Pubdate: Tue, 04 Dec 2001
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 2001 The Oregonian
Author: Thomas Klein


Harry D. Fisher's letter (Nov. 23) pointed out the main forces behind 
marijuana prohibition -- privatized prisons, police agencies, drug testing 
companies -- but missed a key player: the timber industry.

The male marijuana plant, also called "hemp," provides a strong fiber that 
can be made into a number of products, including paper. One acre of hemp 
will produce as much paper as four acres of trees. Hemp grows at lightning 
speed when compared with trees and does not displace native animals when it 
is harvested.

Unfortunately, marijuana prohibition has swallowed up hemp with it, denying 
farmers a lucrative and environmentally sound business.

If timber companies will spend $3.5 million to shoot down a measure that 
would have banned clear-cutting ("Greenbacks take stand for timber 
industry," Nov. 23), imagine how much they would spend to keep industrial 
hemp illegal.


Northeast Portland
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens