Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson “On Board” with Industrial Hemp
Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson came to Berea College today and spoke to our entrepreneurship class. I took the opportunity to inform him about industrial hemp and why it should be immediately decriminalized (before hemp was criminalized in 1937, it was the number 2 crop grown in Kentucky behind Tobacco, and Kentucky grew more hemp than any other state).
When I first asked the question I was hounded by just about everyone in the room for being “that California kid who just knows a lot about dope.” I took the time to explain the difference between marijuana and industrial hemp, and how industrial hemp could immediately add thousands of sustainable jobs to the Kentucky economy overnight upon being decriminalized.
Abramson had never heard of the hemp issue before, but said he was “on board” and would bring it up to people at the State Capitol in Frankfort. He agreed that, at the very least, advocacy about hemp could be made. I added that if Kentucky wanted to go a step further, the state could essentially nullify the federal legal definition of hemp (which lumps marijuana and hemp together as “Cannabis,” when they are in fact separate species within the same family) as Oregon has already done in the past several years.
I told Abramson that this is what he will hear when he brings up hemp to his advisers in Frankfort: “Hemp is related to marijuana, and if it is legalized marijuana growers can and will hide their marijuana plants in hemp fields.” Of course, this reasoning is absolutely bogus because when hemp and marijuana cross-pollinate, as they do naturally, marijuana’s THC level (the chemical that gets you high) decreases.
That’s right, the potency of marijuana decreases if it is surrounded by hemp. Only boneheaded marijuana growers would even consider growing marijuana near hemp, because the quality of their pot would quickly go down the tubes. In fact, the single most effective action the government could take to weaken marijuana would be to immediately rescind anti-hemp laws and allow the growth of industrial hemp.