Pubdate: Fri, 18 Jan 2008
Source: Bismarck Tribune (ND)
Copyright: 2008 The Bismarck Tribune
Author: Tiffany Thrasher


There have only been letters to the editor  expressing opposition to 
the legalization of hemp, but  there should also be a letter 
explaining the advantages  of legalizing hemp growth in North Dakota.

The main argument that is keeping the crop from being  legalized is 
that federal law considers hemp the same  as marijuana, and by 
allowing it, they feel they would  be legalizing a drug. While hemp 
and marijuana both  come from the cannabis plant, they are different 
variations of the plant. Hemp contains less than 1  percent THC, and 
it is impossible to get a high from  it.

In no way does the legalization of hemp growth advocate  the growth 
or distribution of marijuana.

By allowing farmers to grow the crop, they would  provide another 
source of income. This would circulate  more money into our economy, 
which may help with the  forecast recession.

Legalizing hemp is also beneficial from an  environmental standpoint.

Hemp can be used to make products such as clothes,  jewelry, lotion, 
chapstick and bread. It provides  organic substitutes for things that 
otherwise harm our  environment. Currently, hemp is more expensive 
than  those alternatives, but legalizing it would make it  more 
common and therefore less expensive. This would  leave people more 
likely to purchase environmentally  friendly items.

It is argued that too many people oppose the plan so it  will not be 
brought to Congress, but many farmers and  consumers disagree. Sen. 
Kent Conrad stated that he  would like to bring it to Congress, but 
he does not  believe his opinion matters. It does matter because 
it  is his job to represent the citizens of North Dakota  and many of 
us think it would be beneficial.

Even if the plan were to be denied, at least we would  know that it 
was attempted, which is better than not  trying at all.

Those who oppose this proposition say hemp should not  be allowed 
because it resembles marijuana instead of  corn or soybeans.

Then maybe we should outlaw Tylenol because it  resembles 
prescription pills. Better yet, should baking  soda be outlawed 
because it has the appearance of  cocaine?

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom