Community

United States: Embrace the Possibilities of Hemp

By Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is one thing that we all have in common: this tiny planet we share. Today the world is throwing around terms like "sustainability" and "green living" but what does that really mean? Cannabis sativa, also known as Hemp, is one of the most diverse plants on the planet, and could literally supply most of humankinds needs for fuel, food, clothing, building products, and medicine.

Despite its usefulness, hemp is illegal to grow in the United States. This simple plant, Cannabis, can be put to use in many ways. It would fill so many needs and put our country on a path toward sustainability. A forward-thinking attitude toward hemp and cannabis would create jobs, revitalize our farming communities, boost tourism, and create millions of dollars in revenue for the country.

US agriculture will thrive; the potential is too great to ignore any longer. It is my goal as a writer for Hemp News to participate in the great Hemp discussion and possibly help to educate our readers. Please take the time to examine the benefits of the Cannabis plant, and it's potential influence in all aspects of our society.

It is my hope that one day this plant will be free to grow and use as each individual desires. Whether it be building fiber for a house, yarn fiber for a shirt, pressed seed oil for energy, delicious hemp flour for food, or the beautiful flowers full of medicine and relaxation. Cannabis sativa is a blessing to this planet and we must embrace the possibilities.

California: A Letter From Eddy Lepp

Brethren

The dark angels of Babylon are among us and are trying to take one of our own.

The Reverend Eddy Lepp is to be sentenced February 23, 2009 to two life sentences for growing the sacred herb.

He was denied a religious defense even after the judge ruled he met all the standards necessary to allow this.

Eddy Lepp had notified the Governor, the Attorney General, the Board Of Supervisors of Lake County, the Lake County District Attorney, and the local Sheriff; all by certified mail that he was growing the sacred herb for medicinal and spiritual use – by the members of the Multi-Denominational Ministry of Cannabis and Rastafari.

Jah Rastafari.

Reverend Lepp protected all members of his church, and was the only one charged.

After four years of litigation, his trial was reduced to two very short days of testimony due to restrictions placed by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel. The whole trial was over in less than one week.

We ask that you contact Judge Marilyn Hall Patel and ask that she be lenient in sentencing Reverend Lepp for this victimless act. Court Information: Eddy is scheduled to appear in front of the court February 23, 2009 to face possibly two life sentences.

We hope you will take the time to write the judge and ask for leniency in Eddy's sentencing.
Here is a sample letter that we ask all concerned to please sign and send to Judge Patel. You are welcome to change the wording in any way you want, but be respectful so the Judge pays attention to your message!

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State and Zip

Honorable Judge Patel

North Dakota: Industrial Hemp Production Licenses Accepted By N D AG Department

By Staff Writer, Jamestown Sun

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for 2009 industrial hemp production licenses. "The applications are due Jan. 1," said Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson. "Although the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration continues to prevent holders of state licenses from growing industrial hemp, NDDA remains committed to fully implementing state laws authorizing the production, processing and sale of this crop in North Dakota."

Source: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n1106/a04.html

[MAP - Hemp]

United States: Year in Review - 2008 a Huge Year for Marijuana Reform

In this annual season of year-end reviews, marijuana policy reformers are counting 2008 as one of their most successful years ever. 2008 saw major progress on legal reforms plus a raft of new data that validated reformers' critiques of current marijuana laws.

Among the changes are marijuana decriminalization Massachusetts, the addition of Michigan as the nation's 13th medical marijuana state, and new research verifying that marijuana helps with pain relief.

Source: http://salem-news.com/articles/december162008/marijuana_success_12-16-08...

[Salem-News.com Medical Marijuana]

Medical marijuana remains illegal in many ways, confusing both patients and officials in Michigan

by Elizabeth Shaw | The Flint Journal

FLINT, Michigan -- Sitting in a doctor's waiting room is a far cry from the three days Charles Snyder III spent in jail in 2005 for using marijuana to treat a chronic medical condition.

Snyder, 31, of Flint, was the first patient through the doors of the Michigan Clinic in Southfield, which opened Dec. 4 to assist patients hoping to take advantage of Michigan's new medical marijuana law approved by voters in November.

The new law allows patients with cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and other diseases to use marijuana to relieve symptoms with a doctor's recommendation. At least 10 other states have similar laws on the books.

