Vote Hemp Report: Strategy & News Update
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The Vote Hemp Report 
Volume V Number II
March 29, 2010
Dear Reader,

I am very excited that the National Farmers Union has passed a strong pro-hemp resolution at their annual meeting two weeks ago in Rapid City, SD. Here is the policy that was passed:

"We urge the President, Attorney General, and Congress to direct the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to differentiate between industrial hemp and marijuana and adopt policy to allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp under state law without requiring DEA licenses."

This resolution is the result of some hard work by Vote Hemp advocates in ND and the Rocky Mountain region including Wayne Hauge (ND), Gloria Castillo (NM) and Ruth Fahrbach (NM). Vote Hemp worked to get resolutions passed at the North Dakota Farmers Union as well as the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and then to get the resolution placed into the national strategy. We also funded a booth at the NFU convention which was staffed by Gloria and Ruth. During the convention, they distributed flyers and hemp product samples from Natures Path, Nutiva, Bronner's and Living Harvest educating the 600+ delegates in attendance. Apparently there was no dissent and the policy was passed easily.

This ties in perfectly with our current Hemp History Week campaign to get the Department of Justice to change their policy on hemp farming.

NFU President Roger Johnson, formerly the Agriculture Commissioner in North Dakota, will now be able to advocate for a new hemp policy on behalf of American farmers! The NFU mentioned the policy in a press release following the convention.

For the last four growing seasons, farmers in North Dakota have received licenses from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp. Despite the state's authorization to grow hemp, these farmers risk raids by federal agents, jail time and possible forfeiture of their farms and assets if they try to grow the crop, due to the failure of DEA to distinguish non-drug industrial hemp from drug varieties of Cannabis.

The National Grange also recently added pro-hemp language to its national policy. The only major farm group without a hemp policy is the Farm Bureau and they are our next target.

As the news in this issue shows, the rest of the world gets it and is profiting off of hemp grown and processed in their countries. With your help we will continue to work towards a solution to the issue here in the U.S.

Regards,

Eric Steenstra
President
Vote Hemp
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In This Issue
Rope and Dope
Hemp Shorts:
Hanes Tries on New Hemp-Based Fibers for Size
Effluence to Affluence
Rope and Dope
       A field of hemp plants
A field of hemp plants.
Photo credit: Anndrea Hermann.

By Jessica VanEgeren
The Capital Times
March 17, 2010

On a recent day, the grandson of "America's Hemp King" relaxed poolside while reminiscing about his family's "sordid" history in Wisconsin's once-booming hemp industry.

"I get chuckles and sly smiles until I clarify what I'm talking about," says Dennis Rens, 70, in a phone conversation from his winter home in Fort Myers, Fla. Rens' grandfather, Matt Rens, was the state's largest hemp producer and owner of the state's largest hemp processing mill during the crop's heyday from 1914 to the 1950s. "In casual conversations, most people associate hemp with marijuana. Back when my grandfather had the mill, hemp was a crop, not something people talked about smoking."

But that was a different time, a time before the government dealt the hardy crop its final blow by including it in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 along with its cannabis cousin, marijuana.
Hemp Shorts:
      Marihuana Tax Stamp
Capitol Report: Hemp - Gone But Not Forgotten
Author Jessica VanEgeren blogs a follow up to The Capital Times story "Rope and Dope."

The Joy Cardin Show
It would be legal to grow industrial hemp - the kind you can't smoke - in Wisconsin, under a bill introduced by a state lawmaker. Joy Cardin talks to Adam Eidinger, Communications Director for Vote Hemp.

Farmers Show Hemp Mill Interest
A hemp fibre processing mill is being proposed for the Hunter Valley in Queensland, Australia.

Hemp Seeds are Superfoods with Minerals and Fatty Acids
Suzy Cohen gives good, straightforward answers in her "Dear Pharmacist" column.
Hanes Tries on New Hemp-Based Fibers for Size
     Crailar hemp fibers
By Jonathan Bardelline
Green Biz
March 24, 2010

A new fiber derived from the part of hemp plants typically discarded offers numerous environmental and performance benefits over cotton and is being tested by Hanesbrands.

The Crailar fibers look, fit, dye, wash and are soft like cotton, but they also shrink less, are stronger and hold dyes longer, said Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technology (NAT). Yarns and fabrics made from the fibers can even be processed on existing cotton machines.

The fibers are derived from the hemp plant's stiff and rough outermost part, which is generally discarded when turning hemp into clothing.

Effluence to Affluence
       A field of hemp plants
Dr Keith Bolton separating the bast fibre from
the hurd fibre of an industrial hemp crop.

Photo credit: Northern Rivers Echo.

By Liina Flynn
Northern Rivers Echo
March 10, 2010

Every time you flush the toilet, do you think about what happens to your bodily waste once it leaves the bowl? Ecological engineer Dr Keith Bolton does. With his driving philosophy 'there's no such thing as waste', he has devoted his career to developing natural ways of treating sewage and using effluent for the benefit of communities.

Rather than creating environmental problems by pumping effluent into rivers and oceans, Dr Bolton believes wastewater should be utilised as a resource. The projects he has been involved with have taken him from growing the first fields of industrial hemp on the North Coast through to creating sustainable solutions to sewage problems in remote Aboriginal communities.

Through his company Ecotechnology Australia, Dr Bolton and his Lismore-based Ecoteam have pioneered the design of constructed wetland ecosystems to treat sewage. If we think of wetlands as being the kidneys of the land, then the process of constructing a wetland is like performing a kidney transplant.
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Current Action Alerts
Take Action

Nationwide: Click here to write your Congressional representative and ask him/her to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009. If he/she is a co-sponsor already, you will be able to thank them and ask them to help get the bill a hearing in committee.

The following states have passed hemp farming bills and/or resolutions or memorials urging Congress to allow states to regulate hemp farming. Please use the links below to write to your Congressional representative if you are from these states.

Colorado: Click here to thank Rep. Jared Polis for becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.

Maine:
Click here to write to Your Representative and ask them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.

Montana: Click here to thank Rep. Denny Rehberg for becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.

New Mexico: Click here to write to Your Representative and ask them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.

North Dakota: Click here to write to Rep. Earl Pomeroy and ask him to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.

Oregon: Click here to write to Your Representative and ask them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866. Rep. Earl Blumenauer is a co-sponsor. Please click here to thank him.

Vermont: Click here to write to Rep. Peter Welch and ask him to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.

Washington: Click here to thank Rep. Jim McDermott for becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.

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