Pubdate: Fri, 13 Jul 2001
Source: Times-Union (IN)
Copyright: 2001 Times-Union
Address: P.O. Box 1448, Warsaw, IN 46581-1448
Fax: (219) 267-7784
Author: Deanna Newton


Editor, Times-Union:

This letter is prompted by an article in the Times-Union, July 6, page 8A, 
concerning the spraying of ditch weed.

I am so tired of the stupidity, especially coming from the state police 
department, who should know that hemp and marijuana are not the same. They 
wasted $13 million of taxpayer money last year and are planning to do the 
same this year, spraying ditch weed. Ditch weed is what is left from when 
hemp was grown abundantly during World Wars I and II for the purpose of 
making rope, some of which can still be found hanging in old barns.

Ditch weed or hemp is not marijuana and one cannot get high smoking it. 
Hemp contains such a minute trace of THC that no one can smoke enough of it 
to get even a buzz. What you will get is a very nasty headache and very 
sick if you smoke enough of it. True, there are some people out there who 
want to get high so badly they can't tell the difference between a nasty 
headache and a buzz. There are also people who can get quite tipsy on a 
non-alcoholic drink if they are led to believe there is alcohol in their 
drink. Mind over matter.

Over 90 percent of the so-called marijuana confiscated in their so-called 
drug busts is nothing more than hemp and contains trace amounts or no THC.

Fact: One cannot hide a patch of marijuana in the middle of a hemp field 
because the cross-pollination will diminish the THC levels in the marijuana 
to an undesirable level.

Growing hemp again would be extremely beneficial to the planet. No 
pesticides or herbicides are needed. We have already completely destroyed a 
large amount of our soil due to herbicide and pesticide use. Growing hemp 
absorbs an enormous amount of carbon monoxide and puts off four times as 
much oxygen as the same acreage of trees. A tree takes at least 20 years to 
grow; hemp can be harvested two or three times per growing season.

An extremely fine quality of paper can be made from hemp and will not turn 
yellow or brittle with age because there is no need to use acid or bleach 
in the processing. When processing tree paper, we are not only deforesting 
our land but polluting our streams and water supply as well.

Twenty-five thousand products can be made from hemp, including paper, rope, 
extremely durable clothing, accessories, jewelry, bath and body, cooking 
oil, foods, health supplements, heating oil, carpet, paint, home 
furnishings, etc.

George Washington grew it; our first American flag was made from hemp 
cloth; the first Levis were made from it; Abraham Lincoln used hemp oil in 
his reading lamps; Ben Franklin started one of the first hemp paper mills; 
the first verse of our National Anthem was penned on a hemp envelope; and 
Henry Ford built and powered an entire automobile with hemp in the early 1930s.

Quite the hearty plant our creator gave us and we are wasting millions 
trying to unsuccessfully eradicate it, not to mention all the unnecessary 
chemicals being sprayed into the environment. How ironic, instead of 
getting wiser, we just keep getting dumb and dumber and at our own expense.

Deanna Newton

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