Plan To Study Hemp In Illinois Ignites Controversy

Plan To Study Hemp In Illinois Ignites Controversy
Posted by FoM on November 15, 2000 at 10:42:55 PT
By Kevin McDermott, Post-Dispatch 
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
That's the question at the heart of a smoldering debate over a proposal in Illinois to explore growing industrial hemp as a legitimate cash crop. The controversy, which has already brought a threatening letter from the White House drug policy director, has state lawmakers growling at each other. "The sails on Columbus' ships were hemp. The first American flag was made from hemp," said 79-year-old state Sen. Evelyn Bowles, D-Edwardsville, the leader of the Legislature's industrial hemp movement. 
"It's the oldest fiber crop in existence . . . and we need alternative crops for Illinois farmers." Bowles expressed outrage Tuesday at critics who alleged she and other hemp proponents are pawns of the drug-legalization movement. "I don't condone the use of marijuana," she said. The issue could hit the floor of the Illinois House as early as this week, putting downstate lawmakers on the hot seat as they balance the concerns of socially conservative constituents against desperate farmers. On Tuesday, a group of Illinois anti-drug activists relighted the year-old issue with some of the harshest rhetoric yet. Led by state Rep. Mary Lou Cowlishaw, R-Naperville, they portrayed industrial hemp supporters as cohorts of the "drug culture." The talk of hemp rope, clothing and other useful products, they said, is a ruse to make society comfortable with hemp's close herbalogical cousin, marijuana. "To make the choice that this is just a crop is simply beyond the comprehension of a mature adult," Cowlishaw said in news conference at the state Capitol. She invoked the safety of her seven grandchildren as her reason for leading the charge against the hemp proposal. "Why would we risk the safety of our children?" Cowlishaw said. Joyce Lohrentz, president of the Naperville-based Illinois Drug Education Alliance, displayed full-color reproductions of pro-hemp advertisement in a prominent drug-culture magazine. "Industrial hemp is one of the foothold strategies used by the drug culture," Lohrentz said. "They will stare at you with their glassy eyes and sermonize on the numerous commercial uses for industrial hemp. But the industrial hemp movement is more about legalizing drugs than about finding alternative crops for farmers." Bowles, long one of the Legislature's chief hemp proponents, bristled at the characterization, though she acknowledged she's used to it. "The ladies from Naperville," Bowles said, nodding grimly. "To give the impression that people who are supportive of industrial hemp are a bunch of druggies is a horrible, horrible insult." Bowles' bill authorizing a study of hemp's possibilities passed the Senate this year and is pending in the House. It would allow the agriculture departments at the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale to grow hemp to study its viability as a cash crop for use in clothing and other textile materials. Critics - including White House Drug Policy Director Barry McCaffrey, who wrote legislators on the issue in February - note that hemp contains hallucinogens and is similar enough to marijuana to confuse police and make drug enforcement difficult. Note: Is it rope, or dope?The pending bill is SB 1397. Complete Title: Plan To Study Hemp As A Cash Crop In Illinois Ignites ControversySource: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Author: Kevin McDermott, Post-Dispatch Springfield BureauPublished: November 15, 2000Copyright: 2000 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Contact: letters Website: Forum: Related Article & Web Sites:Save Hemp Not Hemp To The Jive Illinois May Grow Hemp Plants Hemp Archives:
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on November 18, 2000 at 22:24:35 PT
Hemp-Legalization Proponents Display Products 
Hemp-Legalization Proponents Display Products At Conference agfutureAuthor: Charles Wolfe, Associated PressPubdate: Sat, 18 Nov 2000Fax: 606-255-7236Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)Copyright: 2000 Lexington Herald-LeaderContact: hleditorial herald-leader.comWebsite:, Ky -- People who think it should be legal to grow hemp for food and fiber showed off an array of hemp products, from cosmetics to car parts, at a conference yesterday. For Kentucky farmers, it was a peek at what might be. The hemp fiber, seed and oil in all the products came from other countries, primarily Canada. Hemp is on the federal list of controlled substances along with marijuana, its lookalike cousin. 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 17, 2000 at 08:56:10 PT
Hi Gary!
