Lawmakers Back Plan To Legalize Industrial Hemp

  Lawmakers Back Plan To Legalize Industrial Hemp

Posted by CN Staff on August 02, 2004 at 08:13:32 PT
By Aracely Hernandez, Staff Writer 
Source: Daily Chronicle  

Two DeKalb County board members are urging state officials to pass legislation allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp - a distant cousin of marijuana - for use in making rope, clothing and other products.Hemp cannot be legally grown in the United States, according to Greg Millburg, DeKalb County Farm Bureau governmental affairs director. And a state bill about four years ago that would have allowed University of Illinois researchers to test the crop's economic viability was vetoed by former Gov. George Ryan.
County Board Member Julia Fauci, D-DeKalb, and fellow board member Steve Faivre, D-Kingston, hope the county board will pass a resolution urging the state to do a study now.Fauci said that before lawmakers were worried approving the bill would lead to the legalization of marijuana.But she stressed that industrial hemp is not the same as marijuana. "The two are related like you are related to your cousin. It's two different things," she said. "The industrial variety is not grown for the leaves at all, the leaves just die off. The farmers don't care if the leaves are moldy and fall off. They are growing it for the fiber and the seed."Millburg and Fauci said the product can be used in the United States and is imported from more than 30 countries, including Canada."It would be a potentially good crop for Illinois farmers," Millburg said. "As a statewide organization, we encourage research of the potential market out there for industrial hemp."Millburg said the Illinois Farm Bureau also supports a request for the Drug Enforce-ment Agency to permit the production of hemp for research purposes."The permit needs to be granted even before growing can take place," he said.Hemp was widely produced throughout the county's history, however its production became restricted during the 1930s. It was most recently grown during World War II when farmers were urged to growth hemp for rope and canvas.The plant's seeds also can be cultivated for oil used in beauty products.Esmond farmer Paul Taylor supports the study."It would have to be an alternative crop," he said. "There are benefits from rotating crops and when production is up or down."He said it's unlikely that all farmers would start producing the plant if it were made legal. He said specialized equipment may be needed and a processing plant would need to be nearby."I think in general farmers are always looking for alternatives crops," he said. "This is just one that would fit in that category. It's political restrictions that keep us out."Fauci said she is interested in learning how the fiber can be used to make paper. She is a professional book designer and production manager with Northern Illinois University Press. She said she wants to find a new source of book paper and that papers used now are not the most ecological friendly or stable."We were looking at how we could help things," she said. "We want to limit the chemicals and bleaching - any white paper you get has been bleached and it produces dioxins, one of the most dangers chemicals to humans."Fauci has been researching hemp on her own, she said"The fiber has strength, durability, longevity and recycleability - it adds value to whatever product it goes into manufacturing," she said. "The tragedy of this whole story is that your relative is acting horribly and you're getting the blame. (Industrial hemp) has a tiny portion of THC - the drug-inducing chemical. You could get high off of it. You'd get sick before you got high. ... When you cross-pollinate it with marijuana, it waters down the marijuana."Fauci and Faivre on Thursday will present a resolution to the DeKalb County Board's Public Policy Com-mittee asking for the board to urge the state to do the study.The committee meets at 6:30 p.m. at the DeKalb County Highway Department, 1826 Barber Greene Road.Source: Daily Chronicle (IL)Author: Aracely Hernandez, Staff WriterPublished: Saturday, July 31, 2004Copyright: 2004 Daily ChronicleContact: ahernandez pulitzer.netWebsite: Hemp Links Hemp Archives

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Comment #3 posted by ekim on August 02, 2004 at 20:08:02 PT
we are all related
"The tragedy of this whole story is this line--------I stand up for mine -- something about family values
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on August 02, 2004 at 16:25:35 PT
Fauci said that before lawmakers were worried approving the bill would lead to the legalization of marijuana.The Illinois General Assembly overwhelmingly passed two hemp-study bills but both were vetoed by the crook, George Ryan. Ryan wan't worried, he was just representing the special interests instead of the people. The General Assembly obviously wasn't too worried! The new governor isn't very popular but there's a chance he'll sign a new bill or simply let it become law. 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on August 02, 2004 at 09:35:29 PT
It is time to reintroduce hemp as a component of American agriculture.&The Federal Court agrees since the Friday Feb. 6, 2004, 9th Federal Circuit Court ruling, rejecting the DEA's attempt to outlaw hemp and hemp food products.
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