Bob's Words of Wisdom News

Industrial Hemp – Good or Bad for Idaho?

The Real Problem: My good friend Tom Munds often talks about how big government has control of our lives and Mark Meckler insists emphatically that we need a constitutional convention so we can change our lives by changing the constitution. The real problem is we have a bunch of crooks running our country who do insider trading and sell themselves to the highest bidder in the lobbyist’s arena to enable themselves to be reelected. Once in office, they see themselves above the voters who elected them and beholden to those who financed their campaigns. We allow our legislators to pass laws for the benefit of the people who get them elected which are not always in the best interest of the citizens they work for.

There currently is a bill to change the laws regarding the growing of hemp: used for industrial purposes. This type of hemp contains only negligible amounts of the THC found in marijuana. The introduction of this plant and the products that can be made from it would be a boon to the agricultural community of our state. It would give them a very valuable crop garnering them four and five times the value of a corn crop $8.00 per acre to a crop valued at 30 to 40 thousand per acre. The problem is that we have a group of politicians who are going to wine that this will lead to the introduction of recreational marijuana into our state.

Big Pharma is the problem: The real problem is not the introduction of recreational marijuana into our state but that Big Pharma fears it will open the door for the production of CBD oil and its introduction into our state for medicinal purposes. This, in turn, will allow more of our citizens to use CBD oil instead of their current drugs which are much more costly and come with a huge amount of side effects. Once again we will find out how much power the pharmaceutical companies wield with our legislators and whether they will put the people of Idaho before the campaign contributions of Big Pharma and other lobbyists.

So what are the implications of introducing industrial hemp: into Idaho’s agricultural business? The confusion between industrial hemp and marijuana is based on the visual similarities of widely differentiated varieties of plants. By definition, industrial hemp is high in fiber and low in active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that makes some cannabis varieties a valued drug. Pro Industrial Hemp supporters have suggested moving the control of hemp from the DEA to the USDA and new technology recently introduced is capable of quick and easy testing of THC levels in the field and in the air which will allow for adequate enforcement.

Legislation introduced by Dorothy Moon Idaho’s district 8: has sponsored the bill to allow Idaho farmers to grow hemp. Hemp doesn’t have a lobbyist’s organization working for them in Idaho and as Dorothy recently said on the Kevin Miller Show, it was outlawed by President Nixon in 1970 in the war on drugs while it was crystal clear that Industrial Hemp never played a part in getting people high. The real reason industrial hemp was included is it was a threat to industries it could affect because it could cheaply replace many of their products. Manufacturers don’t like competition for their products and proof of this is when Hemp was taxed back in 1937. This happened because the heads of the DuPont chemical company and the Hurst Corporation who had a huge paper business were concerned that Hemp would be stiff competition for them. This was because hemp could be used to produce both paper products that Hurst manufactured and various substitutes for chemicals DuPont made. They decided to use their influence with elected officials to tax Hemp along with banning marijuana and tried to tie the two together as the same product which is why there is confusion today.

A few facts about Industrial Hemp: Cultivated industrial hemp plants usually consist of a spindly main stalk covered with leaves. Considered a low-maintenance crop, hemp plants typically reach between 6 to 15 feet in height. Depending on the purpose, variety and climatic conditions, the period between planting and harvesting ranges from 70 to 140 days. One acre of hemp can yield an average of 700 pounds of grain, which in turn can be pressed into about 22 gallons of oil and 530 pounds of meal. The same acre will also produce an average of 5,300 pounds of straw, which can be transformed into approximately 1,300 pounds of fiber. Industrial hemp may be an excellent rotation crop for traditional crops, because it suppresses weeds and decreases outbreaks of insect and disease problems. Hemp may also rebuild and condition soils by replacing organic matter and providing aeration through its extensive root system.

This is a not a case of unintended consequences: or a mistake of identity, this is instead a case of manipulation of our elected officials to favor one business over another because one has enough money to buy their influence. IF you think for one minute the Big Pharma industry will not lobby Idaho’s legislators to reject this bill think again. This could be another hit for the drug industry who are currently being pressed by our president and congress to reduce the price of their drugs to match what they sell them for overseas. Pharmaceutical companies are under tremendous pressure today and are even trying to take over the supplement industry because they see the handing writing on the wall. People are finding many natural cures for their ills and are getting away from their drugs because of their high cost and many side effects. CBD oil is a perfect example of a substitute for expensive drugs for epilepsy. Keep an eye on this bill to see if they even let it out of committee and watch who votes to allow this bill to move forward. Folks I certainly don’t want to allow recreational marijuana to legally be sold or used in Idaho. I have already lost a nephew to drugs which started with marijuana; however, to stop our agricultural industry in Idaho form plating such a profitable crop that could enhance the incomes of many farmers would be the wrong decision.

It’s time for Idaho to come out from behind the curtain: and stop worrying about the marijuana bogie man so we can allow legitimate growing of a very profitable crop like hemp. We will eventually need to consider allowing the medicinal use of CBD oil to those who are currently relegated to using ineffective drugs with extensive side effects to help them ease the pain of their diseases. If laws are enforced effectively by our high quality law enforcement agencies and officers we should be able to control the incursion of any of the marijuana plants being grown or any weed being distributed in our state. Let’s be honest if people really want to get their hands on marijuana having a law prohibiting the growing of industrial hemp is not going to do anything towards that end. If you’re worried about Idahoans using marijuana just go across the border to Oregon and take a look at the marijuana stores and the number of cars with Idaho plates in the parking lots. Let us not hamper our economy because of these idiots who want to get high.

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