Pubdate: Wed, 20 Nov 2002
Source: Herald-Dispatch, The (WV)
Copyright: 2002 The Herald-Dispatch
Author: Winnie Fox
Bookmark: (Hemp)


The last session of the Legislature passed an Industrial Hemp Bill and
the governor signed it.

We were all so happy that maybe we could finally have an economy based
on an environmentally friendly and sane policy.

I've been asking for months: What happened to that bill? I called the
WVU Extension Service and they suggested that I should be more positive.

Finally, I called called Agricultural Commissioner Gus Douglass and
insisted on some kind of written answer. On Oct. 9, I received a
letter from Richard S. Hannah, deputy commissioner. This is what he

"The Plant Division of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture
will be working with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency in a plan to
grow the plant experimentally under strict controls. However, the DEA
is exerting tight control over these programs and is not allowing
states to pursue open growing of the plant.

"When the Legislature passed the bill, no funding was appropriated for
implementation. There are many issues to be worked out before a
sustainable plan can be regulated. Once guidelines are established and
we have received DEA approvals, we will notify with news releases.

"If you have additional information on the program, please contact the
Plant Industries at (304) 558-2212."

I translate this to mean that we can expect some action on this bill
some time before hell freezes over.

These are your tax dollars in action, folks.

Winnie Fox,
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake