Despite mountains of evidence pointing to the enormous benefits both medicinal and industrial hemp offers our nation, most state and federal legislators steadfastly refuse to even discuss the issue. Including so-called free-market advocates here in North Carolina.
Industrial hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that produces very low levels of THC and other medicinal compounds. There are literally hundreds of known industrial uses for this rigorous, low maintenance crop, yet we continue to import hemp based products from other nations, rather than creating much needed sustainable jobs for Americans here at home.
(Colorado) House Bill 1099 wouldn't legalize hemp farming outright. If passed, it would authorize the chairs of the agriculture, livestock, and natural resources committee in both the House and the Senate to appoint a seven-member committee to study the process of phytoremediation, a fancy term for a simple process. You see, hemp plants suck up contaminants and radiation in the soil -- and it's been proven to work in places like in Russia, where they've been used to remove soil contaminants from the Chernobyl disaster site.
It's encouraging to discover legislators willing and able to think for themselves and put the greater good above special interests, even if they aren't found in my home state.
"Hemp was the basic agricultural crop of our country at one time," McKinley points out. "It provides food, fuel, fiber, oil. All of our ropes and sails were made of it at one time. But because of special interests, it was outlawed."
Too bad we don't have such visionary leaders here in North Carolina.