Hi Gary! It's been such a long time since I've seen you around. I hope you are getting along well on this adventure we're all on. We've come a long way since the humble beginnings a few years ago. They are listening. It's been a long time coming!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #10 posted by Gary Christ on November 17, 2000 at 08:31:35 PT:
Thanks for sharing all those encouraging and informative notes, surely anyone with an open mind and just a bit of compassion, will vote for legalizing hemp. I don't hear much talk about hemp for fuel though.Thanks again, God Bless, Gary
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Comment #9 posted by observer on November 15, 2000 at 22:15:41 PT
Only a Study, But Drug Warriors Fearful Again
Just a study is being discussed here. You'd have thought that Timothy Leary had come back from the dead and was attempting to spoon-feed crack and new-age philosophy to their toddlers. All this witch-hunting hysteria screamed over a ... study. Sheesh. Why are they such nervous little hens over a mere study?Led by state Rep. Mary Lou Cowlishaw, R-Naperville, they portrayed industrial hemp supporters as cohorts of the "drug culture." ... a ruse to make society comfortable with hemp's close herbalogical cousin, marijuana. ... "They will stare at you with their glassy eyes and sermonize on the numerous commercial uses for industrial hemp. But the industrial hemp movement is more about legalizing drugs than about finding alternative crops for farmers." Oh, well, in that case, a s-t-u-d-y should demonstrate nicely that "hemp" will never work. Can't be grown economically. Will never fly, etc. A study would prove the noble drug warriors are right and the evil hempsters are all all wrong.see: "Hemp for Victory" film made by the US Government (1943) (realmovie)Who is not telling the truth, the government in 1943 when this film was made extolling the virtues of growing hemp, or the government now, when it says hemp is a plot by evil druggies, threating Our Children?Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere. -- George WashingtonThe greatest service that can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture. -- Thomas Jefferson
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Comment #8 posted by Kevin on November 15, 2000 at 19:02:50 PT:
marijuana facts
Many people may or may not know the information I am about to give you. this is general information on why marijuana use is illegal, and this may or may not come as a big suprise to some of you.Marijuana use as a recreational drug did not catch on until the later part of the 19th and early 20th centuries in the united states. Previous to this, hemp was a cash crop which farmers were encouraged to grow, and 17th and 18th centuries, in many places required to grow. During the period following the mexican revolution, many mexicans immigrated to the US in the southwest, bringing with them the use of marijuana as a recreational drug. Over the following many decades, the highly predgidiced people of this country began to view marijuana as a bad substance, which, in a bias study, was determined to cause people to become violent and criminal in nature. However, the results of this study were largely formulated from the assumption that, since it's use was introduced by the dirty and inhuman non-whites, it was a substance that should be outlawed, and in the first half of the 20th century, states were encouraged to establish drug policies prohibiting the use of pot as a recreational drug. While the motives for the laws prohibiting use of marijuana are not the same as they were in the early 20th century, why does the government continue to prohibit a plant which uses are wide and varied, from industrial to recreational use, and a substance which effects are far less damaging and dangerous than those of the only legal narcotics in this county, alcohol and tobacco. How can we continue to allow the free use of alcohol and tobbaco, substances with no benifit to anyone but the companies who produce them, while continuing to ban hemp, a plant which, when cultivated as a cash crop, can be used for idustrial purposes, AS WELL AS for the recreational purposes which we use alcohol and tobacco already, substances proven time and time again to be highly toxic and poisonous.
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Comment #7 posted by michael on November 15, 2000 at 16:09:30 PT:
Our blind sides!
All of us have a blind side, don't we. A person cannot pick out their own blind side.It has to be pointed out by an outside observer, right? Rep.Mary Cowlishaws' blind side is the marijuana issue. I have had my bind sides pointed out more than once in my life and sometimes painfully. So, Mary, when it comes to the facts and figures of industrial hemp, and industrial marijuana, you are an idiot. Ouch huh? 
