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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 7, 2006

CONTACT:
Patrick Goggin 415-312-0084
Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
adam@votehemp.com

Vote Hemp Names California Assemblyman
Mark Leno 'Legislator of the Year'

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Vote Hemp (www.VoteHemp.com), the nation's leading grassroots organization dedicated to removing barriers to growing industrial hemp, has named California Assemblyman Mark Leno of San Francisco "Legislator of the Year" for sponsoring AB 1147, The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act. Thanks to Mr. Leno and his staff's tireless work, his landmark legislation passed both the California Assembly and Senate, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in September of this year. The award presentation will be given at the Hemp Industries Association's Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 9 at 4:30 pm at the Ramada Civic Center located at 1231 Market Street in San Francisco.

Once passing out of the Assembly in January of this year, AB 1147 gained momentum due to Mr. Leno's successful advocacy to fellow legislators. Vote Hemp has worked with numerous officials at all levels of government to shape legislation; Mr. Leno is a model advocate for rational hemp policy.

Another important reason Vote Hemp's recognition is focused on Mr. Leno is his staff's sincere enthusiasm which assisted greatly in securing new public awareness of the hemp issue and the common sense solutions the vast majority of citizens believe should be enacted. Careful deliberation by the staff focused on real world solutions giving farmers in America equal rights with those around the rest of the world to grow the crop.

Mr. Leno invited hemp business leaders, who spend millions of dollars each year importing hemp from Canada, China and Europe, to testify at hearings. The award will be presented at the annual Hemp Industries Association meeting featuring numerous hemp product displays.

AB 1147 had been carefully crafted to comply with federal law and minimize any impact on law enforcement. It included tough regulations without placing an undue burden on farmers. The bill would have permitted cultivation of only ultra-low-THC industrial hemp grown as an agricultural field crop or in a research setting. Backyard or horticultural cultivation would have been prohibited, and any clandestine grove of Cannabis would have been considered a controlled substance regardless of its THC content.

No industrial hemp is grown in the United States today, even though seven states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia) have passed hemp farming and research bills in recent years.

Vote Hemp is a non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow low-THC industrial hemp. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.HempIndustries.org. BETA SP or DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.

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