But health officials worry the change may cause as many problems as it solves. The law does not provide patients a legal way to get the drug -- which also is still illegal under federal law. The medical community is still wrestling with the gray areas. And everyone is waiting for the state Department of Community Health to develop guidelines for how the whole thing will work.
Flint Journal extras

• The Michigan Clinic, 2000 Town Center # 1900, Southfield, MI 48075. Details: www.thc-foundation.org/michigan (248) 351-1746

• Americans for Safe Access: www.safeaccessnow.org.

• Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care: www.stoparrestingpatients.org

Michigan: State’s First Medical Marijuana Clinic Opens in Southfield

By Jennie Miller, C & G Staff Writer

SOUTHFIELD — The first medical marijuana clinic in the state of Michigan opened Dec. 4 in Southfield, following the controversial proposal voters approved last month making the drug legal in the state for medical purposes.

Run by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Portland, Ore., the clinic currently has two licensed physicians on staff.

The Southfield clinic joins 17 others in the country run by THCF: four in Oregon, four in Washington state, three in Colorado, three in Hawaii, one in Nevada, one in California and one in Montana. Thirteen states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

“We’ve helped over 45,000 patients in eight states now, including Michigan since we opened up there last Thursday,” said Paul Stanford, president, founder and CEO of THCF. “We plan on expanding to other cities in Michigan.”

Prospective patients are advised to contact the clinic by phone and have their primary care physician provide medical records.

“We require they have medical records from another doctor and be under another doctor’s treatment,” Stanford explained. “All of our patients have to have another current relationship with either an M.D. or a D.O. to meet their medical needs.”

After the medical records have been reviewed, the patient meets with a nurse or doctor at the clinic for a non-invasive physical examination.

Granny Storm Crow's List - "If the truth won't do, then something is wrong!"

By Storm Crow - http://medicalmarijuanapatient.com/forum/showthread.php?t=65

"If the truth won't do, then something is wrong!"

Granny Storm Crow's List

ADD/ ADHD

Marijuana and ADD Therapeutic uses of Medical Marijuana in the treatment of ADD
http://www.onlinepot.org/medical/add&mmj.htm

Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder

http://www.chanvre-info.ch/info/en/C...treatment.html

Cannabinoids effective in animal model of hyperactivity disorder
http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/...l.php?id=162#4

Cannabis 'Scrips to Calm Kids?
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,117541,00.html

THC normalized impaired psychomotor performance and mood
http://bbsnews.net/article.php/20071001105829361

Moderate cannabis use has a positive effect on treatment for cocaine dependence in patients with comorbid ADHD and cocaine dependence

Washington: Busted - Police raids, illegal drug deals and some very sick people: Washington’s medical marijuana law marks 10 years

By Nicholas Deshais, Pacific Northwest Inlander, STAFF WRITER

The first step for patients, before drug deals in parking lots or secretive meetings in a church, is to get permission to use cannabis from one special source: a doctor.

Doctors are protected under state law to provide these authorizations, but they walk a thin line. Without precautions, doctors can find themselves testifying before a court on the merits of marijuana, something many doctors would prefer to avoid... Read the Full Story

Source: http://www.inlander.com/content/newscommentary_%E2%80%94_washingtons_leg...

Michigan: State, marijuana advocates prepare to work together - State to license use for patients who receive doctor approval

By Eartha Jane Melzer

For the first time ever, the state Department of Community Health is working out a process to permit some seriously ill people and their caregivers to possess and grow marijuana. The move is required by the medical marijuana initiative that Michigan voters approved last month.

The law, which won a majority of voters in every county of the state, takes effect on Thursday. The state has until April 4 to establish the rules for the program. The Department of Community Health will issue draft rules this month, and a public hearing is expected in January.

Both the Department of Community Health and the newly formed nonprofit Michigan Medical Marijuana Association are planning education drives to help smooth the transition into state licensing of medicinal marijuana users.

DCH has added a medical marijuana FAQ to its Web site. According to spokesman James McCurtis, the department plans to launch a new site dedicated to solely medical marijuana early this month. McCurtis said the department has been working on guidelines with officials from Oregon and Montana, which passed similar laws in 1998 and 2004, respectively.

Statistics maintained by the state of Oregon give some sense of the results of such a law. More than 3,000 Oregon doctors have recommended marijuana to patients there; more than 20,000 patients hold cards authorizing marijuana use.

