'Timing is Right' for Hemp, State Senator Says
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'Timing is Right' for Hemp, State Senator Says
Posted by CN Staff on October 11, 2009 at 07:31:50 PT
By Valarie Honeycutt Spears 
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader
Kentucky -- Within the next three weeks, State Sen. Joey Pendleton plans to take a group of Kentucky farmers to study the industrial hemp trade in Canada where the crop has been grown legally for the past 10 years.Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, has introduced a bill for 2010, renewing a push to legalize industrial hemp in Kentucky as a cash crop and as a source for alternative fuels.
"The timing is right," Pendleton said. "It would give farmers another crop to raise." Production of hemp is already legal for research purposes in Kentucky but is untried due to federal barriers. Pendleton's bill comes at a time when federal legislation decriminalizing hemp for industrial use has been introduced in Congress and proponents are encouraged by stances taken by the Obama Administration.In Versailles, where the remnants of an old hemp processing plant still stand on property that Margaret McCauley's family owns, McCauley said she hopes Pendleton is successful."I think industrial hemp would do a lot for the farming community," said McCauley, who has preserved artifacts from decades ago when hemp was grown legally in Kentucky.McCauley said she hopes lawmakers won't confuse industrial hemp with its controversial cousin, marijuana.Although industrial hemp comes from the same plant species as marijuana, industrial hemp does not have enough THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, to produce the "high" marijuana users feel, proponents say. Hemp and marijuana look alike. But hemp is grown for fiber found in the stalk while marijuana is grown for leaves and flower buds.Industrial hemp is used in alternative automobile fuels and in such products as paper, cloths, cosmetics, and carpet.Pendleton's bill would require that individuals wanting to grow or process industrial hemp be licensed by the state Department of Agriculture. The legislation would require criminal history checks of growers and would require sheriffs to monitor and randomly test industrial hemp fields.The bill calls for an assessment fee of $5 per acre for every acre of industrial hemp grown, with a minimum fee of $150, to be divided equally between the state and the appropriate sheriff's department.Phillip Garnett, a Christian County farmer, said he plans to go to Canada with Pendleton to investigate industrial hemp farming as a potential "new source of income and energy." Pendleton said he'd pay for his portion of the trip.Garnett who raises tobacco, corn, wheat, and soybeans, said he wants to know more about the economics before he would consider raising industrial hemp. But he said "I'm always looking for alternative crops, and it sounds like it makes sense."Because of current federal law, all hemp included in products sold in the United States must be imported.Federal law includes industrial hemp in the definition of marijuana, and prohibits American farmers from growing hemp.But the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, introduced in Congress in April by Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Ron Paul, R-Texas, would require the federal government to respect state laws allowing hemp production.Pendleton says he sees new hope that federal barriers will be lessened, pointing to positions taken by the Obama administration.In February, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government was going to yield medical marijuana jurisdiction to states. As a state lawmaker in Illinois, Barack Obama voted for a resolution urging Congress to allow the production of industrial hemp.In addition to production of hemp, research on hemp has been affected. A federal permit is required for industrial hemp research, Laura E. Sweeney, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice, said Friday.The University of Kentucky would probably grow industrial hemp for research if allowed in the future, said Scott Smith, dean of the UK School of Agriculture.When UK applied for a federal permit to grow a research plot of industrial hemp after Kentucky passed the 2001 law allowing analysis, the federal government denied permission, Smith said.Kentucky is one of eight states that allows hemp research or production.The federal government has given North Dakota State University permission to grow industrial hemp for research purposes under strict security measures, but money has been an issue.In Kentucky, a similar bill filed in the 2009 General Assembly by Pendleton was not given a hearing.But for 2010, state State Sen. David P. Givens, R-Greensburg, the chair of the Senate Agricultural Committee, said he is interested in seeing new economic studies.The most prominent studies on the profitability of industrialized hemp in Kentucky are a decade old. They reached conflicting conclusions.A study released in 1998 included work by researchers at UK's Center for Business and Economic Research. It showed that had hemp production been legalized at that time, Kentucky would have benefitted, with farmers making profits of between $220 and $605 an acre.The returns would have fallen somewhere between tobacco and other crops that were already grown in Kentucky, the research showed.However, a study released in 1997 by the UK College of Agriculture did not find much of a market for Kentucky hemp.Smith, who served on an industrial hemp study commission convened by then Gov. Brereton Jones in the 1990s, remains skeptical of the potential profits from hemp. Givens said he is also interested in hearing from law enforcement officials, who have expressed misgivings in the past.Christian County Sheriff Livy Leavell Jr. said additional revenue for sheriff's departments "would be a plus" and that he hoped members of the Kentucky Sheriff's Association would take a close look at the legislation. Note: Bill would promote plant's use for fuel and fiber.Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)Author: Valarie Honeycutt Spears Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009Copyright: 2009 Lexington Herald-LeaderWebsite: vhoneycutt herald-leader.comURL: Hemp Archives
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on October 11, 2009 at 18:28:17 PT
what became of teaching career of Donna Cockrel Helps Hemp Get Its Day in Court 
Posted by FoM on December 01, 2001 at 16:38:48 PT
By David Horrigan, The National Law Journal 
Source:  Industrial hemp may be a boon to the environment, but it hasn't done much for the teaching career of Donna Cockrel. 
