Voters to Decide on Hemp Initiative

Voters to Decide on Hemp Initiative
Posted by CN Staff on October 30, 2002 at 07:22:22 PT
By Christian Richardson, American News Writer
Source: Aberdeen American News 
Tuesday's general election will bring a controversial subject to the ballot - the legalization of industrial hemp - forcing voters to decide if the initiative will hurt or help South Dakota.The hemp measure would initiate a state-level law only, granting South Dakotans the right to plant, cultivate, harvest, possess, process, transport, sell or buy industrial hemp, also known as cannabis.
However, until federal law changes industrial hemp would still be illegal because of its relation and similarity to marijuana.The measure stipulates that the hemp plant and any of its by-products must have a tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, content of 1 percent or less.THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. When inhaled or ingested the ingredient produces a high in the user.Proponents of the initiative state that hemp provides the essential food, fiber, oils and soaps Americans use daily."We think there is ample proof that industrial hemp is the most versatile, useful farm crop in the world," said Bob Newland, Libertarian candidate for attorney general.Last year the United States imported $300 million in hemp products. This year the total has risen to $500 million, Newland said.Canadian hemp is being driven through South Dakota, Newland said."It's simply ludicrous that we're not allowing South Dakota farmers a shot at the half a billion dollar domestic market," Newland said.Along with Newland, Democratic attorney general candidate Ron Volesky favors the industrial hemp initiative.One of their opponents on the issue is fellow attorney general candidate Larry Long, a Republican who's currently the state's assistant attorney general.Long gave several reasons why South Dakotans should vote against the initiative.Long said that little will be accomplished by having the issue on the ballot for Tuesday's election because if approved, it would only pass the industrial hemp initiative on the state level."It's still a violation of the federal law," Long said.Under federal statutes, there is no distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana, Long said.But hemp supporters say adding South Dakota to the list of states that have approved industrial hemp would put pressure on the federal government to make it legal.Since 1995, eight states have passed industrial hemp legislation into law.Newland said industrial hemp can provide relief to cash-strapped South Dakota farmers.He said fields of hemp can be grown for paper, providing four times the amount of the product as an acre of pine trees over a 30-year period.Newland said if all the agriculturally suitable farmland in South Dakota were converted to hemp then hemp oil could replace all the imported petroleum used for diesel fuel in the United States.Industrial hemp was a legal farm crop until 1968, Newland said. During World War II hemp was grown in northern states and industrialized at a hemp factory in Jackson, Minn.Long said he opposes telling farmers that industrial hemp will relieve them from their woes."It is really a cruel joke," Long said.Furthermore, industrial hemp fields look just like fields of marijuana, making it difficult for law enforcers to distinguish between hemp industry farmers and drug cultivators, Long said.Long believes that the initiative may be a decoy to allow drug use in South Dakota."It's a red herring for the general legalization of marijuana in my judgment," Long said.However, Newland stands by his belief that hemp is a widely utilized commodity that South Dakota and the rest of the nation are missing out on."Industrial hemp is the oldest cultivated crop in the world," Newland said.Note: Opponents say it would open door to legalized marijuana.Source: Aberdeen American News (SD)Author: Christian Richardson, American News WriterPublished: Wednesday, October 30, 2002Copyright: 2002 Aberdeen American NewsContact: americannews aberdeennews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:South Dakota NORML Initiative Offers South Dakota A Process Dakota Voters To Decide On Industrial Hemp
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on October 31, 2002 at 05:29:25 PT
FoM...You're so welcome!
Thank you for putting up with me! What you are doing is changing this world for the better. I think I can speak for almost everybody by saying we are so grateful for what you have given us. C-News Rules! Thanks again! 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 30, 2002 at 14:11:23 PT
I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your being a part of CNews. Sometimes I just don't say thank you as much as I should so I'm saying it now. Thank You!
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on October 30, 2002 at 09:48:28 PT
Prohibitionist information
Prohibitionist, like this Long character, have no first hand knowledge of either hemp or cannabis and are proud of it. Most of their information comes from decades old propaganda pamphlets. Their minds are made up and they don't want to be confused with the truth. 
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on October 30, 2002 at 09:43:36 PT
I think it will pass also...overwhelmingly! Was it Jefferson or Franklin who said something to the effect: "Should we wait for direction from Washington, when to reap & when to sow, we should surely soon want bread."In other words,let the farmers do the farmin'!Cannabis Hemp:The Invisible Prohibition Revealed OF THE SWASTIKA:The Real Reason the Government Won't Debate Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Re-legalization
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Comment #1 posted by pokesmotter on October 30, 2002 at 07:45:44 PT:
who is this long character?
you would think he might have done some research before talking about the subject. industrial hemp does not open the door for legalization. industrial hemp and marijuana are not the same plant. if someone stole a bunch of hemp and smoked it, they would just get a huge headache. from what i could tell, south dakotan farmers are having some rough times. i say let them grow industrial hemp. i know about its benefits; economically and environmentally. its a good thing newland knows what he is talking about. i think this one will definantly pass.
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