CALIFORNIA LEGISLATOR STROM-MARTIN TO PUSH INDUSTRIAL HEMP AS LEGAL CASH CROP
SACRAMENTO - In an attempt to re-establish California as an agricultural
leader, Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin (D-Duncans Mills)
introduced Assembly Bill 448 on Tuesday that would legalize the
production of industrial hemp. The production of industrial hemp is
currently legal in more than 25 countries including Canada, France,
Germany, and China and more than twelve states have passed or are in the
process of passing legislation to legalize industrial hemp.
"Industrial hemp could be of immense benefit to both the economy and the
environment of the North Coast and rural California in general",
Strom-Martin said. "We simply have to deal rationally rather than
hysterically with a crop whose promise is great and time has come."
Industrial hemp is a versatile crop that has a number of uses and
requires very little maintenance. Virtually all parts of the plant can
be used to produce a number of products like paper, textiles, food,
building materials, and a variety of other industrial and technical
products including fuel. In addition to its uses, industrial hemp also
boasts an agricultural benefit because it is a significant rotation crop
with an ability to reduce pests and weed growth and to boost the yields
of the primary crop. California's climate would allow for three
harvestable crops a year.
"Today Industrial Hemp offers a very real and immediate solution to
deforestation, the abuses of the petrochemical industry, and the
destruction of our topsoil", Strom-Martin said. "Hemp is an untapped
source of revenue for the state and it is absolutely ridiculous that the
sole reason for its illegality is because of absurd claims made at the
height of this nation's 'yellow journalism' era."
The production of Industrial Hemp was outlawed in 1937 after a campaign
of misinformation promulgated by the Hearst newspaper's chain.
Industrial Hemp was and still is confused with marijuana, but in fact,
hemp contains only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the
psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The small amount of THC in hemp
is so minute that one would die of lung failure before ever attaining
any sort of high. The Drug Enforcement Agency is currently reviewing
its position and policies on Industrial Hemp because it is so widely
imported in to the United States
In 1998, Assemblymember Strom-Martin successfully authored House
Resolution 32, which urged the Legislature to reconsider its position on
the status of Industrial Hemp.
More information is available on Industrial Hemp at http://www.CAIR.net