Tags: Marijuana Legalization | legalizing | weed | hemp | champions

Legalizing Weed: Industrial Hemp's Most Unlikely Champions

By    |   Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 07:17 PM

Industrial hemp is dramatically different than what most people think about when marijuana is mentioned. This crop has thousands of uses in fields as diverse as textiles, transportation, and beauty products. But because of its confusion with the legalizing weed movement, the cultivation of industrial hemp is still illegal in the U.S. However, because of the economic possibilities it represents, the plant has some unlikely champions.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey is one of industrial hemp’s biggest proponents. Woolsey sees the crop as a potential energy source that could end the dependence of the U.S. on oil and other nonrenewable resources.

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

As a board member of the North American Industrial Hemp Council, Woolsey notes it’s important to recognize the distinction between legalizing weed and legalizing industrial hemp. Though hemp is in the same family as marijuana, it has minimal amounts of THC, the ingredient that causes marijuana users to get high. He went as far as as to tell PBS one would have to be "very high" to try to hide marijuana plants in a field of industrial hemp since the pollination patterns would significantly decrease marijuana's effectiveness.

Lynda Parker, another one of hemp’s most outspoken advocates, is a 65-year-old grandmother — not exactly the person that comes to mind when you think about legalizing weed.

Parker first became interested in the crop when taking a class at the University of Denver at Colorado in 1996, Westword reported. As an assignment, she had to follow a bill’s path through the legislature, and chose a bill to legalize hemp in the state. Today, the former Yellow Pages salesperson is part of a duo that drafted a new industrial hemp legalization bill for Colorado.

Former North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson represented one of the most conservative states in the union. Johnson says it's ironic that American farmers were encouraged to grow hemp in the early 1940s to support the war effort and the economy. "Virtually every other industrialized country in the world allows the growing of industrial hemp," Johnson said, according to MPR News. "We're kind of an island with this almost a caveman mentality on the federal level toward the growing of industrial hemp."

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About Marijuana Legalization?

His lobbying is supported by David Monson, a Republican state representative, school superintendent, and farmer who has spent years seeking federal permission to grow industrial hemp on his land.

While legalization of industrial hemp still has a long way to go — in fact, marijuana is currently closer to being legal in the U.S. than its useful cousin — these unlikely supporters of the crop are challenging public perception of a plant that has long been misunderstood and potentially has the power to revolutionize the nation’s farm operations.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
Because of confusion with the legalizing weed movement, the cultivation of industrial hemp is still illegal in the U.S. However, because of the economic possibilities it represents, the plant has some unlikely champions.
legalizing, weed, hemp, champions
468
2015-17-12
Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 07:17 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved