Sunday, January 29, 2012

Excellent Video About Hemp

Uploaded by 

This is a 14 minute preview for my remake of my Peak Oil, Economic Collapse are a Fraud documentary. Finishing this small preview of the documentary took a lot of my energy and time. 

Blogger's Note: The hemp related part of this preview video starts around 07:49. 

Watch Antimatter: The Future is Now HD Documentary in Full:

Construction Tech: Hemp As Building Material

Tony Budden's Hemp House in South Africa. 

Henderson pre-files industrial hemp bill

By Afton Fairchild

The Advocate last year printed a series of articles exploring the benefits and downfalls of industrialized hemp for the state of Kentucky. During this General Assembly, a newly proposed bill hits close to home as its sponsor is state Rep. Richard Henderson of Jeffersonville.

House Bill 286, which was pre-filed last week, is co-sponsored by 12 other representatives and also has the support of Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Sen. Joey Pendleton, who has sponsored similar legislation in Kentucky in the past. The bill would call on the agricultural commissioner to oversee the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, which was formed in 2001, and would initiate a monitored process in which farmers would undergo a background check, pay a fee and be subject to field evaluations, among other stipulations.

Hemp has had a unique history in the state, and its use dates back to the 1700s. In 1850, Kentucky alone produced 40,000 tons of hemp priced at $5,000,000.

Henderson believes the plant still has significant value and could create revenue for the state, as he pinpointed that hemp can be used to create 25,000 different products, ranging from car parts to clothing, and can even be used as an alternative source of energy.

“I’m doing this purely for two reasons,” Henderson said. “No. 1, to diversify our farmers and get us another cash crop, and to also stimulate the economy, and I think we could do that. If properly utilized, and if we allowed our farmers to grow it, I think we would have $2-3 million income for the state itself in taxes at the end of the day, but it’s going to take some time and it is going to take the education process in order for that to come true.”

The education process Henderson is referring to is informing the Legislature and the public about the stark differences between industrial hemp and its plant cousin, marijuana. Hemp plants contain THC (the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana) levels of less than 1 percent, while average marijuana levels range from 3 to 15 percent, according to a study conducted by the University of Kentucky, concluding that it is virtually impossible to experience any type of intoxication from the plant.

“There’s nothing that hemp can do to hinder both the work of our wonderful police officers, or to add to the scourge of drugs,” Henderson said. “Hemp actually would help somewhat eliminate that by reducing the potency of marijuana.”

Henderson referred to studies in which hemp and marijuana were planted side by side. These studies showed that marijuana plants that were planted next to hemp plants actually produced reduced levels of THC due to cross-pollination. 

Ultimately, Henderson said, legalizing the plant’s growth and production within the state would likely have no negative affects. While every citizen would benefit from tax revenue the plant could bring, Henderson said, it could also help bounce back agricultural production, which has been negatively affected by the decline in the tobacco market.

“Our farmers have been hit pretty hard by the recession and by the ethanol use of the corn crop, so if we use hemp for ethanol, we can actually help the farmers by using less corn and therefore the crop would be more stabilized and the feedstock would be less affected,” he said.

While the bill has bipartisan support, it is still sure to face opposition in the General Assembly as the issue is controversial among many. However, if the bill indeed passes, the next hurdle would be receiving a permit from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. 

Currently, marijuana and hemp are classified as the same, therefore they are recognized as schedule one drugs on a federal level. However, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas has been pushing to have the definitions changed, most recently with the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011.

Henderson said he has faith that the more states press the issue, the more likely the federal government will redefine hemp, allowing it to be grown legally.

“I’m strong enough to help push this bill, and I believe that my people, in my district for instance, are highly educated and a reasonable people that understand the difference between illicit drugs and something that can be beneficial economically speaking,” he said. 

“There are some wonderful things that could come from the hemp plant itself when manufactured,” he added. “If we send this message to Washington, we can have textile mills here, for example, and create new jobs. Kentucky is the prime location to grow hemp, and it has proven through the test of time to be a major cash crop for Kentucky and the nation.”

