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North Dakota Sees Promise In Industrial Hemp

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
If you have any doubt that America's $45 billion-a-year drug war is a waste of money, an affront to our nation's liberties, and an exercise in zealous, bureaucratic goofiness — go talk to farmers in North Dakota.

To help boost the state's distressed farm economy, North Dakota's agricultural and political leaders have been pushing the idea of raising an ecologically-sound, easily-grown cash crop: industrial hemp. This natural product is already popular in the US, where it's a key ingredient in such common items as clothing, paper, foods, building materials, shampoos, car bodies. even beer.

You can buy these hemp products, but — here comes the goofiness — our farmers are not allowed to grow the hemp! Instead, it comes from Canada, China, and elsewhere.

Why? Because the Drug Enforcement Agency says that this plant, a distant cousin of marijuana plant, contains a tiny trace of tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive substance that gives marijuana its oomph. Never mind that you couldn't get high if you smoked a bale of hemp, the drug nannies have outlawed its production

North Dakota — not a bastion of pot-smoking hippies — has passed legislation to authorize plantings of industrial hemp, and the first farmer seeking DEA permission to proceed is a high school principal and Republican state legislator. "Do I look shady?" He asks. "This is not any subversive thing. this is just practical agriculture."

Well, says the DEA, maybe you're not shady, but shady outsiders could sneak into your field of harmless hemp and spike it with some marijuana plants. So these goofballs have refused to authorize the planting of a crop that could save some family farmers while harming no one.

Rep. Ron Paul has introduced a bill in Congress to back off the DEA head cases and allow American farmers to grow hemp. For more information, call Paul's office: 202-225-2831.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work — and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown, visit Jim Hightower | Home.

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Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal
Author: Jim Hightower
Contact: CJOnline
Copyright: 2007 The Topeka Capital-Journal
Website: CJOnline - North Dakota sees promise in industrial hemp
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