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David Sparks, Ph.D. 8-10 FB Pot Comment
by David Sparks, Ph.D., click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: August 10, 2010

 Response to Marijuana series. I’m David Sparks and I’ll be right back. I recently did a series on the potential for legalizing marijuana for medical uses and talked about the financial implications for farmers. I received this e-mail from Russ Belville, Outreach Coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and found it interesting so I’ll share it with you. He says: “Forget the medical marijuana and recreational pot smoking for a moment.  Idaho farmers are currently banned from growing industrial hemp.  This is the non-drug form of marijuana.  The US is the only industrialized country that bans hemp farming, and the countries that allow hemp farming still ban drug marijuana.

Currently, Canadian farmers are reaping $80/hectare for their hemp farming, most of which is imported into the US for creating hemp products like clothing, soaps, food, plastics, rope, pressboard, concrete, and more (hemp products are legal here; you just can't grow it here).

 Hemp farming requires little water and no pesticide, grows damn near everywhere, replenishes the soil (it's a perfect rotational crop), and keeps away the outdoor growers of drug marijuana because they don't want the hemp to cross-pollinate their pot.

 Do the ag community a favor and report on the industrial hemp without the fearmongering and stereotyping that will inevitably accompany any report that delves into medical marijuana and recreational pot.

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