Farmers slam hemp laws


FARMERS are frustrated at the failure of politicians and bureaucrats to grasp their argument that industrial hemp crops are harmless.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said that was despite the fact that industrial hemp, grown around the world for food and fibre, did not contain usable quantities of the cannabis drug.
With state and federal health ministers to soon decide if hemp seed and its oil should be allowed for use in the food industry, Ms Davis said it was recognised in most parts of the world that hemp fibre and seed crops couldn't be used as smoke screens for growing dope.
She said farmers were wondering what it would take to convince the State Government that extreme red tape, such as keeping hemp crops out of sight of public roads and 5km away from public buildings, wasn't needed.
Ms Davis said given that Tasmania's poppy industry had safely grown substances as strong as opium - a painkiller ingredient - next to main roads for the past 30 years, hemp ought to be a no-brainer.
She said the hemp industry had the potential to become a major, green earner for Tasmania.
Ms Davis said the industry faced another brick wall, with the Gillard Government hinting it would continue a Howard Government policy of not allowing hemp products to be used for food and cosmetics in Australia.
"They didn't want to be seen as soft on drugs," she said.
Australia is the only western country that bans the human consumption of non-drug hemp, which has ratio levels of Omegas 3, 6 and 9 in the most digestible form of any vegetable oil.
State Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said the Government backed moves to remove prohibition on low-THC hemp products for food but, at a state level, a crop licensing system was important.
"Cannabis sativa is a schedule 9 drug in all states and territories, so the only way to allow growing of low-THC crops is to licence them," she said.

Colorado Looks To Fully Decriminalize Marijuana and Industrial Hemp


Colorado’s medical marijuana proponents are forging ahead in their battle against marijuana prohibition and are seeking full recreational use legalization. And if early reports are any indication, Coloradans support the idea.
The proposal seeks to make the personal use, possession and limited home-growing of marijuana legal for adults aged 21 and older and establishes a system that regulates and taxes marijuana, similar to the sale and monitoring of alcohol today. The act would also allow for the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol says it will turn in almost 160,000 signatures in support of the legalization initiative to the Secretary of State’s Office. That is nearly double the 86,000 signatures required to put the question of pot legalization on the 2012 ballot.
Once the group submits the required number of signatures the state has 30 days to decide whether or not the legalization measure will be on the ballot. If it does, it would be the first measure approved for the 2012 Colorado election.
It’s a politically dicey climate for legalization proponents. Despite large-scale tolerance and in some cases enthusiasm for medical marijuana, the Department of Justice has started targeting dispensaries and growers for crackdown. Full-scale legalization would surely be seen as an invitation, if not a dare, to the federal government. So while there may be enthusiasm to get the matter on the ballot, encouraging a majority of Coloradans to pass it is another issue.

Vegetable Fibers Make a Comeback in Materials Engineering

by Martin Grolms

Since time immemorial, vegetable fibers have been used to make paper, cloth, or rope. In a prehistoric cave, flax fibers were found that date to 30,000 BC. Hemp fiber use has been dated back to 9,500 BC and cotton fabrics discovered in Mexico have been dated to around 5,800 BC. China Grass was used in Egypt for mummification from 5,000–3,300 BC and Kenaf was grown there over 3,000 years ago.

Now, with ongoing increases in oil pricess, and environmental considerations coming to the fore, there has been a revival of research into vegetable fibers. Due to their small cross-sectional dimension, fibers are not directly usable in engineering applications. Materials scientists embed these fibers as reinforcement in a polymer matrix to form fibrous composites. The shape, size and orientation of the reinforcement as well as the interfacial bond between reinforcement and matrix affects the hydric, thermal and mechanical properties as well as performance of the composites.

One major disadvantage in the use of vegetable fibers in polymer composites is their hydrophilic nature. Fiber moisture makes the impregnation more difficult, and it act as a plasticizer by causing a weak adhesion on the polymer matrix/fiber interface, that causes internal tensions, porosity and the premature failure of the system.

Several works on the water sorption kinetics in composites with natural fiber have been conducted. However, an investigation on the water sorption in the composite was still missing. Recently, a group of Brazilian scientists studied the water absorption in unsaturated polyester composites reinforced with macambira fiber.They conducted an experimental study into the morphology of the fiber and the water absorption as a function of sample dimensions and temperature.

The obtained results are coherent with those reported in similar studies. But micrographs showed a rougher surface which implies that macambira fiber could be an adequate material to reinforce composite materials due to a better adhesion between these materials with the composite matrix. However, aspects such as size and orientation of fiber, and water migration by capillarity in micro cracks inside the solid, mainly in the fiber/matrix interface where adhesion is of fundamental importancehave not yet been analyzed. These must be topics of further study.

Comer Hopes to Become Head of Latent Hemp Commission


Newly sworn-in Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is supporting a legislative package that pushes industrial hemp farming.
Under a law that took effect a decade ago, researchers can grow hemp for scientific reasons. But Comer says that’s no longer necessary, and new legislation needs to be passed.
“What that bill did was allow, gave permission to the university, the land grant university, UK, to research it. To research the different uses of industrial hemp, which really isn’t necessary because Canada is growing industrial hemp and we know what all you can make with industrial hemp,” he says.
One measure Comer supports builds on the old law. It would make the agriculture commissioner the head of the hemp commission, which was created when the law was passed. The commission is supposed to oversee hemp as a commodity, but has not previously met.
“I’ll take the lead,” says Comer. “That’s been another problem, finding someone to take the lead on it.”
Comer is also supporting legislation that failed last year. It would allow wide-scale industrial hemp farming. If it passes, Comer has promised to work with Senator Rand Paul to obtain a federal waiver to allow hemp farming.
Governor Steve Beshear says he does not support industrialized hemp farming based on objections from the law enforcement community, however, he says he’s open to talking with Comer and others about legalizing it.
“I am open to working with law enforcement and with local people to see if there’s an answer to that. But if I come down on a side on that issue it’s with law enforcement. We certainly have a huge drug problem in this country right now and in our state and I’m not going to support anything that will make it worse,” says Beshear.
Comer dismisses one of the chief concerns about industrial hemp: that farmers will sneak marijuana into their fields. Comer says the two plants can easily be told apart, and, further, the cross pollination that would occur by mixing the crops would damage the value of the crops.

Hemp walls, bird boxes and a ceiling made from glass bottles: M&S opens huge store and says ‘it’ll be the greenest in the world’


M&S bosses are going green with a vast new store, currently under construction.

Their soon-to-open Cheshire Oaks branch, near Ellsemere Port, on the Wirral, will be the biggest after the flagship store at Marble Arch, London.

And it will have the most environmentally conscious credentials of any Marks and Spencer - and has taken almost seven years to create.

The Cheshire Oaks branch, near Ellsemere Port, on the Wirral,  will have the most environmentally conscious credentials of any Marks and Spencer when it opens in June - and has taken almost seven years to create

There are as many as 250 trades people and managers on-site each day and it has taken more than 1,000 contractors, sub-contractors, architects, designers and experts to get the store ready to hand over to merchandisers, final fit shop fitters and the new 350-employees in June.

It is due to open in late summer.

Each part of the building has been carefully designed to fall in-line with M&S’s Plan A - which aims to make it the most sustainable retailer in the world.

Marks and Spencer
The impressive exposed beam ceiling, which is held together by huge bolts, has a recycled aluminium ceiling which is covered by a material made out of 100 per cent recycled glass bottles

From the outside, huge banks of soil can be seen around much of the building to provide natural insulation, while underground pipes, 6ft in diameter, will provide natural air conditioning.

Hemp clad wall technology has been used to allow the giant store to ‘breathe’ and cedarwood panels on the sides of the building have been strategically angled to make the best use of natural light.

Rooflights will also maximise northern light and LED lighting has been used in the car park. There are integrated Swift and bird boxes as well as planted ‘green walls’.
New 'green' Cheshire Oaks Marks and Spencer store at Ellesmere Port

It has taken more than 1,000 contractors, sub-contractors, architects, designers and experts to get the store ready to hand over to merchandisers, final fit shop fitters and the new 350-employees

New 'green' Cheshire Oaks Marks and Spencer store at Ellesmere Port
Rooflights will also maximise northern light and LED lighting has been used in the car park. There are integrated Swift and bird boxes as well as planted ‘green walls’

Their commitment to ‘green’ technologies goes as far as using rainwater collected in an 80,000 litre underground tank to flush toilets and a biomass boiler to heat the store.

The Plan A ethos is no more evident than in the wave-like Glulam timber roof which from the inside looks like a huge wooden jigsaw puzzle.

The impressive exposed beam ceiling, which is held together by huge bolts, has a recycled aluminium ceiling which is covered by a material made out of 100 per cent recycled glass bottles.

M&S bosses are going green with a vast new store

Each part of the building has been carefully designed to fall in-line with M&S’s Plan A - which aims to make it the most sustainable retailer in the world

Rex Littlewood, business unit director of Simons, which is building the 148,000sq ft two-storey store said no waste has yet gone to landfill. Instead much of the 55,000 tonnes of earth dug up to level the site has been donated to local communities including BASE motocross park.

Clem Constantine, M&S director of UK and international property and store development, said: 'We are very pleased with how the store is progressing.

'It not only puts the area on the map for having the most carbon and energy efficient, full-line M&S store but it will also be a great boost to the local economy too and deliver the very best of M&S for our customers in Cheshire.'

New 'green' Cheshire Oaks Marks and Spencer
The store features a 958-bay car park with charging points for electric cars, as well as covered space for 100 bicycles

Shoppers entering through automatic revolving doors on the ground floor will be welcomed by a huge womenswear floorspace, including beauty and lingerie concessions, as well as a cafe to the rear and a food hall on the far right, which can also be accessed via a separate entrance.
Travelling up the designer escalators through a huge gap in the mezzanine floorspace, shoppers will be offered menswear, childrenswear and a huge space for homewear to the rear of the building, and a second cafe in the far left-hand corner.
They will also be able to view the neighbouring David Lloyd Leisure Centre, The Coliseum leisure and shopping park, the Blue Planet Aquarium and the Porsche garage.
New 'green' Cheshire Oaks Marks and Spencer store at Ellesmere Port
M&S's commitment to ‘green’ technologies goes as far as using rainwater collected in an 80,000 litre underground tank to flush toilets and a biomass boiler to heat the store

The store will be second only to M&S’s Marble Arch store in London in its offer and will carry almost every single M&S range.

The creation of M&S’s second biggest flagship store was first mooted in 2005 and after successful discussions with church commissioners who own the land, plans were created.

A year later in June, 2008 the store’s first planning application was lodged and after public consultations and co-operation with the Stanney Oaks Community Action Group, which originally included people totally against the store, consent was granted on October 5, 2009.

Among a host of traffic-calming measures M&S’s planning consent included a series of traffic lights which have already been installed on the roundabout at J10 of the M53 and leading to the store.

Entrance onto the site will be off Longlooms Road and a swale area to the right will be landscaped and feature a viewing platform, as well as a lake.


Happy Hemp: Right on Time


Tara Miko of Happy Hemp
John Lennon wrote, "There are no problems, only solutions," and such seems to be the case with one of Austin's newest superfood products, Happy Hemp. This delicious product, made from organically farmed Canadian hemp seed, is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids, and protein and is also raw, vegan, and gluten-free. But most importantly of all: It's delicious, tasting like a cross between sunflower seeds and pine nuts, with a light, fluffy texture that lends itself easily to all manner of dishes.
It couldn't be coming down the pike at a better time. Completely vegan, hemp seeds have more protein than meat, fish, or tofu. There is no known allergy to hemp seeds, so their nutty flavor can be enjoyed with no danger by anyone with any nut allergy whatsoever. Gluten-free, they can be sprinkled on any dish to add a breadcrumblike mouthfeel. Best of all, they can supply the omega-3 fatty acids we all need. Due to the factory farming of livestock, our food supply contains the merest fraction of the omega-3 essential fatty acids it contained a century ago. Many Americans add EFA oils to their diet to make up the difference, but these oils can be hard to remember to use and difficult to work into recipes, as they can't be heated. Happy Hemp, by contrast, is easy to work into almost any dish.
"A lot of my customers have never eaten a 'health food' before," says company founder Tara Miko. "Usually my only job is to get them to try it, because it does taste so good. It's great for kids for the same reason: they don't hate it. It can be added to a lot of recipes, like chocolate-chip cookies or macaroni and cheese ... I try to post a lot of kid-friendly recipes on my blog, including recipes that are easy for kids to make themselves."
Happy Hemp can be bought at the SFC Downtown Farmers' Market (9am-1pm) or from the website ($6-25).

