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The Vote Hemp Weekly News Update Volume I, Number 10
November 16, 2006

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the tenth issue of The Vote Hemp Weekly News Update! A lot of major changes have happened in the past week, but will it be good for hemp? The lead story from North Dakota is Hemp-growing rules take step forward. Progress there has been slow, but steady. There is more good news as well. Roger Johnson, the Democratic candidate, has been re-elected as Agriculture Commissioner of North Dakota! Commissioner Johnson is also President Elect of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) for 2007. Interestingly enough Doug Goehring, the Republican candidate, also believes that farmers should be able to grow industrial hemp.

Considering that she only had six weeks to campaign and raise money, Republican Rep. Cynthia Thielen of Hawaii did extremely well to get 36% of the vote in her losing bid for the U.S. Senate. Cynthia was the sponsor of several successful hemp bills in the Hawaii legislature and has been a strong supporter of allowing U.S. farmers to grow hemp.

If you have been off in the Desolation Wilderness and have not heard the news the Democrats won the majority in both the U.S. House and Senate in last week's elections. They also won Governorships in 28 states.

In New Hampshire, where an industrial hemp farming bill has been pre-filed for 2007, Democrats regained control of the New Hampshire House for the first time since 1911. They also regained control of the Senate. We are hopeful that the new leadership will be supportive of industrial hemp farming legislation in New Hampshire.

Industrial hemp is an economic development and agricultural issue and we would not be where we are now without cooperation from all sides. Farmers, business people, and consumers in the U.S. should be able to profit from our large markets as well as the Canadians. The World-Spectator story below notes that 24,000 acres of industrial hemp was licensed in Canada in 2005. A draft Health Canada report shows an increase of over 100% in the 2006 growing season to just over 50,000 acres!

Will all of these changes will put Vote Hemp in a better position to try and pass pro-hemp legislation on the state and Federal level? We will need your help to continue our work and find out. Please make a contribution to Vote Hemp today to help us fix the situation here in the U.S.

We need and truly appreciate your support!

Best Regards,

Tom Murphy
Weekly News Update Editor

Weekly News Update Stories
  • Hemp-growing rules take step forward
  • For an eco-surfboard, local entrepreneur says, 'Hemp, hemp, hoora
  • Good Experience With Hemp
  • SWAZILAND: Illegal cannabis could become legal 'Swazi Gold'

  • For an eco-surfboard, local entrepreneur says, 'Hemp, hemp, hoora

    By Gwen Mickelson
    In The Water
    Santa Cruz Sentinel
    November 12, 2006)

    Aaron Carvajal hefted the deep-green, bat-tailed board into the air and eyeballed it.

    "I'd say it's about nine feet," he said, peering upward past the bill of his hemp cap.

    Carvajal, one of Santa Cruz's newest hemp evangelists, was decked head to toe in clothing made of hemp on Friday, as he is every other day at his hemp products shop and museum, U.S. Hemp Co. And, you guessed it, the surfboard in his hands was also constructed with fibers from the controversial plant, which many praise as the world's premier renewable resource but whose use in the United States is severely restricted by governmental drug enforcement bodies because it contains the psychoactive ingredient found in hashish and marijuana.

    That ingredient, THC, is only found in minute levels in hemp, according to Wikipedia. Though industrial hemp is legal for import and sale in the United States, American farmers are not permitted to grow it.

    Good Experience With Hemp

    The World-Spectator
    November 6, 2006

    John Ackland heard all the jokes when he decided to try his hand at growing hemp on his farmland.

    "The first time I grew it around here, I had lots of guys coming into the shop and laughing, 'So, you're growing marijuana, are you?'" he chuckled.

    "Now it's becoming a more common crop around here, and the jokes are long gone," he said. "People are starting to understand that it's actually a cash crop. Now, my phone bounces off the wall with people asking how they go about getting contracts to grow hemp. So they realize there is potential out there."

    Commercial hemp production became legal in Canada in 1998, although growers must still be licensed by Health Canada. In 2005, roughly 24,000 acres were seeded to the crop across the country -- over one-third of it in Saskatchewan, equally split between conventional and organic production.

    SWAZILAND: Illegal cannabis could become legal 'Swazi Gold'

    IRIN News
    October 30, 2006

    A fundamental shift in Swaziland's attitude towards the cannabis plant, or hemp, the country's most lucrative cash crop, could be on the horizon. The government is set to allow small-scale production of hemp to see if it has the potential to become an economically viable crop.

    "In hemp we have an alternative to cotton, which has let us down badly over the last few years. It has been because of marijuana that we have found it difficult to talk about hemp, but that is changing, and we are beginning to shape public opinion to its benefits," said Lufto Dlamini, the Swazi Minister for Enterprise and Employment.

    "The government is considering a proposal to grow hemp, and a decision will be reached by the end of this month. But I expect it will be given the go-ahead to grow for research purposes, and if that proves successful then we will see," he told IRIN.

    Hemp-growing rules take step forward

    By Dale Wetzel
    Associated Press
    November 16, 2006

    Bismarck, N.D. - State rules for growing industrial hemp are close to taking effect, although federal drug agents will have the final say on whether farmers may cultivate it, Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said.

    Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued a letter Wednesday saying the proposed rules comply with state law. A legislative committee that reviews North Dakota agency regulations still must go over them before they take effect, Johnson said.

    Industrial hemp is a relative of marijuana, but does not have the hallucinogenic chemical that provides a "high" when the leaf is smoked. It is used to produce an assortment of goods, including paper, rope, clothing and cosmetics.

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