Sunday, October 21 , 2018, 3:48 am | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Benefits of Growing Hemp Have Far-Reaching Effects

The time is now

On Feb. 7, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a farm bill that contained a historic amendment. Industrial hemp was legalized for research purposes.

While it is also legal in California, via SB 566 of 2013, it isn’t yet legal in all states, which poses a fantastic opportunity for California farmers.

Hemp has a long, rich, patriotic history in this country, beginning in 1619 when it was made a mandatory crop for farmers at Jamestown Colony in Virginia.

During the following decades similar laws spread across the colonies. The plant was used for a wide variety of goods, including rope and sails, clothing, paper and more. Fibers from the plant were considered among the strongest, most durable natural soft fiber on the planet.

Hemp grows quickly, doesn’t require harsh chemicals to prepare it for use, and it contains minute amounts of THC so it isn’t suitable for drug use because smoking it cannot get anyone high.

Today, hemp is imported into the United states from abroad for use in thousands of industrial applications, but until recently it has been illegal to grow because it was confused with marijuana.

That confusion was laid to rest with the enactment of the 2014 farm bill and today we are beginning to research the uses of it again. In the late 1930s it was considered a billion-dollar crop.

Please encourage local farmers to look into hemp by signing the petition today. Click here to sign the petition.

There is a reported downside coming from marijuana growers who claim that pollen from industrial hemp plants can reduce the value of high-grade marijuana grown for drugs, but no testing has been done to determine if this is a valid concern.

Sign the petition and help local farmers become aware of a highly profitable, sustainable, low-water crop that can create jobs for your community.

John Jensen
Lake County

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