Urban legend: THTC takes environmentalism to the streets

By Priyanka Mogul

Eco-label THTC has launched a new range of organic cotton t-shirts in association with the Soil Association, the Carbon Trust and the Fair Wear Foundation

A new line of pure organic cotton t-shirts has been unveiled by THTC, an ultra-hip urban brand famous for its commitment to using eco-friendly textiles such as hemp. Manufactured using renewable energy – in this case wind power - the latest addition to the THTC collection has a carbon footprint that’s 90 per cent smaller than conventional cotton products. Not only is the cotton certified by the Soil Association and the Control Union, it is also harvested by hand and is grown without the use of petroleum based chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides.  The t-shirts are also screen-printed using water-based inks.
'THTC's politics are clear for all to see,’ says founder Gavin Lawson. ‘We promote hemp as a sustainable, clean alternative to plastics, textiles, timber and fuel, as well as creating 'armchair activists' from people who follow the urban music scene. Professor Benjamin ZephaniahWe have produced over 100 collaborative ranges for charities, bands and artists and have worked with hundreds of MCs, DJs, singers, poets, actors and activists, from Ed Sheeran to Beardyman.'  The latest line from the brand is no different, and was produced in association with the Carbon Trust, the Soil Association and the Fair Wear Foundation. Since its 1999 launch, THTC’s ethical take on street wear has helped to bring environmentalism to the world of urban music, street art and political activism. The designs range from prints like 'Evil Mac', 'Free Burma', and 'Noah's Shuttle', produced by one of the UK's most popular graffiti artists, Mau Mau.
Photo above : Natty, singer and songwriter.
Photo in the text : Professor Benjamin Zephaniah, writer and poet.
For more information, go to THTC are offering Ecologist readers a 15 per cent discount on its fabulous new organic cotton line as well as the rest of the range.Click here for more details

Will 2012 be the year Oregon finally adopts a reasonable marijuana policy?

Photo Illustration by Carolyn Richardson

Oregonians love marijuana. Take a walk along Southeast Clinton Street some summer evening and you’ll get contact confirmation.

The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, from 2009, estimated that between 7.7 and 11.3 percent of adult Oregonians had blazed in the previous 30 days. That’s the seventh-highest rate in the nation, behind a bunch of states like Alaska and New Hampshire whose citizens are essentially snowed into their grow houses half the year. 

We harvest it by the bale, too. Oregon’s marijuana crop was valued at more than $210 million in a 2006 paper by activist Jon Gettman. That makes it the state’s fourth-largest cash crop behind hay, wheat and onions.

And yet, for a state that prides itself on its progressivism, Oregon lags behind California and Colorado, where medical marijuana patients are free to shop at for-profit dispensaries. Here, as in Washington, Montana and New Mexico, patients must grow their own or persuade another cardholder to grow it for them without state oversight. That’s hardly a reasonable way to dispense “medicine.” 

Will 2012 be the year we finally make progress? Here’s a primer to the state of weed in the state.

Hey, man, what’s up with Oregon’s 420 laws?
Well, it’s still illegal. Possession of more than an ounce is still a class B felony, and possession of less than an ounce is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. The Portland Police Bureau investigated about 860 marijuana-related cases in 2011, according to bureau spokesman Sgt. Greg Stewart.

Bummer, dude! Are we gonna, like, fix that?
Possibly by the end of 2012. There are three organizations gathering voter signatures to place legalization measures on the ballot in 2012. The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, headed by activist Paul Stanford, is pushing the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act. Oregon NORML is behind Sensible Oregon, a legalization measure similar to NORML-backed initiatives in California and Colorado. Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative director Robert Wolfe has written a constitutional amendment legalizing the personal use, possession and production of marijuana by adults. 

Whoa, there are three different legalization plans? That’s weird. Are they super different?
The initiatives vary mainly in complexity.
The first plan, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, is five pages of legislation allowing Oregonians over the age of 21 to grow and use marijuana without a license and establishing an Oregon Cannabis Commission, similar to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, to govern the licensing and taxation of commercial cultivation and sale. 

OCTA is the latest version of the project to which Stanford has dedicated his career. “This initiative, I started drafting it in 1988, and I’ve had input from over 100 experts and lawyers around the world,” he says. The biggest change to the new OCTA, according to Stanford, is the separation of the OCC from the OLCC—since a 2011 poll indicated “people don’t want to see people buying alcohol and marijuana at the same time.”

The second plan, Sensible Oregon’s measure, takes a less proscriptive approach. Instead, it just repeals the Oregon statutes banning the manufacture, delivery and possession of marijuana and replaces them with language that prohibits the restriction of those activities by adults over the age of 21. It also directs the Oregon Health Authority to come up with rules governing the legal sale of marijuana by the beginning of 2014.

“Sensible Oregon is a statutory initiative that would remove all civil and criminal penalties for the possession, the transportation, the cultivation and the use of marijuana for adults, and it allows [you] to cultivate in your yard as long as you give it away,” says Oregon NORML director Mary Anne Sanford. “We’re leaving everything else intact.”

The third plan, OMPI’s measure, is the simplest of the bunch. It’s only three sentences enshrining the right of adults to grow, possess and use marijuana in the state constitution.

“There’s two ways to go with these things,” says Wolfe of legalization. “You can write 10 to 30 pages and impose on Oregon a fully conceived new marijuana economy, or you can ask a simpler question that’s relevant to a lot more people, which is, should we suffer fairly harsh criminal penalties for possessing marijuana and maybe growing a couple plants yourself?”

Cool beans, man. So will any of them make it to the voting round?
It’s too early to say—petitioners have until July 6 to turn in enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot (116,283 signatures to amend the constitution, 87,213 to change state law). OCTA has gathered more signatures to date than its competitors (about 30,000, according to Stanford), but the campaign has already spent over $97,000. It’s now broke. 

“We had a benefit that wasn’t beneficial in July,” Stanford says. “I’ve donated about $80,000 [from the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation], which amounts to about 80 percent, maybe 95 percent, of the funds raised so far. I’m ready to contribute another $5,000.”

OMPI’s campaign has fewer signatures but more cash, thanks in large part to $45,500 in donations from the Foundation for Constitutional Protection, a group based in Austin, Texas, that funds marijuana legalization efforts.

“I don’t think OCTA or the Sensible Oregon measure has any chance at all,” Wolfe says. “[Sensible Oregon] doesn’t have any resources. OCTA [has been] stalled out for months. We, on the other hand, are just now developing, and we have the funding in place to push forward.”

As of press time, Sensible Oregon’s ballot title had not been approved by the state. The campaign has recorded donations of $534.

“They’re all trying to get to the same end,” NORML’s Sanford says of the measures. “One’s really long, one’s absolutely one sentence, and ours is just trying to get to provide it to people.”

If any of the initiatives succeeds in making the 2012 ballot, Oregon will not be alone in voting on legalization. The backers of Initiative 502, a Washington state measure similar to OCTA, say they’ve turned in over 100,000 more signatures than they need to qualify for the ballot, and the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, a legalize-and-tax initiative in Colorado, claims to have submitted sufficient signatures to qualify as well.

