Vermont’s Governor Jim Douglas made no announcement on his web site. But on May 29, Douglas decided against a veto. So Vermont’s “Hemp for Vermont” bill which won overwhelming support in the legislature is now law. (The bill passed in the state House 126 to 9 and 25 to 1 in the Senate). This means Vermont joins North Dakota as states endorsing industrial hemp – a crop still outlawed under federal rules. For the full story, Click Here.
An opinion piece by Jim Maas of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin blasts current federal subsidies for farmers but singles industrial hemp out for praise. Maas writes that “Hemp has thousands of uses. Besides fibers for paper and textiles, it can be used for biodegradable plastics, health food and fuel. Hemp requires little to no pesticides, replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen, controls erosion of the topsoil and produces a lot of oxygen. The downside? Our government prohibits its use.” Click Here for the complete Wausau Daily Herald article.
Industrial hemp organizations have put together an excellent summary of centuries of hemp history: “Hemp – The Environmentally Sustainable Alternative (Part 1).”
The Dot Earth blog from New York Times writer Andrew Revkin notes that hemp is making a come-back: “A new age of sail may be a bit closer to reality. The MV Beluga SkySails, the the sail cut fuel burning around 20 percent on days when conditions were right.”
A comprehensive report on the environmental and economic benefits of industrial hemp was released March 13 by the Reason Foundation, a non-profit research and educational organization. Contrasting industrial hemp with competitors such as cotton, corn, polyester and fiberglass, the report states that: