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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Restoring the Revenue: Growing Hemp in Detroit with House Resolution 314

The Friends of Cushingberry
August 19, 2010

Rep. Lamar Lemmonds has introduced legislation to allow Michigan Farmers to grow industrial grade hemp for use by businesses and industries doing business in Michigan. On July 28, 2010 Mr. Lemmonds made this a reality when this bill was referred to the commerce committee. The benefit to the community is that it will create jobs in manufacturing and correct the trade imbalance with Canada regarding hemp products.

HR 0314 is a resolution to memorialize Congress and the administration to recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity and to take certain steps to remove barriers in order to Industrial hemp refers to the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis which are cultivated exclusively for fiber, stalk, and seed. Industrial hemp is genetically distinct from the drug varieties of Cannabis, also known as marijuana. Industrial hemp has less than three tenths of one percent of the psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The flowering tops of industrial hemp cannot produce any drug effect when smoked or ingested.

Industrial hemp is an incredible plant that offers a plethora of uses, which among other things could reduce our dependency on foreign oil AND help curb deforestation for paper products and most importantly bring jobs back to Michigan.

There are thousands of ways that various parts of the hemp plant can be used: paper, ethanol, textiles/clothing, food (hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids humans need), oil paints, plastics, cordage, drywall, and insulation to name a few.
Hemp products abound in the United States. Nutritious hemp foods can be found in grocery stores nationwide and strong durable hemp fibers can be found in the interior parts of millions of American cars. Buildings are being constructed using a hemp and lime mixture, thereby sequestering carbon. Retail sales of hemp products in this country are estimated to be $1 billion annually.

Currently the State of Michigan imports %100 of our hemp from Canada. This must change because the agriculture community has high unemployment and the massive benefits from using hemp products. Agricultural institutions of higher learning will be able to develop research programs to use hemp products for industry and foster developments of urban grow centers. Students attending Michigan State University for example will see the cost for their books and tuition remain constant for 10 years from the revenue generated by hemp. For example a place like Old Tiger Stadium which has been renamed Ernie Harwell Park can grow legitimate hemp instead of the weed that is growing there now.

Due to term limits, Rep. Lemmonds will not be there when this bill gets to the promise land of becoming a law. The City of Detroit and the State of Michigan need the money in the worst way. Revenue from hemp would reopen or rebuild neighborhood recreation centers like Johnson Center, Coleman Young, and other civic projects. It is up to you and other interested citizens to contact your new elected officials like Rep. Elect Thomas Stallworth, Senator Elect Virgil Smith and others who will have a job in Lansing at the Capitol. Demand that this bill gets a full vote by the entire House and Senate as soon as possible because the main excuse is that no one contacts their offices about anything. Make this excuse go away by using your phone, email, fax, and letter if you have the time to write one. Ask your State legislator for a hearing and a full vote on HR 314 today.

1 comment:

Sherry A Wells, Green Party of Michigan said...

Lamar Lemmons--no "d". He is on the elected school board in Detroit that calls itself "The school board in exile." He's spoken to the State Board of Education about Detroit's school district problems caused by external sources. - Good Stuff on the Internet