Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hemp Held Hostage

DEA's myopic policy on industrial hemp hinders Kentucky's economy

Lexington, KY - This past January, on the first day of the Kentucky legislature's 2011 session, state Sens. Joey Pendleton, Perry Clark, and Kathy Stein introduced Senate Bill 30, which would create regulatory and licensing procedures for Kentucky residents wishing to grow industrial hemp. The bill provides for criminal background checks of growers, sellers and buyers, as well as the monitoring and testing of hemp crops by local sheriff's departments and, in general, provides a regulatory framework for the production of industrial hemp in the commonwealth.

The text of the bill, which has repeated its predecessors' trajectories, languishing in the Senate Agriculture Committee until the legislature's recent adjournment, is identical to Pendleton's SB 14, which died in committee in 2010, and SB 131, also introduced by Pendleton and which also died in committee back in 2009. It seems evident, then, that neither the agriculture committee nor, one assumes, the full Senate has any intention of passing this bill any time soon.

Why not? The Kentucky legislature has already demonstrated a certain level of commitment to growing industrial hemp in the state with the 2001 enactment of House Bill 100, which established an industrial hemp research program under the oversight of the Department of Agriculture and encouraged investigation into the potential economic benefits of hemp production in Kentucky. Nor is the production of industrial hemp explicitly prohibited in the commonwealth, either by state or federal law.

All SB 30 and its predecessors sought to do was create a system by which Kentucky law enforcement could monitor the legality of hemp operations, ensuring that the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in recreational marijuana) in any hemp crops produced didn't exceed the legal limit of 0.3 percent, beyond which the plant is classified as a controlled substance. Though sheriff's departments might complain about the additional burden of background checks and crop testing, SB 30 is a sensible precursor to the development of an industrial hemp economy in Kentucky. So again: Why not?

Because there's little point in passing such a bill, or making industrial hemp a legislative priority, when the Drug Enforcement Administration will almost certainly deny any potential producer's permit application, as it has done consistently for decades. As things stand, citizens wishing to produce industrial hemp in the United States must seek a DEA permit and demonstrate the ability to comply with a rigorous set of security procedures, including prison-quality fencing, closed-circuit cameras, and (possibly) armed patrols. Yet those potential producers who have managed to install the necessary infrastructure and comply with the DEA's security requirements have still had their permit applications denied without exception and without adequate explanation. Why, then, bother creating the conditions in which a citizen of Kentucky might produce the crop?

The DEA has faced legal challenges in the last decade for its practice of universally denying permits, but all have been unsuccessful. The most notable recent challenge came from a pair of farmers in North Dakota, with the support of that state's legislature and governor, who sought to sell their product to Detroit car makers for use as panel and door insulation (one of the many uses of industrial hemp); currently, U.S. car makers import hemp for this purpose from Canada.
As with other, similar legal challenges, judges in the North Dakota case deferred to the authority of the DEA, suggesting that the matter needed to be addressed in the U.S. Congress via clarification of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

This has not yet happened, although in 2009 Ron Paul, the Republican representative from Texas, introduced HR 1866, which sought to exclude industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Hemp. The bill died, unsurprisingly, the moment it was referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

That lawmakers saw fit to direct a bill on an agricultural issue to a committee concerned with terrorism is indicative of the ignorance of and insensitivity of the federal government to the economic benefits hemp would bring to the country's farmers. Confirmation of this regulatory myopia comes in the form of a 2001 DEA press release, in which DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson was quoted as saying, "many Americans do not know that hemp and marijuana are both parts of the same plant and that hemp cannot be produced without producing marijuana."

This is patent nonsense, of course, as the strain of the hemp plant used for industrial purposes is useless for smoking, and the strains used for smoking are useless to industry. Nor, given the long history of both industrial hemp production and recreational marijuana use in the United States, and particularly in Kentucky, could one claim with a straight face that "many"Americans are unaware of the biological similarities between the two varieties of the plant. Yet this is the DEA's official position, and so industrial hemp permits are repeatedly denied in service to the drug war.

This state of affairs should be especially galling to Kentuckians, we citizens of one of the 10 poorest and most rural states in the country, for in practice the federal government is denying us the opportunity to improve our economic situation. This is a position that any objective observer could only describe as repressive and immoral, and one worthy of attack. In future columns, I will examine methods of doing just that, as well as outlining the specific economic benefits industrial hemp production could bring to the commonwealth.

