Leading Hemp Advocacy Groups Applaud Introduction of California Hemp Farming Bill SB 676
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The leading hemp advocacy organizations Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association are applauding the introduction two weeks ago of SB 676 in support of hemp farming in the state of California. The bill clarifies that industrial hemp is separate and distinct from forms of Cannabis used to produce marijuana and if passed will allow commercial farming of industrial hemp, which occurred in the state up until shortly after World War II. Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed and fiber varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp has absolutely no value as a recreational drug.
SB 676 was introduced on Friday, February 18th by state Senator Mark Leno. Senator Leno believes that hemp farming will help revitalize California's economy, "The time is long over due for California farmers to be allowed to grow this sustainable and profitable crop once again. The passage of SB 676 will create new jobs and economic opportunities for many farmers and manufacturers throughout the state."
A variety of products made from industrial hemp, including healthy food and natural body care products as well as eco-friendly clothing, are made in California. "There are over 50 member businesses of the Hemp Industries Association
(HIA) that make or sell hemp products in the state of California alone that could benefit from an in-state source of hemp seed, fiber and oil," says Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the HIA. "Because of an outdated federal policy these businesses are forced to import millions of dollars of industrial hemp from Canada, China and Europe."
"Dr. Bronner's currently purchases twenty tons of hemp oil each year from Canada. We look forward to the day that we can meet our supply needs from hemp produced right here in our home state," says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps of Escondido.
To date, 17 states have passed pro-hemp laws or resolutions, including the California Assembly in 1999, when it passed a resolution declaring that "the Legislature should consider action to revise the legal status of industrial hemp to allow for its growth in California as an agricultural and industrial crop."
SB 676 would only allow farmers to produce and enter into the marketplace the parts of the industrial hemp plant already legal to import under state and federal law: its seed, oil, fiber and woody core. "SB 676 would not conflict with federal law or interfere with the enforcement of marijuana laws," explains Patrick Goggin, California Legal Counsel for Vote Hemp.
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Two-year-old boy prescribed medical cannabis in battle against brain tumour
A two-year-old boy is one of over 50 under-18s being prescribed medical cannabis in one U.S. state alone.
Toddler Cash Hyde, who lives in Montana, was given the drug to help ease debilitating symptoms as he battled a brain tumour and, according to his dad, it worked.
'I believe that you know Cashy's with us for a lot of reasons, one of them I would have to say is the power of prayer, one he's a walking miracle and the other one is he is a patient of medical cannabis, which has I think greatly benefited his battle,' Mr Hyde told KPAX News.
The young boy, who is now in remission, struggled to cope with the side-effects of chemotherapy but his parents say cannabis helped improve his appetite and made him sleep better.
'I watched Cashy not be able to eat for over 40 days, live off nothing but fluid intravenously to the point where he couldn't lift his head up off his pillow,' his father said.
Montana has a total of 51 medical cannabis card holders under the age of 18 - a much more modest number than it at first appears, argues the Missoula Chapter Director of Montana Medical Growers Association, Tayln Lang.
'When I see the number 51 and we're in a state of a million people that's a fraction of a percentage and even with the 28,000 people that are on the program, it's still a fraction not even 1 per cent, so the number is really really small,' he said.
The prescription of cannabis, which some believe can affect brain development, to minors has caused concern, but Mr Hyde believes the benefits outweigh the negative effects.
'If you or someone you know has battled cancer I don't have to tell you how devastating it is to watch chemo and cancer consume your loved one and when you can actually watch something that you're doing for them actually benefit them in a way that nobody else can do, you feel empowered you feel like you can make a difference,' he said.
Supporters of the scheme are also quick to point out that, in many cases, children who are prescribed cannabis will not smoke it, but rather will ingest it in the form of cakes and muffins.
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Police Seize $4.1m Of Cannabis
Police said today the raids in the Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command (LAC) take their total haul in the Strike Force Unwin cannabis eradication program to $21.7 million. Strike Force Unwin comprises detectives from the Drug Squads Cannabis Team, the NSW Police Air Wing, Dog Squad and Coffs Clarence LAC.
This latest raids from Monday to Friday targeted areas including Repton, Boambee, Korora, Sandon District, Woombah, Ashby, Tyndle, Billys Creek and Dorrigo. Police seized 2057 plants, up to 3m high. They plan more raids in coming months. Drug Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham warned drug cultivators they wouldn't know where or when police would strike. "Our aim is to detect and destroy cannabis crops across the state," he said in a statement. "Whether it's a semi-rural crop or on a steep mountainside in a remote part of the state, there's a very high chance police will find it."
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