Pubdate: Wed, 24 Sep 2003
Source: Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC)
Copyright: 2003 The Herald-Sun
Author: Gale Glenn


Regarding your story headlined "Edwards stumped by question in N.H. on use 
of industrial hemp" [Herald-Sun, Sept. 18]:

Some facts about industrial hemp, grown in 35 countries including England, 
France, Germany and Canada. The plant grows up to 16 feet in four months, 
producing six to 10 tons of fiber per acre, a fiber so versatile it can be 
used to make furniture, fabric, fuel, carpets, cabinets, construction 
material, paper, plastics and composites, all of which are biodegradable or 

Example: Mercedes-Benz automobiles are now 38 percent industrial hemp -- 
the dashboard, steering wheel, door panels, headliner, carpet and 
upholstery. Not surprising, since in 1940, Henry Ford made a car entirely 
of agricultural fibers (except for the engine) and it ran on industrial 
hemp diesel fuel.

Using no pesticides or herbicides, industrial hemp is sustainable and 
environmentally friendly, grown with certified seed, thus ensuring it has 
absolutely no value as a recreational drug. However, this crop is 
prohibited in the United States mainly because politicians are afraid to be 
thought soft on drugs, a scientifically irrational position considering 
cross-pollination would ruin any marijuana growing within a country mile of 
a field of industrial hemp.

That fact explains why marijuana producers are violently against the 
legalization of industrial hemp.

U.S. farmers need a new, low-labor industrial cash crop and U.S. industries 
would use U.S.-grown industrial hemp rather than importing hemp fiber as 
they are now doing. The current prohibition of certified industrial hemp 
defies all logical thinking. It's a pity none of our legislators found time 
to attend the 2001 International Seminar on Industrial Hemp sponsored by 
N.C. State's Kenan Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology. 
Concrete facts can be a real eye-opener.

Editor's note: The writer is vice-chairman of the North American Industrial 
Hemp Council. The length rule for letters was waived.

GALE GLENN Durham September 24, 2003
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