Illinois House votes 'no' on hemp farming

Hemp products were displayed by activists in the Illinois Statehouse Thursday, as lawmakers debated a bill that would have legalized hemp production by Illinois farmers. (Kevin McDermott)
Hemp products were displayed by activists in the Illinois Statehouse Thursday, as lawmakers debated a bill that would have legalized hemp production by Illinois farmers. (Kevin McDermott)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • Farmland in Illinois will not be sprouting legal hemp any time soon, lawmakers in the state House decided today.
An effort to allow Illinois farmers to grow and process hemp, sponsored by state Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, failed to by a vote of 28-83 after a lengthy debate of the merits of the industrial crop, which is found in products ranging from clothing to fuel.
The Illinois Farm Bureau supported the bill, in addition to the state's chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Law. Both groups believe that legalizing the processing of hemp would help farmers to cash in on a booming industry.
Dunkin said the bill would make the state "part of the new green movement all across the country."
Nine states have passed legislation to remove the legal barriors to growing hemp.
Opponents argued that the bill would put the state on shaky legal footing, considering the fact that the federal government has not yet approved farming of the crop.
Proponents emphasized the fact that commercial hemp contains 0.3 percent or less of THC, the psychoactive chemical found in ratios of 5 to 20 percent in marijuana.
The bill is HB1383.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Forms ready for Prairie growers' spring cash advances

Mar 29, 2011 12:00 PM 
By: Staff

The canola growers' body in charge of the cash advance program for Western Canada's crop producers is now taking applications for 2011.

The Advance Payments Program offers farmers up to $100,000 interest-free, and an additional $300,000 at "very competitive" interest rates, the Canadian Canola Growers Association said in a release Monday.
New for 2011, the CCGA will offer a "fax back" option it said will improve the service level for farmers.
"Having the application forms and online system available earlier in the spring is one way we can provide better service to farmers who have a busy field season right around the corner," CCGA general manager Rick White said in the same release.

"We're already receiving calls from farmers wanting to complete their cash advance applications before they get into the field."

Eligible farmers can apply online or call 1-866-745-2256 to complete a telephone application. Applications are also available at a number of grain elevators, the CCGA said.

The rates of available advances in Western Canada for spring 2011 range from $480 per tonne for hemp down to $50 per tonne for standard-grade timothy hay for export.

Crops covered under the program include canola, flax, rye, oats, mustard, triticale, canaryseed, buckwheat, hemp and timothy hay across the West, plus wheat, durum and barley grown outside the Canadian Wheat Board's designated area.

Crops covered only in Saskatchewan and Alberta include lentils, Desi and Kabuli chickpeas, peas, soybeans, fababeans and white, coloured and pinto beans.
Another update on the movement in Oregon to legalize and tax marijuana and hemp:

Mar-29-2011 02:20

Could Oregon be First to End Cannabis Prohibition? 'OCTA 2012' is Approved for Signatures

The petition drive could lead to ending the failed prohibition law.
OCTA 2012

(SALEM, Ore.) - About 30 volunteers rallied at the new office for the OCTA 2012 campaign on Portland's East side to meet, pick up packets and get outfitted for outreach early Monday. The Oregon Secretary of State's Election Division announced the approval of the petition, Initiative Number 9, for circulation and signature gathering on March 24th and the group lost no time in getting to work.
OCTA 2012 organizers have until July 7, 2012 to gather 90,000 registered voters' signatures to qualify for the November 6, 2012 ballot.
If passed, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 will regulate the legal sale of marijuana to adults through state-licensed stores, allow adults to grow their own, license Oregon farmers to grow marijuana for state-licensed stores and allow unlicensed Oregon farmers to grow cannabis hemp for fuel, fiber and food.
The state campaign committee is working to achieve ballot status in three ways: hiring paid petitioners, organizing volunteer petitioners and soliciting Oregon registered voters signatures online.
Jennifer Alexander, OCTA
Last November, a cannabis-related measure did not pass in Oregon. The difference between the two is substantial. Unlike OCTA 2012, Measure 74 was specifically regarding medical marijuana dispensaries- not legalization.
Paul Stanford, co-petitioner of OCTA 2012 says "there hasn't been anything like OCTA on the ballot, with the exception of California's measure last year, which was only slightly similar."
Organizers say that OCTA 2012 will raise $140 million a year for Oregon by taxing commercial cannabis sales to adults 21 years of age and older, and save an estimated $61.5 million as law enforcement, corrections and judicial attention can focus on violent crimes and theft.
"We estimate this will amount to $200 million a year more funding for state government. Ninety percent of the proceeds will go into the state general fund, 7% for drug treatment programs, one percent each for drug education in public schools, and two new state commissions to promote hemp biofuel and hemp fiber and food," Alexander said.

