Hemp, marijuana aren't the same thing
This year's Hemp History Week is June 4-10. There will be all kinds of support for our country to join the rest of the world and begin growing industrial hemp and enjoying all the products and profits it can bring.
But our government doesn't care.
Our drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, last week posted opposition on the whitehouse.gov website to allowing farmers to cultivate industrial hemp for fiber and other agricultural purposes.
The U.S. is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop.
Farmers in Canada, the European Union and China grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food. So why the opposition?
It seems that it is his job to continue with the fiction that since industrial hemp contains minute amounts of THC, it is to be regarded as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, and thus farmers cannot grow it.
But, since it is well known that levels of THC in hemp are so low that no one could get high from smoking it, the fiction that we are in danger has to do with, are you ready? Money!
Hemp must be kept illegal so that we keep buying their oil-based products. Science knows that if you can make it from petroleum then you can make it from hemp.
A list of industries that would not be happy to have hemp grown includes: oil industry, paper industry, pesticides, cotton growers, pharmaceuticals, plastics, makers of fertilizers, loggers and more.
A list of products that a vigorous hemp industry can supply works out to more than 25,000.
Government officials know hemp is not a drug, but, as they say, "money talks," and the conflating of hemp and marijuana continues.