Time To Reclaim A Kentucky Industry

thomas vance Published:

State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is trying to get industrial hemp, (cannabis), legalized as an alternative crop for our farmers. State Senator Perry Clark wants to get marijuana, (cannabis), legalized for medical uses. Many of our citizens would like to see cannabis legalized for recreational uses. Maybe it’s time for our legislators to take back the cannabis industry.

At one time Kentucky had a lucrative cannabis market providing hemp fiber and medicines for retail sale. Kentuckians were fooled into voting this industry out of existence by a newspaper propaganda campaign that made cannabis out to be something different and foreign by calling it by it’s Mexican name, marijuana. The reason cannabis and the cannabis industry was suddenly vilified and driven out of the market place and into the black market had more to do with business interests eliminating the competition, than the idea of protecting Americans from what has turned out to be a relatively harmless and mostly beneficial plant. Even the American Medical Association spoke against making cannabis illegal but the fix was in and we have had 75 years of the failed policy of prohibition.

President Nixon who, against the recommendation of his own commission on drugs, used it to prove he was tough on crime by declaring the War On Drugs, and to harass war protesters. President Reagan said it was the number one enemy of America. H. W. Bush, Clinton, Carter and now Obama have all allowed this waste of 51 billion a year accomplishing nothing and inflicting misery and fear on the citizens to continue. Admittedly Carter said the law should be reformed and Obama has recently said it’s a debate worth having but nothing has been done at the Federal level, leaving it up to Congress and the State legislatures to change policy. Ironically our last 3 Presidents have used cannabis at one time or another.

Kentucky Legislators have a unique opportunity to reestablish the cannabis industry in Kentucky and position Kentucky to claim a huge portion of what is estimated to be a multibillion dollar industry. Our legislators should join forces and go for outright legalization across the board. The billions in economic activity to be realized from this action would lift the lives and improve the conditions of all our citizens. For our legislators to allow the failed policy of cannabis prohibition to continue and cause Kentucky’s businesses and farmers to miss out on this opportunity is unthinkable!

Now is the time for us to join the ranks of Colorado and Washington State. Now is the time to stand up to the Federal Authorities and do what’s best for Kentucky. Now is the time to bring the cannabis industry back to life in Kentucky!

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  • America imports a large quantity of hemp every year. Why? We should be growing our own and our farmers should be supplying it to industry. Yes many people use it recreationally and should be allowed to do so. the following is a summary produced for members of Congress by the Congressional Research Service on a piece titled, "Hemp as An Agricultural Connodity" Summary Industrial hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa and is of the same plant species as marijuana. However, hemp is genetically different and distinguished by its use and chemical makeup. Hemp has long been cultivated for non-drug use in the production of industrial and other goods. Some estimate that the global market for hemp consists of more than 25,000 products. It can be grown as a fiber, seed, or other dual-purpose crop. Hemp fibers are used in a wide range of products, including fabrics and textiles, yarns and raw or processed spun fibers, paper, carpeting, home furnishings, construction and insulation materials, auto parts, and composites. The interior stalk (hurd) is used in various applications such as animal bedding, raw material inputs, low-quality papers, and composites. Hemp seed and oilcake are used in a range of foods and beverages, and can be an alternative food protein source. Oil from the crushed hemp seed is an ingredient in a range of body-care products and also nutritional supplements. Hemp seed is also used for industrial oils, cosmetics and personal care, and pharmaceuticals, among other composites. Precise data are not available on the size of the U.S. market for hemp-based products. Current industry estimates report that U.S. retail sales of all hemp-based products may exceed $300 million per year. Because there is no commercial industrial hemp production in the United States, the U.S. market is largely dependent on imports, both as finished hemp-containing products and as ingredients for use in further processing. Under the current U.S. drug policy, all cannabis varieties, including hemp, are considered Schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA, 21 U.S.C. §§801 et seq.; Title 21 CFR Part 1308.11). As such, while there are legitimate industrial uses, these are controlled and regulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Strictly speaking, the CSA does not make growing hemp illegal; rather, it places strict controls on its production and enforces standards governing the security conditions under which the crop must be grown, making it illegal to grow without a DEA permit. Currently, cannabis varieties may be legitimately grown for research purposes only. Among the concerns over changing current policies is how to allow for hemp production without undermining the agency’s drug enforcement efforts and regulation of the production and distribution of marijuana. In the early 1990s a sustained resurgence of interest in allowing commercial cultivation of industrial hemp began in the United States. Several states have conducted economic or market studies, and have initiated or passed legislation to expand state-level resources and production. To date, nine states have legalized the cultivation and research of industrial hemp, including Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia. However, because federal law still prohibits cultivation, a grower still must get permission from the DEA in order to grow hemp, or face the possibility of federal charges or property confiscation, despite having a state-issued permit. Over the past few Congresses, Representative Ron Paul has introduced legislation that would open the way for commercial cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States (H.R. 1831, 112th Congress; H.R. 1866, 111th Congress; H.R. 1009, 110th Congress; H.R. 3037, 109th Congress). The Industrial Hemp Farming Act would amend Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) to specify that the term “marijuana” does not include industrial hemp, which the bill would define based on its content of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s primary psychoactive chemical. Such a change could remove low-THC hemp from being covered by the CSA as a controlled substance and subject to DEA regulation, thus allowing for industrial hemp to be grown and processed under some state laws. This report was dated January 19, 2012. Our cannabis laws in no way reflect the facts about this plant. No study was done or medical testimony taken when cannabis was declared dangerous in 1937, and none was taken when that law was declared unconstitutional and the 1970 Controlled Substances Act was passed. The power of the 75year propaganda campaign to keep cannabis illegal is finally is being undermined by fact based science. 51 billion a year to keep this deception going. It feeds the cells of the prison industery and provides the numbers to justify ever higher police budgets. What we should demand from our legislators is truth and science not propaganda and lies! They started out saying it would make you kill your mother, now they say it's bad for you but they don't say why. It's simply time to end this chrade and allow the facts to power our laws!!!

  • 1) What overwhelming industrial demand is there for cannabis? The medication Marinol is manufactured from marijuana, and is already available from any physician. There aren't any manufacturers that are pining for a new raw material. No clothing manufacturers are going under due to a lack of something new to make clothing out of. Cotton, flax, wool, silk and synthetics seem to be filling the bill pretty well. 2) Any industrial demand for hemp can/is filled with Kenaf (already legal) - I think Ford is using Kenaf-reinforced plastics already. 3) If someone, anyone, in the "we should legalize hemp/marijuana" camp would just admit "I want to smoke weed and I think it should be legal", I could at least respect them for being up front, maybe not agree, but at least give up on the "multi-billion dollar hemp industry" tactic. There is no market nor demand beyond clothing for hippies and base oil for patchouli.