United States: Opinion - Cannabis Key to Future of U.S.

Ancient plant has many uses, from medicinal to industrial

By Jesse Rowland

There is a truth that must be heard! Ever since I first learned what it was, I've been fascinated by marijuana. It's a miraculous plant that can and has been used for a multitude of purposes since at least 8,000 B.C.E.

I feel that marijuana is a vital part of the continuation of our country and the planet, and it should be fully legalized for the use of whatever people see fit, including recreational.

Cannabis can be adapted with any industry, be it agricultural, medical, construction, textile or cosmetic. In Jamestown, Va., in 1619, a law "ordered" all farmers to grow marijuana for the colony. Similar laws were also passed in Massachusetts and Connecticut in 1631 and 1632. In Virginia, during times of shortage between 1763 and 1767, you could actually be jailed for not growing it.

Henry Ford, who designed a vehicle made out of hemp fibers and powered by hemp seed oil, once said, "Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?"

And it makes sense. Why, as the most powerful country on the planet, would we not utilize the most versatile plant known to man?

United States: The Roots of Hemp Prohibition in America

By Ms. Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

A distinct variety of the plant species Cannabis sativa L., the hemp plant is harvested for its fibers, seed, seed meal and seed oil. Marijuana is a group of flowering plants that includes three species of Cannabis, all indigenous to Central Asia and surrounding regions, but both Hemp and Cannabis can be readily grown in many regions throughout the world.

There have been over eight million Cannabis arrests in the United States since 1993, including 786,545 arrests in 2005, and Cannabis users have been arrested at the rate of 1 every 40 seconds. Statistics show that about 88% of all marijuana arrests are for simple possession, not manufacture or distribution, according to FBI Uniform Crimes Report. Large-scale marijuana growing operations are frequently targeted by police in raids to attack the supply side and discourage the spread and marketing of the drug, though the great majority of those who are in prison for cannabis are either there for simple possession or small scale dealing.

The effects of marijuana prohibition in the United States today are similar to the effects of alcohol prohibition in the United States from 1920 to 1933. Prohibition sought to achieve forced abstinence from alcohol through legal means and constitutionally banned its manufacture, sale and transport throughout the United States.

Kentucky: Bill Revives Historic Hemp Industry

There is a truth that must be heard! MURRAY, KY (wkms) - Not so many years ago in the United States, the hemp plant was widely grown for its fiber and seed. But hemp has fallen out of favor in the United States, partly due to its close relation to marijuana. Cultivating either is illegal, although that may change. Kentucky, once one of the leading hemp producers in the nations, is looking to revive the industry. Angela Hatton has the story.

Shirts, bags, jewelry, and twine are among the hemp merchandise that Murray retail store owner Valerie Hancock sells.

"I don't pick things because they're hemp, but I know that I have customers that come in who look specifically for hemp items or items that do contain hemp."

Hancock says the hemp for her products is cultivated and refined overseas, in countries like Turkey and Tibet. However, legislation headed for the 2010 Kentucky General Assembly would allow Hancock to buy her hemp from regional farmers. Senator Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville is sponsoring a measure to legalize industrial hemp. Pendleton has backed the bill before, but he says this time is different.

"Now that the federal government is saying we're going to give it back to the states; if they want to legalize it and be able to grow it, that's up to them.' And that's why I got excited about it, and I think honestly that's the reason you're seeing this thing's catching on now."

United States: This Week in History - Deployment of the Hemp Bales

First Battle of Lexington

There is a truth that must be heard! The First Battle of Lexington also known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales, was an engagement of the American Civil War, occurring from September 13 to September 20, 1861, between the Union Army and the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, in Lexington, the county seat of Lafayette County, Missouri. The State Guard's victory in this battle bolstered the already-considerable Southern sentiment in the area, and briefly consolidated Confederate control of the Missouri Valley.

Early on the morning of September 20, Harris's men advanced behind his mobile breastworks. As the fighting progressed, State Guardsmen from other divisions joined Harris's men behind the hemp bales, increasing the amount of fire directed toward the Union garrison. Although the Union defenders poured red-hot cannon shot into the advancing bales, their soaking in the Missouri River the previous night had given them the desired immunity to the Federal shells. By early afternoon, the rolling fortification had advanced close enough for the Southerners to take the Union works in a final rush. Mulligan requested surrender terms after noon, and by 2:00 p.m. his men had vacated their trenches and stacked their arms.

Kentucky: Group Wants To Use Algae, Hemp Bio-Diesel

By Sarah Harlan, WFIE

There is a truth that must be heard! KENTUCKY (NBC) - Some Kentucky activists said they've found a way to make cleaner fuel without depleting food resources.

