Lawmakers Join Forces in Support of Hemp Farming

Lawmakers Join Forces in Support of Hemp Farming
Posted by CN Staff on March 21, 2007 at 19:46:02 PT
By Steve Geissinger, Medianews Sacramento Bureau
Source: Tri-Valley Herald
Sacramento, CA -- The most liberal Democratic lawmakers from the Bay Area and the most conservative Republican legislators from Southern California have jointly rolled together a bill allowing farmers to grow cannabis -- the hemp variety, not pot. U.S. congressmen from the Bay Area are among those who have introduced a similar measure in Washington, redefining industrial cannabis used in fine clothing and other goods as an agricultural product and not a drug.
Farming of hemp, a variety of cannabis that wouldn't get people high even if they smoked piles of the weed, was banned amid the nation's war on drugs.Hundreds of millions of dollars in hemp fiber for clothing, seeds for human consumption and oil for soap are imported annually, mostly from Canada, according to bill supporters.Even Giorgio Armani -- whose clothes are a special favorite of Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez of Los Angeles -- uses hemp in his products, according to USAgNet, an Internet-based agricultural information service. One of the authors of AB684, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said the hemp ban is out of date, comparing the "trace amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinols) in industrial hemp" to trace amounts of opium in poppy seeds on your bagel."Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, says hemp is no more like pot than poodles are like wolves.Law enforcement agencies argue marijuana plants could be hidden amid hemp, since it has the same 11-point leaf.Bill supporters, however, say growers of both would fear cross-pollination -- a development that would ruin both crops.Hemp has 0.3 percent of the psychoactive drug, compared to marijuana, which contains up to 15 percent. Vote Hemp, an advocacy group, said Wednesday it believes hemp-farming backers are going to reach the end of their longtime effort this year, citing a Zogby International poll they commissioned last month that shows support from 71 percent of Californians.Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, and all age groups, liked the idea of legalizing hemp farming.In the Central Valley, farmers are anxious to grow hemp, which is more lucrative than many other crops, according to proponents.Nutiva, an organic food company headquartered in Sebastopol, believes it could save $100,000 a year in transportation costs if it could buy hemp seeds in California, supporters said. The Legislature passed a bill similar to AB684 last year but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it, saying that "under current federal statutes there is no definition of `industrial hemp,' nor is there a distinction between cannabis plants based on THC content."All cannabis plants, regardless of variety or THC content, are simply considered to be `marijuana', which is a federally regulated `Schedule I' controlled substance."But Democratic Reps. George Miller, Pete Stark and Lynn Woolsey are among a group of bipartisan congressional members who are trying to change that federal law, under legislation they introduced last month.Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger's office said the GOP governor has not taken a position on AB684, co-authored by Assemblywoman Patty Berg, D-Eureka, and two members of his own party -- Assemblymen Chuck Devore, of Irvine; and Anthony Adams, of Claremont.Hemp was a commercial crop in California in the early 1900s. During World War II the government encouraged farmers to grow hemp for rope, with a "Hemp for Victory" campaign, when supplies from the Philippines were cut off.The plant's stalk provides the strongest known natural fiber. It is also heavy in cellulose, which can be used in some plastics, such as shower curtains, building materials, and auto products.The seeds, which contain essential fatty acids, are used in everything from health foods to fast-food snacks. The oil is used in body-care products like lotions, soaps and shampoos.Source: Tri-Valley Herald (Pleasanton, CA)Author: Steve Geissinger, Medianews Sacramento BureauPublished: March 21, 2007Copyright: 2007 ANG NewspapersContact: herlet angnewspapers.comWebsite: Hemp Archives
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on March 22, 2007 at 07:47:35 PT
ekim's post from yesterday.........
