I did not write this, but please visit the website for more information on Hemp!
Vote Hemp http://votehemp.com/ is a national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry to remove barriers to industrial hemp farming in the U.S. through education, legislation and advocacy. We work to build grassroots support for hemp through voter education, registration and mobilization, as well as defend against any new laws, regulations or policies that would prohibit or restrict hemp trade.
Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed and fiber varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp has absolutely no use as a recreational drug.
The Vote Hemp Treatise
A Renewal of Common Sense: The Case for Hemp in 21st Century America was written in 2001 by Erik Rothenberg, President of Atlas Corporation and a director of Vote Hemp, with the assistance of various industry experts. This treatise lays out a clear vision for industry and agriculture and hemp’s critical place in a healthy and prosperous new world.
If you are pressed for time, we particularly recommend reading the sections The Market for Industrial Hemp (pp. 10-16) and Hemp vs. Marijuana — Rhetoric vs. The Reality (pp. 17-22). The former section outlines in depth the tremendous potential hemp fiber and seed have in diverse markets, which is important to understand in the face of government propaganda to the contrary.
The latter section clarifies that non-drug industrial hemp is not marijuana although both are varieties of the same species (Cannabis sativa), and refutes categorically the specious arguments traditionally used by law enforcement to justify the prohibition of industrial hemp. Canada, Britain, France, Germany and Spain, along with over twenty other countries, cultivate and process industrial hemp without affecting the enforcement of those countries’ marijuana laws.
The section concludes by showing a rational government precedent in controlling the “opium poppy” from which narcotics like heroin are derived, while allowing non-drug poppy varieties of the same species (Papaver somniferum) to be cultivated freely in backyard gardens and the seeds of the “breadseed poppy” variety to be consumed commonly on poppy seed bagels. This is an absolute must-read document! To read A Renewal of Common Sense: The Case for Hemp in 21st Century America online please click here.
To download a copy, click here. (PDF file 63k)
The Vote Hemp Report
The 28-page 2002/2003 Vote Hemp Report summarizes industrial hemp’s progress in various seed and fiber markets, and details the current state of hemp in North America. It is a great educational tool which covers the gamut of hemp markets and features ads from many of North America’s top hemp companies. For more information, click here.
Common Misperceptions About Hemp and Easy Answers
Want to know the difference between hemp and marijuana? Ask an expert. Dr. Dave West holds a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from the University of Minnesota and has spent 18 years as a commercial corn breeder. Since 1993 he has served as an advisor to the emerging hemp industry regarding industrial hemp germplasm. His 1998 document Hemp and Marijuana — Myths and Realities provides straight facts about industrial hemp and dispels some of the myths surrounding it. To view a copy, click here. (PDF file 79k)
Congressional Research Service Report on Hemp
In January of 2005, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a new report on the industrial hemp marketplace and legislative efforts to allow hemp farming in the United States. “Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity” is a comprehensive report on the status of U.S. industrial hemp policy and highlights the fact that America is the only developed country to ban farmers from growing non-psychoactive industrial varieties of Cannabis. The CRS report has been updated twice since January 2005. To download the March 2007 version of the report, please click here. (PDF file 100k)
Hemp is Hip, Hot and Happening: So Why Are American Farmers Being Left Out?
This special section appeared in the September-October 2004 issue of Utne magazine and offers a great summary of why we need to reconsider industrial hemp. To read the article, click here.
State Hemp Legislation
Fourteen states have passed hemp legislation, giving significant legitimacy and momentum to the hemp movement in America. The first hemp bill was introduced in Colorado in 1995, and 28 states have considered industrial hemp legislation. To view a list of state action on industrial hemp, as well as U.S. federal legislation and Canadian federal regulation & legislation information, click here.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Adopts Pro-Hemp Resolution
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) passed a resolution in 2003 urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (Drug Czar’s office) to collaboratively develop and adopt an official definition of industrial hemp, and urged Congress to statutorily distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana and to adopt policies which would allow U.S. farmers to grow industrial hemp. For more information and to read the resolution, click here.
National Conference of State Legislatures Adopts Pro-Hemp Resolution
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) adopted a resolution in 2000 strongly urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (Drug Czar’s office) to collaboratively develop and adopt an official definition of industrial hemp. This is a strong statement for common sense as the NCSL is widely respected and regarded for its conservative and prudent approach on a variety of issues. Click here to read the letter that NCSL wrote to President Clinton in support of industrial hemp. Click here to read the NCSL industrial hemp resolution. (PDF files 64k and 4k, respectively)
Letter from Hawaii Legislators to President Bush
A bi-partisan group of Hawaii state legislators sent a letter to President Bush in 2001 informing him that “… industrial hemp is a state agricultural issue, not a drug issue. Banning hemp products intended for consumption will negatively impact industrial hemp manufacturing and production, thus impairing America’s farmers and manufacturers. In light of the growing support of state legislatures for industrial hemp, it is timely and essential that the federal government remove barriers to its cultivation and production.” To read the letter, click here. (PDF file 469k)
Evaluating Interference of THC in Hemp Food Products with Employee Drug-Testing — Study Summary
Leson Environmental Consulting conducted a toxicological study in 2000 to evaluate the potential conflict between extended consumption of hemp food products and workplace drug-testing programs in the United States. The study’s findings indicate that the following measures will be effective in virtually eliminating interference between consumption of hemp food products and workplace drug-testing:
- Adherence by hemp food processors to seed cleaning and quality control measures aimed at limiting concentrations of total THC to 5 µg/g (or ppm) in hemp oil and to 2 µg/g in hulled seeds.
- Adherence of U.S. employers and administrators of drug-testing programs to guidelines for federal programs, requiring that urine samples that fail a screening test be confirmed by GC/MS.
Most major U.S. and Canadian hemp food processors are currently adhering to these standards through participation in the industry’s TestPledge program. To view a summary of the study, click here. (PDF file 21k)
Assessing the Impact of THC Uptake from Hemp Oil Cosmetics on Workplace Drug-Testing
Leson Environmental Consulting also evaluated the concern that extended topical application of hemp cosmetic products would interfere with workplace drug-testing programs in the United States. The 2001 study shows this concern to be baseless, as no significant transdermal uptake of THC would occur even in a worst-case scenario of highly compromised skin and full-body application of hemp oil containing 10 ppm THC (the maximum limit allowed by Canadian law, while 5 ppm THC in hemp oil is in fact the informal industry standard). To view the assessment, click here. (PDF file 277k)
USDA Research Shows Hemp Has Potential for Paper Production
In 1997, the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin conducted an evaluation of hemp as a potential feedstock for the paper industry in that state. They concluded that “… hemp could profitably be used as a fiber source for the paper industry” and that “Wisconsin farmers could meet the demand for fiber by the fine paper manufacturers of Wisconsin.” To view the report, click here. (PDF file 569k)
DEA Eradication Efforts Target Hemp Instead of Cultivated Marijuana
The Vermont State Auditor’s Report on the Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP), published in 1998, found that the national average for ditchweed seized under the DCE/SP in all 50 states was 99% as of 1996. The study notes that over $9 million was spent on this program in 1996 and that out of 422,716,526 cannabis plants eradicated, 419,660,022 were low-THC ditchweed, also known as industrial (feral) hemp. The report recommends that policymakers who are concerned that the federal cannabis eradication program focuses so heavily on wild industrial hemp consider lobbying the DEA to change the DCE/SP grant to target cultivated cannabis more exclusively.
This report indicates that millions of our tax dollars are wasted on eradicating harmless low-THC industrial hemp plants instead of focusing on the eradication of cultivated marijuana. More recent 2001 statistics show that more than $13 million in taxpayer funds were spent on this boondoggle program. To view the full report, click here. (PDF file 79k)