OCTA 2012 is "the Legalization Conversation"

Q: Most people don't want to legalize pot, all the polls say so!
A: On the contrary- Polls from 2006/07 say a MAJORITY of Westerners prefer to "Relax it and tax it".
Q: How will we ever be able to stop pot DUIs if marijuana is legal?
A: How do we stop pot DUIs now? OCTA maintains all DUI penalties.
Q: Won't OCTA make it easier for teens to get cannabis?
A: Nearly 84% of high school seniors ALREADY find it easy to get cannabis!
Q: How will $300M/yr in OCTA money benefit the State of Oregon?
A: 90% of OCTA goes to the general fund, the rest funds rehab, education, & hemp.
Q: I don't use cannabis, so why should I care about passing OCTA?
A: Spend $61.5M/yr on busting cannabis users, or earn $300M/yr taxing them?
Q: Won't sales of cannabis in adult stores mean more people using cannabis?
A: Everyone who wants to use cannabis already is... on the uncontrolled black market!
Q: OCTA sends the wrong message about cannabis to teenagers!
A: Since medical marijuana passed in Oregon, teen cannabis use went down.
Q: OCTA's a good idea, but it will never survive a federal court challenge
A: OCTA was drafted to obey the Constitution and US International Drug Treaties
Q: We have enough problems with drugs, why have another one?
A: We sell beer and cigarettes, which kill >520,000 a year; cannabis kills ZERO.
Q: Won't we see more safety issues in the workplace if OCTA passes?
A: OCTA keeps all drug-free workplace policies and DUI laws intact.
Q: Marijuana is a gateway drug, more people will get hooked on hard drugs!
A: The gateway theory is a myth - most cannabis users never try other drugs.
Q: What are the benefits of growing an industrial hemp crop in Oregon?
A: Greener cheaper fuel and industry for our farmers and timber workers.
Compiled by Russ Belville,
NORML Outreach Coordinator
A common experience shared throughout the volunteers is one learned through previous actions circulating petitions for OCTA.
"I intentionally contacted many officers of the law to see how they felt about legalization," Alexander said. "Law enforcement supports legalization more than medical marijuana because currently they have to differentiate between law breakers and those exempted from the criminal laws."
"Through the Measure 74 campaign, even media representatives were saying that they wanted us to have the legalization conversation."
"I do not believe that there is a lack of support for marijuana legalization. Instead, I feel that there is a fear of openly admitting support for marijuana legalization among some," Alexander added, "And they need to come out of the cannabis closet."
Beyond the enthusiastic volunteers, there were many interested citizens and media outlets at the kick-off on Monday, and Alexander said that some were in "awe" at the variety of hemp products at the event. On display was pressed hemp board, hemp sealant, hemp cereal, hemp socks, hemp bags, hemp granola bars, hemp milk, hemp shampoo, Dr. Bronner's hemp soap, and much more.
"The volunteers were used to the variety of benefits hemp has to offer, but the media in particular seemed astonished, so I was very glad it was all there."
The Cannabis Tax Act would enable the sale of cannabis to help create and fund an agricultural committee to promote hemp fiber, protein and oil crops and associated industries. OCTA2012 is expected to provide millions of dollars a year to implement this important change.

Giving Farmers Back This Valuable and Environmentally Necessary Commodity

  • Hemp seed oil can be used as fuel to drive cars and heat homes because Hemp produces biomass, which can be converted into charcoal for electricity, ethanol, methanol and other sources of fuel. Burning biomass for energy, instead of fossil fuels, helps keep the carbon dioxide cycle in balance, and thus helps to stop global warming, instead of contributing to it as the burning of fossil fuels does.
  • An acre of hemp will produce from four to ten times as much paper pulp as will an acre of trees, over the period of time it takes pulp trees to grow to maturity, and hemp can be used to make paper more durable and environmentally friendly than wood. Changing to hemp-based paper could reduce deforestation by half. Hemp paper lasts hundreds of years longer than paper made from trees and doesn't require toxic bleaching chemicals.
  • One acre of hemp can produce 10 tons of biomass every four months of growing season. Hemp fuel is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly reusable energy source on the planet, and could potentially make the U.S. less dependent on foreign petroleum.
  • The cannabis sativa plant produces more protein, oil and fiber than any other plant on earth. Hempseed, for example, was an essential part of our ancestors' diet and is the source of "gruel," the porridge that is referred to in countless stories and books written before this century.
  • Hemp is an excellent food source, hemp provides nearly complete nutrition. Eating a diet rich in EFAs, Omega 3, 6, and 9, is one way to ensure health, because these essential fatty acids help to stimulate the heart and brain, as well as the immune system.
At the campaign kickoff, a series of three benefit concerts were announced, scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend. They feature reggae music legend, Toots & the Maytals. Toots' album, True Love, features duets with Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, and No Doubt. True Love won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album of 2005.
Toots & the Maytals will headline three shows, starting at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene on Saturday, July 2nd; followed by the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond on Sunday, July 3rd; and culminating at the Washington Park Rose Garden Amphitheater in Portland on Monday the 4th of July.
The Independence Day Benefit will be the first show at Portland's Washington Park Rose Garden Amphitheater since Ziggy Marley played there 12 years ago and is expected to draw a large audience.
"I definitely feel good about the start," said Jennifer Alexander. "I think that we have a strong group of volunteers that will get the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act on the 2012 ballot.
"Oregon is one of the small number of states that allows a citizen's initiative, which is a very powerful tool. Oregonians have crafted many laws that would be unlikely to come out of the legislature, and this has enabled Oregon to be at the forefront of many different issues over the years, especially with cannabis."
In answer to a question foremost on many Oregonians' minds, what about the federal prohibition laws that the DEA insists on enforcing? Well, finally, "States Rights" may actually stand for something. The OCTA places the Oregon Attorney General in charge of defending those in compliance with the OCTA against federal charges as well as with promoting adoption of similar legislation at the federal level.
The majority of Oregon's populous has never been obsessed with criminalizing cannabis, and OCTA 2012 may be the turning point not just for the northwest state, but as a leader in the grassroots movement to end prohibition.
For many lifelong activists, this measure's success means an inevitable end to cannabis prohibition on the federal level. And that has already noticeably invigorated the movement.

Publisher Bonnie King has been with since August '04. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and NIE/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King For more Cannabis-related stories and factual information, go to: Cannabis De-Classified

Rick Simpson Update


Note that the title of this column is misleading since it is the formal cancer industry that has been 'running from the cure' all these years. Rick is doing his best to promote the cure and to educate as many people as possible. 

Rick Simpson – (Still) Running From The Cure

By Joe Klare
Cancer is a devastating disease that affects tens of millions of people in the United States alone. It consumes lives and destroys families. It causes many to seek alternative treatments, and to try things they may not have considered under less dire circumstances.

Many of these alternative treatment seekers have gone down a road that has led them to a man named Rick Simpson. Formerly of Nova Scotia in Canada, Rick now lives in an undisclosed location in Europe due to legal entanglements with the Canadian government.

Many of you may have heard of Rick Simpson; his documentary, Run From The Cure, has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on the internet. Dozens attest to the healing power of the cannabis oil he taught them how to make. And untold numbers around the globe consider him a visionary and cannabis freedom fighter of the highest caliber.

The 420 Times was fortunate enough to get into contact with Mr. Simpson, and our conversation was as interesting as it was informative. He was very forthcoming, up to and including sending us the latest instructions on making hemp oil, which can be found at his website:

A “late bloomer” in terms of cannabis use, Rick preferred alcohol to weed. “My parents never really said much about cannabis and since I didn’t use the substance at the time no one tried to preach to me. When I was young a great number of my friends were smoking cannabis, but me in all my wisdom stuck to alcohol as my drug of choice. From all the propaganda we had been fed by our trusted government, I thought the use of cannabis must be harmful in some way. But watching the effect it had on all my friends that were smoking it seemed to go against all I had been told. After smoking cannabis in the evening they all awoke the next morning feeling fine and unharmed, while myself after drinking awoke with a nasty hangover. When I was young I tried to smoke it with friends a couple of times, but I didn’t like its effects at the time so I stuck with booze. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I had known then what I do today, for if I had I would have smoked cannabis and drank a whole lot less alcohol.”

