Farmers Caught In Drug Debate!

Farmers Caught In Drug Debate!
Posted by FoM on July 08, 1999 at 06:38:43 PT
Source: Map Inc.
Farmers interested in growing industrial hemp find it both curious and ironic when opposing sides of the marijuana issue -- law enforcement and pro-marijuana advocates -- use the same argument, that hemp is marijuana, to advance their agendas.
Isn't it the height of absurdity when these opposing sides blatantly coattail onto what is obviously a farming issue? Let's get this straight once and for all: Cannabis used as a farm crop contains less than 1 percent of the psychoactive ingredient THC, whereas the cannabis smoked for its psychoactive effects contain 5 percent to 30 percent THC. Why, you might ask, are farmers caught in the middle of a fight they neither want nor are a party to? It's simple. Law enforcement receives $500 million annually to eradicate marijuana, and according to Vermont's legislative study more than $495 million goes toward eradicating hemp. (Talk about The Fleecing of America.) And what about the pro-marijuana advocates? They see hemp as the ``camel's nose under the tent'' that will lead to the eventual legalization of marijuana. Each side, depending on its agenda, loudly proclaims and holds high its hemp/marijuana banner. But what about farmers? Does anyone on either of the opposing sides of this issue care about the farmers? Farmers just want to be able to provide a living for their families, which has nothing to do with growing marijuana. Marijuana is not a farming issue. It's not even an agricultural crop; it's a horticultural one. The point was best made by a Kentucky farmer who remarked that growing marijuana could be compared to storing 300 cases of beer behind his fence and returning 90 days later to find what's left: nothing. Hemp simply is not marijuana, and while law enforcement and pro-marijuana advocates try dragging American farmers into this fight, Canadian and European farmers are moving forward with developing their hemp industries, which may very well help generate enough income to make farming once again a sustainable proposition.
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