In Honor of Richard James Rawlings 1961-2013

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Richard James Rawlings with Gatewood Galbraith in Glasgow, Kentucky 2011

The U.S. Marijuana Party, did, on February 24, 2013, loose one of its first and most influential Presidents, 

Second only to Loretta Nall, who preceded him as the first President of the USMJParty in 2002.

Richard James Rawlings took the head of the table in 2005 after Ms. Nall’s resignation.

He actively ran for Congress in Peoria Illinois several times.  He promoted many legalization activities in the Peoria area of Illinois and attended many more events in various states until he began to become ill in 2009-10.

It was not until July of 2012 that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Throat, Lung and Adrenal Cancer.

At the age of 51, he died peacefully at his mother’s home where we had resided since shortly after his hospitalization in Glasgow Kentucky for two weeks in July 2012 where he received the diagnosis and the surgery for the trach which he would continue to wear until the night of his death when I removed it. 

All of his family were with him almost constantly during the last two weeks.  And I am forever grateful to them for all their support to me during this most difficult time.

His death broke my Heart.  We were not only coworkers, friends and companions – we were lovers and partners.

He will never be forgotten by me and I know the same sentiment holds true with all of his family, friends and followers.

May what he stood for never be forgotten:  Repeal of Hemp/Marijuana/Cannabis Laws at best or Legalization at least.

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May He Rest In Peace

Sheree Krider

 

Hemp vs. marijuana: Deciphering the differences is full of complexities

Published: February 9, 2013

By Janet Patton — [email protected]

 

3 types cannabis

The nightmare hemp scenario for Kentucky State Police apparently is a field legally licensed to grow hemp for grain with illegally planted marijuana mingled in.

Unlike hemp grown for fiber (when the plants are inches apart to promote tall stalk growth), the hemp grown for grain and marijuana plants would look substantially the same, said Jeremy Triplett, supervisor of the state police forensic lab.

Both could be shorter and bushy. The only way to really know, he said, would be to test for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that gives marijuana smokers a high.

Such testing could cost hundreds thousands of dollars each year, at $755 per quantitative analysis, not to mention $1.8 million in start-up expenses, state police have estimated.

But would that really happen? Would an unscrupulous pot grower plant marijuana with hemp?

Take Canada, where marijuana also is illegal but hemp has been legally grown since 1998: "Health Canada’s Industrial Hemp Program has never found marijuana growing in hemp fields instead of hemp," the agency said in a statement.

They’ve looked. A lot.

Canadian inspectors take samples annually from each field and have found THC levels slightly above 0.3 percent from stress during growing, but not above 0.5 percent, Health Canada said.

Keith Watson, Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives agronomist, has seen and tested most of the hemp grown in his province in the past 15 years. Does marijuana creep in?

"I’ve never run into it," Watson said. About 95 percent of the crop is sampled annually, and he said that marijuana and grain hemp might look just alike and could be planted side by side and only an expert eye might distinguish the difference. But in his experience, it just doesn’t happen.

"Over the years, that’s taken me out to an awful lot of fields," Watson said. "I’ve never found marijuana in the field or any trace of it."

He said a "handful" of times he has seen paths cut into the fields, places were people have topped the plants. But it doesn’t happen much any more.

"After a couple of years, nobody bothers it," he said.

What about marijuana?

As for marijuana growers using hemp to pad their illegal pot, "the general impression is that’s a self-regulating industry," Watson said. "They’ll get away with it once … but if the quality (of the marijuana) isn’t up to par, there will be a lot of broken kneecaps."

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and others say marijuana growers would not want hemp anywhere near their illegal crop because the extra-low THC varieties of Cannibis sativa known as hemp would cross-pollinate with the high-THC Cannibis sativa that is marijuana and weaken the potency of the illegal product.

But Triplett, of the state police lab, said there is a flaw in that argument: The offspring of the current crop might be watered down, but the original plants would be just as potent as ever.

"I might reduce my profit margin, but I can plant 10 acres in plain view and not worry about it," Triplett said.

Most of the 3,128 samples of marijuana that Triplett’s lab tested last year for felony drug cases had much higher levels of THC than 0.3 percent. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reported that 10 percent is about the norm nationally.

"But I can tell you for sure there’s still lots of very average marijuana out there," Triplett said.

Kentucky State Police Chief Rodney Brewer confirmed that. "Ten percent would be a good grade for Kentucky," he said.

His office destroyed 441,000 marijuana plants last year, and he attributes much of it to Mexican drug cartels willing to come to Kentucky, grow "what we call ditchweed — 3 to 4 to 5 percent THC — grow twice as much, sell twice as much and make twice the profit," Brewer said.

As for Canada’s experience, Brewer said: "Just because they didn’t find it doesn’t mean it’s not there."

He pointed to the boom in medical marijuana in Canada, which he said keeps the Royal Canadian Mounted Police busy, primarily stopping indoor growers.

But medical marijuana growers are not thrilled with hemp either.

In California, where medical marijuana growers are aiming for THC levels of 30 percent or higher, many growers are up in arms over the possibility of hemp being grown in the San Joaquin Valley, said Sarah Soares, an advocate with the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform.

