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Industrial Hemp Reform Emerging From Marijuana Legalization Election Victories

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director January 20, 2013

    One of the major public policy and business fronts to end cannabis prohibition in America is to pressure the federal government to allow American farmers the same ability to cultivate industrial hemp like farmers in the United Kingdom, France, Russia and even Canada do under current so-called anti-drug international treaties. Ninety percent of hemp used in the United States is cultivated and imported from Canada.

    What sane reason can be employed by the federal government to ban industrial hemp cultivation when Canadian farmers can prosper from cultivating it?

    Numerous states–just like with decriminalization, medicalization and legalization–have passed industrial hemp reform laws that run afoul of the federal government’s anti-cannabis policies. This has created upward political pressure on Congress to introduce needed hemp law reform.

    Check out this recent Washington Post article profiling lobbying efforts to get hemp legalized.

    You can help out by signing the White House petition to bring the matter of industrial hemp law reform before the Obama Administration for a public reply.

    See the dozen or so state hemp laws here.

    To learn more about hemp and law reform efforts in states and Congress check out VoteHemp.

    22 Responses to “Industrial Hemp Reform Emerging From Marijuana Legalization Election Victories”

    1. […] Industrial Hemp Reform Emerging From Marijuana Legalization Election Victories One of the major public policy and business fronts to end cannabis prohibition in America is to pressure the federal government to allow American farmers the same ability to cultivate industrial hemp like farmers in the United Kingdom, France, Russia and even Canada do under current so-called anti-drug international treaties. Ninety percent of hemp used in the United States is cultivated and imported from Canada. What sane reason can be employed by the federal government to ban industrial hemp cultivation when Canadian farmers can prosper from cultivating it? Numerous states–just […] […]

    2. Chris in WI says:

      Industrial hemp was the original target of the 1937 tax act. Will be interesting to see if the rhetoric fires up now…

    3. […] more here: Industrial Hemp Reform Emerging From Marijuana Legalization Election Victories Share it […]

    4. J.R.H94 says:

      While it my not pertain to the recreational or medical use of cannabis as a drug, the hemp industry will more than likely gross a potential national revenue equal to or greater than that of medical or recreational cannabis. The possibilities are practically endless. It could create hundreds of thousands of jobs in new textile, paper, clothing, and fuel industries that could produce in a highly efficient, clean, and extremely renewable fashion. Exciting stuff.

    5. jim says:

      The prohibition of hemp (non-psychoactive cannabis) is not explained at all by CSA scheduling of drugs. It is not explained by any federal policy besides one that is wholly related to drug-like substances.

      Scheduling is meant to determine or label certain substances as having a high potential for abuse and those also with no redeeming medical benefits.

      First, by their terms of schedule categorizing, even the form of cannabis that is psychoactive, or high-producing, and incidentally medically beneficial, should not be schedule 1.

      By extension hemp is likely the first plant cultivated by man (the agrarian revolution), is non-psychoactive and has a potential for abuse similar to smoking sheets of office paper. Man found the value in eating it’s seeds, a source of complete nutrition. Smoking the flowers may have stimulated human consciousness towards revolutionary changes in thought and abstract systems (imagining and then making).

      Cannabis seeds (hemp seeds) are not technically seeds. They are achenes. Achenes are specialized, miniaturized *fruits* which contain seeds within them which function to grow new plants when germinated. Not being simple sees, hemp achenes are fruit that provide more nutrition than real seeds or grains.

      You can’t live on rice alone. You can’t live on corn alone. Humans need to consume essential amino acids and vitamins that our bodies don’t produce like vitamin c. This means, to get all the essential amino acids (the building materials of proteins) from diet, we have mix rice and beans, or corn and beans to get all 8 necessary amino acids. Rice or corn or beans alone do not contain all the eight amino acids necessary.

      Hemp achenes or what are inaccurately called “seeds” contain all essential amino acids and also beneficial omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 essential fatty acids. “Essential” in this regard to fatty acids, means they are required (must be consumed) during a crucial part of early development. Whether they are essential throughout all of life is still under study.

      Complete nutrition from a plant that grows easier than most any other, so easy that early man could learn cultivation in general, just by observing the plant’s natural life cycle. Hemp is not psychoactive and can be used to make 1000’s of products, including plastics, ropes, fabrics, paper of the highest quality. Biomass for biodiesel (sustainable fuel! other than finite source of war petrol).

