Industrial hemp coming to North Carolina?

For all their happy talk about wanting to revitalize the economy, Republicans in Raleigh and Washington offer precious little in the way of effective action. Beyond rosy rhetoric about getting big government out of the way of small business, there's no there there.

Yet even in their claimed sweet spot of rolling back regulations, political leaders in North Carolina have fallen dreadfully short in getting the job done. In particular, they have consistently avoided taking action in an area where economists, farmers, business developers, and just about everybody else sees huge economic potential: industrial hemp.

If you follow the link above, you'll find your way to Forbes Magazine, hardly a bastion of liberal politics.

In 2012 the U.S. hemp industry was valued at an estimated $500 million in annual retail sales and growing for all hemp products, according to the Hemp Industries Association, a non-profit trade organization consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses.

Not only can hemp be used for an astonishing number of products, its net environmental benefit is impressive. Among the more salient features, hemp grows in a variety of climates and soil types, is naturally resistant to most pests, and grows very tightly spaced allowing it to outcompete most weeds. A natural substitute for cotton and wood fiber, hemp can also be pulped using fewer chemicals than wood because of its low lignin content. Its natural brightness can obviate the need to use chlorine bleach.

Why is this incredible plant illegal?

The answer is obvious: Mainstream politicians are scared to death of thinking for themselves ... and they haven't yet found a way to capitalize on hemp production as a source of profits and fundraising. But they will, and when they do, North Carolina will find itself in a race to dominate the hemp industry. Unfortunately, we'll be starting out behind ... even though we have the most to gain economically from hemp because our state's massive tobacco acreage.

In the meantime, the folks in Raleigh are spending their time on motorcycle vaginas, trashing our public education system, unleashing pollution on our environment, and giving tax breaks to millionaires. Jobs? That's just another word for nothing left to lose.

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Comments

Spineless

That's what I call any official or candidate too timid to step up and push this issue. No matter what one's position on legalization, this is a no brainer. The possibilities are limited only to our imaginations.

Thanks for stepping up and being fearless James.

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"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

We need Hemp Lobbyists...

...with cash in hand to change some minds in Raleigh....

With industrial hemp almost illegal in this country...

...where do you think the cash will come from to hire the lobbyists to bribe the electeds?

Besides, I doubt we could get as much money from the pro-IH people as the folks who oppose IH could raise.

Let's be practical here. Why don't we stop looking for someone to wave a magic wand and bring butt-loads of cash to solve our problems. We have to solve it ourselves. We taken back the Party - now we have to build it up big-time so we can use it to take back our state and nation!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting
http://noirvnc.blogspot.com
http://statewideirvnc.blogspot.com

Hemp

I think the lobbyist comment was in jest.

But more seriously, what's your feeling about the issue itself? Some progressive Democrats want to see IH at the forefront of a strategy to support and sustain North Carolina's long-standing agricultural tradition. I'm one of them. Won't happen quickly for sure ... there is that pesky problem of the federal law. But isn't it time to get started on that path?

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We are not amused.

Industrial Hemp

Currently over $10 million dollars worth of industrial Hemp is shipped into the U.S. yearly. With the potential for Hemp fiber and Hemp oil we could turn this into a business worth billions...but someone is going to have to grease some palms...

http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/fiber/industrial-hemp-profile/

Hemp history?

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't petroleum products replace hemp products? Wasn't there a concerted effort by various interests to demonize it out of existence? (A process that continues to this day if you ask any socialist.) There is no way the brothers you-know-who are going to let that happen unless all of the boula goes to them. (bastardos)

In addition, my area of this state was inhabited by the Tuscarora until they were driven out by European settlers in the 1700's. The name means "hemp gatherers" and that is one long sad story...

I suppose IH isn't as big an issue

to those who live in more urban areas, but out here where I live we still rely on agriculture to drive a big portion of our local economy. I live literally surrounded by cropland (fescue, sorghum, corn, soy beans, and even tobacco), and livestock (chickens, beef, dairy, sheep, and goats). The crops require huge inputs of petroleum based chemicals that hemp doesn't require.

Hemp can actually help detoxify soils, and out here where there is no municipal water system and everyone relies on natural ground water, seeing as few poisons dumped on that ground as possible is kinda important.

Having another profitable crop for our farmers to grow can only strengthen our economy, and as Rip pointed out above, the US economy is already importing $10 million dollars worth of hemp from other nations every year.

North Carolina has a long history in textiles, and there is no good reason why we shouldn't be working to create an business environment that turn locally produced IH into marketable textiles right here. And don't tell me we couldn't compete with the sweatshops wherever.

The way things are isn't how they have to stay, and the global corporate crony-capitalist model isn't the only way. Look up Richard Wolff and worker self-directed enterprises. All it takes is a little bit of bold, visionary leadership to push people in the right direction, and so far JP is proving himself to be the only candidate for any office above dog catcher willing to be that leader.

As for greasing palms and payola, those are exactly the people we need to be running out of town. Primary them to death, no matter which party. They may have the money, but we have the numbers.

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"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Re: Industrial Hemp Documentary

Local filmmakers Linda Booker and Blaire Johnson recently released their Documentary titled "Bringing It Home," an informative and entertaining examination of the history and potential of hemp as an agricultural crop. We currently import an estimated $450 million of hemp products into the U.S. each year. The potential for uses of hemp is enormous. The potential for production in NC is also excellent. You can grow hemp wherever you can grow corn and hemp makes an excellent rotation crop.

Here's a link to the film:
http://www.bringingithomemovie.com/

It's all fine and good to work to stop the bloodletting from the idiots in control of the GA, but promoting the development of hemp as an agricultural crop is nothing but positive for our economy and the environment.

"The Butler," Great Movie! Go see it.