Industrial hemp is one of two varieties of the hemp plant, the other being marijuana. In 1996, Cockrel gave her Shelby County, Ky., fifth-grade class a presentation in which the use of industrial hemp fibers as an alternative to cutting trees was discussed. As part of the presentation, actor Woody Harrelson addressed Cockrel's class about the relative benefits of hemp. He was accompanied by an entourage that included representatives of the Kentucky Hemp Museum, the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, hemp growers from overseas and, inevitably, a CNN news crew. However many millions of TV viewers enjoyed Harrelson in his role as Woody on Cheers, some residents of Shelby County did not enjoy his role as teacher for a day. Several parents and teachers wrote to complain about the visit, the fact that it occurred on the same day as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program "graduation" and because Cockrel allowed hemp seeds -- illegal in Kentucky -- to be passed around the room during the presentation. On the recommendation of Cockrel's principal, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Leon Mooneyman fired Cockrel on July 15, 1997, citing "insubordination, conduct unbecoming a teacher, inefficiency, incompetency, and neglect of duty." Fired In Hemp Controversy Wins Appeal 
Posted by FoM on November 12, 2001 at 19:48:27 PT
By Louise Taylor 
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader  Donna Cockrel, the fifth-grade teacher whose pupils actor Woody Harrelson taught about the merits of industrial hemp, will have her day in court to argue that she was fired from Simpsonville Elementary School because of her controversial choice of guests. 
In a vehement opinion issued yesterday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that a lower court had erred when it threw out Cockrel's lawsuit against the Shelby County Public School District before the case went to trial. Snipped
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Comment #4 posted by tintala on October 11, 2009 at 11:23:18 PT:
Hemp is acknowledged in many countries, 
Hemp is widely available in Nepal as well, huge fields are still cultivated even tho USA payed the King 40 million $$ to make cannabis illegal there. Ganja, hash and hemp are really tolerated. even though it's considered illegal, HEMP is quite the commercial fiber in Nepal.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on October 11, 2009 at 09:37:47 PT
Yes tintala ...
And ... we need to study and then study some more ... Meanwhile Canada has been growing hemp for over 10 years now, Australia and even New Zealand have come into the act making a mockery of the US political system. Compare Canada, Australia and New Zealand to the US when it comes to re-introducing hemp and one can see that the political system does not work and holds back progress and the 'stakeholders' are unwilling to cede power. And then, of course, there is the DEA ... good luck USA!
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Comment #2 posted by tintala on October 11, 2009 at 09:30:45 PT:
It amazes me that all these politics are involved
Due to one testimony in Supreme court that lasted 2 seconds. Harry Anslinger , who testified , sure sealed HEMPS fate in wax when he said " cannabis makes white women seek relations with negroes" because of it's effects on the degenerate race. His testimony alone, created this WHOLE and huge unlawful atmosphere to keep hemp unviable. Amazing that the laws have created this intertwined and confusing state of keeping hemp illegal. I am amazed that it got so confusing and so illegal.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 11, 2009 at 08:05:16 PT
It Keeps Getting Better
It really does amaze me how we are moving forward so rapidly under this administration. 
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