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By Steve Elliott
With a tide of marijuana legalization poised to sweep across the United States, supporters of industrial hemp see a burgeoning market opening up and big profits for American farmers if they are allowed to grow the crop.
Hemp, like marijuana, is a variety of the cannabis plant; even though most industrial hemp contains little or no THC -- the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana -- federal drug laws don't differentiate between the varieties, reports Angela Kocherga at KING 5.
"Although it comes from the same plant, it's like non-alcoholic beer," explained author Doug Fine, whose book Too High To Fail predicts a new "green economy."
"I can't give a rational explanation as to why something as valuable as hemp -- which other countries are making so much money off and importing to us -- why we're not growing this by the millions of acres," Fine said.
Federal law prohibits American farmers from growing the crop; a special permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with lots of security, would theoretically be required. But the DEA has never issued a single industrial hemp license, ever.
In Kentucky, lobbying effort for legalizing versatile plant rolls on
By Associated Press Staff
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Hemp isn't legal in Kentucky yet, but the eclectic mix of people at a recent seminar in Lexington was evidence that support for the versatile plant may be taking root.
One by one, elected officials stepped forward to promote the virtues of hemp production, staking out a position that once might have sown political trouble back home. They were cheered by liberals and libertarian-leaning conservatives alike.
"We've come a long way," said state Sen. Joey Pendleton, who has sponsored a string of unsuccessful bills seeking to reintroduce hemp in the Bluegrass state. "The first year I had this, it was lonely."
Kentucky once was a leading producer of industrial hemp, a tall, leafy plant with a multitude of uses that has been outlawed for decades because of its association with marijuana. Those seeking to legalize the plant argue that the change would create a new crop for farmers, replacing a hemp supply now imported from Canada and other countries.
The plant can be used to make paper, biofuels, clothing, lotions and other products.
Despite bipartisan support, the latest hemp measures failed again this year in the Kentucky General Assembly. But this time, hemp advocates think they have momentum on their side and vow to press on with their campaign to legalize the crop.
By Agua Das1 and Thomas B. Reed2
Historically Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) has been a very high yielding plant (Haney 1975). Assuming that hemp produces up to 4 tons/acre seed plus 10 tons/acre stalks. Table 1 shows how many gallons of liquid fuel import could be saved by each of the following proven conversion routes.
Recent hemp yield data is largely unavailable, due to restrictions on the growth of hemp. Cultivation of hemp currently requires permits under Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) form 225. Patented hemp seed varieties are now available in the EC and Eastern Europe which are effectively denatured and drug free. The hemp plant is a promising high yield biomass fuel crop cultivar and both production and utilization should be included in the DOE/TVA and regional biomass screening programs. One would hope that DOE regional biomass program contractors should not have difficulty qualifying for the necessary permits.
COVINGTON—Two of the three gubernatorial candidates debated in Covington Thursday afternoon, Republican State Senate President David Williams and independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced earlier in the week that a scheduling conflict would keep him from attending the debate at the joint conference of the Kentucky County Judge/Executives Association and the Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.
Williams criticized Beshear as having no agenda.
"My favorite Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, talks about people in the arena who have the blood and sweat and get in there and try," Williams said. "Gatewood, thank you for being here today and offering yourself for public office. You're in the arena. Two out of three candidates are here, and the other will be engaged when he chooses, but he's not here today."
Galbraith blamed partisan politics for Kentucky's woes and said as an independent, he will work with both sides of the aisle.
"I foresee that after my stint as governor, I'm going to be one of the most disliked people in the state because I'm going to have to make decisions that neither party candidate can possibly make, because they've got to answer to the party," Galbraith said. "I don't answer to anybody except God and an occasional judge or two."
One of the questions involved the state gas tax, which funds road improvements throughout Kentucky.
By Kevin W. McCarty, Daily Nexus
Humanity stands at a crossroads. For nearly two centuries, human civilization has seen its every facet transformed by the machinery of industrial development. During this period of rapid expansion, we have beheld the gracious power of cheap fossil fuels, namely petroleum oil, as our premier source of energy and electricity. But today we are witnessing crude oil prices skyrocket as many economists say we have already reached peak global oil production and will see increasing prices until the supply of petroleum is diminished. As a result, we must expect additional sources of renewable electrical power will sustain economic growth in the coming decades.
For most of human history, the hemp plant has been used as an integral crop of commerce and navigation. Cultures across the globe have utilized hemp as a source of food, rigging and building materials and paper pulp. It is, without a doubt, the most resilient and efficient plant the Earth has ever grown. But not until now has it become quite so necessary to realize the prohibition of hemp and cannabis must be suspended. The arguments against legalization do not stand trial when compared to the immense benefits.
By Jay, Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute Staff Writer
Art Bell and Willie Nelson talk about hemp cannabis marijuana in this clip no longer available on the original Coast to Coast site. In this clip from Friday May 9th, 1997, country music legend Willie Nelson chats with Art Bell about the state of hemp criminalization. You may find it surprising how little has changed in the last dozen years.
While several states now allow medical marijuana and thousands of people have been able to emerge from under the dark cloud of criminalization, millions more still fear for their freedom because they enjoy the benefits of this herb superb. The country as a whole still suffers under the unnecessary burdens of the expensive and ineffectual War On Drugs while being denied the financial benefits of this valuable commercial crop.
By Paul Stanford, Hemp News Director
Hemp seeds produce more oil and protein than any other plant per land area cultivated. Hemp protein and oil are rich in the essential fatty acids (EFAs) that our brain and cardiovascular system need, Omega 3 & 6, in the perfect ratio for optimal human health. Hemp protein has all 8 amino acids, again, in just the right balance to meet humans' nutritional needs.
Per acre, according to a study published in the Notre Dame University journal, The American Midland Naturalist, wild hemp here in the USA produces 8,500 pounds of seed per acre. The study is called: An Ecological Study of Naturalized Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in East-Central Illinois, by Alan Haney and Benjamin B. Kutscheid at the University of Indiana at Urbana, Department of Biology.
By Country Guide staff
Manitoba's provincial government has pledged $20 million over the next 10 years to support development and manufacturing of ag- and forestry-based bioproducts.
The new Manitoba Bio-products Strategy was announced Thursday at Riverton in the province's Interlake region, where a local firm, Erosion Control Blankets, makes erosion-suppression products from wheat straw.
The province's farms and forests yield a "valuable supply" of biomass every year, Premier Greg Selinger said in a release, noting the biomass' use in biofuels, chemical processing and other materials.
"Research and development in Manitoba is already turning hemp, flax and wheat byproducts into paper, insulation, roofing tiles, biodegradable food packaging and ultra-lightweight components for aerospace and transportation sectors," the government said.
Out of the $20 million pledged, the province for 2011 has budgeted "more than $4 million in project funding available to research institutions and entrepreneurs working on developing innovative bio-products," Selinger said.
By Bonnie King Salem-News.com/Special to Hemp News
(SALEM, Ore.) - Paul Stanford, Executive Director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation walked 2200 signatures in to the Oregon Secretary of State's office on January 4th, 2011, officially sponsoring OCTA 2012- the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act. It could prove to be a historic turning point for a state well known for its grass roots movements.
Next, the signatures will be verified, and as long as 1000 are from registered Oregon voters, the Office of the Secretary of State will certify a ballot title with the Attorney General, proposing a statutory initiative for the 2012 General Election.
"If all goes as expected, activists will hit the streets in March," said Stanford. "We need to turn in about 140,000 more signatures, or 90,000 registered Oregon voters' signatures, by July 2012 to qualify for the ballot in November 2012."
Kentucky: 2011 Gubernatorial Candidate Gatewood Galbraith Gains Grassroots Momentum With Willie Nelson EndorsementSubmitted by restore on Sat, 01/15/2011 - 23:57
"Together we can restore Kentucky to prosperity." Gatewood Galbraith/Dea Riley 2011
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
United we stand, divided we fall: Bluegrass State, if you are tired of all the negative political rhetoric taking place in the capitol in Frankfort between both Democrats and Republicans, vote Gatewood/Riley in 2011!
Willie Nelson, creator and spokesperson of the newly formed Tea Pot Party, officially announced the group’s first endorsement for a U.S. political race: Independent candidates Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley for Governor and Lt. Governor of Kentucky. It is a move sure to shake up the status quo and the Galbraith/Riley ticket would be a fresh beginning for a state aiming to achieve greater economic results. Currently Kentucky’s unemployment rate is at an all time high, their poverty ranking has increasing from 15.4 to 17.3 percent over the past eight years under both a Republican and Democrat administration, marking them as the fifth poorest state in our nation.
"I am a longtime friend of Gatewood Galbraith. We crossed Kentucky in a car that ran on hemp fuel one time when he ran for governor. I think the teapot party should back him this time. He is a good man and will do a good job," proclaimed Nelson.
By Stephanie Bishop, Hemp News Correspondent
I was born in 1974, the year Nixon left office. Somewhere in my late teens, I realized my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was toxic and the Smurfette Big Wheel, which I loved, was made by a little Kid is Asia for 2 cents a day. I don’t think they make much more 35 years later. Since then, you wouldn’t believe the amount of information I have taken in and processed. Governments are spending more money on guns, missiles and warplanes than basic services for their people. Our food is toxic on purpose. Corporations focus on the bottom line, destroying lives and entire eco-systems to see it grow. The really rich continue to violate the really poor. All of our financial systems are non-sustainable. Our air and water, the very things we need to survive are polluted. The list goes on and I haven’t scratched the surface. It’s enough to drive a person mad.
I learned to build up my filters and decipher truth from subtle lies. I joined anti war groups and attended rallies, marching with thousands of individuals dedicated to ending commodity wars fought on our dime and in our name. Eventually, I had to look for solutions or be lost in the vastness of problems humans face today. I had to focus on something with the potential to save the World. I found this solution in the Cannabis Plant.
"There is absolutely nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana by adults and it should be of no interest or concern to the government. They have no business knowing whether we smoke or why we smoke." Keith Stroup, NORMLCON 2010
Compiled by Hemp News
1. Global: U.S.-Mexico Drug Summit Fails to Acknowledge Obvious Solution to Violent Drug Cartels
Ending Marijuana Prohibition Would Deal Crucial Blow to Mexican Drug Cartels, Drastically Reduce Border Violence.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, high-ranking officials from the United States and Mexico concluded a three-day conference meant to outline ways the two nations could reduce the illicit drug trade-associated violence that continues to plague the U.S.-Mexican border.
Researchers at Universtiy of Connecticut have found that the fiber crop Cannabis sativa, known as industrial hemp, has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel - sustainable diesel fuel made from renewable plant sources.
The plant's ability to grow in infertile soils also reduces the need to grow it on primary croplands, which can then be reserved for growing food, says Richard Parnas, a professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering who led the study.
"For sustainable fuels, often it comes down to a question of food versus fuel," says Parnas, noting that major current biodiesel plants include food crops such as soybeans, olives, peanuts, and rapeseed. "It's equally important to make fuel from plants that are not food, but also won't need the high-quality land."
Industrial hemp is grown across the world, in many parts of Europe and Asia. Fiber from the plant's stalk is strong, and until the development of synthetic fibers in the 1950s, it was a premier product used worldwide in making rope and clothing.
Of all the various uses for Cannabis plants, add another, “green” one to the mix.
By Christine Buckley, UCONN
Researchers at UConn have found that the fiber crop Cannabis sativa, known as industrial hemp, has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel – sustainable diesel fuel made from renewable plant sources.
The plant’s ability to grow in infertile soils also reduces the need to grow it on primary croplands, which can then be reserved for growing food, says Richard Parnas, a professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering who led the study.
“For sustainable fuels, often it comes down to a question of food versus fuel,” says Parnas, noting that major current biodiesel plants include food crops such as soybeans, olives, peanuts, and rapeseed. “It’s equally important to make fuel from plants that are not food, but also won’t need the high-quality land.”
Industrial hemp is grown across the world, in many parts of Europe and Asia. Fiber from the plant’s stalk is strong, and until the development of synthetic fibers in the 1950s, it was a premier product used worldwide in making rope and clothing.