Hemp

The fact that our government can outlaw a natural growing plant in a supposed “Free Country” shows that the dumbing down of America has worked for decades. The fight to legalize this plant is now in full force.

The technological uses for this plant are unlimited.  Awake in the Dream Radio http://www.awakeinthedreamradio.com/ with Laura Eisenhower and Dr. Dream had a very interesting discussion on the topic on Tuesday that I recommend.  Chris Conrad was on the discussion panel.  Here is a link and part of a recent interview involving Chris Conrad on this topic.

http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/the-truth-about-hemp-an-interview-with-chris-conrad

“For centuries, industrial hemp (plant species Cannabis sativa) has been a source of fiber and oilseed manufactured worldwide for a variety of industrial and consumer products. Currently, more than 30 countries cultivate industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, sold on the market all around the world. However, in the United States, hemp remains strictly regulated under existing drug enforcement laws with no known commercial domestic production, causing the U.S. to depend solely on imports.

Chris Conrad — a court-qualified expert on Cannabis hemp who has been cited in numerous Appellate Decisions and California Supreme Court rulings — exposes the truth behind the myths and lies of hemp. As an internationally recognized guru on all aspects of hemp and the founder of the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp, Conrad’s provocative research confronts the political dynamics working for and against legal reform through the uncovering of enlightened hemp facts.

Rita Baldini: Hemp was so important to the colonies of Jamestown that in 1619 the first hemp law was created, making it illegal NOT to grow hemp. Why did our country stray so far away from hemp production?

Chris Conrad: This nation has strayed from many of the original founding principles. Despite their shortcomings, when America was founded much of the philosophy was based upon the idea that a small family farm or homestead could be self-sufficient and live in freedom and independence. In the years leading to the Civil War, industrial capital was just beginning to take hold. After the Civil War, the logging and petrochemical barons rose to power. Around the turn of the 20th century, banks and corporations began to have a disproportionate level of control over the federal government. At the same time, the racism that was inherent in slavery had moved to the front through anti-Mexican bigotry and Jim Crow laws. It was this combination of corporate greed for control and money and social racism that led to the shift away from protecting family farms toward subsidizing corporate wealth.Prohibition was then seen as a two-edged sword cutting into economic freedom and social freedom at the same time. It bloated into an entrenched bureaucratic mechanism, and as a government has mutated into being essentially corporate-run with less and less personal freedom and privacy allowed. Prohibition is growing like a tumorous cancer that is killing society.

What do you see for the future battles between federal and state government in regards to marijuana and hemp legalization?

It’s difficult to say. The US government’s denial of scientific reality about cannabis has put it in the same position that the Catholic Church held during the dark ages by oppressing the science of astronomy. There are a lot of similarities to the Inquisition, such as the DEA’s drug orthodoxy and punitive tactics including property seizure. Our leaders have painted themselves into a corner. The actual answer is relatively simple: issue a presidential order to the DEA to remove marijuana from the drug schedule. The president has that authority and that duty under the Controlled Substance Act. Hemp should be handed to the department of agriculture, and marijuana should be left up to the states under the direction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or maybe a new and distinct agency. My hope is that the recent Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and civil rights that favor state rights is a signal that the Raich decision against medical use could be overturned, because they reinforced the rights of states to make their own laws, such as marriage. They gutted the Voting Rights Act based on societal changes in precisely the way they had told Raich that they had been powerless to do to the Controlled Substances Act. They’ve basically negated their own logic. That leaves us with a patchwork of state laws and regulations, but when people see firsthand the virtues of the cannabis plant, I am confident that it and its consumers will achieve equal rights.

What will the legalization of industrial hemp farming mean for big businesses like Monsanto and DuPont plastics? Will more jobs be created through the legalization of hemp?

“The US government’s denial of scientific reality about cannabis has put it in the same position that the Catholic Church held during the dark ages by oppressing the science of astronomy.”