A Kentucky oil awareness group is holding a series of meetings to discuss bio-diesel instead of ethanol, which comes from corn and soybeans.

The group wants to use algae and hemp instead.

Right now, it's illegal to grow the crop in the United States.

"In Jessamine County, KY in front of the courthouse is a historical marker," Harry Lee with the oil awareness group said. "It talks about the hemp crop that Jessamine County used to grow. 1850 they grew 40,000 tons, they sold it for $5 million bucks."

In the mid 1800's, three Kentucky counties produced more than half of the hemp in the U.S. used for rope and twine, among other things.

Today, studies show it could be used to make bio diesel.

Source: http://www.14wfie.com/Global/story.asp?S=10713526

Research: William B. O'Shaughnessy - History Of Medical Marijuana Research Evidence Case Studies

By Dev Meyers, Pittsburgh Neighborhood History Examiner

There is a truth that must be heard!Medical Marijuana has proven scientific factual records dating back to 2337 B.C. when Chinese Emperor Shen Neng included marijuana in his Pharmacopoeia.

If you would like more information on this history, California Cannabis Research Medical Group has an interesting website.

The William B. O'Shaughnessy Archive establishes the credentials of a brilliant surgeon, physician, professor of chemistry and scientist who was also an expert in the fields of botanical pharmocology, chemistry, telegraphy, galvanic electricity, and underwater conduction.

He was also an excellent writer. Not the dry, hard to read, scientific papers of today, O'Shaughnessy's writing is enjoyable to read.

On the preparations of the Indian hemp, or gunjah gives the reader an historic perspective. The evidence is well-presented and compelling. The following is but one case example. Inquiring minds may want to dig right in and read the whole paper. It's fascinating.

I now proceed to notice a class of most important uses, in use in which the results obtained are of the character which warrants me in regarding the powers of the remedy as satisfactorily and incontrovertibly established. I allude to its use in the treatment of traumatic tetanus, or lock-jaw, next to hydrophobia, perhaps the most intractable and agonizing of the whole catalogue of human maladies.

United States: Help Save the Earth, Time to Substitute Hemp for Oil

Every man-made fiber we wear, sit on, cook with, drive in, are by-products of the petroleum industry -- all of which could be replaced by hemp.

By Dara Colwell, AlterNet

There is a truth that must be heard! As the recession renews interest in the growing hemp marketplace as a potential boon for the green economy -- even Fox Business News has touted it -- hemp is becoming impossible to ignore.

But the plant's potential extends far beyond consumer-generated greenbacks. A low-input, low-impact crop, industrial hemp can play a significant role in our desperate shuffle to avoid catastrophic climate change.

"In terms of sustainability, there are numerous reasons to grow hemp," says Patrick Goggin, a board member on the California Council for Vote Hemp, the nation's leading industrial-hemp advocacy group.

Goggin launches into its environmental benefits: Hemp requires no pesticides; it has deep digging roots that detoxify the soil, making it an ideal rotation crop -- in fact, hemp is so good at bioremediation, or extracting heavy metals from contaminated soil, it's being grown near Chernobyl.

Hemp is also an excellent source of biomass, or renewable, carbon-neutral energy, and its cellulose level, roughly three times that of wood, can be used for paper to avoid cutting down trees, an important line of defense against global warming.

United States: Legalize Pot Now

With support from the unlikeliest circles, this could be marijuana's moment

By Mike Miliard, Boston Phoenix

There is a truth that must be heard! The Obama administration, already overtaxed with two foreign campaigns, made headlines this past week when it waved a white flag in a fight much closer to home. Gil Kerlikowske, the White House's newly minted director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy — the so-called drug czar — called for an end to the "War on Drugs."

Granted, Kerlikowske wasn't signaling an intention to lay down arms and pick up a pack of E-Z Widers. His was a semantic shift — a pledge to abandon gung-ho fighting words and imprisonment in favor of treatment. But it was newsworthy nonetheless. As Bruce Mirken, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project — the biggest pot-policy-reform group in the country — puts it: "Can you imagine [Bush administration czar] John Walters saying that? The Earth would open up!"

United States: The War on a Plant

By Ed Quillen, The Post

There is a truth that must be heard! Historians of the future will doubtless marvel that a great and powerful republic, founded in part on "liberty and the pursuit of happiness" but now suffering from difficult economic times would waste billions of dollars every year in a futile war against a humble plant.

That plant, of course, is hemp — source of oil, fiber and a mild psychoactive drug. It's so mild that in all of history, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose.

And those who used it in their youth, like the three most recent American presidents (Clinton claimed he "didn't inhale," Bush was "young and foolish" in his jejune days, and Obama confessed that "pot had helped" during his youth), somehow managed to go on to reasonably productive lives.

So why is the stuff still illegal?

