Wondered whether those of you following this topic saw this
Associated Press piece. Barry McCaffrey needs to read more American
history and fewer comic books. In my not so humble opinion.
For instance, Wisconsin once had a huge hemp fiber industry,
supplying much of the cordage for the Great Lakes region, including
Chicago and the many ports of call along the Third Coast. Our paper
industry is very hungry for sources of fiber and eager to modify
their image as rainforest-rapers...you can fill in the blanks there.
And I've talked to a good number of farmers who'd love to grow a
fiber crop in rotation...though the question of what that'd all mean
from a farming practices and systems perspective remains open for
most of them.
UW-Madison's former research division dean, Bob Steele, was very
open minded about this topic; he went to Penn State in '97. Anyone
know of any movement forward on hemp farming research at PSU?
Elsewhere? I'd be interested in having anyone who has expertise on
this whole area offer an update on SANET.
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Farmers sue government to get ban on
MARK R. CHELLGREN, Associated Press Writer
Friday, May 15, 1998
(05-15) 15:11 EDT LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) --
Farmers, a hemp company and a trade organization
sued the government Friday to get the 61-year ban
on growing hemp lifted, contending that Congress
always intended to distinguish it from marijuana
The suit -- filed by six would-be hemp farmers, the
Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative and the
Hemp Co. of America -- quotes from congressional
debate over the 1937 law that first outlawed
marijuana to show that industrial hemp was never
supposed to be illegal.
``We're going to try to get the definition recreated,''
said Andy Graves, president of the cooperative.
Plaintiffs claim the Drug Enforcement
Administration's hemp prohibition violates the
constitutional doctrine of separation of government
powers. Defendants in the suit are the DEA and the
Spokesmen for both agencies said they had not seen
Farmers have long complained that the government
makes no distinction between marijuana and hemp,
which supporters claim is a nearly perfect crop with
uses ranging from medicine to rope.
Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the
cannabis plant. But hemp, which is grown
commercially in some other countries, typically
contains less than 1 percent of the active ingredient,
THC, that makes pot smokers high.
Farmers in the South and Midwest view
disease-resistant hemp as a rotation crop among
grains and vegetables, and in Kentucky, it offers a
hedge against tobacco's uncertain future.
John Howell of the Hemp Co. said he has buyers
who want hemp pulp for paper, its linen for cloth and
its oil for medicine and lubrication uses.
The hemp debate has long raged in Kentucky, where
it was produced in huge quantities for rope during
World War II and where wild stands are still
common. A state legislative committee conducted
hearings on the topic in 1997, which prompted a
letter to Gov. Paul Patton from national drug czar
``Hemp and marijuana are the same plant: the
seedlings are the same and in many instances the
mature plants look the same,'' McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey called hemp ``a novelty product which
can only sustain a novelty market.''
``The end result of legalizing hemp production might
well be de facto legalization of the cultivation of
marijuana,'' McCaffrey warned.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
Dennis: Anarcho-syndicism is a way of *preserving* freedom!
His Wife: Oh, Dennis, *forget* about freedom! We 'aven't got enough mud!
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