Legalizing Hemp in North Dakota and Other States

Many states are working to legalize hemp, which can be used to make textiles, soap, ink and more.
By Cheryl Maday
October/November 1999
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Even though hemp contains very little THC, the federal government still groups them in the same category as illegal substances.

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In April, North Dakota became the first state since 1937 to legalize and set production guidelines for growing industrial hemp, despite a longstanding ban on the crop by the Drug Enforcement Agency. According to the DEA, hemp is marijuana and thus illegal, regardless of the fact that hemp contains less than 1% of the psychoactive ingredient, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). By comparison, marijuana usually contains 5% to 20% of THC.

But under pressure from farmers eager for alternative crops, the DEA ban is showing signs of collapse—and not just in North Dakota. Twelve states have passed or are considering pro-hemp legislation. Minnesota, Illinois and Hawaii will grow hemp experimentally, while New Mexico is researching hemp farming. Hemp legislation is pending in Tennessee, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and Maryland, while Montana and Virginia have requested an end to the federal ban. On the West Coast, the California Democratic Party has added legalization of industrial hemp to its platform.

Meanwhile, organizations like the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association and the North American Industrial Hemp Council are pressuring the DEA with a law suit filed after actor Woody Harrelson was arrested in 1996 for planting hemp seeds. The Kentucky Supreme Court is reviewing the suit.

"Sending this kind of message to the federal government will get them to address the issue," says Rep. David Monson, a sponsor of the North Dakota bill. "Their problems and fears [about hemp] are unfounded."

Hemp can be made into food, soap, ink, textiles, paper and fuel. It can grow almost anywhere and requires little water or pesticides to flourish, while naturally controlling surrounding weeds. Hemp is produced in 33 countries, including Canada, and while U.S. manufacturers import it, many say growing it domestically could help boost the economy and farmers' incomes. "Farmers are going broke," Monson says. "We need hemp to stop this cycle.''

Post a comment below.


Bruce Kefauver
1/28/2013 11:35:24 PM
Growing hemp could very well change the way we look at house consturction also.House's built with hemp last for hundreds of years instead of less than a hundred yearsHemp products are only the tip of the iceberge.The resins of high grade marijuana cures cancer and it does it without harming any organ.This means organs don't have to be removed.The federal government has outright lied to the public about there being a cure for cancer because there is so much money involved in cancer.Our own government has known about the resins of marijuana curing cancer since 1974 and they just swept it under the rugMillions of people would never known any different if it hadn't been for a man by the name of Rick Simpson from Canada.I rid my body of arthritis and fibromyalgia two years ago with a fortified hemp seed oilTwo years mind you.I haven't had either one of the illness's return in two years and i did it with one five day treatment.This treatment would not have been possible without both components.It doesn't get you high.You can't even tell that you are taking anything except for the results.The arthritis went away after the third day and the fibromyalgia went the fourth day..You can get rid of your olive oil and cook with hemp oil and be better off and the hemp seed milk will not give you cancer like store bought cows milk does.Go to the internet and type in Banned Ingredients that are Still Legal in the US and after reading this artical you still want to eat the things you've just read about than shame on you.

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