For one thing, there's an immense federal bureaucracy, the Drug Enforcement Administration, which naturally seeks to stay in business. As long as pot is illegal, the DEA has plenty of work. And when the need arises for a headline to show that the DEA is on the ball, its agents can always drive to some home that uses too much electricity, shoot the dogs, kick in the door, and announce that American youth are protected because it just seized plants with an estimated street value of $4.2 gazillion.

For another, there's our pharmaceutical industry, a major source of campaign contributions. The pill-makers buy candidates so they can protect their revenue streams.

Michigan: Crowd Gathers in Lansing on First Day to Apply for Legal Use

By Charlie Cain, Detroit News Lansing Bureau

There is a truth that must be heard! Lansing -- They laughed and hugged, posed for group photos and celebrated that they were finally going to be allowed to legally use marijuana to treat their medical problems.

No one wore a bigger smile when dropping off an application Monday to join the Michigan Medical Marijuana Registry than Renee Wolfe, a 48-year-old mother of four sons who has been illegally using pot for 30 years.

"Marijuana allows me to eat, allows me to live a fairly normal life," said Wolfe, an Ann Arbor resident who used a wheelchair to roll into the Michigan Department of Community Health building to apply. She has battled multiple sclerosis since 1979.

"I'm able to walk better when I smoke," she said.

Monday was the first day the state accepted applications for the program to allow people with "debilitating" medical conditions to use marijuana.

A group of 55 people chartered a bus to take them from a Lansing café to a nearby state office building to pay $100 and file paperwork, including a certificate from a Michigan-licensed physician that they have a medical condition that could be helped through the use of marijuana. Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program, the state will issue picture ID registration cards to those who qualify. The cards should be in the hands of patients by the end of the month.

United States: Dr. Ron Paul and Stephen Baldwin Debate Marijuana Legalization on Larry King

By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! This editorial is in regards to the video (posted above) of the debate about the Legalization of Marijuana between Congressman Ron Paul (R) and Actor Stephen Baldwin.

When can we find someone who will debate against medical marijuana and/or legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults who actually has actually read any research, studies, and statistics which back up their arguments? This time the chosen spokesperson is the actor, Stephen Baldwin. Wait, what? Stephen Baldwin? Is he an expert in anything other than sophomoric comedy?

Iowa: Heartland Hemp Farming Needs Lawmakers’ Help

By DI Editorial Board

There is a truth that must be heard! A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers is putting forth legislation to legalize the growth of cannabis, or hemp. The Industrial Hemp Development Act (HF 608) would provide licenses to qualified farmers for the cultivation of hemp, after passing background checks, of course. Iowa lawmakers must pay close attention to the progress of Minnesota’s hemp act; its success or failure may signal how a similar act would fair here. Regardless of the reaction of our neighbors to the north, hemp production will dramatically change the face of agriculture in America, and Iowans need to be out ahead of this increasingly popular trend.

Seven states — Hawaii, West Virginia, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Kentucky, and North Dakota — have legalized hemp production; however, not one is producing the crop because of resistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Hemp farmers in North Dakota are granted licenses by the state, but they are required to obtain separate permits from the DEA. The agency has continually refused to accept applications, leading farmers in North Dakota to file a lawsuit against the federal government.

A common complaint among law-enforcement agencies at all levels of government is that monitoring acres of hemp for hidden pockets of marijuana would be next to impossible. This idea is, in fact, very reasonable, because hemp and marijuana are members of the same species, cannabis.

Illinois: Toyota Wants To Build A Car From Seaweed

By Samantha Rose Hunt, TG Daily

Chicago (IL) - With the entire world looking for green alternatives, Toyota is in talks regarding an ultra lightweight, incredibly efficient plug-in hybrid with a body made of seaweed. The vehicle could potentially be seen in showrooms in 15 years, but it’s definitely not coming any time soon.

The concept builds on the 1/X plug-in hybrid concept that weighs in at 926 pounds. With bioplastics gaining popularity, instead of the vehicle having a carbon fiber body, it would instead be composed of plastic made from seaweed. Toyota believes this is a practice that will begin to catch on with other manufacturers.

Bioplastics are currently being utilized for many things, cellphone cases and gift cards being among those items. According to USA Today, in five years it is expected that demand will increase to 50 billion pounds annually, which would account for 10 percent of the world's plastic market. Bioplastic production requires the use of 30 percent less energy than the production of petroleum-based plastics.

Even though you want be able to see the algae car, Toyota will be showing off three of its awesome hybrids- the next generation Prius, a new Camry concept, and the 1/X which is named for its significantly reduced carbon footprint- at the Melbourne Motor Show.

Illinois: Toying with History - Items From Past Set for Display

By Denise Moran, The Courier-News

GENOA -- Longtime resident Roger Watson is adding local interest to the Genoa City Hall front lobby with a display of his wooden trucks and tractors.

"Mayor Todd Walker wanted to put something in the lobby," Watson said. "Some of the trucks and tractors are homemade, while others were made during World War II. Some of them are very rare."

Watson is a farm toy collector. He buys, sells, trades, customizes and repairs farm toys, and builds wooden models. He has a collection of around 300 1/16-scale farm tractors. He was one of the founders, with Merle Roberts and Warren Brown, of Genoa's annual Pioneer Day at the Kishwaukee Valley Heritage Society museum along Park Avenue.

"I like John Deere and Minneapolis-Moline tractors the best," Watson said. His display will be at city hall this week. "It's a good hobby."

Some of Roger's model farm equipment was displayed in shop windows during Genoa's Harvest Moon Festival.

Watson, who moved to Genoa in 1964, grew up on a farm as one of the oldest children in a family of five boys and two girls.

"My mom asked me to fix some of our toys," Watson said. "I've always repaired things, even as a kid."

The skills he learned while growing up on a farm have provided him with both hobbies and an interest in pioneer life.

"My grandfather was a wheelwright," Watson said. "He got me interested in wood carving. I've been making wooden spoons since I was 9 years old."

Illinois: America Should Grow Hemp Again

By Dan Linn, Illinois NORML

America is the only industrial nation that does not grow hemp. Hemp can be used for many things and at one time in colonial America was illegal not to grow but because of its relations to the cannabis plant it has been outlawed. However, during WWII there was a “Hemp for Victory” campaign.

Illinois should allow its farmers to grow hemp once again. There is not one good reason to continue banning the production of hemp in America. It could help with our struggling economic times or at least should be an option for Illinois farmers. When things get tough shouldn’t all options be considered?

Gov. Ryan twice vetoed legislation in Illinois regarding the production of hemp, but there is no reason why this issue should not be revisited. Hemp can be used for biodiesel fuel, cordage, a food product and many more things so outlawing it makes it even worse. Some say it might save the world and while I won’t go that far at this time I do think it could help, and if it was good to enough to do during WWII I think it should be grown today.

Dan Linn, Executive Director Illinois Chapter National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, Sycamore

Source: http://www.galesburg.com/opinions/x494342176/LETTER-America-should-grow-...

Pennsylvania: History in Every Scene Change

By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer

What you see in the auditorium of the Walnut Street Theatre's main stage is the result of makeovers across two centuries. What you don't see - behind, above and underneath the seating area and the stage - is history intact inside the National Historic Landmark.

The most notable historic piece in the nation's oldest working theater affects every show on the main stage: It's a system of scenery pulleys with sandbag counterweights that must be filled to the proper weight for each piece of scenery that drops into view in every show.

Modern theaters use a simple system of lead counterweights attached to a theater wall on one end and wires that pull scenery on the other. The weights are easily changed to balance different scenery, much as weights are added or removed for different levels of resistance in gym workout equipment.

The Walnut, though, is one of America's few remaining "hemp houses" (along with another Center City stage, Plays & Players on Delancey Place) - theaters whose scenery drops and lifts the old-fashioned way.

A "hemp house" uses stagehands and sandbags to raise and lower set pieces attached to thick ropes made of hemp, the only fiber strong and stable enough for the purpose. Each time the huge Walnut scenery shop builds a piece of scenery that isn't on stage throughout the play and that doesn't move onstage from the wings, it must be raised and lowered by the hemp system.

United States: Benjamin Franklin Invented NORML (and the marijuana law reform movement)!

By Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

Of all of America’s Founding Fathers, only Benjamin Franklin was a signer of all three of our country’s essential documents, The Declaration of Independence, the Treaty that ended the Revolutionary War and the United States Constitution. Benjamin Franklin was also the only Founding Father who actively campaigned against the institution of slavery. As a scientist, Benjamin Franklin, the man who learned to control lightning, was as revered and world-famous in his day, as Einstein was in his. Franklin, among many other things, gave us the conceptual framework we still use every time we think about things electrical. He was the first to describe electricity as having positive and negative charges. Ben Franklin’s fingerprints are everywhere one looks in 21st Century.

Hempfest 2008: Industrial Hemp - What it Can Do for America

Adam Eidinger, David Frankel, Jack Herer, Steve Levine, Chris Conrad and George Rohrbacher on hemp and cannabis.


China: Oldest Marijuana Stash Found in Gobi Desert Grave

By Ethan Russo, Oxford University Press

Here is a great slideshow of pictures from the world's Oldest Marijuana Stash Found in Gobi Desert Grave.

Source: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/slideshows/marijuana-stash.html

[NORML Audio Stash]

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]

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