Advocates Pitch Hemp as Farmers' Gold

Advocates Pitch Hemp as Farmers' Gold
Posted by CN Staff on July 11, 2005 at 07:21:39 PT
By Kristin Collins, Staff Writer
Source: News & Observer
North Carolina -- Hemp wasn't always the pet plant of tie-dyed liberals. Its spiky leaves once covered thousands of acres across the country. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew it. An early draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. Betsy Ross' flag is said to have been sewn from hemp fabric.Now, a movement is under way to bring hemp back into the mainstream. In June, a Texas congressman introduced legislation to legalize the growing of hemp in the United States for the first time since 1937. Hemp products are legal in the United States, but growing hemp is not.
In North Carolina, some say the plant -- which looks like marijuana but has none of its psychoactive properties -- could be salvation for farmers. "It's so easy," said Gale Glenn of Durham, a former Kentucky tobacco farmer who is vice chairwoman of the North American Industrial Hemp Council, which advocates for its legalization. "You close the gate and don't touch it for months. It's exactly what farmers need. They don't need four acres of tomatoes that they have to pick by hand. They need an industrial crop."To hear advocates tell it, hemp is a gold mine. It grows almost anywhere without fertilizers or pesticides. Its fibers can be used to make a variety of products, such as auto parts, bleach-free paper and high-quality fabric. Its seeds are a nutritious snack or a source of luxurious oil.And, though it is in the same family as marijuana, it has such a minuscule amount of THC, the chemical that gets pot smokers high, that it can't be used for recreational purposes."You could smoke four acres of hemp if you wanted to," Glenn said. "But all you'd have is a terrible headache and sore throat."'Diabolically Opposed'Hemp is cultivated legally in more than 30 countries, including Canada and much of Europe.But many farmers in North Carolina are not so eager to jump on the hemp bandwagon -- which has been populated for years by the dreadlocked, environmentally conscious and pro-marijuana crowds.The N.C. Farm Bureau opposes the growing of hemp. President Larry Wooten said the bureau takes its cues from law enforcement groups, which he said are "diabolically opposed" to the crop.The federal Drug Enforcement Administration, along with many local law enforcement groups, points out that hemp does have small amounts of THC. And they argue that hemp's similarity in appearance to marijuana would make drug enforcement a nightmare."I'm against the manufacture of any illegal substance under the guise of industrial hemp or whatever," said Wilkes County Sheriff Dane Mastin, president of the N.C. Sheriff's Association.Importing HempSome opponents say there's simply no market for hemp.It has been a long time since the government had a campaign called "Hemp for Victory," which encouraged farmers to grow hemp for parachute cords, rope and other military supplies during World War II.These days, hemp is sold in the United States mostly in the form of high-end clothing in specialty shops and as oil in natural foods shops."If farmers plant hemp, who's going to buy it?" Wooten asked. "Why isn't the user coming forward saying, 'We need this product. Help us get it.'?"He points to kenaf, a crop in the cotton family that has similar uses, as evidence that hemp would flop.Four years ago, a few Eastern North Carolina farmers planted kenaf as an alternative to tobacco. They put up money for a processing plant and made a deal to sell it to car manufacturers, who used the strong fibers in auto parts. Today, the plant is closed, and the farmers are no longer growing kenaf.Paul Skillicorn, former president of the now-defunct Carolina Kenaf Farmers Foundation, said they were undercut by jute farmers in Bangladesh.But hemp advocates say American farmers should at least have the option to supply the existing hemp market. Those who sell hemp products say it's ridiculous that they have to import all their merchandise.Frank Brown, who runs Natural Selections in Ocracoke, sells hemp clothing, bags, cosmetics, oils and food products. All of the raw materials for his products come from Asia, South America and Europe."Hemp is an incredible, incredible plant," Brown said. "Even though it's not politically correct, God put it on Earth for us to use it."Staff researcher Becky Ogburn contributed to this report.Source: News & Observer (NC)Author: Kristin Collins, Staff WriterPublished: July 11, 2005Copyright: 2005 The News and Observer Publishing CompanyContact: forum nando.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:NAIHC Hemp for Victory Fear Not The Ever Useful Hemp
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Comment #18 posted by jose melendez on July 13, 2005 at 12:03:27 PT
Re: Comment #17Richard is correct as usual:Environmentalists split on DuPont dealPublished in the Asbury Park Press 07/13/05BY TOM BALDWINGANNETT STATE BUREAUTRENTON  Environmentalists split ranks Tuesday on the deal New Jersey has struck with chemical giant DuPont, in which critics say the polluter paid pennies on the dollar to settle claims it polluted water in northern and southern New Jersey.(snip)"They are paying a penny on the dollar," said Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club in New Jersey . . .