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Comment #6 posted by ras james RSIFWH on November 15, 2000 at 16:04:51 PT
rep. mary lou cowlishaw, REPUBLICAN IL
dear mary million teanagers a year become addicted to cigarettes; and 365,000 of these young people will die ninteen years before their time because they are addicted to this deadly drug..nicotine. cannabis sativa is a soft drug. tobacco smoke is radioactive and therefore deadly; cannabis smoke is not radioactive. perhaps you have damaged your brain cells drinking alcohol...or you are sincere and mistaken. i assume the latter. right now there are cannabinoid receptors in your cerebral cortex which "THC" fits into perfectly. when you gave birth to your children, you had cannabinoid recptors in your placenta? why do african women to this day use cannabis sativa during child birth? perhaps you think they are ignorant and foolish. then answer the I this; Why did the creator put cannabinoid receptors in your cerebral cortex and placenta? many young people that i knew and cared deeply for are dead because of this drug war...i taught in minority schools for years in illinois. how do you explain to your children that minority children died violently like flies in illinois while you fought the fight against a soft drug like marijuana; and did little to fight cigarettes or alcohol? is not drug addiction a disease. shouldn't we fight these problems with accurate information and medical experts and spiritual leaders?...neither i or you can bring back lee dubois or scotty baugh or eddie baines or billy brooks. they were young and black and made a mistake and were shot and killed. this would not have happened if we were treating drug problems like a disease. what can i say to lee when i am crying three years after he took two bullets to the head and fourteen to the chest? lou! you and your partners against marijuana may win some, but you just lost one. naperville cannot keep the truth out...this is a dirty little war and i for one say enough is enough. 
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Comment #5 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on November 15, 2000 at 15:46:31 PT
Legalize it!
  Let's hope Minnesota becomes as good of an example of industrial hemp production as California has become an example of medicinal marijuana.  Just ask yourself - which is more harmful, marijuana usage, or marijuana prohibition? Which is more costly? Which ruins more families? And which side has the gun-toting thugs denying medication to the sick and dying?
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 15, 2000 at 14:11:22 PT:
Related Article
US IL: Anti-Drug Activists Blast Hemp-Study BillNewshawk: Larry StevensSource: State Journal-Register (IL)Author: Adriana Colindres, State Capitol BureauPublished: November 15, 2000Copyright: 2000 The State Journal-RegisterContact: letters sj-r.comAddress: P.O. Box 219, Springfield, IL 62705-0219Fax: (217) 788-1551Website: activists are hoping to put the brakes on legislation that would authorize two Illinois universities to conduct research on the production of industrial hemp, a biological relative of marijuana. Senate Bill 1397 cleared the state Senate on a 49-9 vote last February, but it stalled in the House, where sponsoring Rep. Ron Lawfer, R-Stockton, decided not to call it for a vote because he didn't think it had enough support to pass. URL:
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Comment #3 posted by truth on November 15, 2000 at 13:41:11 PT
Time for Hemp's full value!
 1.)people who say no to the industrial use of hemp need to become educated about the differences of hemp and marijuana.(no stoner is going to get high off a joint of "HEMP") 2.)Got Trees! the paper industry,Dupont,the "trusty"government, text books in schools and the american system have done a great job of covering up the truth about hemp and did a great job of brain washing you with cotton/mill industries.3.)Being from Illinios this is the only reason why i would move back there.4.)IT is about time we as a general public start to become more interested in alternative resources, to better the future.Hemp's potential if used properly can replace and reduce other resources. it is time -
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Comment #2 posted by Morgan on November 15, 2000 at 12:51:50 PT
Of course you're right Gabriel. There are many sides to this debate, and it is good to see the sides come together as knowledge expands. It's my contention that industrial hemp has always been the secret the prohabitionists have been trying all these years to keep hidden. Scary marijuana has worked well in the past as a convienient boogie-man mask to frighten the likes of the ladies of Naperville into screaming bloody murder everytime the subject comes up. They just need a little understanding and education. And possibly a swift kick in their collective asses.****************************************************
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Comment #1 posted by Gabriel Najera on November 15, 2000 at 12:05:46 PT
industrial hemp
although hemp does contain some hallucinogens it by far does not contain as many as it's cousin marijuana. I think that a lot of people get cofused about hemp and marijuana classifying it as the same thing when in turn it almost the opposite. never in my lifetime have I heard of anyone smoking hemp rope to get high, but I have heard of people inhaling spray paint and even computer cleaning. I even heard of some people dying from using these household items but why are they not banned? I'll tell you why....because their uses out way the potential hazards. but why isn't hemp also legal?.....because too many people confuse hemp with marijuana, until we can get the masses to understand and grasp the concept of hemp we will never be able to win the war to legalize industrial hemp. Ignorance is our greatest enemy but knowledge is our most powerful ally. this war to legalize industrial hemp could save our resources and perhaps shed a little enlightment on our society. united we stand divided we fall....Right,Right?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
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