Get The Facts Straight About Hemp 

Get The Facts Straight About Hemp 
Posted by FoM on March 08, 2001 at 10:20:22 PT
Guest Column By Louie B. Nunn
Source: Kentucky Post 
As governor, I served the people of Kentucky from 1967 to 1971. In my role as governor, I listened to all sides of the issues, carefully considered all opinions before me and tried to be fair in my responses. Being actively involved in civil public service, I am often asked for my opinion on various matters affecting our state. One of the most recent, the industrial hemp issue, also has proven to be one of the most important.
Although Kentucky has long been known for its historical hemp industry, it wasn't until about a year ago that I became educated about industrial hemp. Frankly, I was opposed to to the legalization of hemp for years because I had been of the opinion hemp was marijuana. I was shortsighted in my thinking, and I was wrong.Last year, as our farmers struggled with the loss of 65 percent of their tobacco income, I was asked to examine information on hemp. What I learned is that hemp is not a drug and never was. After studying the facts, I believe hemp cultivation has the potential to make a positive impact on our faltering agricultural economy and to create economic opportunities for Kentucky farmers and other local industries.I am concerned about all the misleading and intimidating rhetoric offered to politicians as ''facts.'' We Kentuckians have been so mired in misinformation about industrial hemp, it has become difficult to distinguish reality from rhetoric.They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but none are stranger than marijuana growers and law enforcement. Like preachers and bootleggers, they oppose legislation for different self-serving reasons.Law enforcement opposes legalizing hemp production because they get paid to destroy it, while marijuana growers oppose legalization because hemp cross-pollinates and destroys marijuana's potency. And neither side talks about Orincon, a company with technology to differentiate marijuana and hemp from up to 5,000 feet in the air, and other simple in-field tests, which accomplish the same results.Despite these diametrically opposing sides, there is a middle ground where common sense and rational people exist together.For instance, the North American Industrial Hemp Council is so adamantly opposed to ''mixing the message,'' it will not accept pro-marijuana members. Its membership includes James Woolsey, former head of the CIA; Jeff Gain, former director of the National Corn Growers Association; Erwin Sholts, former head of the Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Diversification; Raymond Berard, vice president of Interface Carpets (a billion dollar industry); Curtis Koster, formerly of International Paper; and Dr. Selby Thames, a distinguished professor of polymer science at University of Southern Mississippi. The list of supporters goes on to include farmers, businessmen, legislators and 16 other states in the process of passing legislation encouraging the growth of industrial hemp.Is it rational to say all of these folks are involved with the effort to legalize marijuana? Should we listen when Canada's Royal Mounted Police report no problems with regulating hemp, or are they also trying to legalize marijuana? I know our Kentucky State Police are as well educated and could easily understand and incorporate industrial hemp regulations as well as their Canadian counterparts.As difficult issues are analyzed with just, unbiased and sensible minds, solutions reached are usually fair and equally beneficial to all. Why should the industrial hemp issue be treated any differently? We should be looking forward to the time when intelligence and truth overshadows lack of knowledge and rhetoric.Remember, we can't distinguish between Kentucky white moonshine and spring water by looking, but we haven't seen fit to outlaw spring water . . . yet.Sidebar - Hemp As A Crop: Proponents say legalizing industrial hemp could help ease the increasing loss of tobacco as a crop in Kentucky.Profits per acre from hemp could range from $220 to $600, a 1998 report said.That's far less than the $1,500-per-acre for burley tobacco or the $1,000-per- acre for dark fire-cured tobacco, but more than profits on soybeans, hay, corn, wheat and grain sorghum.Louie B. Nunn, a Republican from Glasglow, served as governor from 1967 to 1971.Source: Kentucky Post (KY)Author: Louie B. NunnPublished: March 8, 2001Copyright: 2001 Kentucky Post Address: 421 Madison Avenue Covington, Ky. 41011 Contact: kyedits Website: North American Industrial Hemp Council Links Hemp Archives
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Comment #4 posted by Blair Anderson on June 19, 2001 at 17:37:53 PT:
altered perceptions!
Louie B. Nunn's altered perceptions (over a considerable period of time) while laudable are also inexcusable. As with our civil laws, ignorance is no defence. Maintaining ignorance for thirty odd years... suggests a measure of culpability, especially where tenure of "good governance" is a reponsibility of those in public office. My point is not vindictive towards Nunn, for clearly all reformers welcome change in attitudes, but the winds of change are upon us and I cannot else but wonder how much the politico's are being expedient by softening there position on hemp but cannot quite go there..on marijuana.Lets make it damn clear. marijuana is a perverse adoption of a word that allowed racial and social prejudice to prevail. Hemp, and marijuana are the same thing.. cannabis sativa.It doesnt matter how much one tries to keep policy reformers out of an organisation like, (the same thing happened in NZ) the maths and science is the same.Support for Industrial hemp without "dopey advocacy" might be easy for some.. but it undermines the principle arguement and fails to do justice to reason.Hemp crops are illegal because cannabis is illegal based on an illegitimate standard of morality.Trying to tweak 'agricultural' policy is fraught with artificial red lines, and panders to the very prejudice that created the anomoly.Given the weight of evidence, Messrs Nunn and his countless cronies should be accountable for the perversion of truth, the hurt souls, and ecological damage created by allowing this outrageous policy to escalate these past 30 years.However, I and a bazzilion others need to move on. To forgive, forget and welcome the change of heart from any quarter is to embrace the spirit of the healing herb.I fear that embracing hemp while maintaining a cultural prejudice elevates double standards to new heights, entrenching as acceptable that which is not.heady cheers!Blair Anderson
Hemp "senseless" while cannabis criminal 
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Comment #3 posted by prolegalizashun on March 08, 2001 at 15:35:50 PT
Imagine the profits per acre the growers could make off legal marijuana, the government would reap in taxes, paid by law abiding pot smokers, and save in enforcement, incarciration, and legal cost. this economic gain plus the social gain of repealing prohibition must surely outweigh any harm or risk that legalizing both pot and hemp might cause to a society who'se use of the substance is widely prevalant in all socioeconomic and cultural levels anyway. And incidently, though tobacco is thoughroly addictive, a proven health risk to not only to the person who is voluntarily ingesting it, but to every person in it's deadly vicinity, i have yet to hear about a tobacco prohibition. Why? because just as in alcohol and marijuana it would fail? Or because of the money that the tobbacco industry weilds? 
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Comment #2 posted by Kevin Hebert on March 08, 2001 at 12:22:56 PT:
See? It isn't so hard if you just LISTEN
"Although Kentucky has long been known for its historical hemp industry, it wasn't until about a year ago that I became educated about industrial hemp. Frankly, I was opposed to to the legalization of hemp for years because I had been of the opinion hemp was marijuana. I was shortsighted in my thinking, and I was wrong."It isn't so hard. The facts are all out there. And one person learned that hep is not the same as marijuana.Now, when the DEA realizes that marijuana is not crack, we should be all set.
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on March 08, 2001 at 10:43:30 PT:
Add to the Reading List
Someone should force Dubya's eyes open to read this, and then follow suit with every DEA employee, governor and state legislator.
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