Hemp May Loom Large in Farming's Future

Hemp May Loom Large in Farming's Future
Posted by FoM on January 29, 2001 at 10:31:23 PT
By Jerry W. Kram, Bismarck Tribune
Source: Bismarck Tribune 
Industrial hemp could become as important as canola as a crop in North Dakota, according to the director of agricultural research at North Dakota State University.Cole Gustafson summarized the work NDSU is trying do on industrial hemp at a seminar Friday at the KMOT Ag Expo in Minot. He said there already is a well developed niche market for hemp products that North Dakota producers could fill. However, before that happens, federal anti-drug regulations will have to be changed. 
Hemp is the same species as marijauna, but has extremely low levels of the chemical that makes people high."Just to have a research plot, we have to get a permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency," Gustafson said. "That means we have to put up a chain-link fence topped with three strands of barbed wire."He estimated that NDSU will have to spend about $14,000 to establish a research plot, mostly for the required security measures.The DEA has turned down two applications from NDSU to establish a hemp research plot. Thanks to assistance from the state's congressional delegation, Gustafson thinks a third application shold be approved this year. The purpose of the plot will be to answer basic agronomic questions, such as when to plant the crop, how much fertilizer it requires and what varieties will grow the best in the state."We have almost no information on how to grow hemp in North Daktoa," Gustafson said. Researchers in Indiana and Hawaii as well as Canada are working with hemp, he added, but even research done in Canada won't exactly translate to North Dakota because of geographic differences, such as climate and soils."We need answers to just about every basic question on how to grow hemp," he said.Gustafson said NDSU also has state of the art equipment to do other kinds of hemp research that is better tolerated by the DEA. These include chemical analyses of the valuable oil extracted from hemp seed and developing machines to harvest the tough, fibrous stems.NDSU is neutral on the question of legalizing hemp, Gustafson said, but is responding to increasing producer interest in the crop. He said his office gets more questions on hemp production than any other potential crop.Permission soon?Robert Robinson, founder of Modern Hemp, a nonprofit group in Minot that is pushing for the legalization of hemp, believes Congress could soon reverse the federal government's stand on hemp. He thinks farmers could be growing it as soon as 2003."I have talked to our governor and he said he will continue what Gov. Schafer has done for hemp," Robinson said.He pointed to 14 states that have deregulated or legalized hemp production, as North Dakota did in 1999. A growing number of senators and representatives are joining North Dakota's delegation in supporting the deregulation of hemp."Nearly everybody I've spoken to at the Ag Expo has been in support of it," Robinson said. "People understand industrial hemp is a different product than marijuana."Robinson said that hemp is grown legally in many countries, including Canada, and hasn't caused problems for law enforcement agents in those countries. In the United States, however, the DEA is trying even harder to crack down on hemp."The DEA is trying to adopt regulations that would effectively ban all hemp oil products for human consumption," he said. "That would include banning hemp shampoo, lotions and lip balms from the United States."Robinson said the reasons the DEA opposes hemp production are nonsensical and the public and lawmakers are starting to recognize that. He said fears that children could associate products like hemp tennis shoes or hemp clothing with marijuana are probably counterproductive."If the United States government continues to portray hemp as making marijauna OK, they're wrong," Robinson said. Quoting a study on that question he continued, "It is only the DEA's failure to distinguish between an agricultural crop and a drug crop that is sending a wrong message to children. Our information-enabled genaration is rapidly learning the truth about industrial hemp and will become far more skeptical about government pronouncements as time passes."He added that this distrust of government information may make it harder to convince children of the harm done by drugs such as heroin and cocaine.Source: Bismarck Tribune (ND)Author: Jerry W. Kram, Bismarck Tribune Published: Saturday, January 27, 2001Address: Box 5516, Bismarck, ND 58506 Copyright: 2001 The Bismarck Tribune Fax: (701) 223-2063 Contact:  letters Website: Feedback: CannabisNews Hemp Archives
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Comment #4 posted by freedom fighter on January 30, 2001 at 07:37:58 PT
I'll second that Dan!
It is people like Mr. Robinson who making the difference.God Bless you Mr. Robinson!\/
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Comment #3 posted by Dan B on January 29, 2001 at 21:05:38 PT:
Thank YOU, Robert Robinson . . .
. . . for having the courage to stand up for the very useful and beneficial cannabis plant. Your efforts are valuable and important, and as far as I am concerned, you and the rest of the folks at Modern Hemp are first-rate heroes. I think I speak for just about everyone here when I say thanks for your valuable service to farmers and to the country as a whole.Sincerely,Daniel Butterworth
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Comment #2 posted by modernhemp on January 29, 2001 at 19:15:47 PT:
 I want to thank the HIA for all the help and support they gave us. We had a great show! The North Dakota Farmers are ready to put this crop into the ground. I had as many as 30 farmers at one time, asking me....."Is it legal yet?"...."Can I grow it yet?"........"When can we start growing it?".....And most of them already knew about it, and supported it. We were told that we were the most popular booth at the Ag-Show.  I would also like to thank the Hemp Museum for their assistance, Ron and his wife for their donations to the display, Art Main in Minot For the Hemp clothing that my assistants and I wore for the event (Two Star Dog), Blondes Hair Salon in Minot for the Alterna Hair Care products that we had on display, and last but not least, my wonderful assistants Christina, Athena, and Sara.          Thanks To You ALL!             Robert Robinson              ModernHemp             modernhemp
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Comment #1 posted by Jahn on January 29, 2001 at 14:19:53 PT
Sports are dangerous, am I wrong?
While it seems that some of these Senators can't comprehend is that Playing a Classic game of Football poses its' threats to society.  1)Many Chlidren wind up with bloody faces, sore muscles, broken bones and even sprains and fractures from indulging in the "Great American Pasttime: Football. 2)The Violence that comes with "You WON'T fit IN" types isn't recorded anywhere!  3)As if Football wasn't the only one! What about baseball? 4)How many BallPlayers have had their Testes Shattered by a Hard Ball that speeds through the air at 70-80mph? 5)Do you remember a baseball player: Anti-Gay John Rocker?  I do, and I don't recall him being thrown out of baseball! WHY IS THIS BEHAVIOR NOT ILLEGAL? 6)High School SPorts are equally dangerous. Along with the mentality that some of these "professionals" seem to lure people in with. 7)How many fights occur at Hockey games? 8)How many millionaires became- just that- through BETTING on this type of tyrannical behavior? 9) How many respectable, indigenous cultures have had their homes and land seized for the efforts of a sport-wielding arena that only dies in this "culture" after 20-25 years? Oh, boy do remember the promises of the Gov't! 10)Anyone ever get a rash from using a chemical-natured (dial, dove) bar of soap? 11)Ever wonder how many brain cells are removed after working 8 hours around the fumes of Gasoline?  REAL PEOPLE...?  REAL PEOPLE...?  12)People have died from a result of Humiliation on some of the top-rated talk shows!  American Society can only wish that it could blame EVERYTHING on drug use and abuse, but as we ALL can tell,  Your Rules are Broken None of them equal out the same justices.... WE MUST use these arguments... So that way they can't look to save face on this issue of "everything we permit is OK"    until the future....  Smoke Out and Craft...Our Art is stronger than their BIGGEST Line Guard or Defensive Strategist. 
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