Hemp for Vermont Bill Becomes Law
State Wants Federal Permission for Farmers to Grow Hemp
MONTPELIER, Vermont (May 30, 2008) — Vote Hemp, a grassroots advocacy organization working to give farmers the right to grow non-drug industrial hemp, is extremely pleased that Vermont Governor Jim Douglas allowed H.267, the Hemp for Vermont Bill, to become law without his signature yesterday afternoon. The bill overwhelmingly passed both the House (126 to 9) and the Senate (25 to 1). The new law sets up a state-regulated program for farmers to grow non-drug industrial hemp, which is used in a wide variety of products, including nutritious foods, cosmetics, body care, clothing, tree-free paper, auto parts, building materials and much more. Learn more about industrial hemp at the Vote Hemp Web site.
Smart and effective grassroots organizing by Vote Hemp and the Vermont-based advocacy group Rural Vermont mobilized farmers and local businesses, many of which pledged to buy their hemp raw materials in-state if they have the opportunity. Rural Vermont Director Amy Shollenberger says that "the Hemp for Vermont bill is another step toward legalizing this important crop for farmers. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't allow this crop to be grown. Looking at the Canadian experience, hemp provides a good return for the farmer. It's a high-yield crop and a great crop to mix in with corn."
It's time for legislators to become educated about this valuable crop. Here are a few good points you may not know:
*At a volume level of 81%, hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the "good" fats). It's quite high in some essential amino acids, including gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a very rare nutrient also found in mother's milk.
*Hemp can displace cotton which is usually grown with massive amounts of chemicals harmful to people and the environment. 50% of all the world's pesticides are sprayed on cotton.
*Hemp has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years for fiber (textiles and paper) and food. It has been effectively prohibited in the United States since the 1950s.