Banning cannabis/hemp for non-third party medical use has been a crime against humanity; banning industrial hemp has been a crime against farmers and the planet. There is nothing from nature that produces such an environmentally friendly plant that’s easy to grow, requires little or no fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, and offers so many solutions to planet Earth’s pollution.
Those solutions include:
- Producing paper that doesn’t require cutting down trees and pulping them with chemicals that pollute waterways.
- Creating plastics that are strong and durable yet biodegradable without BPA and other chemicals.
- Hemp fibers which can produce textiles that can be used to make non-allergen clothing.
- Hemp can even produce lightweight, non-toxic easy to use building materials.
Hemp cultivation is a cash crop enterprise that can be used by farmers to rotate with their other crops and enrich the soil, and from sowing to harvesting is only around six months for hemp.
Someone once asked a U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) official, ‘why doesn’t the United States government allow industrial hemp like Canada does’? He answered that it’s too difficult to test for THC (huh?) – the compound the establishment fears and despises. Can’t have that.
Farmers, activists, and eventually the state agricultural department of Kentucky has been urging and pushing for a return to hemp farming for several years now. Prior to the 1950s, Kentucky was a leader in producing this cash crop. Then the pre-WW II ban was re-enforced and delivered a crushing blow to Kentucky farmers.
Section 7606 of the 2014 Federal Farm Bill allows universities and agricultural departments to cultivate hemp for research purposes, provided the state therein permits it. Well, Kentucky has been ready and waiting. But first, the DEA stepped in and created a totally unnecessary flap.
The State of Kentucky’s Agricultural Department vs the DEA
After years of urging and begging with some lobbying efforts, the open door for Kentucky’s reopening hemp agriculture had arrived. They probably anticipated as they watched each phase of the federal government’s passing the farm bill with clause 7606 through the House, the Senate, and now the Executive branches.
So they placed an order to Italy for 250 pounds of hemp seeds. It arrived in Chicago and went through customs without an issue, but when the shipment had arrived to Louisville, Kentucky, the DEA stepped in and seized the seeds, contending that it is still part of a Schedule I substance. The Kentucky Agricultural Department refused to fold or even compromise with the DEA feds, at first.
After some back and forth, the DEA promised to return the seeds, but didn’t. So the Kentucky Department of Agriculture sued the federal government, all the way up to Eric Holder, the USA Attorney General that has the DEA as one of its departments.
“I hated to do that, but we’ve been misled and it’s obviously a stall tactic,” said state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. “We have farmers who wanna grow it. We have processors who wanna process it. We have researchers who wanna research it. We bought and paid for the seeds.” The lawsuit drew the attention and ire from a few federal Congressional and Senate members who helped push through Clause 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill.
Apparently, that was all that was needed as a tipping point, forcing the DEA to expedite the importation permit themselves and return the impounded seed shipment. This was a test case. Now, other states who wish to pursue industrial hemp agriculture can begin.