12/8/2012 8:59:00 AM
Kentucky State Police commissioner against hemp
By BRUCE SCHREINER
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said his agency is opposed to proposals to grow industrial hemp in Kentucky even though he sees the benefits for the agriculture industry.
Brewer said after a meeting of the newly restarted Kentucky Hemp Commission that state police are concerned the agricultural pluses will be offset by law enforcement minuses such as distinguishing between hemp and its cousin, marijuana.
"It’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to the casual observer or even the astute observer to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana as its being grown" he said. He added that problem becomes even more difficult when police use helicopters to search for marijuana fields, a common practice.
Hemp and marijuana are the same species, cannabis sativa, but are genetically distinct. Hemp has a negligible content of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.
The commission, led by Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, held its second meeting since it came out of a decade-long dormancy. Comer is aggressively pursuing state legislation that would allow hemp, which is illegal to grow in the United States, to be grown in Kentucky with federal approval.
Comer says the crop could provide agriculture and manufacturing jobs in Kentucky, as it once did during World War II. U.S. retail sales of hemp products exceeded $400 million last year, according to industry estimates.
The versatile crop can be turned into paper, clothing, food, biofuels, lotions and many other products.
MY RESPONSE TO THE ARTICLE (WHICH HASN’T BEEN APPROVED YET (?)).
What "really" bothers me is the fact that it seems the "Police Departments" throughout the state of Kentucky seem to be the only ones that are making waves over the "Hemp" bill. Yes, I said Hemp, not marijuana – That being said I am for repealing the prohibition on both.
Now, there are two problems that may be itching the necks of the police departments. One is that they really can’t tell the difference between the two plants. I do not see that as a problem because first of all they should be educated enough to be able to tell the difference and two, I’m sure there is some kind of quick field test to verify exactly what type of plant that it is by the THC level.
Then again, it would be nearly impossible to grow "good grade" "Marijuana" outdoors if there were Hemp fields anywhere (or everywhere) nearby – Hemp will definitely override the marijuana plants which just might irritate the growers of marijuana and a few of their business partners. Hmmm.
I am pro HEMP and Marijuana (Cannabis). HEMP should be grown in the fields and Cannabis for consumption grown indoors – and BOTH should be legitimately freed !!!!
But I guess there is nothing like a black market plant to line your pants pockets with….
God Bless the Farmers!