Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vilsack: Legalizing industrial hemp has merit

Several of us thought it was funny, or maybe even fitting in a cynical kind of way, that the first question U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack got in his Weaverville town hall meeting last night was about cannabis and hemp production. But Vilsack treated the question quite seriously.

The secretary indicated he believes there's merit to allowing production of industrial hemp, noting that Canada and other competing nations are doing so. He said he's raised the issue with Attorney General Eric Holder and hasn't received much of a response.

As much as it's tried to advance into the mainstream, the whole weed issue still elicits giggles from some of us who can't resist. But hemp industry representatives cringe when their product is lumped in with marijuana. Here's a story I did on hemp in 2010, in which a Chico businesswoman stressed that the two are not the same.


  1. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for reporting on the interest in hemp expressed by Secretary Vilsack. You are the only person who did, that I can find. In fact what I asked Mr. Vilsack about was the emergency preparedness document signed by President Obama last March (Executive Order 13603) that identifies "hemp" as a "strategic food resource" available by "essential civilian demand." I asked him if there was already a civilian demand protocol in place for accessing hemp.

    I also mentioned that Cannabis is both unique and essential for reasons relating to increasing UV-B radiation, food security, and biofuels production. Cannabis is the only crop that produces atmospheric aerosols to reduce UV-B; complete nutrition; and sustainable biofuels from the same harvest. This is stunning in its relevance to many problems we face.

    I have sent the following to Secretary Vilsack's office for his consideration:

    Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Committee on Homeland Security: "Essential Civilian Demand"


    and look forward to hearing from him soon.

    Best wishes,


  2. This is a study that gives insight into how important it is to resolve increasing UV-B radiation, using hemp agriculture to replace the monoterpene component of our atmosphere lost to the death of the boreal forest.

    1. Increasing UV-B radiation at the earth’s surface and potential effects on aqueous mercury (Hg) cycling and toxicity


    "This review and critical discussion suggest that increasing UV-B radiation at earth’s surface could have a significant and complex impact on Hg cycling including effects on Hg volatilization (photo-reduction), solubilization (photo-oxidation), methyl-Hg demethylation, and Hg methylation.

    "Therefore, this paper is written to provoke discussions, and more importantly, to stimulate research on potential impacts of incoming solar UV-radiation on global Hg fluxes and any toxicity aspects of Hg that may become exacerbated by UV-radiation."

  3. Hello Tim,

    Aloha. As a political prisoner in the war on drugs I appreciate that you reported on Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's town hall meeting in Weaverville, and his surprisingly positive answer to the question posed about Cannabis hemp production. Many of us agree that's the MOST important question that could be asked of him at this time, and thanks to our friend Paul von Hartmann for asking it. What continues to surprise me is the giant lack of knowledge on the subject, but conversely, the great opportunity to enlighten those of you who 'still can't resist giggling about it'.

    'The whole weed issue' as you call it is the cause of the longest and most damaging social policy in the world since slavery, the global war on drugs. Prohibition of "the most profitable and desirable crop known" according to Popular Mechanics Magazine in their issue of February 1938 has led to a global economy of scarcity, the destruction of the family farm, the loss of most of our precious topsoil, the substitution and popularity of vastly more dangerous substances, and the violence and damage caused by the war on drugs. It's the root cause of the USA being the largest prison population in the world. It's the cause of more unconstitutional behavior than any other subject and has led to terrorism and big brother government. It's the root cause of climate change. Are you still giggling?

    I suggest you make yourself aware of what you've somehow been missing all these years in the global debate for human rights, balanced ecology and social justice concerning Cannabis hemp and its prohibition. Get the facts on the optimum nutrition hempseed provides, the amount of bio-fuel hemp can make per acre, the science of mandatory use of cannabinoids, etc. This might just be your moment to rise to the occasion, shine some much needed light on the issue and get yourself nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Mahalo.

    All the best to you,

    Reverend Roger Christie

    The Hawai'i Cannabis THC Ministry
    www dot THC-Ministry dot org

    www dot The-Last-Marijuana-Trial dot com

    Pre-trial detainee 99279-022
    Federal Detention Center / Honolulu