Advocates of the law say coordination is needed to meet expected public demand for medical marijuana.

CO: Medical Marijuana Examined

By Conor Doyle, CU Independent Staff Writer

CU's chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law-NORML@CU-hosted its second event of the semester in front of a full room of students eager to learn positive ways they can bring change to state and local governments, as well as how laws for medical and recreational marijuana usage affect students themselves.

"It's vital to know your rights if you're going to break the law, you should take responsibility for what you're doing and know how the laws affect you," Andy Bolzer, a photojournalism major at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, said. "And if you're not breaking the law, it's still best to be educated."

Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado who is also a Denver attorney specializing in marijuana cases, explained the details behind holding a medical marijuana license.

"When you become a medical marijuana patient, you are then legally able to possess and cultivate six plants, as well as hold 2 ounces of loose marijuana," Vicente said.

He also explained that though marijuana possession and consumption is legal under state law, it is in violation of federal law which takes precedence in courts.

Vicente said that according to state law, medical marijuana patients can designate someone of their choosing to be "caregivers," who are then legally allowed to grow, maintain, and possess the same amounts of marijuana in the patient's stead.

Canada: Industrial hemp growers launch national plan

By Staff, country-guide.ca

Market research and development, quality control and processing capacity are among the goals of a new national strategy mapped out by Canada's industrial hemp growers.

The strategy was rolled out Wednesday at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance's meeting in Winnipeg, mapping out the market potential and obstacles in the food, fibre and oil markets, as well as in hemp production and plant breeding.

Manitoba was among the "earliest adopters" of industrial hemp as a crop, as well as the necessary processing technologies, provincial Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said in a release. The provincial and federal governments funded the strategy's development through their joint Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI).

"This new strategy shows how far we've come while also identifying the opportunities and challenges that we must tackle for sustainable growth," she said.

Among the supports needed from private and public business and research partners for a hemp industry, as per the new strategy, are:

* development of commercial-scale hemp fibre processing and cost-effective hemp oil processing, plus access to risk capital for processing and manufacturing projects in those markets;

* domestic and international market research, as well as work to maintain existing market access;

* gauging the environmental and economic advantages of using hemp-based products compared to petroleum-based products;

North Dakota: Hemp crusader is the picture of respectability - and N. Dakota's next House Speaker

By CHUCK HAGA MinnPost.com

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – David Monson has heard all the jokes from bemused neighbors.

"Is your farm going to pot, Dave?"

"Hey, Dave, how's your weed control?"

A wheat, barley and canola grower from Osnabrock, N.D., hard on the Canadian border, Monson is one of two North Dakota farmers trying to sue the federal government into relaxing drug-war restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, a relative of marijuana.

A federal district judge in North Dakota tossed their lawsuit, but an attorney for Monson and Wayne Hauge told a panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, meeting in St. Paul Nov. 12, that the farmers should be allowed to use state-issued permits to produce hemp seed and oil without fear of federal prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act.

The appeals panel also heard from a Justice Department attorney, who said Congress has the authority to regulate the crop and has decided its cultivation should be restricted.

Getting ready for a new job

Monson wasn't in court Wednesday. He was in Bismarck, getting hired for a new job. In January, he'll become Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, where for several sessions he has been assistant Republican majority leader.

No, this is no pot-smoking hippie trying to sneak something past the narcs.

Australia: Hemp bags a design of the times

BY TINA LIPTAI, The Standard

HEMP bags featuring artwork by Port Fairy pupils will hit the streets next week after the designs were unveiled yesterday.

The See Change In Port Fairy Project is a community initiative which aims to eradicate plastic bags from the town by offering a unique reuseable alternative. The bags were launched at the opening of the four-day Victorian Landcare Network Forum and community expo at Port Fairy's Victoria Hotel.

Every pupil from Port Fairy Consolidated and St Patrick's primary schools submitted artwork with an environmental theme as part of the project.

Project co-ordinator Genevieve Grant said the designs on the bags were chosen at random.

"I just picked up where the children from both schools were heading with their studies," Ms Grant said.

"It really is about the children passing on their knowledge to the community about sustainability and promoting a better understanding of how we should protect and look after our home, where ever we live."