had some information that is every bit as relevant to the prohibition of hemp as it is to the prohibition of cannabis, since Hearst and Dupont were big powers behind eliminating hemp as a formidable competitor to Hearst's wood pulp and DuPont's new product, nylon. Gee, do you think they made enough money that we could now allow hemp back into the market?......form Jack Herer's book.....After the Supreme Court decision of March 29, 1937, upholding the prohibition of machine guns through taxation, Herman Oliphant made his move. On April 14, 1937 he introduced the bill directly to the House Ways and Means Committee instead of to other appropriate committees such as food and drug, agriculture, textiles, commerce, etc.His reason may have been that "Ways and Means" is the only committee that can send its bills directly to the House floor without being subject to debate by other committees. Ways and Means Chairman Robert L. Doughton,* a key DuPont ally, quickly rubber-stamped the secret Treasury bill and sent it sailing through Congress to the President.* Colby Jerry, The DuPont Dynasties, Lyle Stewart, 1984."Did Anyone Consult the AMA?"However, even within his controlled Committee hearings, many expert witnesses spoke out against the passage of these unusual tax laws.Dr. William G. Woodward, for instance, who was both a physician and an attorney for the American Medical Association, testified on behalf of the AMA.He said, in effect, the entire fabric of federal testimony was tabloid sensationalism! No real testimony had been heard! This law, passed in ignorance, could possibly deny the world a potential medicine, especially now that the medical world was just beginning to find which ingredients in cannabis were active.Woodward told the committee that the only reason the AMA hadn't come out against the marijuana tax law sooner was that marijuana had been described in the press for 20 years as "killer weed from Mexico."The AMA doctors had just realized "two days before" these spring 1937 hearings, that the plant Congress intended to outlaw was known medically as cannabis, the benign substance used in America with perfect safety in scores of illnesses for over one hundred years."We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman," Woodward protested, "why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the profession, that it was being prepared." He and the AMA" were quickly denounced by Anslinger and the entire congressional committee, and curtly excused.3*The AMA and the Roosevelt Administration were strong antagonists in 1937.When the Marijuana Tax Act bill came up for oral report, discussion, and vote on the floor of Congress, only one pertinent question was asked from the floor: "Did anyone consult with the AMA and get their opinion?"Representative Vinson, answering for the Ways and Means Committee replied, "Yes, we have. A Dr. Wharton [mistaken pronunciation of Woodward?] and {the AMA} are in complete agreement!"With this memorable lie, the bill passed, and became law in December 1937. Federal and state police forces were created, which have incarcerated hundreds of thousands of Americans, adding up to more than 14 million wasted years in jails and prisons - even contributing to their deaths - all for the sake of poisonous, polluting industries, prison guard unions and to reinforce some white politicians' policies of racial hatred.(Mikuriya, Tod, M.C., Marijuana Medical Papers, 1972; Sloman, Larry, Reefer Madness, Grove Press, 1979; Lindsmith, Alfred, The Addict and the Law, Indiana U. Press; Bonnie & Whitebread; The Marijuana Conviction, U. of VA Press; U.S. Cong. Records; et al.)
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Comment #3 posted by Had Enough on March 22, 2007 at 06:18:15 PT
I love it when the headlines change like this.Hemp farming can free us of foreign oil, foreign dictators, foreign wars, and all that other foreign political/oil BS. And let’s not forget the many medical opportunities this plant can provide.Looks like the politicians are starting to “listen up”This will help put the country back into the hands of the people.“Hemp for Victory”Let’s Roll………………..
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Comment #2 posted by potpal on March 22, 2007 at 06:06:26 PT
hemp for peace
We wanna do our what it was that put us on the map in the first place...grow hemp!Hempwallace, AR Hemp Swamp Brook, CT Hempstead Brook, CT Hemp Key, FL Hemp, GA Hemp Factory Branch, IL Hemp Ridge, KYHemphill, KYHemphill, LA Hempfield Lake, MI Hemphill Lake, MN Hemple, MO Hemp Hill, NH Hempstead, NY, NassauHempstead, NY, Rockland Hempstead Gardens, NYHemp Patch Branch, NC Hemphill Bald, NC,Hemphill Creek, NC Hemphill Knob, NC Hempfield, PA,Hemp Branch, SC Hemphill Lake, SC Hemp Fork, VAHemphill, TX Hempstead, TX Hemp Mill Branch, VAHemppatch Branch, VA Hemppatch Mountain, VA Hemp Hill Creek, WAHempel Creek, WAHempel Lake, WA Hemphill, WV Hempton Lake, WI Weed, CA Weed, NM Weed, AR Weed, KY
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on March 21, 2007 at 20:36:06 PT
let it grow
Looks like some legislators are finally reading the polls and listening to their constituents.  This plant has good karma. Let it grow. 
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