Pubdate: Sun, 24 Apr 2011
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle (MT)
Copyright: 2011 The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Author: Don Killian


Quick. What agricultural product is a multi-million dollar business, 
does not receive any subsidies but instead provides much-needed 
revenue to the state, employs hundreds of people and is a sustainable industry?

Cannabis of course, so why is the Legislature so intent on gutting 
this business especially when their mantra is jobs, jobs. Since we 
sanction products that are actually harmful, like alcohol, it can't 
be concern for people. Since it cuts law enforcement costs, that 
can't be it either. The evidence that it is harmful is quite limited, 
whereas the studies showing it's benefits are many.

What would make more sense is to encourage and expand the industry to 
include hemp useful for a multitude of value-added products we would 
be able to produce here in Montana. Examples include biofuel, 
biomass, clothing, paper and more. The possibilities are nearly endless.

It is almost like an ingrained prejudice against a single plant among 
so many conservative lawmakers. Popular Mechanics magazine (1938) 
touted hemp as "the new billion dollar crop," stating that it "can be 
used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to 
Cellophane." It is time for our Legislature to get serious about 
sustainable industries that produce jobs and add to the economy.

Don Killian

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