      Why do so many people die of hunger in the world when cannabis can adapt to almost any climate (anywhere in the world besides Antarctica) by a competent breeder and it’s achenes could greatly improve the human condition while people starve to death in this modern world?

      Americans can make products out of hemp, sell these products, but….they can’t grow the hemp themselves. Cultivation of non-pyschoactive, non-drug hemp is as severely punished as growing pot. Hemp entrepreneurs are forced to import the raw hemp material from places like Canada, which allows legal cultivation.

      Hemp prohibition is not explained at all by schedule 1 definitions or terms, just like non-industrial cannabis or hemp.

      The movement to free hemp for free market use and consumer benefit has always been around, but cannabis prohibition, which has always been unreasonable, intellectually dishonest, and an obstacle free market competition through iron-fisted with draconian penalties made fights for hemp-rights seem unrealistic. If the fed agencies will claim unflinchingly that pot is dangerous, consider them unreasonable enough to ignore the botanical difference between industrial hemp and medical cannabis, as they have been. People did not know that “marijuana” was actually “hemp” and later, that “hemp” is not a drug like “marijuana” and so the DEA shouldn’t even have say in hemp legislation since hemp is not a drug or medicine.

    6. Ll says:

      Why doesn’t Obama just legalize hemp with a cleverly worded executive order?

      Oh yeah, he’s a raging Prohibitionist.

    7. […] Hemp Reform Emerging From Marijuana Legalization Victories | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform. […]

    8. fishcreekbob says:

      Hmmm Making low cost competition free enterprise legal. Hey Great idea.

    9. John McClane says:

      Do hemp flowers even test positive for THC? I could see some good legal changes if someone could throw some hemp plants out, buy a bunch of test kits, get it to test negative multiple times and then if they get busted on purpose or by accident they could challenge their arrest and maybe scheduling and get it ruled to be outside the realm of the CSA. The more I look at it, the more insane it seems to imagine myself back then and wonder how it became illegal. If Americans knew hemp made paper and rope and such back then, then how did they not know what recreational marijuana was? It was used medicinally, no prescription needed i think, as were drugs like opium and heroin and cocaine (they even advertised laudanum which is opium and alcohol for various illnesses for a time). Maybe just recreational smoking of the drug wasn’t popular. Tobacco was always big, and i don’t think many people even knew anything whatsoever about cancer or any diseases linked to tobacco. No one seemed to get offended by people smoking tobacco back then, as no laws ever got passed against that to my knowledge. One thing that strikes me is this was the true prohibitionist era. Giving women the right to vote caused alcohol prohibition in my mind, because they had the womens temperance union and all that. Was this just a catch all thing with drugs? I don’t know much of the illegality of stuff like shrooms/mescaline/peyote/other hallucinogens back then. Where were the people screaming for peyote to be made illegal for American Indians? There had to be at least a few ppl who tripped balls and did crazy shit back then. Were those the type that got caught with weed as well and gave credit to the myths? How did this happen?

    10. phrtao says:

      I know NORML has plenty of data on medical uses of cannabis and on the harms associated with it’s use recreationally. Are there any reliable documents on just how extensive industrial hemp and oil could be used – to what extent can hemp be used for fuel, fibres etc. I mean real figures not the silly green nonsense. If a good economic argument could be made on this basis it would surely speed the legalisation of cannabis for all purposes.

    11. reportabuse says:

      He is a hypocrite you mean !

    12. mark says:

      “What sane reason can be employed by the federal government to ban industrial hemp cultivation when Canadian farmers can prosper from cultivating it?”

      none. There was a dumbass redneck politician who said to his partners in conspiracy one day “Damn shit looks just like the real thing, Verne. Good way to hide the real thing. That’s it, then, Verne. Make hemp illegal too.It’ll give us sumpin’ else to blame on them neeegers.”

    13. Bradson says:

      @jim: The DEA uses the excuse that hemp contains THC, and any amount of THC, no matter how insignificant, is illegal according to them. They also claim that allowing hemp farming would enable marijuana strains to be stealthily grown along with the hemp.

      Yes, it’s incredible BS, but it passes as the law of the land.

    14. claygooding says:

      When you consider that most people wouldn’t know what nylon,except in hosiery,or rayon existed if not for the prohibition of hemp,,that the “oil shortage” would have never existed and global warming because of carbon dioxide increases wouldn’t be an issue if hemp were raised as a cash crop,,it is quite obvious why it will remain prohibited until we stop our governments “Reefer Madness” policy ended.

