Letters

Posted

Thursday, May 1
Pass the hemp bill

I think all of us are interested in finding ways to improve the economy of Vermont. We want good, meaningful work opportunities to increase, and a healthy standard of living for all to become a reality. We are always trying to attract new high-paying jobs to Vermont without jeopardizing our beautiful environment and livable communities. One such industry is ready for us and well adapted to Vermont agriculture, namely: Industrial hemp. Hemp has many uses as a food crop, a fiber crop and a fuel crop. Farmers in Canada report an $800 per acre return for the crop.

Many people think that hemp and marijuana are the same thing. This is not the case. Industrial hemp has a low THC (the psychoactive ingredient) and has absolutely no value as a drug.

The bill H.267 would enable Vermont farmers to grow industrial hemp and processors to make value-added products such as gluten free-high protein flour, lactose-free cheese, salad oil, crayons, lotions, shampoos, particle board, cloth, paper, rope, carpet and much more. Other states besides Vermont have also passed laws allowing research on hemp, but can't move ahead to growing hemp due to prohibitive federal laws.

Hemp growing benefits the soil. It grows fast and helps kill weeds without use of herbicides. Every industrialized nation in the world allows industrial hemp production except the United States.

In Vermont, the House passed the hemp bill in 2007 (H.267). The more informed we become about the benefits of industrial hemp, the closer we will come to realizing the economic benefits this crop would bring to Vermont. Let your senator know that you support H.267.

ANNE G. WALLACE-SENFT

NATHAN J. WALLACE-SENFT

North Bennington

Get the hemp bill

to the governor

I am writing this letter to urge senators Dick Sears and John Campbell to get the hemp bill, H.267, passed immediately and to the governor's desk for a signature.

Hemp is a versatile crop that can be grown not only for food, but also as a biofuel, and as a replacement for fossil fuel derived synthetics and plastics. Hemp can be a profitable crop for farmers even on less productive soils so we can replace fossil fuels without jeopardizing food production.

Vermont can be a leader in the effort to legalize hemp giving farmers the option to grow this potentially profitable and important crop. In these times of rising food and fuel prices, let's quit playing politics and take action to solve our problems.

MIKE EASTMAN

Dairy farmer

Addison


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