I believe that in the long run, there is room for hemp to coexist with those corporations, toxic as they are. Some of the products they produce are critical for society; however, in the context of environmental degradation they will have to make adjustments. The assimilation of cannabis hemp into the economy and society, likewise, will take time. So there will be a transition, but remember that one of the reasons that hemp lost favor, economically, is that it creates a lot of jobs. Multinational corporations often prefer to use more machines than employees because they focus on profits over people. So if the idea of stimulating the economy means job creation, the next generation will soon demand that Monsanto and DuPont make way for industrial hemp, for their own interests.

Can you give me an in-depth forecast as to what changes will take place if hemp becomes legal? What are some realistic challenges and expectations our country will encounter?

Much of that will depend upon how quickly the changes take place. My preference would be to immediately halt subsidies to toxic industries and remove all barriers to industrial hemp. My sense, however, is that we are going to spend a long time wrangling over THC content and security, and other issues that really don’t come into play and shouldn’t come into play with an agricultural resource. So, I basically see in the long-term picture. Remember that cannabis hemp seed line development has been completely neglected for the past three quarters of a century, while other plant resources like timber and cotton have had ample opportunity for improvement. Likewise, the manufacturing technologies surrounding hemp still lag far behind. So there is a major infrastructural issue to be resolved. Fortunately, Canada, Europe, and China have all made great strides in past years.

A major challenge is what kind of commitment our government and our economy we are willing to make to preserve the environment for the benefit of posterity. We are riding in the wake of a century and a half of wanton destruction to the Earth’s ecosystems. When we talk about the challenge America will face when cannabis hemp farming becomes legal, the real challenge is how are we going to survive potentially catastrophic climate change and other aspects of environmental collapse? While cannabis hemp lends itself to high tech processing for things like fabrication, it also works with low tech systems such as hemp-based concrete construction materials that reduce energy use and provide healthier living environments. Those are the kind of challenges that society has a reasonable expectation of resolving when we restore industrial hemp.

“I say that there are many good reasons to legalize industrial hemp, many good reasons to legalize medical marijuana, and many good reasons to legalize adult use of cannabis and regulate its commerce. I have yet to hear one good reason as to why adults should be sent to prison for this plan.” – Chris Conrad

Will hemp farming alter our air and water quality? Are there any environmental disadvantages?

I certainly hope it will alter our air and water quality. It has the potential to provide a carbon sink to clean up CO2 out of the atmosphere and the potential to remove toxins from the soil through its root system. While industrial hemp loves to be pampered, the plant is extremely resilient, prolific, and adaptive. And as we have seen with the way high THC strains have been developed in just the past few decades, America could soon have a seed bank of strains that can handle a big variety of climatic conditions facing challenges ahead. The thing is, we have to get started. I see only two potential environmental disadvantages to using industrial hemp. First is that it may become an invasive species in environmentally sensitive zones. Actually pretty easy to control. Second is that, given all its versatile uses, farmers may be inclined to have hemp monoculture. In my estimation it should be seen as a rotational crop to help control weeds and improve soil.

What do you have to say to those people accusing hemp activists of using the legalization of hemp as their trojan horse to ultimately succeed in marijuana legalization? Can you speak to the people confused about the differences between hemp and marijuana?

I say that there are many good reasons to legalize industrial hemp, many good reasons to legalize medical marijuana, and many good reasons to legalize adult use of cannabis and regulate its commerce. I have yet to hear one good reason as to why adults should be sent to prison for this plan. That’s the trick that prohibitionists try to use, to make us defend a plant that is beneficial and good. That helps them avoid being forced to defend a drug war that is corruptive and destructive. We need any excuse to return this fundamental right for people to grow and use plants. It’s on the first page of the Bible. Now I want to know why we have almost 1,000,000 people a year arrested for marijuana. That’s the real question.

Understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana is like telling the difference between a husky and a greyhound: both are dogs, but one is a worker and the other loves the sensation of running. They look related, but physically, chemically, socially, and genetically they are distinct. Hemp is a fiber and seed crop; marijuana is a flower garden. The real distinction is in the purpose of the plant. Most American farmers are not interested in growing it for marijuana, but industrial hemp is a crop with a future. It’s easy to figure it out. If the idea is to make a shirt, that is industrial hemp. If the plan is to smoke a joint, that is marijuana. If it is to be ingested or used topically with a hope to treat a health condition or maintain wellness, that is medical marijuana. In the meantime, to accommodate the distinctions, Canada and Europe base their definitions on 0.03; a very low percentage of THC in the plant.

How versatile is hemp? Can you talk about its environmental, nutritional, and economic advantages?

It’s hard to stop talking about hemp once you get started. With an estimated 25 to 50 thousand commercial products that can be produced, it’s unparalleled as a natural resource. It produces prodigious amounts of cellulose, one of the building stones of modern industry. It is critical for reforestation and erosion control, and can greatly reduce the use of pesticides, herbicides, and toxic chemicals in its cultivation and production cycles. Anything that could be made out of timber or fossil fuels can be made with hemp, creating jobs and bringing prosperity to local communities where it should be grown and processed to control the cost of transportation.

When it comes to nutrition, nothing really beats hemp seed. Eight essential proteins, three essential fatty acids, edestin, and two compounds that are nearly unique except for human mother’s milk. Nutrition bolsters the immune system and contributes to wellness, reducing the need and expense for avoidable medical treatments. So it creates jobs and wealth from the soil, to the processor, to the manufacturer, to the investor, to the consumer, and all steps in between. As Thomas Jefferson said, hemp is of first necessity for the wealth and protection of the nation. To that I would merely add, the health of the nation. And of the planet.”

This article originally appeared on Alltreatment.com.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Here is a list from the National Conference of State Legislatures of where we stand on this battle today…

http://www.ncsl.org/research/agriculture-and-rural-development/state-industrial-hemp-statutes.aspx

 

“Industrial hemp refers to many types of Cannabis plants that contain low levels of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and can be used to make a variety of products including textiles, plastics, fuel and food. However, the Federal Controlled Substances Act categorizes any product that contains THC, including industrial hemp, as a Schedule I drug.

The final 2014 Farm Bill agreement included a provision that would allow institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp.

It also requires that the sites used by universities and agriculture department be certified by—and registered with—their state department of agriculture. This provision will allow universities and agricultural departments to study industrial hemp for its possible future use as a commercial product.

Nine states—California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia—have laws to promote the growth and marketing of industrial hemp. A tenth state—Hawaii—passed legislation in 1999 authorizing privately-funded industrial hemp research that was conducted under a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency permit until 2003.

Current state policies include:

  • defining industrial hemp based on the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol it contains.
  • authorizing the growing and possessing of industrial hemp.
  • requiring state licensing of industrial hemp growers.
  • promoting research and development of markets for industrial hemp.
  • excluding industrial hemp from the definition of controlled substances under state law.
  • establishing a defense to criminal prosecution under drug possession or cultivation.

As of February 26, 2014, 63 bills addressing industrial hemp have been introduced in 28 state legislatures.


State Statutes

California
CA FOOD & AG §81000-81010

  • Requires industrial hemp growers to be registered with the state.
  • Prohibits the possession of resin, flowering tops or leaves removed from the hemp plant.
  • Establishes registration and renewal fees for commercial growers of industrial hemp.
  • Organizes a five year review of industrial hemp’s economic impact.
  • While legislation adding this section was enacted in 2013, the law specifies that its provisions do not become operative unless authorized by federal law.

 

Colorado:
CRS § 25-18.7-101 to -105

  • Permits growing and possessing industrial hemp.
  • Establishes industrial hemp remediation pilot program “to determine how soils and water may be made more pristine and healthy by phytoremediation, removal of contaminants, and rejuvenation through the growth of industrial hemp.”

Kentucky:
KRS § 260.850-.869

  • Establishes research on industrial hemp and industrial hemp products.
  • “Industrial hemp means all parts and varieties of the plant cannabis sativa, cultivated or possessed by a licensed grower, whether growing or not, that contain a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of one percent (1%) or less by weight, except that the THC concentration limit of one percent (1%) may be exceeded for licensed industrial hemp seed research.
  • “The Department of Agriculture shall promote the research and development of markets for Kentucky industrial hemp and hemp products after the selection and establishment of the industrial hemp research program and the Industrial Hemp Commission…”
  • Includes language that “Kentucky shall adopt the federal rules and regulations that are currently enacted regarding industrial hemp and any subsequent changes thereto.”
  • On February 19, 2014, Kentucky announced five pilot hemp projects that would be used across the state, including one project that would research whether industrial hemp could be used to remediate tainted soil.

Maine:
7 M.R.S.A. § 2231

  • Requires industrial hemp growers be licensed by the state.
  • Permits a person to “plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell and buy industrial hemp” if that person holds a license.
  • Prohibits the state from issuing a license unless “The United States Congress excludes industrial hemp from the definition of “marihuana” for the purpose of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 United States Code, Section 802(16); or…the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration takes affirmative steps towards issuing a permit under 21 United States Code, Chapter 13, Subchapter 1, Part C to a person holding a license issued by a state to grow industrial hemp.”

17-A M.R.S. § 1101-1117

  • Under criminal code, it is an affirmative defense to drug trafficking, furnishing, cultivation or possession charges if the substance so used is industrial hemp.
  • “Industrial hemp means any variety of Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis and that is grown under a federal permit in compliance with the conditions of that permit.”

Montana:
Mont. Code Anno., § 80-18-101 to 80-18-111

  • States that industrial hemp that does not contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol is an agricultural product.
  • “…an individual in this state may plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell, or buy industrial hemp if the industrial hemp does not contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol.”
  • Requires industrial hemp growers be licensed by the state.
  • Creates an affirmative defense to prosecution under criminal code for marijuana possession or cultivation.

North Dakota:
N.D. Cent. Code, § 4-41-01 to 4-41-03 (2009)

  • States that industrial hemp that does not contain more than 0.3% is considered an oilseed.
  • “…any person in this state may plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell, and buy industrial hemp (cannabis sativa l.) having no more than three-tenths of one percent tetrahydrocannabinol.”
  • Requires industrial hemp growers be licensed by the state.
  • “North Dakota state university and any other person licensed under this chapter may import and resell industrial hemp seed that has been certified as having no more than three-tenths of one percent tetrahydrocannabinol.”

Oregon:
O.R.S. § 475.005

  • Excludes industrial hemp from definition of “controlled substance.”

O.R.S. § 571.300 to .315

  • Requires industrial hemp growers be licensed by the state.
  • Authorizes “industrial hemp production and possession, and commerce in industrial hemp commodities and products.”

Vermont:
6 V.S.A. § 561 to 566

  • “Industrial hemp means varieties of the plant cannabis sativa having no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, whether growing or not, that are cultivated or possessed by a licensed grower in compliance with this chapter.”
  • “Industrial hemp is an agricultural product which may be grown, produced, possessed, and commercially traded in Vermont…”
  • Requires industrial hemp growers to be licensed by the state.

West Virginia:
W. Va. Code § 19-12E-1 to 19-12E-9

  • “Industrial hemp that has not more than one percent tetrahydrocannabinol is considered an agricultural crop in this state if grown for…purposes authorized…”
  • Requires industrial hemp growers be licensed by the state.
  • Creates a complete defense to prosecution under criminal code for marijuana possession or cultivation.”

 

As you can see there’s still much work to be done but please get involved anyway possible to make this important natural plant legal.  It’s simply outrageous Americans allowed these horrendous freedoms to be taken without much of a fight.  This goes against our Constitutional rights.  We must continue our fight for true sovereignty and against these oppressive unjust laws.

 

Namaste

JD

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