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Legalizing Hemp Sends The Wrong Message?

no hemp for youOnce again The Federal Government  has shown that they are unwilling to to look at the facts and ask intelligent questions when it comes to the possibility that Industrial Hemp could be legalized in the US.

Earlier this week the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and former Kentucky State Police Commander Ed Shemelya testified before the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee.

As you may have guessed he was NOT in favor of Hemp being legalized, going so far as to say he thought it “sent the wrong message” the Kentucky’s youth.

I’m not quite sure why that would be… Maybe being sustainable, healthy and useable in over 25,000 products is somehow bad for the economy.

Read below for more…

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By Kevin Wheatley, The State Journal –

Legalizing industrial hemp would create enforcement and perception problems for Kentucky, the head of a federal drug enforcement agency says.

Ed Shemelya, a former Kentucky State Police commander and head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, testified Wednesday against legislative proposals that would make marijuana’s botanical cousin available for harvest.

Shemelya told the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee that Kentucky is one of the top states that produce marijuana, and hemp is “virtually indistinguishable” from outdoor marijuana plants, which can grow up to 18 feet.

Supporters of House bills 272 and 286, which would make hemp a legal crop under regulations, have said marijuana plants can be easily distinguished from hemp crops.

However, Shemelya contends that without analyzing the chemical makeup of the plant, identifying hemp from marijuana is practically impossible.

“It’s only hemp when you determine the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound in marijuana) concentration of the plant,” Shemelya told legislators.

“… The only way to do that is to actually do a laboratory analysis on that plant and determine if that THC content is a percent or less.”

Shemelya’s primary concern, however, is the message that legalizing hemp would send. He compared the possible legalization of hemp to the 16 states that have allowed medicinal marijuana, portraying both as a perceived lax concern for marijuana.

He said in all 16 states that allow medicinal marijuana, usage of the drug has increased because “there’s no perception of risk.”

“It sends a horrible message to the youth of the commonwealth, and that’s our biggest concern –the message we’re sending out,” he said.

“I understand … the importance of agriculture and the need to diversify, but hemp is not the product we need to look at for diversification.”

He also noted that Canada produced less than 12,000 acres of hemp in 2009 after a high of 48,000 acres in 1998 because of market saturation.

It’s unlikely either of the House bills will come to a vote this session. But Rep. Terry Mills, a Lebanon Democrat and sponsor of HB 272, said the discussion would continue considering the industrial possibilities with hemp, such as the manufacture of plastics in cars.

With the growing presence of methamphetamine and prescription pills, Kentucky’s drug scene has changed since 1998, he said.

“As I’ve said, I’m motivated by making agriculture better,” Mills said. “I’m not motivated by making any drugs legal for medicinal or recreational purposes.”

 

http://www.kentuckynewera.com/web/news/article_4a7767a2-6ef6-11e1-aac7-001871e3ce6c.html

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4 comments

  1. I want the right to grow both forms of hemp the government has been destroying lifes and preventing the american people from growing hemp that will bring the revenue to many americans. This is something that comes from mother earth and has so many uses medical and industrial. Hemp has been over study for the wrong reason and more people have died from pills created by man. All the money that they put in to the “war on drugs” could be put to good uses such as our schools. The government should be ashamed of their conduct. This has so many medical uses that could save someones life or make it easier to deal with diseases.

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    • It is a shame that something that is 100% natural and can offer so much is kept illeagal. I have worked in hospice care for years and have seen the terrible side-effects of man made drugs, not to mention over doses, from what I have read it is IMPOSSIBLE to overdose on marijuana. As for agricultural hemp, I am even more confused on why it is illeagal. Maby our government just likes to see us struggle, after all they must realize the potential economical beifits.

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  2. Isn’t it time to just look at the damn facts and pull out heads out of that dark, smelly place? I think it’s mainly due to timber industry lobbiests trying to protect their industry from having to compete with hemp. In turn the politicians who are influenced by the lobbiests are hurting their country, environment and their people just for some kick backs. If we started growing hemp we wouldn’t have as big of a need to harvest our forests. some harvesting keeps forests healthy. Hemp can be used in so many things from eating seeds to pulling rope to making a house from it it’s crazy not to grow it!

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    • I very much so agree with the previous comments.
      It is the forest industry lobbiests that are worried about a competing battle between competition (look at United States). It’s disgusting to see government sit back and sip their coffees having the knowledge of what could be and a potential turn for economical resources. Our planet isn’t getting and smaller, the population isn’t decreasing in any way and there sure is not enough resources to keep us all going for much longer. I hope there’s a higher power who makes the change to bring upon what could be and new hope for this world. It’s funny to worry about such a craze of distinguishing cannabis of marijuana and cannabis of hemp, marijuana is far from a dangerous substance. If marijuana is such a scare, why isn’t cigarettes or alcohol? Oh wait.. that’s because it’s legal.

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