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Comment #17 posted by Richard Zuckerman on July 13, 2005 at 11:19:50 PT:
Am I correct that Congress submitted an Industrial Hemp Bill, about a month ago? What is the number of the Congressional Bill?Listen, FoM: I am from New Jersey. On Eath Day, a young lady told me that Nazis were released on Livingston Campus, of Rutgers University. Type "New Jersey and the Nazis" into any search engine, pull it up, and read it, please? Visit, the retired Prosecutor of the United States Department of Justice NAZI HUNTER section, and read about the Bush Family financing of Adolph Hitler and the secret Standard Oil of New Jersey provision to Adolph Hitler, during an Oil Embargo. Standard Oil of New Jersey is now named Exxon. This is partly why I sign all of the e-mail letters to try to put Exxon out of business. As George Dubya said in 1993: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and these are the ones you need to concentrate on." These Nazis are why Hemp continues to be outlawed: Shadow of the Swastika,! Bush and the feds are the biggest criminals! They arrest us every 40 seconds for small amounts of pot while the C.I.A. launders over $600 billion per year of drug money thru Wall Street, CitiBank being the most notorious. See: CitiGroup, which is part of CitiBank, recently agreed to pay $2 billion for their part in ENRON scandal!! But don't think for a minute that Democrats are any better! I like Ralph Nader, Libertarian Party, and Green Party candidates! Ralph Nader would not have accepted the out-of-court settlement with DuPont. Most of the land DuPont promises to take care of is wetlands and not able to be developed, anyway! Now the DuPont son is being released from prison, the wrestler who killed a partner. Those DuPont environmental and homicidal criminals ought to pay a far dearer price than the slap-in-the-hand they have thus far received for their scofflaws!!! Has anybody seen the movie entitled THE CORPORATION?
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on July 12, 2005 at 06:03:25 PT
Just skimmed this column...
but I didn't like the tone of the entire piece. It was somewhat "diabolical". What a bunch of tiny little people with tiny little minds...and I'm not talking about diminutive physical stature, either.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on July 11, 2005 at 20:43:35 PT
Willie Nelson's New Album Artwork
I have his new cd in my wish list at Here's the picture of the cover art. The next order I make I will get it. It's really pretty.
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Comment #14 posted by jose melendez on July 11, 2005 at 20:29:15 PT
EnvironMental Rambling: typo in comment #11 
Apologies in advance to any anti-drug, ant-environMental midgets that might be offended by this coincidence, but in my last post, I meant to type 'one thing in common' in the subject field, playing off the Bob Seger song ( ) . . . then when I noticed the title in my last post had the typo 'pne' instaed of 'one', I found this: May 28 (1976): President Gerald Ford and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign the Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes (PNE) Treaty. The treaty clarified and expanded the Threshold Test Ban Treaty.Regardless of, or perhaps thanks to dishonesty from those opposed to hemp, I'm working to clarify and expand a THC Threshold Test Ban, Treaty, Law, lawsuit, whatever.BTW, has anyone heard the Willie Nelson album 'Countryman' yet? I'm thinking of buying it from a small shop because of Wal-Mart's decision to change the art work on the CD cover. 
Demand the Plant!
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Comment #13 posted by knowhemp on July 11, 2005 at 20:15:54 PT
weak arguments on prohib behalf
i'm really tired of these arguments. hemp can't be used to disguise illicit grow ops because they would not be able to avoid the seeding of the flowers. sheesh. and whats all this about there being no market? hasn't the demand for hemp products been skyrocketing? despite the fact that it's overpriced because it's imported??? ignorance and greed. all of it!
