Get The Facts Straight About Hemp

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Mar 8, 2001.

  1. 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. Nunn
    Published: March 8, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 Kentucky Post
    Address: 421 Madison Avenue Covington, Ky. 41011

    North American Industrial Hemp Council

    Hemp Links
  2. Just another of many examples of how really uninformed the legislators are about the laws they create. He was against Industrial Hemp for years because of his ignorance on the topic........just as most politicians are today against marijuana because of their ignorance on that subject.

Share This Page