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Industrial Hemp

April 13, 2013 Update - The Kentucky Legislature has passed SB-50 and sent it to the governor.  The bill passed overwhelmingly in both the house and senate.  I give a huge tip of the cap to Senator Paul Hornbuck of Shelbyville for really sticking with this.  For reasons that only he must know, our governor did not veto the bill but also did not sign it either so it does become law. 

Here's a question for you - why is industrial hemp illegal in the United States?  Answer - because somehow "hemp" and "marijuana" are considered the same thing.  WTF?  To me, growing industrial hemp is a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, the only "no-brain(er)" going on here are people who insist that industrial hemp and marijuana are the same thing.  Sadly, we have a lot of brainless people that somehow find themselves in positions of authority.

Fortunately we have here in Kentucky an Agricultural Commissioner who is going to push to get it legalized.  I voted from James Comer and must say I am proud of my vote and happy he won the election.  Of course it didn't hurt his chances that he opposition was a joke.  Our previous Ag Commissioner, Richie Farmer wasn't much of a Ag Commissioner either.  Basically the state stood still for 8 years.  Of course I suppose Mr. Farmer was too busy with fleecing the taxpayers to actually focus on agriculture but that's another story.

OK, it's no secret that I favor legalization of marijuana (or at a minimum some serious decriminalization) but that's not the issue here.  I am typing this slowly so people can understand - HEMP is not WEED.

Our law enforcement people seem to think that industrial hemp production would be used as a place to hide marijuana production.  If anything that should help since the hemp plant will dominate the marijuana plant with a net result of poorer quality marijuana.  My recommendation to the law enforcement community with respect to drugs is to focus on a couple more serious issues - prescription drug diversion and methamphetamine (and the answer to meth is NOT making pseudoephedrine containing OTC medicine prescription). 

I do have to give credit for the dumbest quote I've seen on this to Senator Chris Girdler of Somerset who said that growing a Chia Pet would have as much impact economically as growing hemp.  I hope the good people of Somerset realize they could do better the next election. 

Is industrial hemp some kind of magic bullet for agriculture?  Of course not but it is one piece of the puzzle - and in my opinion a corner piece that is easy to fit in.

This is only the first step in what will most likely be a lengthy journey.  Of course, when you can get Congressmen Thomas Massie and John Yarmuth to agree about something (like legal industrial hemp) that should tell you something.  I remain hopeful that we continue on this journey towards sanity.

Reviewed April 13, 2013
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