best thing you can do is rally support from both camps. The reason why industrial hemp is not legal in this country is not due to the support of its legalization by those who also advocate the legalization of marijuana, but because people like Capparella are hell-bent on demonizing the bulk of its supporters. Frankly, it's amazing to me that people who support legalizing marijuana still support industrial hemp, given the treatment we continually receive from its advocates. So, Capparella, don't blame your problems on those of us who happen to support both causes. Blame your problems on the fact that you choose to demonize one use of the plant while supporting another.We are the ones who are being consistent.Dan B
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