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Thread: Growing hemp in the US

  1. #1 Growing hemp in the US 
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I'm sure this topic has been done to death, but where do you stand on the legalization of growing hemp?

    Keep in mind that there are strains grown specifically to have good fiber and little to no drug value, usually picked before flowering anyway.

    Hemp seeds have all the amino acids and essential fatty acids we need; and hemp seed oil is an anti-inflammatory.

    Hemp seeds can be made into a variety of products.

    Hemp fiber can be used in the manufacturing of most if not everything you use on a daily basis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp



    Vermont and North Dekota have legalized growing hemp, but individuals still need permission from the DEA I guess. Except in North Dekota, where they passed a law saying that farmers do not need permission from the DEA. I don't know how the federal government responds to this, or if they even warrant such a laws jurisdiction. But I am seriously considering moving Vermont(not far from where I am in Maine) and learning the trade and writing about the "hemp movement" and all the good it can do for the world. I'd like peoples opinions though, to know what I'm up against, more or less. What sorts of arguments are there against hemp?


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  3. #2  
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    Someone should just think of a way to make drugs out of corn, and then conservatives would have to quit belly-aching about the drug potential. I sometimes think that hemp is illegal simply because it's too useful, and too easy for small businesses to grow. (Hence depriving big business of some of its advantage).


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Im for legalization of growing hemp and for decriminilazation of pot (but it should have restrictions as least as strigent as for alcool and cigarettes)
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    "Someone should just think of a way to make drugs out of corn"

    Sugar: opium of the fat-asses

    "and then conservatives would have to quit belly-aching about the drug potential."

    I'm a conservative. I think liberals should stop generalizing, that gives me a real belly ache...nope that's just the munchies... gonna eat me a bleeding heart stew. just kidding... I am beyond conservative ^_^

    Still, the drug potential is not an argument. There are varieties bred specifically for fiber and seeds with little to no drug value. Fiber is harvested before the plant flowers limiting it's drug value even more.

    More importantly, the "legalize pot for recreational use" and "legalize the growing of hemp and seeds for food and utility" are two very different subjects, and for the sake of politics should be kept separate.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    Hemp was illegalized in the US basically because it was poised to put the wood pulp industry out of business. They ran a smear campaign linking hemp (ie: cannabis) use to violence in minorities (mainly blacks). It then ended up being rolled in with the prohibition movement.

    So just from its racist, pro big business, prohibition era history I think it should be legalized.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    "Someone should just think of a way to make drugs out of corn"

    Sugar: opium of the fat-asses

    "and then conservatives would have to quit belly-aching about the drug potential."

    I'm a conservative. I think liberals should stop generalizing, that gives me a real belly ache...nope that's just the munchies... gonna eat me a bleeding heart stew. just kidding... I am beyond conservative ^_^
    If it's not the conservatives, then.... who keeps voting to keep it illegal?

    Still, the drug potential is not an argument. There are varieties bred specifically for fiber and seeds with little to no drug value. Fiber is harvested before the plant flowers limiting it's drug value even more.

    More importantly, the "legalize pot for recreational use" and "legalize the growing of hemp and seeds for food and utility" are two very different subjects, and for the sake of politics should be kept separate.
    The drug potential *shouldn't* be an argument. But you've got to remember this is politics. People don't really do the research before voting. They hear that hemp has some relation to weed, and they start thinking their kids are going to take some hemp into the kitchen, add some ingredients, and make pot out of it.

    This fear is ludicrously false, but...in today's attention deficit society, they don't know that, and they're never going to take the time to learn.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    "If it's not the conservatives, then.... who keeps voting to keep it illegal?"

    Not me, I don't vote. It's not illegal in all states. I stated that North Dekota and Vermont are legal growing states. At least for fiber. I don't know about recreational use. I think one state has legalized it for recreational use. Their argument: It's a safer alternative than alcohol.

