Pubdate: Thu, 03 Jan 2013
Source: Glenwood Springs Post Independent (CO)
Copyright: 2013 Carl McWilliams
Author: Carl McWilliams


This letter is written in response to the Jan. 2 article in the Post
Independent regarding the potential of local Garfield County farmers
to grow hemp as a cash crop and subsequent hemp value-added products
for economic development and local jobs creation.

As reporter John Colson points out, in the 1930s, the federal
government placed marijuana on a list of banned drugs and because hemp
has similar characteristics of marijuana, the feds cannot discern the
difference between the two plants in a drive-by inspection. Therefore
the DEA will never allow the economic development benefits of growing
hemp to be deployed by local Garfield County farmers.

The economic development potential for growing hemp is far too great
to allow the federal government to dictate to Garfield County farmers
that hemp cannot be grown, because the DEA agents are too lazy or
incompetent to discern the difference between hemp and marijuana
growing in fields as the agents drive by.

Therefore, I suggest the Garfield County commissioners instruct the
Garfield County attorney to develop a legal opinion to determine:

1. Does the U.S. Constitution give the power to the federal government
to regulate the cultivation of hemp? Yes or no.

2. Is the 1930s federal law banning marijuana and its bureaucratic
spillover into the cultivation of hemp in compliance with the 10th
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the
United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the
States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

In other words, I hold that under the 10th Amendment the federal
government has no legal right to dictate to the farmers of Garfield
County whether they can or cannot grow hemp.

Because Commissioners John Martin, Mike Samson and Tom Jankovsky each
swore a constitutional oath, and because of the vast economic
development potentials the cultivation of hemp offers, the Garfield
BOCC must expeditiously become involved in the political and legal
battle over the cultivation of hemp.

Carl McWilliams

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