Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lobbying for Hemp

A few weeks ago I had an article published in the Hemp Industries Association Newsletter titled, Lobbying for Hemp. In this article I share some of my experiences in Washington DC along with some insight into why it is still illegal for US farmers to cultivate this beneficial and versatile crop. As we head into Spring-time and a renewed push for hemp farming in America, I hope you will take the time to read it, pass it along to friends, and participate in the writing of an exciting new chapter in US hemp history.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Minnesota Hemp Development Act

Recently Minnesota started a new chapter in their hemp history with their legislature's introduction of the Minnesota Hemp Development Act. I learned more about this bill this morning when I read an article published by Politics in Minnesota, "Can Hemp Grow Jobs?"

Below is the comment I posted there. I encourage you to read "Can Hemp Grow Jobs" and participate in this discussion by posting your own comments there, and/or sharing this information with your friends, family, and colleagues.
I applaud Rep. Kahn and her fellow co-authors of the Industrial Hemp Development Act. The more legislatures pass hemp bills, the harder it will be for Congress to deny American farmers the right to grow a crop that can stimulate rural community development and the green economy.
As someone who has educated myself for over 20 years about industrial hemp, I firmly believe that the longer we deny our farmers the right to grow this crop, the deeper we continue to dig the economic and environmental holes from which we are all trying to climb out.
To Rep. Cornish and the members of the Public Safety Committee, I would ask that they set aside their preconceived notions about hemp, and its relationship to marijuana, and give this bill the consideration it deserves. I find it unfortunate, that before even holding a hearing, Rep Cornish’s wants to “take this bill and shred it and let one of our pipe smokers smoke it,” Such an attitude is the antithesis of representative democracy and public debate.
Rather than inviting only US law enforcement officials spouting off the usual list of”threats” hemp poses, I would suggest the committee invite some Canadian law enforcement officials to their hearing and listen to what they have to say on the subject. Prior to 1998, Canadian law enforcement voiced the same fears. Twelve years later, they can assure you that hemp cultivation has had no impact of their ability to uphold their marijuana laws.
When the people lead, the leaders will follow, and I encourage all Minnesotans to help lead this country to a sustainable future by voicing your support to your Representatives for passage of the Industrial Hemp Development Act.
David Piller
Flagstaff, AZ