Hemp Legalization Bill Introduced in Nebraska 

Hemp Legalization Bill Introduced in Nebraska 
Posted by FoM on February 03, 2000 at 06:10:35 PT
By Jill Zeman, Daily Nebraskan U. Nebraska
Source: U-WIRE
Hemp could be seen alongside more traditional Nebraska crops in the future if a proposed legislative bill is passed. Members of the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday discussed LB1079, which would allow the cultivation of industrial hemp. 
The bill was introduced Jan. 7 by Sen. Ed Schrock of Elm Creek and says legal hemp must contain no more than three-tenths of 1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that can make pot smokers high. "I'm not interested in smoking this product; I'm interested in growing it," Schrock said. Currently, it is legal to buy and sell products made from hemp, but it is illegal to grow it. Industrial hemp is good for the earth because it requires little or no fertilizer or insecticide, he said. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not allow the cultivation of hemp, Schrock said. "Either we're right, and everyone else is wrong, or everyone else is right, and we're wrong," he said. Schrock brought several items made of hemp for the committee members to examine. "If my wife had more time, maybe she'd have made some brownies for the committee," Schrock joked. Members of the Nebraska State Patrol expressed concern that the legalization of industrial hemp would create problems with the enforcement of drug laws. Currently, a sample suspected of containing marijuana must undergo three tests, said John Dietrich, director of the Nebraska State Patrol crime lab. These tests take about 30 minutes, and none of them tests the amount of THC in the sample. If hemp were made legal, the lab would need to determine whether the sample was marijuana or industrial hemp by testing the amount of THC, Dietrich said. This additional test would take an extra two hours per sample, and the lab would need to hire more chemists and purchase more equipment, Dietrich said. The benefits of hemp far outweigh the initial setbacks, said Thuvan Ahrens, owner of Solstice, a store that specializes in natural clothing and gifts. Solstice, formerly Hemp Fields, 126 N. 13th St., offers many products that are made from hemp: Clothing, paper, linens and books are just a few, Ahrens said. "Uses for hemp are endless," she said. Ahrens said she imports many of her hemp products from Canada, Hungary and China. Sometimes it takes a while for the goods to arrive because they get caught up in customs, Ahrens said. "It would be so much easier if hemp could be grown in the United States," she said. The committee has not voted on the bill and will decide later whether to advance it to the floor for debate or kill it. (U-WIRE) Lincoln, Neb.Published: February 2, 2000(C) 2000 Daily Nebraskan via U-WIRECopyright  1995-2000 Excite Inc. Cannabis News Hemp Archives:
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