Hempsters Take D.C.

Hempsters deliver bag of seed to U.S. Attorney General

Hemp farming activists today will take a 50-pound bag of hemp seed to the office U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, another attempt to impress officials that federal pot policy should distinguish between hemp and dope.

The protest comes on the third day of Hemp History Week, a series of events across the country coordinated by advocacy group Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association to remind people that hemp has a long history in this country as an environmentally friendly crop used to make everything from fabric to car parts to paper, food, and body care products.

I've written much about hemp previously, so I won't rehash everything; suffice it to say that the Drug Enforcement Agency insists that the law does not differentiate between drug marijuana and agricultural hemp. Refusing to acknowledge the difference has led to a de facto ban on hemp cultivation despite growing interest of farmers to get back into the hemp business. Indeed, the hemp industry is growing, but all the hemp items sold in the U.S. must be made of imported hemp – brought from as close as Canada, and as far as China.

Nonetheless, there was a time, going back to the country's founding, when the U.S. government encouraged hemp production. In fact, Lyster Dewey, government botanist in charge of "fiber plant investigations" grew a huge hemp crop at Arlington Farms, the site of what is now the Pentagon.

Hemp advocates also hope to collect thousands of letters of support of renewing hemp agriculture in the U.S. that will soon be delivered to Holder's office. Check here for more on that. Download a postcard to send to Holder here.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Marijuana
APD (Finally) Ends Low-Level Marijuana Enforcement
APD (Finally) Ends Low-Level Marijuana Enforcement
Chief announces move, six months after Council told him to

Austin Sanders, July 2, 2020

Abbott Orders Texas Prosecutors to Enforce Marijuana Laws
Abbott Orders Texas Prosecutors to Enforce Marijuana Laws
Travis County D.A. says dismissals will continue

Kevin Curtin, July 18, 2019

More Industrial Hemp
Court Says No to Hemp
Court Says No to Hemp
After years of legal wrangling, appeals court rules against North Dakota farmers

Jordan Smith, Dec. 23, 2009

Frustrated Farmers Jailed
Frustrated Farmers Jailed
Frustrated hemp farmers dug up the lawn of DEA headquarters this morning -- and were promptly tossed in the pokey

Jordan Smith, Oct. 13, 2009

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

industrial hemp, Reefer Madness, marijuana

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle