Seeding Jobs

Seeding Jobs
Posted by CN Staff on May 04, 2004 at 16:16:01 PT
By Dara Colwell, AlterNet
Source: AlterNet
Since the Bush administration took office, 2.8 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. Now that a section of the President's Economic Report has expanded the definition of manufacturing jobs to include those in the fast-food industry, it seems the administration is scrambling hard for numbers, if not crumbs. But some entrepreneurs like Denis Cicero have a ready solution for today's jobless recovery: hemp. The owner of the Galaxy Global Eatery in Manhattan, which has served hemp-based foods since 1995, Cicero believes the fibrous plant could provide the very cornerstone of Republican economics  jobs and money.
"This is a burgeoning industry that's waiting to happen," says Cicero, whose 2002 book Hemp Cookbook captured the attention of health-minded celebrities. "There are 25,000 known applications for hemp, from paint varnishes, fabric, and cooking oil to thermal bricks and car parts. It's unbelievable the number of jobs that could be created if it was legalized." But growing hemp remains illegal in the United States, where the DEA has taken a hard line on the crop as a result of the war against its psychoactive cousin, marijuana, even though hemp contains only trace amounts of THC. Once cultivated widely, particularly in Kentucky, hemp's tough fibers were used for products ranging from rope, paper, clothing and canvas  whose name is derived from the Arabic word for hemp  including the canvas that once covered pioneer wagons heading out west. But in 1937, in an effort to crack down on marijuana, the federal government outlawed the plant only to backpedal when the Japanese cut off America's supply from the Philippines. Roughly 14,000 acres were harvested for rope in 1942, and had the war not ended, the government's goal the following year was 300,000 acres. Although farmers cannot cultivate hemp, as viable foodstuff, the plant is beginning to make legal inroads. In March, California's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's interpretive rule banning edible hemp seed or oil. Labeled by 18 members of Congress as being "overly restrictive," the regulation, issued in October 2001 without public notice, stood to bar foods containing trace amounts of THC under the Controlled Substances Act. The court's order effectively allows the hemp foods industry to continue its commercial success. For those in the business, the ruling suggests growing recognition of the plant's vast market potential, which has rocketed in recent years. The Hemp Industry Association, which launched the suit against the DEA, estimates retail sales of hemp products at $200 million annually. According to John Roulac, founder of Nutiva, a Sebastopol, CA-based company that sells organic hemp and flax food bars, hemp is an "economic Jack in the Beanstalk." "Sales are going so fast the farmers in Canada literally can't keep up with our production," says Roulac, whose business doubled this year to $1 million. "We're actually branching out into coconut oil because strategically, we can't rely on Canadian infrastructure," he says. One reason for hemp's thriving sales is the content of its seeds, which are high in essential fatty acids  "good fats" the body can't produce  such as Omega-3, which helps maintain optimal brain function and cardiovascular health. Such substances have been largely depleted by the Western diet and while fish offers a rich source, most contain traces of mercury  dangerous if consumed in large quantities. As an alternative source of Omega-3, hemp has been increasingly used in natural food products such as nutrition bars, nondairy milks, breads, cereals and even beer.  Hemp-Free Farms "It's insane the way we've treated this crop. We've basically eliminated it from the landscape of our country," says Andrew R. Graves, who comes from seven generations of Kentucky hemp farmers. Due to the DEA's stringent restrictions, Graves, who now works in Georgia as a masonry contractor and has leased his farmland to make ends meet, has never actually grown hemp. But he watched his father harvest it. In 1998, the farmer and his 100-member Kentucky Hemp Grower's Cooperative Association filed a federal lawsuit to cultivate industrial hemp. The suit was dismissed, crushing Graves' entrepreneurial spirit. "Kentucky is struggling. In rural areas, we're trying to develop some kind of new economic generator that will provide jobs and income and create a bigger tax base. Hellfire," he says, exasperated, "you can buy the finished material here but you can't grow the crop. It's nuts." In Kentucky, which produced large quantities of government-subsidized hemp during World War II and where wild strands still grow, many farmers see hemp as a hedge against tobacco's uncertain future. A fast-growing, multifaceted crop that can be raised without pesticides, hemp produces incredibly high yields, sometimes four times as much pulp per acre as wood pulp. It can also be used as a rotational crop and grows on marginal land where food crop production isn't profitable. The DEA's rules, however, have discouraged demand, leaving markets largely abroad or north of the border. For the moment, though, hemp is off-limits to American farmers. Asked to remark on whether the Ninth Circuit Court ruling might pave the way for industrial hemp, the DEA declined comment. However, Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, an action group aimed at educating potential voters about industrial hemp and related issues, says the court's ruling has raised hope. "We definitely feel very positive," he says. And now that hemp's legal status as a foodstuff is clear, Steenstra feels market demand will naturally drive a move towards industrial hemp. "American farmers deserve the same right to participate as those in Canada and the European Union," he says.  Crop of the Future "The government has been totally myopic," says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, which includes hemp oil in its list of ingredients. Bronner, whose company pockets nearly $20 million in annual retail sales, feels the drug war hysteria has fueled excessive restrictions. Such limits, if applied to poppy seed bagels, for example  which have triggered false positives in drug tests for heroin  would make it illegal to sell them. "Hemp has never been psychoactive and pretty much every industrialized nation in the world cultivates and processes the crop. It's not an issue." Indeed, industrial hemp is legally grown in over 30 countries worldwide and is recognized as a highly valuable agricultural commodity, netting nearly $1 billion. Germany's DaimlerChrysler Corporation has equipped its Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles with natural fiber-reinforced materials  a blend of polypropylene, hemp and kenaf  and natural fibers are beginning to replace fiberglass as a cost-effective, high-performing material in the car industry. "In terms of market potential, let's put it this way," says Geofrey Kime, president of Hemp Tech, North America's sole hemp refining facility based in Ontario, Canada. "In any given year there are 15 million cars produced in North America. That would take about 300 million pounds of (natural) fiber. That's substantial." Yet, the value to the American market, for the moment, remains at zero. "How can Europe and Canada be doing something that's not allowed in the land of the free and the home of the brave?" asks Joe Hickey, a hemp activist who has campaigned alongside Woody Harrelson and maintains the celebrity's website. "If it wasn't economically viable, people wouldn't be growing it." Nutiva's Roulac also feels America is overlooking a huge global investment. Detailing his future vision to build a processing plant in California, Roulac says he could create 40-50 new jobs  if hemp was legalized. "Do I need to keep writing million dollar checks to Canadian farmers, or can we do this is California and create jobs?" he asks. Cicero of Galaxy Global Eatery feels the same. "Hemp will produce jobs. No doubt," he says. "It's a staple grain, like barley or corn, and it has copious uses. Just about any manufacturing business could benefit." Dara Colwell is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn. Source: AlterNet (US)Author: Dara Colwell, AlterNetPublished: May 4, 2004Copyright: 2004 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: News Hemp Links -- Hemp Archives
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 06, 2004 at 22:35:42 PT
Event: Hemp Hoe Down Planned at Campground
The fourth annual Hemp Hoe Down is set for Friday and Saturday, May 21-22, at the Elk View Campground, located off Interstate 90 at Exit 37 south of Sturgis.Doors open at 4 p.m. Friday, with hemp pizza, quesadillas and breads ready at 5 p.m. The Mad Hats will perform at 6 p.m., "hemp farmer" Alex White Plume will speak at 7:30 p.m., and the Crazy Horse Singers will follow at 8 p.m.Tone Grown will perform at 8:30 p.m., and Keefe Green, editor of Hemphasis Magazine, will speak at 9:30 p.m. Todd Rigione will provide music from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.Saturday's events start with an 11 a.m. hemp pancake breakfast. Hemp information videos will be shown starting at 2 p.m. Hemp pasta, pizza and other foods will be available at 4 p.m., with a product demonstration at 5 p.m.Evening events include Six Mile Road bluegrass band at 5:30 p.m., South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Bob Newland at 7:30 p.m. and an open jam/open mic at 8 p.m. DJ4Norml takes the stage at 10 p.m.Cost is $20 for two days and two nights of camping, or $7 per day and $5 to camp. One-third of all proceeds will go to Alex White Plume, who planted several hemp crops on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Federal agents raided the hemp fields before they were harvested.Hemp is related to the marijuana plant, but is used to make such products as rope, food and paper. Under federal law, it is illegal to grow hemp in the United States, but it is legal to import it. Tribal law allows hemp farming on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.For more information, call Jeremy at 484-1806.This Article was published online on Friday, May 07, 2004
Hemp Links
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 04, 2004 at 21:38:20 PT
ekim and The GCW
I've been really distracted because of the prisoner issue in Iraq and I want to say thank you for what you both are doing. Keep up the good work. It's appreciated.
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on May 04, 2004 at 21:10:19 PT
Kerry pick the only running mate left standing 
yesterday when W was in town. he was talken about fuels and started out by saying that we needed alternative fuel and said that he hoped for increased corn yelds. This brought about silence a quite type that made my hair stand on end. These poor folks I thought they do not even know about ethanol with all the stories that have gone around and all the taking that we have been doing the last few years. I was recalling the event to a friend that had gone to protest and he looked at me without blinking and said you know those folks do not come from the farms, not much to draw upon to gain a affection for the soil and water. W spoke about how the local Jr colleges were good. I thought gee how come none around these parts say anything about ethanol and who is going to make all the machines and equipment needed to distill and package the fuel. Golden CO is govt pilot testing center for alt feed stocks. They have been usen switch grass and willows and corn stalks and algae why not HEMP. Nat'l renewable energy lab. and while the schools are at it why not Hemp for paper --- how can China be maken billions on paper and linen while we are going bust at our mills both paper as thousands here have lost their jobs and textile mills that are all but wiped out. Where are the textile museums that should have the entire record of how hemp was used to cloth the people. The film Hemp for Victory should be seen by everyone that reads this text. Now more than any time in our history we need to bring back this plant for the good of humanity. Dennis Kucinich should be VP as he can do the leg work needed to restart the Hemp age again. Virg keep up the good work its only a cheek in the scheme of things.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on May 04, 2004 at 20:01:48 PT
2004 Summit County Democratic Platform scroll to the right and click: 2004 Platform Then click AgricultureWe support that American farmers should be allowed to compete in a worldwide market by growing industrial-use hemp. It is time to reintroduce hemp as a component of American agriculture.     American farmers are not currently allowed to grow industrial-use hemp which is used to create many usable products (fabrics, paper, car parts, foods, clean fuel for biomass, etc.). Farmers in the rest of the world are allowed to grow hemp, thus our farmers are placed at a competitive disadvantage.'s more.Credible drug law reform 1) We support credible drug law reform and the diversion of convicted drug-dependent and non-violent offenders to rehabilitation programs as alternatives to incarceration.     Incarceration of non-violent users of illegal drugs has not proven to be an effective deterrent to illegal drug use, and we encourage rehab programs as a preferable alternative. We continue to support strong enforcement of drug laws against producers and pushers of illegal drugs. 2) We support federal decriminalization of cannabis when prescribed for medical use in states allowing such use. There is scientific evidence that cannabis is effective in relieving symptoms related to wasting diseases such as AIDS and cancer. Several states, including Colorado, have approved the use of cannabis for medical indications when prescribed by licensed practitioners. Federal prosecution of prescribing licensed practitioners and their patients who use medicinal cannabis has wasted resources, delayed necessary medical treatment, and pitted the Federal prosecutor against the expressed will of the people in said states. We support the reform of mandatory sentencing policies and the use of alternatives to incarceration for non-violent criminals, including treatment and rehabilitation. The United States leads the world in the incarceration of our own citizens resulting from mandatory sentencing laws and resulting in full prisons and severe racial disparity. The cost of incarceration drains budgets. County ColoradoI encourage activists to participate in shaping Your county's Democratic platform. 
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Comment #4 posted by Virgil on May 04, 2004 at 19:03:57 PT
Kent State was this date in 1970
People do not understand why people protest the WTO? People don't understand the call for drug reform? People do not understand crap. Kent State changed everything and it could well be that we see a Kent State event over the drug laws or the trampling of the Constitution.There are a lot of guns out there in homes and cars and with the police. There will have to be a violent event if the push for fascism continues. It is important to understand that one event like 34 years ago today can change things. The oppression and robbing and jobless recovery cannot continue without blowback.The violent solution does not get mentioned here much because everyone wants a peaceful solution. It could well be that violence leads to the end of prohibition.
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on May 04, 2004 at 18:20:16 PT
Hemp 4 Jobs
What better way to marginalize the middle class than to outlaw industrial hemp? Send their jobs overseas and make their futures uncertain. Better be a good little sheep if you want a job in Korporate Amerika.SHADOW OF THE SWASTIKA - The Real Reason the Government Won't Debate Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Re-legalization: Defence of Cannabis: way out is the way in...WATCH INN WORLD REPORT VIDEO WITH DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: to David Ray Griffin on "Flashpoints" Mastermind: Donald Rumsfeld Poll - 56% think there is a 9/11 Cover-up: Asner Supports the 9/11 Truth Movement! Citizens' Inquiry into 9/11 - Toronto, Canada - May 25-30:
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Comment #2 posted by Agog on May 04, 2004 at 17:49:15 PT
That Dogma just won't hunt
Anyone who has done any research at all regarding hemp seed and nutrition realizes that the real crime is the illegality of cultivating it in the US. Hemp seed offers the near perfect nutritional profile for human consumption. the EFA ratio is also nearly ideal, the protein has extraordinarily high bioavailability..... and given the way it will flourish and even provide bioremediation in areas with poor soil conditions it would do wonders most anywhere it is cultivated... Hell, it's one of the things being used to clean Chernobyl.But, sorry for your own good we will keep it tightly controlled if not outlawed... good nutrition at affordable prices just won't do, especially if it is produced in an environmentally sound fashion... we'll show those damned hippies. The People's food COOP here in San Diego sells bulk hempseed,imported from Canada at $7.69/lb. It still sells like crazy... just think how economical it would be if we lifted the prohibition against it.....AgogP.S.
If anyone in the DEA actually knew anything about plants they would be air dropping low THC hemp every year.... it would radically change some of the outdoor guerilla farming tactics employed now....
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on May 04, 2004 at 17:01:57 PT
Paging Rd. Russo,2933,119019,00.htmlKids who cut or injure themselves to feel better -- are they trying to release cannabinoids?Maybe they are kids under so much stress, their natural cannabinoid systems are overwhelmed. or they could have some genetic deficiency in cannabinoids.Maybe pot would be the right therapy for them. Maybe the majority of the youth marijuana problem is really an adult perception problem.That's what I've thought for a long time. People don't want to admit how stressed kids are, so they look at self medication for stress and decide it's a problem, not an attempt at a solution.
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