FEATURE: Hemp Wins in CA
There’s been a struggle over here in America, particularly in my neck of the woods, over industrialized hemp. Many folks are trying to re-instate farmers being able to grow hemp without any legal ramifications. I say re-instate because during colonial times hemp was readily grown, in fact during WWII farmers were required to grow it to help the war effort. The first draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp! So what’s all the fuss?
I won’t go into great detail about the myriad of benefits this little plant offers; as the environment editor at Bellaonline.com, I wrote an article titled “High Five for Hemp” which you can read if you want more info, I’ll just point out that we are one of it’s largest importers of this plant. So why not grow it ourselves? Well pretty soon we may finally get the chance (again!).
The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act passed in the Senate on 8.16.06 with a bi-partisan vote of 26-13. The bill will now head to the assembly for a final vote, then to Governor Schwarzenegger for his signature. Politicians are starting to recognize you can’t get high from hemp, so there’s no need to fear growing it again for the production of clothing, food, skin care, and even auto parts. This bill was first introduced in 2005 by Assemblyman Mark Leno, a representative from San Francisco. There has been a huge outpouring of support from business owners, farmers, and citizens, illustrating there is strength in numbers. The final vote is expected to pass by the end of this month. I personally am happy to hear such great news, as I was one of many who wrote my representatives urging the passage of this important bill. This is a victory not only for the farmers but for everyone!