Thursday, December 28, 2006
The farmers of North Dakota have long battled the forces-that-be in the US to allow them to grow hemp. In this near pristine environment, full of rivers and lakes, hemp would fit right in. 50,000 acres are harvested annually in Canada, so it is well established that this is a good crop for North Dakota.
However, hemp has not been legally grown in the US since a small plot was planted for experimental purposes in Hawaii in the 1990s.
There are a number of hurdles thrown in the way here, such as the $202 state licence fee, or the non-refundable $2,293 Drug Enforcement Agency registration fee.
In the meantime, whilst this political battle is being fought, Cannabis sativa for non-industrial use is now the leading cash crop in the US, with sales estimated to be $35b; wheat comes in far second at about $28b.
Perhaps though, the DEA is just doing its job in prohibiting hemp; recreational strains of C. sativa could lose their potency as they crossbreed with indutrial hemp, and if you are the enforcement agency for drugs, you might not want to let farmers grow hemp. Pot dealers would certainly appreciate this agency! With all the idiots in the world who just want to suck some dope, there's lots of money to be made.