As happens with many, Rick didn’t discover the medical benefits of cannabis until after he had been using it recreationally. “I was a late starter when it comes to the use of cannabis and I was in my mid thirties before I started to use it recreationally. Like most other people I had no idea of this plants potential as a medicine and I remained that way until about a year after I had suffered the head injury that ended my working career.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police vs. Rick Simpson
Rick is currently in Europe because of problems with the Canadian government; as he told The 420 Times: “I never had a drug charge in my life until the RCMP staged the raid on my property in 2005. Of course in reality this raid was staged simply to prevent me from supplying the medicine and spreading the truth about the medicinal value of the hemp plant. The legal system tried to paint me as some type of drug dealer, but how many drug dealers do you know that openly grew cannabis and produced the essential oil from the plant and then gave this oil away free of charge to those in need? On my fifty eighth birthday November 30th 2007 I was put in jail for four days supposedly for trafficking an illegal substance. I had supplied 5 grams of oil again free of charge to a woman in her early twenties who was suffering from a back condition that had put her off work. Her mother who it seems considered herself to be an upstanding citizen, reported it to the local police and I was arrested. When the case was heard in court in early 2008 I was sentenced to time served. In other words the legal system considered the four days I had already served as just punishment for the terrible crime I had committed by helping this woman and giving her the medicine free.”

“I have to admit that it took me quite some time to realize the healing potential of this amazing oil,” Rick said when we discussed the cannabis oil he has been teaching people how to make for a decade. “When the medical system told me in 2001 that there was nothing more they could do for me, I had no option other than to turn to the oil for relief. The chemical medications that they had been giving me for years had badly damaged my thinking ability to the point that I couldn’t seem to remember anything. But once I started ingesting the oil on a regular basis it began to work its magic and in a short time it lifted me out of the chemically induced haze that I had been in. As this was taking place I became quite alarmed because I started loosing a lot of weight, of course I didn’t know at the time that the oil was simply detoxifying my body of excess fat and toxins that had built up over the years. It wasn’t until I had cured my own skin cancer, that I really became aware of the healing potential of this substance. Shortly after I had cured the last of the skin cancers with the oil, it suddenly dawned on me what this amazing substance was all about. Not only had it cured my cancer and brought my thinking ability back to normal. It had also cured the arthritis in my knees that I had been suffering from for years. Another truly amazing thing it had done was completely heal a severe third degree burn that occurred when I first tried to produce the oil. Of course at the time my thinking was badly impaired by all the chemical medications the doctors had given me, so I blame these so called medications for the injury that I suffered. When I say that I had suffered a severe burn I do mean severe. Three quarters of my right hand had literally melted and was hanging in big gobs from what was left of my hand. Eleven days after this injury my hand was completely healed leaving no scars, it was almost as if it had never happened. But at the time my thinking was so impaired by all the chemicals I had taken, I simply wrote it off by telling myself that I must be a good healer. Finally after I had cured my cancers I put all the oil had done for me into perspective and thought what have I stumbled upon. It then became more than obvious to me what this wonderful substance could do and from that point on I went on a crusade to bring this knowledge foreword. In the beginning I never really thought that the miraculous healing ability of this oil would be rejected. But I was soon to find out differently and in a few short months I came to realize the sad state of the world in which we live.”

Youtube is full of video testimonials of people who say they have used Rick’s oil and that it has done amazing things. Obviously The 420 Times cannot claim knowledge of the oil’s ability to cure cancer; we can only say we have viewed the testimonials, and there are many who have been pushed to what many would consider an extreme treatment to help them with a horrific and soul-crushing disease, and they say it works. In the final analysis, there are many with cancer that come to the “what do I have to lose?” moment. It is something you should discuss with your family, friends, and doctor.

Rick Simpson is yet another example of the hideousness of The War on Drugs; it only serves to hurt good people. It saps the will of those who want to help others. After all, what is wrong with someone having the option of cannabis to treat their cancer?

The 420 Times cannot verify that Rick Simpson’s cannabis oil can cure cancer. We also concur with Mr. Simpson’s disclaimer that we bear no responsibility for the misuse of this information. Discuss all treatments with your doctor or other medical professional before use of any medicine or alternative.

Mr. Simpson’s website can be found at

Monday, March 28, 2011

Petition To Legalize Hemp (and Marijuana) Circulating In Oregon

Supporters Say Measure Would Save Money

Petition carriers need 90,000 signatures to put a measure legalizing marijuana in Oregon on the 2012 general election ballot.Supporters say Oregon’s Secretary of State approved the form of the petition last week, and they hope to convince Oregonians to sign it starting today.Initiative petitioners say marijuana would be taxed and sold through state-licensed stores. The measure would also permit adults to grow their own marijuana for personal use.The chief petitioners say the measure allows farmers to grow cannabis hemp for other uses, such as diesel fuel, fiber or food.Supporters say the measure would raise $140 million from taxing commercial sales of marijuana and save more than $61 million in police, jail and court time now spent on marijuana cases.“We’re wasting a lot of money right now on prohibition of marijuana. We’re losing a lot of industrial benefits from not having hemp," says campaign manager Jennifer Alexander. 