Whoa, déjà vu! Haven’t we voted on this before?
Speak for yourself, gramps. Marijuana legalization last made the ballot in 1986, when supporters of the Oregon Marijuana Initiative spent about $50,000 only to see the measure fail with just 26 percent support. Previous versions of Stanford’s Oregon Cannabis Tax Act have failed to make it to the ballot in 1996, 1998 and 2010.

So what will this mean for all my friends with little cards for their backaches and nausea?
The many dispensaries, co-ops, delivery services and other assorted businesses that have sprung up to serve the 57,389 patients enrolled in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program continue to exist in a regulatory vacuum. 

Two Washington County dispensaries, Wake n Bake and Serene Dreams, were shut down by police in 2011. At least one Portland dispensary, Foster Healing Center, closed its doors voluntarily after then-U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton issued a warning in June that “the sale of marijuana for any purpose—including as medicine—violates both federal and Oregon law and will not be tolerated.”
Holton’s warning didn’t stop OMMP cardholders from opening dispensaries and delivery services in disused storefronts across the city. lists 21 dispensaries in Portland, each of them operating within their own interpretation of Oregon law.

Can’t trust the Man, man.
Indeed. In the absence of clarified rules from the state, Don Morse, director of Human Collective, a Tigard “OMMP membership support group,” is seeking to bring some order to his industry through the creation of a trade group, the Oregon Greener Business Bureau. 

Created in December at the first-ever OMMP Business Conference in Clackamas, the OGGB requires its five members to abide by strict rules: They must document all transactions, test all dispensed marijuana for pesticides, use medicine vials with childproof caps, and not dispense more than an ounce per week to any one patient, and will not business names or carry merchandise that “reflects recreational use.”

“Because there are no legislative rules or guidelines for this industry, we have created our own,” Morse says. “Believe me, there are plenty of resource centers and dispensaries that are not applying this level of common sense.”

Morse says the organization is seeking to hire a lobbyist, and hopes to get some of its self-regulations enshrined in law in 2013. 

State sentator plots marijuana law reforms

By Dan Carden

INDIANAPOLIS | State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, knows sometimes the best way to win support for a change in the law is to give people time to get used to the idea.
That's why Tallian did not request a committee vote on Senate Bill 347 last week but still spent nearly an hour explaining to a panel of state senators how Indiana would benefit by reducing criminal penalties for marijuana possession.
Indiana's marijuana laws are among the toughest in the nation. Possession of any marijuana is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
A second offense or possession of more than 30 grams, enough for about 30 to 40 marijuana cigarettes, is a felony, with a potential prison sentence of three years. A person caught holding 10 pounds or more faces up to eight years in prison.
"Marijuana possession is a victimless crime and there's no reason we need to do this to our citizens, especially our young people," Tallian said.
Tallian's proposal would not legalize marijuana possession; most felonies involving marijuana would become misdemeanors with mandatory suspended prison sentences.
For example, a person possessing less than 3 ounces, or about 85 grams, would serve no jail time under Tallian's plan if the person pleads guilty or does not have a prior marijuana conviction in the past five years.
To earn the three-year prison term doled out now for possessing one ounce of marijuana, a person would have to possess between two and 10 pounds. Dealing more than 10 pounds of marijuana would remain punishable by up to eight years in prison.
"Medical marijuana" would be technically illegal, but Hoosiers with a prescription or doctor's recommendation for marijuana would get a "free pass" from the courts, she said.
The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency estimates Tallian's changes would free up at least 250 beds a year in the state prison system and thousands more in county jails.
Tallian also told lawmakers Indiana could create new jobs in farming and industry by legalizing industrial hemp, which is marijuana that lacks the necessary ingredients to produce a psychotropic effect.
She said there's no reason today's farmers couldn't make money growing hemp, just as Newton County farmers did growing hemp during World War II to produce cloth and fiber for the military.
Tallian said she was encouraged members of the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters carefully listened to her plan and seemed particularly interested in industrial hemp production.
But because 2012 is an election year, she said she thought it best to wait until next year to ask for a vote.
"This legislation is a work in progress," Tallian said. "We wanted to continue laying the groundwork.

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