Growing Hemp Legally on Hold in State 

Growing Hemp Legally on Hold in State 
Posted by CN Staff on December 18, 2002 at 10:16:37 PT
By Deanna Wrenn, Daily Mail Capitol Reporter 
Source: Charleston Daily Mail 
A year after the West Virginia Legislature legalized growing industrial hemp, the crop hasn't been grown in the Mountain State and it probably never will be -- at least without an act of Congress.Growing industrial hemp is legal by state code, but federal regulations make it next to impossible. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration only allows marijuana growth for research purposes, and only then under the strictest of security.
The federal government doesn't make a distinction between the marijuana people smoke to get high, which contains a psychotropic chemical and the industrial hemp, which contains less than 1 percent of the substance.That means West Virginia farmers can't legally grow hemp commercially, a legislative interim committee learned Tuesday, but it doesn't mean state Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass won't keep joking about his own marijuana efforts. Douglass recently bid on and bought property near his Mason County farm that State Police acquired years ago when a person illegally grew marijuana there. "As we're dealing with hemp, I might as well announce it: Your commissioner of agriculture has a pot barn," Douglass joked, adding quickly, "That's not to be confused with industrial hemp."Theoretically, if Douglass did want to grow industrial hemp on his property, he'd have to do it under strict security like two other states currently interesting in commercializing hemp.North Dakota State University was authorized by the North Dakota Legislature to study industrial hemp as an alternative crop, but the university still hasn't grown industrial hemp because its had such a hard time meeting federal standards, according to a report by Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Steve Hannah.In Hawaii, industrial hemp is grown for research purposes only, focusing mainly on the cosmetic use of hemp seed oil. That state's one-quarter-acre plot is surrounded by a 12-foot high fence and 24-hour motion detectors connected to a commercial security system, Hannah said. West Virginia agriculture officials sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration asking exactly what the requirements for security are. Until the federal government makes a distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana, however, Hannah said it's unlikely that even research hemp would be grown."Growing industrial hemp commercially in West Virginia is economically infeasible under current federal law that considers it illegal," Hannah wrote in his report to the committee. Douglass said several states were trying to get the government to classify industrial hemp differently than marijuana. "This hemp issue will come up again," Douglass said. Note: Strict federal rules overshadow state's year-old legislation.Source: Charleston Daily Mail (WV)Author: Deanna Wrenn, Daily Mail Capitol Reporter Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2002Copyright: 2002 Charleston Daily MailContact: editor dailymail.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Hemp Links Governor Signs Hemp Bill Prepares for Commercial Growth of Hemp Bill Questions Remain
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on December 18, 2002 at 14:10:29 PT
confiscated land enriching the wealthy
Isn't this convenient, West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass recently bid on and bought property near his Mason County farm that State Police acquired (confiscated, stole)years ago when a person illegally grew marijuana there. 
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Comment #2 posted by TecHnoCult on December 18, 2002 at 14:10:29 PT
Harris County
Hey, that's where I live. I wonder how that compares to other cities and counties accross the US. The pot definately flows here in Houston.THC
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on December 18, 2002 at 11:05:07 PT
WOD stuff, cocaine and crack the main subject
There was an article at the Houston Chronicle titled, "War on drugs nets small-time offenders" that came out Sunday: It contains the following paragraph.Of the 58,000 drug convictions won by local prosecutors over the past five years, 77 percent involved less than a gram of a drug, according to district court data analyzed by the Houston Chronicle. Harris County sent 35,000 of these small-time offenders to jail or prison. 1
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