Saturday, June 08, 2013

Living Green Magazine article for Hemp History Week

By Richard Kujawski, Managing Editor
Kentucky is the latest of 19 states to make industrial hemp legal. Why doesn’t the U.S. government understand the difference between the hemp that helped us win World War II—and marijuana joints?
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Hemp is of greatest importance to our nation.” The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper. American farmers were required by law in the 1700’s to grow hemp. More than 150,000 acres of hemp were cultivated as a part of the USDA’s “Hemp for Victory” program during World War II.
This is Hemp History Week, and hundreds of events are occurring across the country to promote hemp products for our belly and our body—and the economy. Premiering this week is the documentary Bringing It Home, showing the benefits of industrial hemp—a variety of cannabis that does not contain psychoactive chemicals.
It’s legal to eat hemp seeds (full of Omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids) in your salads, wear hemp woven into chic clothing, to rub it into your skin by using an organic body care product, and to use it in building materials.
But U.S. farmers are no longer able to grow industrial hemp. The1937 Marihuana Tax Act defined hemp as a narcotic drug, just like its cousin marijuana. Technically, this law and the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) do permit the growing of hemp, but place strict controls and taxes on the commodity. And the DEA has been turning down all permit requests to set up commercial production.
Documentary Film Premiere
Bringing It Home, a new hour-long documentary film about industrial hemp, explores the question of why a crop with so many widespread benefits cannot be farmed in the U.S. today. The film explores the history of hemp, its myriad industrial applications and legalization efforts. Through a grassroots audience engagement screening tour, the documentary aims to magnify dialogue about hemp in order to facilitate America’s transition to a more informed, sustainable and healthy future. The film will premiere in conjunction with Hemp History Week 2013 with screenings in major cities across the country.

Filmmakers Linda Booker and Blaire Johnson were inspired by environmentally conscious home designer Anthony Brenner’s story to find the healthiest building material available to build a safe indoor environment for his young daughter, Bailey, who has a sensitivity to synthetic chemicals. Brenner received national media attention when he and Hemp Technologies completed “America’s First Hemp House” for the former mayor of Asheville, North Carolina. Booker and Johnson tell the story of hemp through animation, archival images and footage of hemp business leaders and entrepreneurs like Brenner from England, Spain, Washington, D.C., California and North Carolina. For more information, go to:
Even Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Endorses Industrial Hemp
A grassroots movement (no pun intended) is underway to legalize hemp at the state and federal levels. An online letter-writing drive to encourage the Obama Administration and Congress to change federal law that currently prohibits American farmers from growing industrial hemp are all facets of the campaign to bring this environmentally sustainable and profitable crop back to American soil. More information and a promotional video for the campaign are available at:
This month, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 (H.R. 525) was introduced in the House with twenty-eight original co-sponsors, and it was quickly joined by a companion bill in the Senate (S. 359) which was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), underscoring the bipartisan support around the hemp issue. If passed, the bills would remove federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp, defined as the non?drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis. The full text of the bills, as well as status and co-sponsors, can be found at:
Environmental News from Living Green Magazine – Where Green Is Read


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