Supporters of what they call the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act say it would not change Oregon's existing laws regarding medical marijuana and driving under the influence of intoxicants. 

Petitioners have until July 2012 to collect the required signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

Illinois Hemp Bill Passes Committee

Springfield, IL--(ENEWSPF)--March 28, 2011.

The Illinois Industrial Hemp Act passed a House Agriculture and Conservation Committee  by a vote of 11-2.  The bill would allow farmers in Illinois to grow hemp once again and would define hemp as being varieties of the cannabis genus whose THC content is below 0.3%

The bill will now await a floor vote by the Illinois House of Representatives.

To read the full text of the bill go to this link or go to the Illinois General Assembly website, and search for HB 1383.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Art by Banksy

I came across this illustration by Banksy the other day and thought it was a brilliant variation of the famous quote by V. I. Lenin and an excellent commentary on the US Government's destructive anti-cannabis policies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Let's acknowledge that the war on drugs is a failure — and legalize marijuana (and hemp)

Column by Johnny Hickman

Posted March 23, 2011 at 7:26 p.m.

Everyone knows that the American drug war is a total failure.

Having spent $1 trillion in the last 40 years, we now find that marijuana is cheaper, more potent and readily available to anyone who wants it. During the past 10 years, polls show that public school students consistently say that marijuana is easier to get than cigarettes or alcohol. It is high time to end the insanity. Prohibition didn't work with alcohol and it won't work with drugs either.

The drug war is all about greed, power and control. The government and law enforcement lose more credibility every day that they maintain their irrational, narrow-minded stance against legalization. We the people need to stand up and speak out for full legalization of marijuana and industrial hemp as soon as possible.

Marijuana should be legalized for several reasons. We need cannabis hemp for medicine, food, fuel and fiber. Marijuana is good medicine for many ailments and lately has been shown effective against cancer.

We should stand up for our rights. We should be allowed to light up a joint for relaxation and recreation. It's no different from the average Joe kicking back and having a couple of beers after a long day's work. What we do in private is our own business, not Big Brother's. No one has died from a marijuana overdose; it is not toxic to the human body. Alcohol and tobacco are bad for you, and addictive too, but they are legal. Think about how many people die each year because of alcohol and tobacco abuse. Cannabis is no more addictive than coffee.

Ever wonder why marijuana is illegal? Greed, yellow journalism, racism, outright lies and vicious, misleading propaganda were used by William Randolph Hearst (newspaper publication, timber and paper industry), the DuPonts (plastics made from oil), the Rockefellers (big oil) and our government to get hemp banned in the first place. They were afraid of the competition then and they still are. The drug czar when the federal government declared war on marijuana in 1937, Harry Anslinger, used lies, racism and underhanded politics to further the agenda of the rich and powerful. Every drug czar since then has followed in Anslinger's footsteps. Nowadays, $18 billion is wasted each year on marijuana prohibition. Our government forces marijuana prohibition on other nations, causing hardship and increased crime.

Want to talk about addiction? Our government is addicted to the profits from the drug war. It is a sad fact that our own government no longer has the best interests of the American people at heart.
The federal government's insistence that we must not grow hemp because there is no way to discern industrial hemp from marijuana is absurd; they have different growth habits and appearance. Inspectors in other nations that do grow industrial hemp have no problem figuring out the difference.
The powers that be who are pulling the strings that control our federal government are doing everything they can to keep knowledge about the benefits of marijuana and industrial hemp from you because Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Lumber, Big Law Enforcement, Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol realize that their cash cow (the lost drug war) is at stake.

Big Pharma knows marijuana is good medicine but doesn't want you to have it unless they can control it; they're after the money. But they can't patent a natural plant. Many medical organizations agree that marijuana is good medicine for a wide variety of ailments.

Big Brother knows that legalization would put the power and the money back in the hands of the people and they hate the very thought of that. They are willing to be heavy-handed, to use blackmail and to lie to the American public to keep marijuana from being legalized. All those hundreds of thousands of men and women (many of them very young) who have been incarcerated for cannabis should be released so that they can resume their productive lives.

Within three or four years, we could be making enough alcohol from hemp to allow us to almost completely quit using gasoline. Fuel prices would go way down. Hemp oil is an excellent lubricant. That's why Big Oil fears cannabis hemp mightily. It would cause them to lose their stranglehold on us and nations of the world.

Hemp will grow anywhere, from deserts to mountains to rain forests. It is much better for our environment than other crops such as cotton and makes much better products. Small farmers would have a way to make a better living. We could stop cutting down our old growth forests.

The huge amount of money being made by organized criminals will suddenly be reduced significantly; crime would decrease; Mexico finally would be allowed to legalize. The drug cartels in Mexico would lose a huge portion of their business overnight.

Cannabis hemp is the world's premier renewable resource. Legalize it, regulate it, tax it at a reasonable rate. Keep it illegal for minors, just like alcohol. This new income would provide a much-needed boost to our economy.

It is no longer a question of if cannabis will be legalized but when. Recent CNN polls show that close to 95 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana and a Pew poll shows that 46 percent of Americans favor full legalization of marijuana and that support is growing.

If you are not sure whether cannabis should be legalized, inform yourself; study everything you can find out about it, then you will be convinced that legalization is the right thing to do. God put this herb on the earth for us to use. Let's use it wisely.

UCLA Sustainability to Host Panel Discussion on 'Hemp History Week' and the Case for Hemp Farming on March 29 at Broad Art Center

Leading Vegan Nutrition Expert and Business Leaders to Discuss Environmental and Health
Benefits of Industrial Hemp in Relation to New CA Hemp Farming Bill SB 676
LOS ANGELESMarch 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, March 29 from 7pm-9pm, UCLA Sustainability will host a panel discussion at the Broad Art Center entitled, 'Hemp for Performance, Profit and the Planet: Elite Athletes andBusiness Leaders Make the Case for Industrial Hemp Farming.' The California legislature is currently debating SB-676, which would allow the return of industrial hemp farming to the state. In this dynamic discussion, Brendan Brazier (Ironman triathlete, formulator of VEGA, best-selling author and plant-based nutrition expert); John Roulac (Founder and CEO of leading natural foods brand Nutiva); and Steve Levine (President of the Hemp Industries Association) will examine the role that hemp can play in creating a healthy future.
'Hemp for Performance, Profit and the Planet' is taking place one month in advance of Hemp History Week
(May  2nd -8th, 2011),  a  nationwide  public  education  campaign  that  seeks  to  raise  awareness  of  the  many benefits of industrial hemp and  advocate for changes to  federal and state laws to allow  farmers to grow  the crop on American soil once again.
"Brendan Brazier and John Roulac have promoted the benefits of hemp through elite sports, business, writing and advocacy.Steve Levine has worked as an activist for many years to show policy makers that it's not just consumers who benefit from hemp. Industrial hemp is a low-input, fast growing and profitable crop that is thriving in Canada and offers hope for revitalizing America's farms," explains UCLA Sustainability Coordinator Nurit Katz, who will moderate the event.
In addition to the panel discussion, leading natural products companies such as Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Nutiva, Nature's Path, Manitoba Harvest, Sequel Naturals, French Meadow, Merry Hempsters and Living Harvest will set up tables on campus near the Broad Art Center to offer samples of hemp body care products and delicious hemp foods, along with educational information on the benefits of industrial hemp.
What: Educational event and panel discussion on the benefits of hemp and industrial hemp farming along with sampling of leading hemp food products at UCLA campus.
Why: To promote Hemp History Week 2011, educate on the health benefits of hemp products, and discuss the case for hemp farming in the U.S. in relation to SB 676.
Who: Speakers will include:
Brendan Brazier is one of only a few professional athletes in the world whose diet is 100 percent plant-based and vegan. He is a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA.
John W. Roulac is the founder and CEO of Nutiva®, the world's leading brand of organic hemp foods and coconut oil. Nutiva® was awarded one of Inc 500/5000's fastest-growing companies in America in 2009 and 2010. A longtime advocate for holistic living, he is the author of four books on hemp and composting (with a million+ copies sold). John helped jump-start the modern home-composting movement in the early 1990s, and has founded three nonprofit ecological groups.
Steve Levine is President of the Hemp Industries Association, a non-profit organization that represents roughly 250 businesses, farmers, researchers and individuals dedicated to educating people about industrial hemp while supporting the growing hemp industry in the United States.
Nurit Katz  is  UCLA's  first Sustainability  Coordinator. She  is  working  to  foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments and further the goals and initiatives of the campus sustainability program. Nurit holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a Masters in Public Policy from the UCLA School of Public Affairs. In 2010,
Nurit completed a full Ironman distance triathlon.
When: Tuesday, March 29th, 20117pm - 9pm
Where: Broad Art Center, Patio and Room 2160E, UCLA Campus - 240 Charles E. Young Drive
North, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Hemp History Week is a nationwide education campaign showcasing the health benefits and eco- friendly attributes of hemp products. The second annual Hemp History Week will be celebrated May 2-8th, 2011. American farmers are currently prohibited from growing non-drug industrial hemp, despite an estimated 400 million dollars and growing in annual retail sales for hemp products in the United States. Under the banner of 'Hemp for Health and Sustainability' organizers aim for the 2011 campaign to bridge the conversation between America's past history with industrial hemp and the increased benefits that consumers and the economy will experience when American farmers can grow industrial hemp once again. Hemp History Week is a public awareness campaign supported by the Hemp Industries Association, Vote Hemp, and a number of leading natural products companies, including Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Nutiva, Nature's Path, Manitoba Harvest and Sequel Naturals.
For more information, go to:
Ryan Fletcher 202-641-0277
Doe Hatfield 503-756-8257
SOURCE Hemp History Week

