cannabisnews.com: Hemp Farming, and a Merry Pill-Poppin' Limbaugh





Hemp Farming, and a Merry Pill-Poppin' Limbaugh
Posted by CN Staff on May 11, 2006 at 06:52:36 PT
By Jordan Smith
Source: Austin Chronicle
Texas -- If all goes well, North Dakota could be the first state to issue farmers' licenses to grow industrial hemp in accordance with state law. Last week, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson announced a set of proposed rules that could jump-start the widespread legal cultivation of industrial hemp in the U.S. for the first time since just after World War II. In a press release, he called this "an important step in the process of enabling farmers to grow and sell this valuable crop."
Industrial hemp  strains of marijuana with just trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in pot  was perfectly legal to cultivate until the 1970s, when changes to the Controlled Substances Act blurred the definition of industrial hemp, melding it with the definition of its narcotic, and prohibited, cousin. Since then, the Drug Enforcement Administration has tightly controlled hemp production through its power to grant or deny (or simply ignore) individual requests for permission to grow the environmentally friendly crop. (The DEA has only ever approved one license, which expired in 2003.) Nonetheless, there's been renewed interest in hemp farming; since the mid-Nineties, 14 states have passed laws calling for scientific, economic, or environmental studies of the crop, and several, including North Dakota, have legalized industrial hemp farming, despite the virtual ban on its cultivation imposed by the feds, who claim, among other things, that legalizing hemp farming will somehow encourage the illegal trade in smokeable pot. Not surprisingly, the ban has endured in spite of the growing market for hemp products  from food to textiles to car parts  which is a growing, multimillion-dollar-per-year industry. Since U.S. farmers are unable to legally grow the crop, however, hemp used for consumer products must be imported from other countries, including Canada and China. (According to the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. is the only "developed" nation without an established hemp crop.) If Ag Commissioner Johnson and his counterparts in several other states have their way, however, hemp farming will soon make a legal comeback. In February, Johnson and three other state agriculture commissioners traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with DEA officials to "explore acceptable rules" for legalized hemp farming  a surprising act of amity from an agency that otherwise seems hell-bent on maintaining prohibition on all things marijuana. Since then, Johnson has come up with a strict set of rules for farmers seeking to grow industrial hemp: Farmers must submit to criminal background checks, stringently document how much hemp they sell and to whom, plot the location of their hemp crops with geopositioning coordinates, and must have hemp seeds tested to ensure they contain no more than .3% THC, among other rules. See the proposed rules at: http://www.agdepartment.com/PDFFiles/ProposedIndustrialHempRules5-2006.pdfJohnson's rules are set for a public hearing on June 15 and could be finalized by fall. Whether the DEA intends to play fair remains to be seen; under the proposed rules, North Dakota hemp farmers would still be required to obtain a federal hemp-farming license from the DEA. In other news, Rush Limbaugh, arguably talk radio's most bombastic hypocrite, cut himself a deal with prosecutors last week on charges that he had engaged in "doctor shopping" to obtain overlapping prescriptions to feed his OxyContin pill-popping habit. Limbaugh's run-in with the law over his use of prescription painkillers has been dragging on for several years, and yet, amazingly, the man has managed to keep himself out of jail. Shocking? Not really  he is, after all, a wealthy white guy from West Palm Beach, Fla.,  but the whole ordeal brings to the fore a shining example of the Ditto-head's hypocritical double standard. On-air, Limbaugh has never shied away from disparaging drug users and suggesting that loser users should be locked up. To wit, consider this brief tirade, concerning the disparities in rates of incarceration for whites and blacks: "[T]oo many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales," Limbaugh reportedly said during an October 1995 program. "The answer is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail  The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them, and send them up the river too." Besides being myopic (if not just completely ignorant), Limbaugh's callousness apparently doesn't apply to everyone  least of all himself. On April 28, during a press conference announcing his client's deal with prosecutors  which will keep Limbaugh out of jail entirely as long as he completes further drug treatment and pays a $30K fine to offset the cost of the state investigation of his case  Limbaugh's lawyer Roy Black told reporters that the plea deal "good common sense," as a reasoned way to deal with drug addiction. "With anyone in this position, who finds themselves addicted to pain medication, it is really unfair to prosecute them or to make some sort of a big case out of it," he continued. "The idea is to help the person overcome the addiction. Because when a person is addicted, the only person who is suffering is that person, and no one is suggesting that Rush Limbaugh did anything to hurt anyone other than himself." At least not last week, that is. Source: Austin Chronicle (TX)Author: Jordan SmithPublished: May 11, 2006Copyright: 2006 Austin Chronicle Corp.Contact: louis auschron.comWebsite: http://www.auschron.com/Related Articles: ND Pushing Ahead With Hemp Farming Ruleshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21833.shtmlND Industrial Hemp License Rules Submittedhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21811.shtml Rush Limbaugh Deal Includes Drug Testshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21801.shtml
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on May 11, 2006 at 17:47:45 PT
ol f rts
great posting over at Mr. Petes site Kap. on the drug war propaganda story. for some good reading see comment 20the USA today story on tracking fone numbers of tens of millions of us for the last 4 and a half years -- it has been reported that the dea is in line for those numbers. gee ol W just said we have nothen to worry about he is in charge.
http://www.drugwarrant.com
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on May 11, 2006 at 13:30:50 PT:
My God, the level of the hypocrisy is stunning!
