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Hemp Industries Association Plans Political Action Campaign

Posted on May 22, 2000

By Hemp Industries Association

At the Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), the world’s largest trade organization of hemp related business, announced that it intends to engage in a national political action campaign aimed at state and federal elections in November, 2000. The campaign will focus on the registration and mobilization of several major voter demographic groups. “Industrial hemp is widely supported across party lines, and it is time to organize the vote around this issue,” said HIA President Cindy Biggers.

Industrial hemp is the most important environmental and social justice issue in the world today since its integration into modern industrial society affects almost every environmental and social justice concern. It will not only help halt deforestation, but will also develop localized rural economies and create value-added jobs, while spawning an entire entrepreneurial sector of the economy. Industrial hemp is the first giant step out of the fossil fuel economy and into the carbohydrate economy. Over 24 nations (including Canada, Germany, France, China and Great Britain) currently allow industrial hemp agriculture and have realized environmental and economic benefits currently unavailable to U.S. farmers and related businesses.

To further the campaign, the HIA plans to form a political action committee to raise funds for the purposes of obtaining committed positions on industrial hemp from state and federal candidates and publishing those positions in a nationally distributed voter guide. The HIA has signed a letter of intent with professional campaign consultant and long-time environmental activist Lloyd Hart to coordinate these efforts. Hart is excited about the prospect of combining his environmental and political background on the industrial hemp campaign.

“This issue is a natural for the current campaign cycle. The American people are desperate for an issue that will improve the environmental conditions of this country without damaging the economic strength of our nation. Our goal is to convince the candidates that the populace is ready for them to take the lead on an issue with so much potential for environmental progress and economic development.”

Hart, a veteran of many national and state campaigns, will focus on several key demographic segments in developing new voters and energizing existing voters. New voters targeted will include the 18-to-29 year olds and disaffected baby boomers. Existing voters targeted will include the farmer vote, those sympathetic to farm issues, the environmental vote, as well as the labor vote. According to Hart, “Jesse Ventura’s campaign proved that if you can energize these segments, you can be successful within the current political process, and we plan to translate that success to the national stage.”

The HIA PAC voter guide will include any candidate from any party who takes a position supporting industrial hemp agriculture. All candidates opposing industrial hemp will be publicized as well. “For too long candidates could safely ignore or oppose this issue without political fallout. That will change this year,” said HIA’s Biggers.

Copyright © 2000, Hemp Industries Association. All rights reserved.

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