The bag also features the See Change logo, designed by Port Fairy artist Ess Warmuth.

The bags will be officially launched when pupils from both schools march down the town's main street with banners and the bags on Monday from 11.45am.

Source: http://warrnambool.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/hemp-bags-a-...

Oregon: Hempstalk 2008 Slideshow - Simple Ways

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

Featured is a short slideshow from Hempstalk 2008 in Portland, Oregon. It is set to the song "Simple Ways" by The Human Revolution and consists of speakers/performers from the event.

From Keith Stroup to Jack Herer, the Hempstalk 2008 speakers were educational and informative, discussing the merits of Cannabis and Hemp on the main stage as well as in the Hemposium pavillion. It is our hope that the Hemposium will continue to evolve and grow, providing experts and information from doctors and lawyers to local business people working to promote Hemp and Cannabis. Having a variety of speakers complimented the wide range of musical acts that took to the Hempstalk stage.

It was truly an honor to have the likes of John Trudell and Bad Dog, as well as The Human Revolution, State of Jefferson, and the ever popular Seattle Hempfest house band (one of our favorites) the Herbivores. To everyone who participated, volunteered, and helped make Hempstalk 2008 possible, we thank you and look forward to a fun and informative Hempstalk 2009!

http://www.hempstalk.org
http://www.myspace.com/hempstalk

Montana: Ex-Missoula neurologist pens paper on old stash

By MICHAEL JAMISON, Missoulian

A 2,700-year-old bowl of marijuana, the world’s oldest pot stash, has been unearthed from a tomb in central China.

“The evidence all indicates that there was intent to utilize this cannabis for psychoactive purposes,” said Ethan Russo. “What we’ve found here is the oldest, clear-cut and proven sample of psychoactive cannabis in the world.”

Russo, who for 24 years worked as a neurologist in Missoula and still serves as a pharmacology faculty affiliate at the University of Montana was lead author on a paper describing the find, published this month in the peer-reviewed “Journal of Experimental Botany.”

The tomb, Russo said, belonged to “a shaman, or a chief, someone of extremely high stature.”

Found alongside the skeleton and the 2 pounds of marijuana were several other items, including horse bridles, archery equipment and a harp. (No pipes were found, however, and Russo remains uncertain as to whether the marijuana was to be smoked or ingested in the afterlife.)

The site is located amid the Yanghai Tombs, near Turpan in China’s Gobi Desert region. Locals stumbled across the sprawling graveyard some two decades back, while digging irrigation wells, but it was not until 2003 that formal archaeological investigations were launched.

To date, Russo said, only 500 or so of the 2,500 graves there have been excavated.

Canada: Industries turning to soy, fibres

By Becky Rynor, Canwest News Service

It was Henry Ford, the American founder of the Ford Motor Company and a prolific inventor, who did some of the earliest work in developing biocomposites -- products that combine organic fibres from agriculture and forestry waste with petroleum-based materials such as plastic.

"He was at the forefront," says Ed Trueman, with JER Envirotech of Delta, B.C.

"If you go back to the early days of Henry Ford, in the late teens and early 1920s, he did an awful lot of development work with soy-based products -- soy-based plastics, soy-based polymers that actually ended up in auto body panels. He was brought up on a farm and he was very concerned about the environment."

Ford was stymied in getting biocomposites widely developed and accepted, Trueman says, by the technological limitations of the time and the ready availability of cheap petroleum.

But recent advances in technology, combined with industry's desire to reduce costs and be environmentally conscious, is moving the field forward,says christian Belanger with the National Research Council.

Belanger says this has a growing number of industries looking at biocomposites for everything from food packaging to car and airplane components.

Wisconsin: LEGALIZING, TAXING POT URGED TO RAISE CASH

By Chris Rickert, Madison NORML

Wisconsin - President Bush and the two leading presidential contenders were urging lawmakers to take one for the good of the country Tuesday and pass a highly unpopular Wall Street bailout package.

Some drug-reform advocates, meanwhile, were suggesting that a better way out of the current financial mess would be to toke one for the country.

"Society could get a great deal of funding by bringing cannabis into our society," said Gary Storck, co-founder of the Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

More specifically, legalizing and taxing marijuana and industrial hemp could open up a lucrative revenue stream and help offset a $700 billion taxpayer outlay to save the country's financial system.