    The DEA still has jurisdiction, but this is contested territory since it says in the constitution that the federal government can't have any nationwide law that conflicts with local law, or something like that.
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  9. #8  
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    "This fear is ludicrously false, but...in today's attention deficit society, they don't know that, and they're never going to take the time to learn."

    This is sort of why I mentioned it.

    We will make a point to separate it. Someone brings up the drug relationships, and we will explain that there is no relationship with the type of plants we will be growing and drug use. The only thing you'll get from smoking these plants is a headache.

    We will speak to the farmers about the value it will add to their top soil. Have rural workshops and research farms showing the value it can add to a farm, as a cash crop, as a green fertilizer, as a wind/pollen barrier, and as a cover plant.

    We will speaking to the laborers about all the jobs that would be created.

    We will speak to worried parents about the regulations used by other countries(countries with less drug problems and crime than we have) and explain the difference between types of plants. It is very simple.

    Obviously some are ignorant and will remain ignorant. That is why it will take time. But it has already started, 2 states is more than 0 states. We can use these states as examples to show that crime will not increase.

    Any other, less obvious arguments against it?
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  10. #9  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    I think liberals should stop generalizing.
    LOL - I hope the irony was intentional.
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  11. #10  
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    indeed, I'm glad someone caught it
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  12. #11  
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    Discussing this with some people I know, the biggest objection they raised so far is that apparently the hemp plant physically looks very similar to weed, so there's a fear that people would grow weed in the middle of their hemp fields, because it's so difficult for law enforcement to tell the two plants apart.

    It's not my objection, mind you. I'd like to see both weed and hemp legalized.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Discussing this with some people I know, the biggest objection they raised so far is that apparently the hemp plant physically looks very similar to weed, so there's a fear that people would grow weed in the middle of their hemp fields, because it's so difficult for law enforcement to tell the two plants apart.

    It's not my objection, mind you. I'd like to see both weed and hemp legalized.
    That's because they're the same plant. Just different breeds.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    "I'd like to see both weed and hemp legalized."

    Again, please don't even bring weed up in this discussion. This is clearly a discussion on hemp for utility and food, as a recreational drug is a different matter.

    "because it's so difficult for law enforcement to tell the two plants apart."

    Maybe for the same reason that some people think they are the same plant with the same uses and that if one no matter what variety and how it is grown.

    The only thing you'll get from smoking what I would grow is a headache. :wink:


    Law enforcement can be educated, fiber plants are huge compared to drug plants. I'll find some pictures.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    until I find some pictures here are some facts stolen from hemp.org

    "1. 8,000 pounds of hemp seed per acre.

    * When cold-pressed, the 8,000 pounds of hemp seed yield over 300 gallons of hemp seed oil and a byproduct of
    * 6,000 pounds of high protein hemp flour.


    These seed oils are both a food and a biodiesel fuel. Currently, the most productive seed oil crops are soybeans, sunflower seeds and rape seed or canola. Each of these three seed oil crops produce between 100 to 120 gallons of oil per acre. Hemp seed produces three times more oil per acre than the next most productive seed oil crops, or over 300 gallons per acre, with a byproduct of 3 tons of food per acre. Hemp seed oil is also far more nutritious and beneficial for our health than any other seed oil crop.

    In addition to the food and oil produced, there are several other byproducts and benefits to the cultivation of hemp.

    2. Six to ten tons per acre of hemp bast fiber. Bast fiber makes canvas, rope, lace, linen, and ultra-thin specialty papers like cigarette and bible papers.

    3. Twenty-five tons of hemp hurd fiber. Hemp hurd fiber makes all grades of paper, composite building materials, animal bedding and a material for the absorption of liquids and oils.

    4. The deep tap root draws up sub-soil nutrients and then, when the leaves fall from the plant to the ground, they return these nutrients to the top soil for the next crop rotation.

    5. The residual flowers, after the seeds are extracted, produce valuable medicines."
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman

    Law enforcement can be educated, fiber plants are huge compared to drug plants. I'll find some pictures.
    Yeah, but how do you tell the difference when you're in a helicopter flying overhead? The fear isn't that somebody will try to grow an all Weed farm and pass it off as an all Hemp farm. The fear is that the farm will mostly grow hemp, and the farmer will scatter Weed plants here and there throughout their field.

