Pubdate: Mon, 3 Aug 2009
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Copyright: 2009 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Author: Eldon Orr


I enjoyed "Medicinal marijuana use booms in Colorado"  (July 28). I
hope Missourians soon can make use of that  beneficial herb, too.
There are problems with  prescription painkillers and
anti-depressants; besides  serious addiction problems, there are
serious and risky  side effects.

But the hemp herb has painkilling and anti-depressant  effects without
any serious addicting power (less than  coffee). And the side effects
from sensible use of it  are pleasant and beneficial.

The agricultural benefits of legalizing hemp -- both  medicinal and
industrial -- would be a gift to Missouri  citizens, too. Hemp doesn't
need pesticides or  herbicides, as do other crops. It also helps break
up  the soil to provide excellent tilth for future crops in  the
rotational cycle.

Hemp can be used for a variety of manufactured  products: ethanol
fuel, internal lubricants, garments  as rugged as denim or smooth as
silk, particle board,  strong newsprint, gentle inks, insulation,
paint,  plastic, varnish, soap, mulch, animal feed, birdseed,
granola, protein-rich flour, salad oil and nutritional  supplements.
That is more product diversity than we  have available from any other
plant. We should make  full use of it again.

The hemp plant should be decriminalized so American  farmers can grow
it. Its medicinal use should be  allowed to help put the drug cartels
out of business.  And the historic industries associated with hemp
could  spring up, restoring our economy to the unmatched  prosperity
we once had when hemp was legal.

Eldon Orr

Gatewood, Mo.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake