Feb 062013

By Marcus Flores

Wrapped ‘round the quarter acre plantation were 12-foot fences topped with razor wire. It was monitored by—although armed guards were preferable—24-hour infrared surveillance cameras. Along with a library of documentation, this fortress was required by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the University of Hawaii’s 1999 permit to grow industrial hemp, a plant which has no psychoactive value.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified hemp alongside marijuana (and heroin and cocaine) as a Class I substance. Yet hemp, a subtype of cannabis sativa, was bred specifically to minimize the THC content as well as to maximize the strength of its fibers. Probably due to the cost of federal compliance, Hawaii did not opt to renew its permit, and so far it has been the only state to submit to the regulations of a government in denial about the medical as well as industrial applications of certain flora.

Common sense was at one time more prevalent in United States agriculture. In fact, hemp once made Lexington the center of the textile universe before it became illegal. Now, the United States must import from Canada the crops its Founding Fathers grew.    Continue reading »

Feb 132010

The return of industrial hemp and marijuana

By Obiora Embry

The 21st century has seen an increased national desire to become more environmentally friendly, and Kentucky is no exception. We have some of the most fertile soil in the United States, and with tobacco and coal on their way out the door, we need viable income alternatives that can steer us in a sustainable direction. As this is the case, one of the smartest moves that we Kentuckians can make is to write and enact legislation that will make the growing and selling of industrial hemp and marijuana legal again.

It is important to understand that there are differences between hemp and marijuana because they have different functions that are important to the present and future of Kentucky. In resolving some of the problems that we humans have created during the Age of Patriarchy, we will need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, synthetics (including plastics), and trees. We will also need to heal the wounds of those who suffer from mental disorders, imbalances, diseases, and reduce the needless deaths caused by prescription drugs that medical marijuana can replace. Continue reading »