Headline: October 13, 2009 – Activists Dig into Efforts to Legalize Hemp in U.S. – American farmers yearning to grow industrial hemp came to Washington, DC to commit an act of civil disobedience at the headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration, to dramatize the stubborn refusal of the DEA to differentiate between hemp from marijuana and to encourage the U.S. government to join the rest of the world growing this amazingly versatile and environmentally crop. The potential hemp farmers were joined by David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Soaps – a company that has included hemp oil in its products for years. Vote Hemp, a non-profit group advocating hemp agriculture, organized and documented the action:Hemp Farmers Arrested Planting Hemp at DEA Headquarters
The farmers were from Vermont and North Dakota - among six states that have legalized industrial hemp farming, soon to be joined by Oregon, whose governor has said he would sign the Industrial Hemp Farming Act recently passed by the state legislature. The North Dakota farmer sued the DEA to force it to yield to the state law – he is appealing a negative ruling.
In a post from last year, we covered the legal effort by North Dakota farmers, having paid $2,300 to the DEA for a permit, to force the federal government to do the right thing. Another post featured North Dakota’s Commissioner of Agriculture extolling the benefits of hemp and details of the federal Industrial Hemp Farming Bill introduced by Re. Ron Paul (R-TX) (The federal bill was re-introduced this year). It should be noted that few crops can grow well in harsh prairie conditions without extraordinary amounts of water, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides – but hemp thrives naturally in these conditions.
As a charming interlude, please enjoy this music video of a song composed from the words that the spiritually-oriented Dr. Bronner printed on the label of his 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap. From the chorus:
Full-truth our god, half-truth our enemy,
Hard work our salvation, unity our goal,
Free speech our weapon, all-one our soul,
Eternal father, eternally one.
Hempseed Photo courtesy of Hempology.org