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

High hopes for hemp house

Article By: Pippa Ehrlich (source:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hemp Farming in China

Below are a couple of articles from CannabisCulture magazine about hemp farming in China.

Chinese Officials Promote Growing of Hemp

Officials in southwest China's Yunnan Province are promoting the cultivation of hemp for industrial use to increase the income of local residents.
A hemp fiber processing factory with an annual capacity of 2,000 tonnes began production yesterday in Menghai County in Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, a mountainous region in Yunnan.
"The fiber from hemp is widely used to make socks and bulletproof clothes as well as top-grade suits," said Shi Dongming, board chairman of China Hemp Industrial Holding Investment Co Ltd, which runs the production line.
Local officials expect the plant to help raise the living standard of farmers.
The government provides the seeds for free to encourage cultivation. Farmers can also get technical training and instruction.
"Nearly 10,000 farmers are growing the plant, which can double their per capita income from less than 2,000 yuan (US$293) to about 4,000 yuan every year," said Jiang Pusheng, Communist Party chief of the prefecture.
Yang Yonghong from Manlu Village plans to plant more hemp next year. "The planting does not demand too much work. Companies will come to collect the hemp in the harvest time, so we are not worried about sales," she said.
Local officials said the growth would not lead to the production of illegal drugs, although Xishuangbanna is near the Golden Triangle region where drugs are produced and smuggled.
The hemp contains less than 0.1 percent of THC, the key ingredient in marijuana, while the cannabis grown for marijuana can contain up to 5 percent of THC or even more, said Zhang Jianchun, a researcher with the General Logistics Department of the People's Liberation Army. 
He has been working on the development and cultivation of the hemp since 2003.
"The cost of making marijuana from our hemp is much higher than the price of the drugs," Zhang said, "So we don't think drug producers will target the farms here."
By 2020, China will build cultivation bases in the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia as well as Yunnan, Heilongjiang, Gansu and Anhui provinces, Zhang said. The project is expected to help lift about 3 million people out of poverty, he said.
- Article from the Shanghai Daily.

China Looks To Hemp For Poverty Alleviation

After years of sometimes confused policy in which industrial hemp was lumped together with its psychoactive cousin marijuana, the Chinese government is now actively promoting hemp cultivation as a tool for lifting rural Chinese out of poverty.
China will build multiple hemp cultivation bases in Yunnan, Heilongjiang, Gansu and Anhui provinces as well as the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia by 2020, a project that is expected to bring three million people out of poverty, according to a Shanghai Daily report citing an official from the People's Liberation Army's General Logistics Department.
Production at one of the first facilities involved in this plan went online yesterday in Menghai County in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southern Yunnan. The hemp fiber processing factory, owned by China Hemp Industrial Holding Co Ltd, has an annual capacity of 2,000 tonnes.
In addition to being used to produce fibers for rope and clothing, hemp can also be used to make paper which is much less damaging to the environment than paper made from trees. Aside from causing deforestation, tree paper is bleached with toxic chlorine bleach. Hemp paper can be bleached with less environmentally harmful hydrogen peroxide.
Industrial hemp can also be used to produce fuel, biodegradable plastics, construction materials and health foods.
The government in Xishuangbanna now provides farmers with free hemp seeds plus technical training. According to the prefecture's party chief Jiang Pusheng, there are nearly 10,000 farmers growing hemp in the area, farmers who through hemp cultivation stand to double their annual income from 2,000 yuan (US$293) to 4,000 yuan.
- Article from GoKunming.