Limbaugh's lawyer Roy Black told reporters that the plea deal "good common sense," as a reasoned way to deal with drug addiction. "With anyone in this position, who finds themselves addicted to pain medication, it is really unfair to prosecute them or to make some sort of a big case out of it," he continued. "The idea is to help the person overcome the addiction. Because when a person is addicted, the only person who is suffering is that person, and no one is suggesting that Rush Limbaugh did anything to hurt anyone other than himself." Isn't this the very foundation of the idea behind drug law reform? Isn't this what police, prosecutors, judges, bureaucrats, etc. deny as being valid reasoning, and state the opposite - that drug addicts are akin to vampires, werewolves, Typhoid Mary's, lepers without bells, etc. - and must be arrested and caged for the good of society?Limbaugh's case is a textbook example of the level of hypocrisy society engages in when it comes to illict drugs - and its perceptions of who uses them as opposed to the reality. 
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on May 11, 2006 at 10:25:07 PT
Hi Ab -dont know on 1on2 Gov Jenny is against us 
Thursday, May 11, 2006 
Loretta Nall has got the 'mo
http://lastonespeaks.blogspot.com/
Loretta's campaign is reaching critical mass. Hot on the heels of her appearance on the Alan Colmes radio show, a new program on MSNBC did a feature spot on her campaign Get all the details along with a long list of mainstream coverage. The best news is she's managed to accumulate enough funding to hire professional help in fulfilling the almost impossible signature requirements to get in the race. There's every reason to believe she can beat the odds to get on the ballot and become the next governor of Alabama, thus putting to rest the notion that an honest candidate with no funding can't be elected to office. Woo Hoo. Go Loretta and let her be an inspiration to others who think the system can't be beat.
http://www.minorml.org
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on May 11, 2006 at 08:53:59 PT
ekim, Two Questions
What is the status of the cannabis legalization initiative in Michigan?Does Governor Granholm still oppose cannabis reform unconditionally? 
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on May 11, 2006 at 08:29:29 PT
cellulostic Ethanol and Land Use
Big things happing in ethanol - 60 minutes had long story as did NBC
Dateline last sun.Today on c-span S.D. Rep. S. Herseth a Dem said that biofuels
are the moonshot of our times. she took calls for 30 minutes all positive.
Rep.Herseth kept refering to the new technolgy of Cellulostic Ethanol being
the
key to creating the vast amounts needed. N.D. is calling for Hemp to be grown there/
http://cannabisnews.com/news/21/thread21843.shtmlHemp 77% celluloseWhile corn is primarily used to distill ethanol, a new facility in Spain
will convert wheat straw as the ethanol's feedstock.The full story is available at
http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=35238This is a pdf overview of NREL/Genencor work from 2003.
http://www.eere.energy.gov/biomass/pdfs/genencor_esp_review.pdfHere is an NREL Press release about Genencor/NREL winning a Top 100 R&D
award in 2004.
http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2004/3404_technologies_lauded.html
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Big Kalamazoo Rotary District Meeting open to the public.Session C on Land use Session D on the Drug Courts.Anyone with first hand information on the Cannabis ticket law in Ann Arbor
for the last 35 years is urged to attend and submit info, as the Drug Courts
are saying anyone that has used or is using Cannabis is a addict and must be
treated as such. Last year over 720,000 arrests for Cannabis possession
alone nation wide.http://district6360conference.com/breakout.htmlSession D - Revitalizing the Criminal Justice System, Practice & Behavior
What can be done in Southwest Michigan to transform the judiciary from
strictly punishing to restoring people to society? Repeat offenses and
recidivism represent failures of the social system and degradation of human
capital. New initiatives in schools and the judicial system aim to restore
perpetrator and victim. How can you as an individual and as a local Rotary
Club make a difference?
ModeratorJudge William Schma, Circuit Court Judge, Kalamazoo County
Participants:Dean David Link - CEO International Centre for Healing and Law
Justice Janine Geske - Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, Retired
Rev. Milton Wells - Kalamazoo Project Site Director
Tom Beech - CEO, Fetzer Institute
Charita and Robert - Drug Treatment Court Participants
Take Away PointsHear a recovering addict and her spouse explain what Drug Court
participation meant to them and how it affected their lives.
Learn why and how the legal system is examining its role in society as a
healing agent.
Hear about Practicing Restorative Justice for Offenders and Victims.
Learn about the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative and Returning Prisoners
to the Community.
Justice - fostering awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in a
global community.
http://www.windhunter.org
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