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 11, 2005 at 19:46:06 PT
I've seen contaminated water in NJ. I know a person who lives in Jersey and she found out a house where she grew up was for sale and wanted to buy it. She found out that many of the people who lived in the houses in that neighborhood had one form of cancer or another so she didn't buy the house. People can ignore the enviornment but it will turn around and bite them in the back if they do. That's just my opinion.
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Comment #11 posted by jose melendez on July 11, 2005 at 19:18:03 PT
pne thing in common: fire down below Mon, Jul. 11, 2005DuPont settles New Jersey contamination claimBy Inquirer StaffE.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. will preserve 1,875 acres of land, plant 3,000 trees in urban areas and pay $500,000 to settle a claim by the state that the chemical company contamintaed ground water at eight sites in New Jersey, officials announced today.The preserved land is in Cape May, Gloucester, Middlesex, Passaic and Salem counties."The DuPont settlement represents the largest in-kind compensation package ever obtained for damages to the state's ground water resources," said Bradley Campbell the commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection.The agreement developed after DuPont approached the state willing to settle its liability for contaminating 2,400 acres of groundwater offering to protect 1,875 acres as compensation.The DEP said it required additional environmental projects to make up for the acreage difference, resulting in the agreement on planting the trees, the payment of $500,000 and construction of boat ramp on land to be preserved along the Salem Creek.A. Dwight Bedsole, director of DuPont's Corporate Remediation Group, said in a statement the agreement "underscores DuPont's continuing commitment to work in cooperation with the public sector to resolve environmental responsibilities related to our historical manufacturing operations and represents a significant success for both the environment and citizens of New Jersey."In Gloucester County, the settlement calls for the protection of 435 acres of predominantly forested wetlands and emergent freshwater marsh adjacent to the Delaware River in Greenwich Township.The deal calls for preservation of 955 acres along the Salem Creek and the purchase of 350 acres of undeveloped, forested property in Cape May County.The trees will be planted at a cost to DuPont of $1.8 million in the cities and towns of the Arthur Kill and Passaic watersheds in North Jersey (snip)PHYTOEXTRACTION OF PB, CR AND CD BY HEMP DURING SUGAR INDUSTRY ANAEROBIC SEWAGE SLUDGE TREATMENT"Hemp resin can be used as an additive in the creation of biodegradable polymers that help to reduce the problems of waste disposal associated with toxic materials. " also: Army Halts VX Destruction: Waste by-product of Indiana nerve agent neutralization is flammable
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Comment #10 posted by AlvinCool on July 11, 2005 at 17:29:16 PT
So lets see. The declaration is our most prized parchment?If prohibition had been in effect and it was written on COTTON based paper it would already be completly decomposed?
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Comment #9 posted by runderwo on July 11, 2005 at 10:35:42 PT
"And they argue that hemp's similarity in appearance to marijuana would make drug enforcement a nightmare.  "How do you tell cocaine apart from sugar? You send it off to a lab. The benefits to society outweigh the inconvenience to law enforcement, especially when it comes to something as benign as marijuana.
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Comment #8 posted by runderwo on July 11, 2005 at 10:31:34 PT
status quo
"  "I'm against the manufacture of any illegal substance under the guise of industrial hemp or whatever," said Wilkes County Sheriff Dane Mastin, president of the N.C. Sheriff's Association."What use is it to interview cops, DAs, lawyers about something like this? Of course they're going to support the status quo unless they have a compelling reason not to (such as the death or corruption of fellow officers). By the way, the Columbia police forum is open again, but anyone who posts about the deleted posts is flamed, because they were "advocating marijuana use". Apparently cops don't want to hear that their task of eradicating marijuana and marijuana users is doing more harm than good to many people.
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on July 11, 2005 at 09:30:09 PT:
Showing their 'iggerance'
Many years ago on a Washington DC UHF TV station, they used to show the old "Little Rascals" films. In one, the character "Wheezer" is lecturing the one named "Stymie", "...not to show your 'iggerance'.It would seem the 'iggerance' of LEO's is being displayed proudly for all to see; hemp is NOT the same as "mair-ee-wah-nuh" but these loons stubbornly profess not to be able to tell the difference, despite all the knowledgeable people willing to educate them. More examples of Upton Sinclair's observation that a man whose paycheck is dependent upon *not* understanding something will be deliberately obtuse. But it's getting old, guys; it's getting real old...
