For Immediate Release
October 31, 2003
Contact Zoe Mitchell or Adam Eidinger
Mintwood Media at (202) 986-6186
Where do Presidential Candidates
Stand on Hemp?
New Survey to be Released January 5, 2004
WASHINGTON, DC —
On behalf of voters nationwide — including farmers,
environmentalists and entrepreneurs — Vote Hemp
is sending a survey to all presidential candidates this
week to gauge their views on the farming, manufacture
and sale of industrial hemp products in the United States.
The results of the survey will be released on January
5, 2004, but embargoed copies of the survey will be
available to members of the media in mid-December.
“The Vote Hemp 2004 Candidate Survey
will be published online at the www.VoteHemp.com Web
site and in print versions that we will distribute at
events nationwide,” says Eric Steenstra, President
of the Vote Hemp, the nation’s leading non-profit
organization dedicated to the legal acceptance of industrial
hemp — the non-psychoactive variety of cannabis
sativa plant. Candidates have until December 15 to review
and answer four questions in the survey. Candidates
that do not reply to the survey will be viewed as unfriendly
to the millions of voters who purchase and use hemp
products (over $150 million in U.S. hemp sales
in 2000 alone).
The following questions will be asked
1. Do you support allowing U.S. farmers to grow low-THC industrial
hemp under a regulated system like the ones in Canada
and the European Union and would you sign into law
legislation furthering that goal?
2. The Bush Administration has attempted
to ban nutritious and safe hemp seed products that
are exempt from the definition of marijuana. These
foods products include bread, waffles, energy bars,
non-dairy milk and many other items that have been
sold for years in thousands of stores. They DO NOT
get people high or cause people to fail drug tests.
They DO contain an excellent balance of essential
fatty acids and protein. Do you feel that hemp food
products should remain legal?
3. In April of 2003 Zogby conducted
a national poll of 1,000 likely voters that revealed
a majority support allowing US farmers to grow industrial
hemp under a regulated system. Were you aware that
79% of American voters support allowing US farmers
to grow hemp to supply US companies like Ford, Chrysler,
and Ralph Lauren?
4. The Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) has made the research of industrial hemp nearly
impossible by denying or delaying permits to researchers
in Hawaii and elsewhere. Would you support or introduce
legislation to allow states to conduct research on
industrial hemp without a special permit from DEA?
Hundreds of U.S. businesses are manufacturing
and selling a wide variety of products made from industrial
hemp in thousands of retail stores across the country.
Products made with hemp fiber, hurd or seed can now
be found in chain stores like Wal-Mart, Staples, Whole
Foods Market and The Body Shop, as well as in more than
2 million U.S. cars by Ford, Chrysler and other major
auto makers. Unfortunately, American companies have
no choice but to import hemp from Canada, Europe and
Asia. This is despite the fact that hemp grows well
in all 50 states and the U.S. has a long history of
hemp farming dating back to colonial times when George
Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp on their farms
and promoted the use of hemp. A recent Zogby poll of
1,000 likely voters showed that 66% of Americans support
allowing U.S. farmers to grow industrial hemp.
Visit www.VoteHemp.com to read court
documents and numerous scientific
studies concerning hemp foods. For more information,
or to arrange interviews with representatives of the
hemp industry, please call Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186.