They argue that "pollen from industrial hemp will destroy their crops," she said.

Even indoor growers go to great lengths to prevent pollen from sneaking in, with HEPA filters and sticky mats at doorways.

Why?

One way growers boost the level of THC is by destroying male pollen-producing flowers so the female flowers keep producing sticky, THC-laden resin. Once the flowers are fertilized, they stop making the resin and set seed, something that most growers don’t want.

"Nobody will buy marijuana that is full of seeds any more," Soares said. "That was the ’70s."

Soares said that the law enforcement argument that marijuana might be hidden among the hemp is "a Trojan horse." Any grower who wanted to hide in plain sight would be taking a risk: Scrutiny is guaranteed.

"Farmers are in farming to make money. If they planted something that would get them in trouble, they wouldn’t make money," Soares said.

What’s the cost of testing?

Kentucky Senate Bill 50, filed by state Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, gives the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and law enforcement the right to inspect hemp crops at will; the GPS coordinates of fields would be reported as well, to avoid confusion.

As for increased drug testing, it is not clear that the state police drug lab would be required to do much more work than they do now: The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is prepared to handle testing to regulate industrial hemp, Comer said.

"It will cost $20 to do a test," Comer said. The state Agriculture Department "can do all the testing without one additional person or one additional penny of tax dollars."

What are the economic benefits?

Brewer and narcotics officers have said that hemp’s economic benefits have been overblown. Brewer, along with House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said that it needs more study.

Brewer pointed to Canada, which studied hemp production for three years before licensing farmers. There, hemp has been a bit of a roller coaster, but the general trajectory remains up.

"It’s a very small industry at this point, but it’s growing at about 20 to 25 percent a year, each year," said Watson, the hemp agronomist. "So it’s getting to be fairly significant."

But there have been ups and downs. In 2006, a bumper crop combined with overplanting resulted in a depressed market from which growers are just now recovering.

Even during the down years, production and processing still grew, Watson said.

"It’s a solid 50,000 acres in Canada now, which is pretty small, but it’s worth a few million dollars," he said.

He said the United States could be looking at a similar boom/bust cycle if hemp restrictions are lifted: "Everybody will want to grow it," he said. That would result in a huge oversupply until the processing and the market catch up.

But the bigger problem might be winning over farmers from record high prices for corn, which at current prices could gross about $1,000 an acre.

In Canada, hemp typically generates a gross return of $350 to $400 an acre, he said.

"Hemp has to compete to buy its acres," Watson said.

Comer said that Kentucky farmers will have the information they need to make a market-driven decision.

The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, which he chairs, has commissioned the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture to study the economic potential of hemp production in the state.

The UK study will not be ready until late spring or early summer; it will be used, hemp commission members said, to lobby on the federal level for changes that could allow Kentucky to be among the first states in decades to grow hemp.

"The farmers won’t grow it if it’s not economically viable," Comer said. "Farmers are smart businesspeople. They won’t grow it if they can’t make money. And no processor will come if they can’t make money either."

But he said that, based on the phone calls and meetings he has had since the hemp debate has resurfaced, he doesn’t think the market will be a problem.

"Let the bureaucrats get out of the way," Comer said, "and let the market dictate what happens."


State Senate Committee to vote on Hemp bill on Monday

The state Senate Agriculture Committee will vote Monday on Senate Bill 50, sponsored by state Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, to license Kentucky farmers to grow hemp if federal restrictions are lifted.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, and U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, and Thomas Massie, R-Vanceburg, will testify with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and James Woolsey, former director of the CIA.

The hearing will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex, 700 Capitol Avenue Loop in Frankfort.

Separate hemp legislation will be the subject of a hearing in the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee on Wednesday.

JANET PATTON

Janet Patton: (859) 231-3264. Twitter: janetpattonhl

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/02/09/2509794/hemp-vs-marijuana-deciphering.html#storylink=cpy

U.S. congressmen, former CIA director to testify in support of Kentucky hemp bill

Staff report

hemp

Industrial hemp is a fiber and oil seed crop

with a wide variety of uses. Hemp fibers

have been used to manufacture hundreds

of products that include twine, paper,

construction materials, carpeting and clothing.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie, former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey (of the Clinton Administration), and Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer will testify next week in support of an industrialized hemp bill.

Industrial hemp is a fiber and oil seed crop with a wide variety of uses. Hemp fibers have been used to manufacture hundreds of products that include twine, paper, construction materials, carpeting and clothing.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hear the testimony Monday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort. Senate Bill 50, sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, establishes a framework to re-introduce industrial hemp into Kentucky’s agri-economy if and when the federal government acts to legalize it.

Immediately following the vote on SB 50, the group will move to Room 154 of the Capitol Annex to take questions from the media.

The bill has support from several groups and legislators. Its biggest critics are Operation UNITE, the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association and the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.

Operation UNITE said industrial hemp production in Kentucky is not economically sound, that it would impose an unnecessary financial burden on the state and could facilitate future efforts to legalize its cousin – marijuana. Police groups also say the legalization and growth of hemp in Kentucky would impede law enforcement officers’ marijuana eradication efforts, because “the plants are indistinguishable to the eye,” said Tommy Loving, executive director of the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association.

The Kentucky Industrialized Hemp Commission says Kentucky has the perfect climate and soil to produce industrial hemp, and the farmers to grow it. Comer believes the crop could be a great economic boon to Kentucky.

The group recently commissioned an economic impact study to be performed by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. It hopes such a study could have an impact on the discussion at the federal level to legalize industrial hemp.

CONTINUE READING…

U.S. Representative Massie Introduces Industrial Hemp Bill

For Immediate Release
Contact:

Wednesday February 6, 2013
(202) 225-3465

U.S. Representative Massie
Introduces Industrial Hemp Bill

“Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers”

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced federal legislation that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the growing of industrial hemp. H.R. 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) is a co-sponsor of the bill in the U.S. House. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) are supporting a similar bill in the U.S. Senate.
“Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers,” said Rep. Massie.  “My wife and I are raising our children on the tobacco and cattle farm where my wife grew up. Tobacco is no longer a viable crop for many of us in Kentucky and we understand how hard it is for a family farm to turn a profit.  Industrial hemp will give small farmers another opportunity to succeed.”

On the federal level, Rep. Massie is taking the lead in Congress as the original sponsor of industrial hemp legislation. Also, this week Massie will testify before the Kentucky legislature along with other members of Kentucky’s federal delegation and Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer in support of a related state bill.
Kentucky was a leading producer of the world’s industrial hemp supply during America’s early years as a nation. It is used in hundreds of products including paper, lotions, clothing, canvas, rope, and can be converted into renewable bio-fuels more efficiently than corn or switch grass. Critics of industrial hemp mistakenly equate it to marijuana.  The plants are cousins in the cannabis family but industrial hemp contains very small amounts of the intoxicant (THC) found in marijuana, making it ineffective as a drug.  Hemp is grown in over 30 western nations including Canada, England and France.

H.R. 525 has 28 original co-sponsors in the House, including House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN). Massie co-sponsored a similar bill in the 112th Congress.

###

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Caudill Seed becoming poster child for hemp legalization

Pat Caudill, left, is pictured with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Dan Caudill. The Caudill brothers are co-owners of Caudill Seed Co.






        hemp-300x200    3 types cannabis

Pat Caudill, left, is pictured with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Dan Caudill. The Caudill brothers are co-owners of Caudill Seed Co.

 
Kevin Eigelbach
Reporter- Business First
Email  | Follow Kevin on Twitter

Louisville-based Caudill Seed Co. is quickly becoming the poster child for the legalization of hemp production in Kentucky.

The company has been featured in a CBS News report, on WDRB-TV in Louisville and in several newspaper articles, with owners Dan Caudill and Pat Caudill explaining what they think a legal hemp crop would mean for Kentucky and their company.

The two became interested in the issue when they met James Comer, now Kentucky’s Secretary of Agriculture, during his 2011 campaign for the office. Legalizing hemp to give Kentucky farmers a new revenue stream is one of Comer’s priorities.

Because it has so many hills, Kentucky has a lot of land that’s only marginal for agriculture, Dan Caudill said in an interview. Hemp is an ideal crop for the state because it can grow nearly anywhere, just like tobacco.

Aside from farmers, the rest of the state would benefit if it could create hemp-processing facilities that would provide jobs, Caudill said. Hemp seeds can be processed into oil, and its tough fibers can be woven into fabrics to make clothes or entwined to make rope.

Every year, Caudill Seed imports from Brazil about 75 tractor/trailer loads of twine made from sisal that it distributes to farm retailers for bailing hay. The Caudill brothers would like to distribute rope made locally instead.

Chances of passage better than 50-50

The company expects to benefit from legalized hemp production in two ways, Dan Caudill said. It would be able to buy seed and sell it to farmers who want to grow hemp. And, it would process seed grown by Kentucky farmers and sell it to crushing companies that would extract the oil.

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Purchase Area sheriffs to meet about industrial hemp

 

3 types cannabis

 

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky.McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden has invited all of the Purchase area sheriffs over Friday to talk about Industrial Hemp.

State lawmakers have been gaining momentum in an effort to get legislation through that would legalize growing hemp. It would still take an exemption from the federal government, but supporters are more and more confident they could actually get one this year.

That means law enforcement agencies need to know exactly what that would mean for them. Hayden told WPSD Local 6 he hasn’t made up his mind about the issue yet. He hopes to get some questions answered Friday from a Kentucky Department of Agriculture expert.

"We’re obviously concerned about the inability to distinguish what is industrial hemp and what is marijuana," he said. The major difference between hemp and pot is the level of THC, the chemical that causes the high when the plant is smoked. Hayden added if hemp is legal, anyone stopped with marijuana will probably claim to have hemp and the only way to tell would be to test it.

"This situation is going to overwhelm the Kentucky State Crime Lab Systems," he said. 

Still, even with the obvious challenges, Hayden said if the advantages of cashing in on the controversial crop outweigh the disadvantages, he would support it.

Senate Bill 50 is expected to be voted out of committee Monday and could find it’s way to the Senate floor by Wednesday.

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