Another Shot at Industrial Hemp

From WorldChanging, news that the California state assembly “is once again proposing the legalization of industrial hemp farming (not marijuana, but the stuff used for making fiber, oil, etc.) A 2005 Congressional Resource Service report found that the US was the only developed nation which does not cultivate industrial hemp…” Post author Jeremy Faludi points us to an action item on this at NORML’s website (that’s the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws). It’s interesting to note that last time such a measure worked it’s way through the process, it was vetoed by Gov. Gray Davis. Is there any reason to hope that Ahh-nold would be more open-minded?

Personally, I think this is a ridiculous ban, and only continues to demonstrate how marijuana laws in this country have always been more about protecting cotton farmers than saving our youth from the “demon weed.” At the same time, I’m a little wary about keeping legalization of industrial hemp linked to marijuana legalization. The two are totally different issues, and we certainly don’t need to take the risk of confusing the political classes, or giving them a reason to go moralistic. I’m pretty libertarian actually on drug laws (hey, it’s your life), but the argument about industrial hemp should focus on economic issues. As I’ve said before, you’d have to smoke a ton of this stuff to get anything resembling a buzz (and, as Jacqui added, you’re more likely to end up with a monster headache). How about a little common sense — for once…

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