USA: Industrial Hemp – What Willful Ignorance Will Cost!

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Industrial Hemp:  Active ignorance is terrible

Jeanette McDougal, MM, CCDP June 2018

To quote German poet, Goethe, “there is nothing more terrible than active ignorance.”

Senator Mitch McConnell is in its throws.  He has included language to legalize Industrial Hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill. He has proudly (but ignorantly) taught his Senate Ag Committee that Industrial Hemp is a highly lucrative crop, and emphatically tells them that, “hemp is not ‘that other plant’ (marijuana).”

Hemp is low-grade marijuana. Both are Cannabis sativa – the only difference being the levels of each cannabinoid, e.g. THC, CBD, CBN, et al.  If they’re not same, why was there a need for McConnell’s 2018 Farm Bill to remove hemp from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) list.

Regarding “the plant,” Senator McConnell is at odds with the founder of the hemp movement, former paraphernalia dealer and marijuana activist Jack Herer, whose vision of the hemp movement was hatched one night while he was high on an acid trip (LSD).  [1]

Herer made it clear to co-mingled marijuana and hemp advocatesattending the formal founding meeting of the HIA  (Hemp Industries Association),  “Don’t forget that the joints you smoke and the fiber you make into clothes are the same plant,” That 1995 meeting was  the beginning of the Hemp Movement, as reported by High Times magazine, a militantly pro-pot publication.  [2]

For years the hemp movement has been spearheaded by current McConnell hemp adviser, Vote Hemp and HIA’s Eric Steenstra, former NORML employee, who, with High Times Magazine, co-produced two pro-marijuana/hemp CD albums.  Closing remarks on the pro-pot CD liner notes read, “Isn’t it time we reconsider marijuana prohibition? … We all need to … demand the end of hemp prohibition now.” Listen to “I Wanna Get High” from Steenstra’s album. [3]

The industrial hemp movement’s provable drug connections are only one of its many problems.  The impact on law enforcement is another.

The key objection to hemp production in the USA is that hemp and regular cannabis (marijuana) are indistinguishable. Legalizing one automatically legalizes the other since a police officer’s observations no longer can be used as probable cause for a warrant or any other legal instrument for intervention. Thus, you legalize hemp, you legalize marijuana, period.  (Dr. John Coleman, DEA Operations Ret.)

To seemingly accommodate pot growers, the new hemp bill language allows a hemp producer to get caught three times in five years growing pot instead of hemp.  He would get a corrective plan from the state and possibly be suspended for five years from growing hemp. (How can a hemp plant grow marijuana from a non-marijuana plant?)

Hemp economics is another driving issue.  McConnell introduced a Senate resolution stating: “Industrial hemp holds great potential to bolster the agricultural economy of the United States.” That is blatantly false.  Hemp acreage, per UN statistics has been under 500,000 acres worldwide for 30 years – every year since 1988. Hemp acreage worldwide in 2016 was 252,187acres.    [4]         FAOSTAT,

To put hemp’s 252,187 worldwide 2016 acreage in perspective, Arkansas farmers planted 3,102,677 acres of soybeans that year.  Mississippi County Arkansas (900 sq miles) planted 281,000 of those soybean acres.  Arkansas has 13,700,000 farmland acres, the US 910 million acres.

Since ordinary hemp products made of seed and stalks (the only part of the Cannabis plant which the CSA defines as hemp) are not really lucrative, the entire hemp movement has shifted its focus and attention to the illegal and dangerous, but highly lucrative CBD production and market. [6]

Even if the growing of Cannabis’ hemp’s flowering tops is made legal, any CBD product must be manufactured under FDA guidelines to be legal.  The FDA has clearly stated that CBD is NOT a supplement nor is it to be marketed as an unapproved drug. At present the only legal CBD products are the two plant derived cannabidiol medications approved by the FDA — Sativex and Epidiolex.

Unlike other potentially harmful but useful pharmaceuticals, CBD is relatively simple to produce from organic cannabis, sometime referred to as artisanal products.  At present hemp proponents are illegally bi-passing the Pure Food and Drug (FDA) regulations by producing artisanal -“Homemade” – concoctions made to their own specifications — containing unknown levels of CBD, THC, other cannabinoids, and probable contaminants.

Thus far experimental evidence indicates that CBD is even more toxic to tissues than THC.”  [5]   Dr. Gabriel Nahas, Research Professor, New York University, states that cannabinoids other than THC (e.g., CBN and CBD) also impair dividing cells, and “are even more potent than THC when it comes to inhibiting DNA production.”  [7]

Australian researcher and Professor of Addiction Medicine Dr. Stuart Reece states, “I have been becoming increasingly concerned at the implications of cannabis legalization across USA for patterns of congenital anomalies both in USA and across the world.” He congratulates the US for “having avoided the horrors of thalidomide directly due to the due diligence of your FDA staff at the time.”

However, he went on to say,  “It is of the greatest concern to me that the carefully orchestrated US cannabis legalization campaign seems to be operating is such a manner as to at once bypass and simultaneously intimidate the FDA quality control and checks and safety balances processes.”

These are important and grave matters.  Farmers, lawmakers, business leaders, and others should stick with the provable facts and protect what they hold most dear, the safety and security of their families, communities, and country.  We should actively oppose the  Industrial Hemp portion of the Farm Bill.

Jeanette McDougal, MM, CCPD
Chair, Hemp Committee, Drug Watch, Intl.
Director, NAHAS – National Alliance for Health and Safety

P.O. BOX 862, Osceola, AR 72370

Ph 870-822+2030

[email protected]


BIO: Jeanette McDougal is Chair of the Hemp Committee of Drug Watch, International; Director, National Alliance for Health and Safety (NAHAS); grew up on a farm;  lived in Murray, KY for 13 years, and graduated from Murray State a member of Arkansas Farm Bureau; was a member of Minnesota Farm Bureau and a former officer on the Board of Ramsey/Washington County Farm Bureau, Minnesota; has studied the industrial hemp issue and movement since 1993; Awarded the PRIDE international Youth program, Connie and Otto Moulton Drug Fighter of the Decade Award (April 2005, Cincinnati, Ohio). recipient, Freedom of Information Award, 1982, MN-SPJ for helping keep MN public records open; .and was a drug-abuse prevention teacher, (ret 2001).







6. Hart, R.H.: Bitter Grass, The Bitter Truth About Marijuana, April 1980, p 18.
7.    Nahas, GG, M.D., PhD., D.Sc., Keep Off The Grass; Paul S. Ericksson, Publisher, 1990, p148



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