      And even then,,they are attempting to keep marijuana fear at a level to keep outdoor grows illegal,,thus continuing the hemp prohibition.

    15. PokerGrinder420 says:

      So kind of off topic but I ususally keep up to date with Norml and it turns out I was waiting at Union station in New Haven, CT and they have NORML.org blocked go figure.

    16. Miles says:

      I wonder… If it was to become legal to grow hemp, how would it affect the crops of those trying to grow sensimilla? Specifically, just how far would the pollen from the hemp spread and possibly ruin a medical/recreational crop? Are marijuana/cannabis so different from hemp that cross-pollination is of no concern?

      By the way, on a different note, I’ve been asking various people around my state (Virginia) about how they feel about legalizing marijuana for medical/recreational purposes. These people include those who work in fast food, grocery stores, general merchandise stores, gyms, are out walking their dogs, etc…. All sexes, ages, and nationalities, with only one exception told me marijuana should be legal. The one exception was a clerk at a chain store who expressed concern for those who make their living selling marijuana illegally and would have their profits disrupted! It truly seems that the only people against it are our elected officials and law enforcement.

    17. Brian says:

      this is good lets switch over to hemp bio fuel lets use it for construction to build cars houses witch i hear is better for your health when your in a house made of hemp even more so with regular wood and my under standing its as strong as steel when made in to that type of materiel when you can make things like that lets bring the hemp industry’s back and create more work for people and make our own products and bio fuel from right here in the US instead of china or any other country all we need is hemp when will the feds and anti cannabis people realize this?

    18. Dave Evans says:

      Brian, it isn’t so much that they “don’t realize” the consequences of these misguided laws, for the most part they just don’t care!

    19. Mike Nilson says:

      If we all yell louder and more often, eventually they have to here us. It takes very little reading and just a tiny bit of common sense to understand this country needs our hemp back more than ever. Here in my state,and others I’m sure, the gov’t pays farmers to not grow anything. I know that produces nothing.

    20. jim says:

      Although most of the psychoactive properties have been selectively breeded out of hemp, there is a percentage of THC in industrial hemp that can only be detected using high technology like mass spectrometry and high pressure liquid chromatography. These methods range the level of THC weight percent measurement of THC, within industrial hemp to be on the order of 0.02% to 0.04%. The properties of cannabis that get us “high” also happen to be associated with genes for a lower quality, less-useful industrial hemp product. Good industrial hemp ideally has the lowest psychoactive levels, yet still contains CBD, which is not psychoactive but acts in synergy with THC and also is an agonist in CB2 receptors, demonstrated to improve immune function.

      Strains that have been selected and bred for recreational use (getting high, achieving altered states that are often enlightening) or plants bred for THC based therapy. These varieties or cultivars have up to 20% by weight THC, and are not suitable or practical as industrial hemp is, which is unmatched as a useful plant to us, a sustainable resource, an invaluable plant to our human survival experience.

      The best industrial hemp will have insignificant amounts of THC. It will not get anyone “stoned.” The plants are lanky and the flowering tops which would normally contain the highest percentages of THC are sparse, paltry, like a head on a pin. This is the polar opposite of marijuana flowers as they appear on psychoactive cannabis, pot, sinsemilla.

      But industrial hemp does contain significant amounts of CBD, which has been scientifically demonstrated in numerous recent studies, to have a beneficial effect on immune function, as well as muscular and peripheral nervous system function, and also digestive function.

      When petroleum disappears, and it will, because it is a finite and over-used resource that takes million years of geological processes to make (cannot be made by man), there will be a crisis. It’s looming on the horizon as you notice that people talk about being “green” and liberating ourselves from the oil cartel, nothing is really being done. The gamblers on wall street are frothing at the mouth at the coming crisis. Prohibition which was ended by the 18th amendment (alcohol) made a lot of money for bootleggers. Prohibition today, CSA/DEA/FDA/corporate special interests (mostly pot) is making people in petrochemical and energy, very wealthy.

      The coming energy crisis will surprise only the gullible and non-observant. Expect rampant price-gouging and panic. When hemp has been demonstrated already as a strong candidate as an alternative, to refined resources from thepetrochemical monster

      This is just like the “arms race” created obscenely wealthy weaponsmakers who schemed with their employee Reagan to spout nonsense, a sham excuse of mutually-assured-destruction, tens of thousands of nukes, costing billions each at taxpayer cost, when even though 10 nukes is enough to cover the skies and freeze the world in nuclear winter.

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