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Hemp Bill Closer To Law After Passing Safety Committee


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A bill allowing California farmers to grow a controversial product passed the California Senate Public Safety committee Tuesday, NBC11's Mike Luery reported.

The proposed pilot program would allow California farmers to grow industrial hemp.

"Thirty countries around the world are growing this. Of course, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp. The sails of the Nina, Pinto and Santa Maria were made from industrial hemp as were the draft copies of the Constitution," said San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Mark Leno, who co-authored the bill.

Hemp is used in everything from soap to clothing to food products. It's a multimillion-dollar industry that some conservative Republicans are supporting. Irvine Assemblyman Chuck Devore co-authored the bill.

"It's nice that we can make money off of this," Devore said. "It's nice that it'll boost the California economy; but to me, this is a freedom issue. This is about freeing American farmers to grow a crop that is legally imported into the United States every day."

There is strong opposition from law enforcement groups, who say that it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between marijuana plants and hemp plants.

"We enforce the marijuana laws through visual and aerial surveillance. You would no longer be able to do that," said John Lovell of the California Narcotics Officers Association.

Supporters say hemp is twice the height of marijuana and easy to distinguish.

Tuesday's vote fell along party lines, and the Democrats prevailed, Luery reported.

The hemp bill still has a few hurdles ahead, but with some key Republicans and Democrats joining together, supporters said they believe this measure will reach the governor's desk.

News Mod: CoZmO - 420 Magazine
Source: NBC11.com (San Jose, CA)
Author: Mike Luery
Contact: NBC Bay Area station
Copyright: 2007 NBC11.com
Website: News Story - KNTV
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Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
There are fields in Tasmania where trials for industrial hemp are being held. The biggest issue for us in Australia is our Prime Minister and his zero tolerance to drugs such as cannabis (hemp included). Hemp would grow very well in Australia and I would like to see more investigation into the posibilities of commercial production of Hemp. One day mate!
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