Think About It: Hemp Highlights - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 30, 2015

Think About It: Hemp Highlights

The University of Hawaii is in the hemp business. Now before you start getting alarmed, let's point out some facts- hemp is not marijuana, though it has been lumped into the category of the evil weed, which is a sister crop, for almost 60-years by the archaic U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's rules. Hemp contains less than one-tenth the tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) compound that makes marijuana a drug that still scares many.

By all logical accounts, we should have banned poppy seeds from the get-go, as poppies do produce opium, and you can fail a drug test by eating a poppy seed bagel, but that's not the point here. The feds and the local government need to resolve the hemp issue after 60-years of avoidance, as this agricultural product is potent not for its hallucinogenic content, but for its ability to be used for health products, clothing, paper, strong fiber, building supplies and many other useful items. Concerned about the product vs. its look-alike cousin, marijuana? Then allow for random drug tests- on the crops. The importation of hemp, which is legal, is estimated to be a half-billion dollar a year industry in the U.S. So you can import it, but not grow it. Go figure.

So while people sit around debating "reefer madness" while sucking down alcoholic drinks, which kill an estimated 88,000 Americans annually, and debate whether marijuana is friend or foe, even for sever pain sufferers, it is high time to get over the hump on hemp, and discuss letting not only sanctioned entities like UH, but any local, investing entrepreneurs have the right to venture down this long-ignored agricultural trail, which could reap big dividends for the state as well as the farmers. By the way, in case you missed it, sugar and pineapple are not going to save us agriculturally, and this product just might help. Think about it…

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