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Comment #6 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on July 11, 2005 at 09:29:49 PT
Mr. Wooten's slip
I think Larry Wooten meant to say the LEO's are "diametrically" opposed... a quick dictionary search says "diabolical" means "belonging to or so evil as to recall the devil". Of course, those Freudian slips often show more truth than the speaker intends...
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 11, 2005 at 08:48:13 PT
It is really hard for me to think differently then I do and I care about no war, the earth and our responsibility to care for it. They don't care about global warming. I do but it won't cause me any harm if nothing is done because I don't live near an ocean but many people do. We just had a real estate agent call us and a man who is buying up a lot of land around here needs a right of way because he is land locked. I think what does he need to get to this very mountianous land for? Is it timbering which trees need to be thinned but what if he wants to extract coal? It's not worth it to me no matter what they offer. We have great water and mining can make you lose your water table and destroy the enviornment. Money doesn't rule everything in life at least not to me. We have the best land I could have ever hoped for and how do you put a price on that? I just can't.
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on July 11, 2005 at 08:38:06 PT
what about false witness
The N.C. Farm Bureau opposes the growing of hemp. President Larry Wooten said the bureau takes its cues from law enforcement groups, which he said are "diabolically opposed" to the crop.---------what in this world does the President of the N.C. Farm Bureau have in Diabolizing the God given Cannabis Hemp Plant.for anyone interested ck the dictionary on Diabolic-1. having the qualities of Devil;Diabolism- 1. action aided of caused by the devil.Diabolize- 1. to make diabolical or devillish.
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on July 11, 2005 at 08:36:11 PT
what really matters? and who cares?
Right Fom.
Not only is it bad now to be progressive or liberal, it is now bad to be for peace, or to be opposed to war or to be for clean air, water, environment. It's now bad to be opposed to torture. It's now bad to question authority. It's now bad to question your Govenment.Our society seems to be in a sorry state.It makes you wonder when and if people will snap out of their myopic perspective on things and adopt a more enlightened view.Ahhh....that's why they don't want cannabis available to people!
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on July 11, 2005 at 08:14:27 PT
nation's oldest national agricultural organization
Comment #21 posted by FoM
The National Grange is the nation's oldest national agricultural organization, with grassroots units established in 3,600 local communities in 37 states. Its 300,000 members provide service to agriculture and rural areas on a wide variety of issues, including economic development, education, family endeavors, and legislation designed to assure a strong and viable Rural America. It was formed in the years following the American Civil War to unite private citizens in improving the economic and social position of the nation's farm population.  Over the past 137 years, it has evolved to include non-farm rural families and communities.The Grange is also a fraternal order known as the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, hence the "P of H" on the organization's logo. Founding members determined that a fraternal organization would be best able to combine loyalty and democratic ideals to provide service to others.  The National Grange was one of the first formal groups to admit women to membership on the basis of equality with men. It remains so today.The 11-story landmark National Grange headquarters building in Washington, D.C. was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 29, 1960, and is the only private edifice in a federal block across from the White House. It serves as a non-governmental headquarters for agricultural and rural families. A professional staff administers policies established annually by democratic Grange processes at local county, and state levels.National Grange Headquarters Building • 1616 H St. NW • Washington, DC 20006. Built in 1957 - The original headquarters was located on Lafayette Park. H.R. 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005 is a pdf overview of NREL/Genencor work from 2003. Here is an NREL Press release about Genencor/NREL winning a Top 100 R&D award in 2004. There is a lot more information available with a simple web search. Google "NREL genencor" for starters and review the results listing. I think you could get more specific information if you called NREL itself. NREL Public Affairs: (303) 275-4090.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 11, 2005 at 07:55:13 PT
Just a Comment
This part of the article annoyed me. What in the world is wrong with being concerned about the enviornment?But many farmers in North Carolina are not so eager to jump on the hemp bandwagon -- which has been populated for years by the dreadlocked, environmentally conscious and pro-marijuana crowds.
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