"Why not look at it?" said Storck, who likens the idea to President Roosevelt's support for ending prohibition during the Depression. "We need the money. How else are we going to get it?"

The possible fiscal boon of legalizing marijuana has long been an argument put forth by NORML and like-minded groups, who point to studies showing that the government could be billions of dollars to the good if it taxed the plant and ended its marijuana-related law enforcement efforts.

Bruce Mirken, director of communications with the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, said legalization and regulation could mean between $10 billion and $40 billion a year to state and federal budgets.

The Netherlands: Hemp Instead of Cotton

By Thijs Westerbeek

Cotton cultivation is a disaster for the environment and the farmers who grow cotton don't see many benefits from their labour. However, if researchers at the Netherlands' University of Wageningen get their way, things will be very different in a few years' time thanks to the new varieties of hemp they have created.

There's a small field of hemp less than ten kilometres east of Wageningen, but it doesn't look very promising. The plants have all been chopped down and have been left, exposed to the elements, rotting on the ground.

Even though the hemp field doesn't look very prepossessing, the investigators from Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) are extremely pleased with the crop, as this new hemp variety may be able to break cotton's monopoly position as the textile crop of choice. Leaving the hemp to rot is simply part of the production process.

Visitors to Dr Ton den Nijs' office - a plant researcher at WUR - are invited to try on the jeans that are draped over the desk. At first glance, the jeans do not appear to be particularly unusual. However, the fabric is strong yet supple and once you have them on, they are remarkably comfortable.

Fibre crops

The secret behind these jeans is that they are almost entirely made from hemp. It's not the hemp variety that you get high from but hemp as a fibre crop. The plant is doesn't contain a single milligram of THC, the main psychoactive substance found in hashish and marijuana.

Oregon: Enforcement Vs Regulation

By Hannah Guzik, Tidings correspondent

By the 1930s, using marijuana was illegal in Oregon and it has remained that way -- except for medicinal use -- ever since. A group of local residents is aiming to reverse history.

The Legalize Ashland organization hopes to make adult marijuana use the lowest law enforcement priority and legalize the production of industrial hemp by May 2009.

Eventually the activists want to make legal recreational use of pot, giving it a similar status as alcohol, according to their Web site and MySpace page.

"It is time for Ashland's laws to reflect the priorities of its citizens. The majority of the citizens of Ashland believe that spending money on the enforcement of misdemeanor possession of marijuana is a waste of budget resources, and that public policy should reflect this," the group's Web site states.

Group members did not respond to e-mail messages sent to the address listed on the Web site.

The site states that the group held a meeting Sept. 13 at the Ashland Public Library to discuss putting an initiative on the city ballot next year.

A handful of cities across the country, including Seattle and Oakland, have passed similar laws.

Dan Rubenson, an economics professor at Southern Oregon University, said he would like to see a serious discussion about the implications of legalizing pot.

"I see us spending huge amounts of money for prosecuting and especially for incarcerating people for what I see as victimless crimes and so, from that perspective, I say, 'Let's talk about this,'" he said.

Texas: Advocates gather to promote change in marijuana laws

by Rachel Meador, Daily Texan Staff

High above the Pecan Street Festival, Texans for the legalization of marijuana showed their support Saturday night at the Third Annual Sixth Street Smokeout and 2008 Global Marijuana Music Awards at Momo’s.

The Texas branch of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, hosted the event with proceeds funding efforts to decriminalize recreational marijuana use by responsible adults. The diverse lineup ranged from spoken poetry to swing music, country to reggae, but all advocated legal change.

The Broken Poetz drove their expertly spray-painted van five hours from McAllen to contribute their hip-hop-psychedelic sound to the lineup. The group addresses the problems surrounding current marijuana laws in their original songs. “Mr. Weedy” and “Two-Time Offender” received cheers of support at the smokeout.

“Too many people are in jail right now just for marijuana charges,” said Jason Salas, member of The Broken Poetz. “We want to help expose what’s really going on. It’s real messed up when an adult can’t possess just for personal use.”

The patio overlooking the Austin skyline was lined with information booths, artists selling blown glass pieces and miscellaneous pro-pot regalia while roaming advocates dispensed free gear and information to attendees. NORML members and vendors were eager to answer questions and shed some light on marijuana misconceptions.

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