Pubdate: Fri, 21 Dec 2007
Source: Idaho Mountain Express (ID)
Copyright: 2007 Express Publishing, Inc
Author: John Caccia


Thank you for reporting on the controversial so-called  "marijuana 
initiatives" recently approved by Hailey  voters. In future articles, 
please note that industrial  hemp is not marijuana. Yes, they are 
both members of  the cannabis family but hemp plants contain 
very  little, if any, of the psychoactive agent THC. The  controversy 
surrounding marijuana reform is a  completely separate discussion 
from issues regarding  the growing of industrial hemp and I hope your 
upcoming stories will more clearly express this important  distinction.

The beneficial uses of hemp are numerous and throughout  history hemp 
has been regarded as one of the world's  most useful crops. In George 
Washington's time, most  U.S. farmers were required by law to grow 
hemp because  it had so many beneficial uses, including fabric for 
clothing, paper products, ropes, lotions and soil  improvement. In 
addition, hemp is drought resistant and  it's seeds, which are prized 
for their high Omega 3 oil  content, are one of the most nutritious 
foods on the  planet.

In 1939. the U.S. Congress, pressured by influential  timber, cotton 
and petrochemical lobbies, made growing  hemp illegal. Today the 
United States is one of a few  countries in the world where hemp 
growing is outlawed.  I encourage Hailey city officials to prioritize 
the  implementation of the "industrial hemp initiative" and  I look 
forward to the day where at least in Hailey,  Idaho, growing hemp 
will not be a crime.

John Caccia
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom