Friday, January 04, 2013

A tree grows in Coon Rapids

Last year a story in the Star Tribune by Maria Elena Baca told the story of hemp plants growing 12' tall in the Midwest. Of course, law enforcement gets involved, turning their backs on crazies with guns who are casing out schoolyards. Guns are legal, hemp is an outlaw. Which is ironic, as in many states  the eradication of feral hemp has frustrated many gun owners - hunters, who now see a loss of gamebirds - as was noted on the front page of the New York Times just this week. Let the hemp grow and grow and you will have a seed cherished by quails, doves, grouse, etc. In fact, making hemp legal would produce more income for hunters, and we urge our readers to sign the petition at so hemp will be legal. No need to call the cops if you see this!

Coon Rapids Police Chief Brad Wise examined a hemp cultivar that had
been reported as a suspected marijuana plant in a remote part of the city.
It looks like pot, it grows like pot. If you get caught with it, you will be prosecuted.
But the "weed" that's sometimes found in Coon Rapids and other parts of Anoka County won't make you high and it could make you sick.
Last week, Coon Rapids public works employees reported a patch of 12-foot-tall cannabis plants growing in an undisclosed location.
Police Chief Brad Wise said such a call comes in at least once a year, from city workers or "Joe Citizen, hiking." Wise worries that someone might see it and think they've come upon marijuana, when it's actually hemp, a relative of the plant.
"To a young person who has basic knowledge of marijuana, from a T-shirt or something, their reaction might be, 'Omigod, this illegal drug is growing in front of me,'" Wise said. "You'd hate to think a youngster could be tempted to a criminal act, to cut the plant, dry it and try to smoke it."
The results would be disappointing, to say the least.
"It looks like marijuana in every way, including the buds and the leaves, but it has almost zero THC, the drug that provides the effect that some people look for," Wise said. "Ultimately, they would end up with a really bad headache and no high that they may have been looking for."
Industrial-quality hemp was grown throughout central Minnesota in the 1940s, said Bob Quist, site manager for the Oliver Kelley Farm, a living-history agricultural museum in Elk River.
"It was for the rope industry," he said. "It really flourished in the later part of the 1930s and 1940s because they used a lot of rope on warships."
It is now illegal to grow hemp in Minnesota. Legislation to allow a regulated hemp industry has been offered in recent years at the State Capitol, but hasn't moved past the committee stage.

Dormant, then back

Hemp seeds can lie dormant in the soil for 20 years, and when conditions are right, the plants will pop up. Quist said he knew of a community garden in Ramsey that had "a nice crop."
"Most people didn't know what that plant was," he said.
The danger is when people think they know what it is, Wise said. He sends out his drug specialists, and they can tell right away by how the plants come up whether they've been cultivated by people or by Mother Nature, he said. Occasionally, they'll come across a patch that's obviously been harvested.
That's trouble, he said. Although the plant has no psychotropic qualities, the law doesn't make a distinction for how much THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is in the plant.
"It would be really foolish for anyone to cut it up, dry it up, put it in a bag and possess it or portray it in any way as marijuana, because they would get arrested."


Carlos said...

Guns are legal...hemp is not.
Why does the press give space to one issue and not the other?
Why so few articles on hemp in major papers/TV?
We need to be contacting journalists and telling them this is a story. Too much of the press is owned by rich jerks who are clever at figuring out how to keep out what does not make them richer.

Mark Ski said...

Read about the new Bush-bin Laden business complex in Houston, Texas. It celebrates their joint business ventures over the years.

Phil Telic said...

I do not think that hemp seeds can lie dormant for more than one year - what is the source for this?