Pubdate: Thu, 28 Jul 2005
Source: Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Osprey Media Group Inc.
Author: Trevor Wilhelm
Bookmark: (Hemp - Outside U.S.)


Like whoa, man, if you smoke that stuff it will be a major bummer.

It's not marijuana.

The hemp-farming Kennedy family has put up signs at the edge of their 
54-acre hemp field in the hope that people will stop stealing their stash. 
But it hasn't been working.

It's been frustrating, said Bob Kennedy of Purity Hemp Products, because 
hemp can look and smell like marijuana, but it doesn't pack the same trippy 

"Going into a hemp field and stealing hemp is like a wino going to a winery 
and stealing grapes," he said. "It's not going to get you anywhere."

The Kennedys put up two large signs this year on their property west of the 
city near the Peterborough Speedway on County Road 9, after seven years of 
being ripped off.

Two years ago, said Lawrence Kennedy, 67, someone wiped out five acres.

"Three guys from Oshawa filled the back of a Lincoln and had a huge pile 
more by the fence," he said.

Lawrence, his daughter Jo Anne and son Bob process the seeds and sell the 
oil to health food stores.

"We've always had a lot of problems with people getting into it and 
tramping it, breaking fences and just making a hell of a mess," said 
Lawrence, a government-licensed hemp farmer.

In the past, he said they tried to hide the plants by planting corn along 
the road. That didn't work.

Const. Gord Klingspohn of Peterborough County OPP said police actually laid 
charges in 2002. He said he's not aware of any complaints this year.

"But that doesn't mean it hasn't happened," Klingspohn said. "We have had 
incidents in the county. It's usually involving young people sneaking onto 
property and stealing some thinking it's marijuana."

This year, Lawrence tried a more direct approach.

"This time, I said 'To hell with it, I'm going to put it right out in the 
open and put signs up,'" he said.

The signs get to the point: "Industrial Hemp. This is not marijuana. No THC 
content. For processing only. Stay out."

Unfortunately, that hasn't worked either.

"We've had three or four people get into it so far this year," he said.

The Kennedys aren't alone in their frustration.

"That's happened very frequently across Canada," said Helmut Becker, 
director of the Ontario Hemp Alliance. "It's really pointless because the 
content of the drug element in industrial hemp is minuscule, so you'd have 
to smoke a field full of it. You'd die of smoke inhalation. It's a complete 
educational misunderstanding."

In fact, said Alliance president Louise Hollingsworth, smoking hemp is 
really bad for you. She said hemp has very little tetrahydrocannabinal 
(THC), the fungus that gets you high.

When you have less THC, that means you have more of other chemicals that 
will actually make you sick.

"But you can't stop people from being stupid," Hollingsworth said. "You're 
going to get sick, not stoned."

Consuming hemp in other ways, however, is a different story, said Jo Anne 

"It's a health promoting product and they're destroying it for the wrong 
reasons," she said. "The seeds are just amazing for your health and they're 
coming in and destroying the only part of the plant we're interested in."

Despite still being illegal in the United States because of its association 
with marijuana, Becker said the hemp plant has thousands of other practical 
uses, including food, fibre and clothing.
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