    The ambiguities do make for a headache. It's kind of like how you don't give a child a realistic looking toy gun. Law enforcement personell are just human beings like you and I. They're not all-seeing mystics.

    (Of course, I don't really care how much weed gets grown, so it's not a serious concern from my perspective.)
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  17. #16  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Yeah good point

    I guess that's one reason to unify the weed/hemp legalization movement, huh?


    but the government can regulate it better

    there are states that it is being grown, we should look to them as examples

    one of the most important aspects of hemp is that anyone can grow it in any shitty soil... so it gives power to the independant small time farmers

    the only way around what you describe is very strict regulation... this would make it hard for any and all farmers to grow... which is the major reason I think it should be legalized...

    just imagining how much farmland goes unused, and considering how little work hemp needs to grow... pretty much anyone with land could be completely self sufficient again
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  18. #17  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    anyway, no matter what regulations are made, in today's world, those in charge of regulating it could very well be crooked and profiting off of it



    but again, fiber plants are harvested BEFORE they flower, that is, before they grow weed. That can be regulated relatively easily.
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  19. #18  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Many years ago in another century when I were a nipper I used to fish in the Diana Fountain in Bushy Park using hemp seed as bait. Never caught anything. Nobody told me you had to boil the hemp first. I used to buy it at a little fishing tackle shop on the High Street. My mate would buy maggots.

    I wonder if you can still buy hemp seed. (You can - I just googled it.) Presumably the plants have to flower and go to seed in order to harvest the seeds.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    anyway, no matter what regulations are made, in today's world, those in charge of regulating it could very well be crooked and profiting off of it
    I'd say there's a non-zero chance that indeed some people are. More likely it's the people lobbying those regulators, and the funny thing is that our system fully expects them to.

    but again, fiber plants are harvested BEFORE they flower, that is, before they grow weed. That can be regulated relatively easily.
    Good point. You could look for plants that have been growing too long. Take a picture of their field before sowing time, and after harvest.


    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman

    one of the most important aspects of hemp is that anyone can grow it in any shitty soil... so it gives power to the independant small time farmers

    the only way around what you describe is very strict regulation... this would make it hard for any and all farmers to grow... which is the major reason I think it should be legalized...
    That's the tactic that would most likely be lobbied for, I bet. Over regulate anything, and then only big business is able to do it, because they're the only ones with a highly paid legal staff that can navigate all the rules.

    Of course, those same big businesses cry about over regulation whenever they want to be able to pay their workers less, or make dangerous use of the land. I think there's just a lot of hypocrisy involved in the way government actually approaches this problem.


    just imagining how much farmland goes unused, and considering how little work hemp needs to grow... pretty much anyone with land could be completely self sufficient again
    Maybe people should do civil disobedience. How severe is the penalty for breaking the hemp laws (so long as you're careful not to break the weed laws)?
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  21. #20  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I just looked up the Maine laws

    for the crime titled "Cultivating of Marijuana"
    which has different penalties for different numbers of plants
    "It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the substance cultivated or grown is industrial hemp."

    ""Industrial hemp" means any variety of Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis and that is grown under a federal permit in compliance with the conditions of that permit."

    I don't know who, if anyone, can get this license. But I'm doing a search and if I can't find anything I'll start e-mailing some senators.
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  22. #21  
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    So... if you can't make that very intricate affirmative defense, they'll put you away as a weed grower?

    So basically... hemp growing isn't exactly illegal per se. It's just that you have to have a permit or it will be a felony. Better keep that permit current. It would be really funny if it turns out they never issue any.
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  23. #22  
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    That's what I have heard, that the federal government doesn't issue industrial hemp licenses, but I have also heard of farms in California. The only US states that I know to decriminalize growing industrial hemp without a license are Vermont and one of the Dakotas so I assume those farms in California have federal licenses. Then again, I don't know for sure they exist.
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