Pubdate: Tue, 22 Jan 2013
Source: Glenwood Springs Post Independent (CO)
Copyright: 2013 Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Author: Carl Mc Williams


This letter is written to the Garfield County commissioners and the 
mayors and trustees of our local governments, who may be confused 
about the difference between marijuana and hemp and who do not fully 
grasp the significant economic development and livable wage jobs 
creation opportunities that industrial hemp offers to the citizens of 
Garfield County.

With the November passage of Amendment 64, the voters of Colorado 
amended Article 18 of the Colorado Constitution to de-criminalize 
marijuana and establish statewide excise tax revenues on the sale of 
cannabis, and to allow for the statewide cultivation and 
commercialization of industrial hemp. The amendment declares that 
industrial hemp must be regulated separately from marijuana, and 
requires the Colorado General Assembly to "enact legislation 
governing the cultivation, processing, and the sale of industrial hemp."

Accordingly, a value-added agriculture economy may be defined as:

1. The science, art or practice of cultivating the soil with seed and 
harvesting the resulting crops (raw materials).

2. The manipulation of the harvested crops, by capital and labor, 
into value-added products.

3. The marketing and transportation of the resulting value added 
products into the marketplace of commerce.

Wealth is created when capital and labor combine to add value to the 
harvested crops, and that wealth is the engine of the value-added 
agriculture economy.

For instance, hemp fibers are excellent sources for paper such as 
newsprint. A Garfield County farmer plants hemp seed and 110 days 
later harvests the 10-foot-tall hemp plants and then transports the 
fiber to a locally owned paper mill, where the hemp fiber is 
manipulated, by capital and local labor, into value-added industrial 
newsprint, and that newsprint is then sold to Colorado newspapers. 
Thus the advertisers of the newspapers are the actual buyers of the 
farmer's hemp and actually pay the wages of the local county laborers.

That said, as Amendment 64 becomes part of Colorado commerce, please 
don't lump hemp together with marijuana. The best analogy I can give 
is the "Parable of the Wheat and the Tares." The wheat is the hemp 
and the tares are marijuana.

Carl Mc Williams

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom