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The Economic Truths About Hemp / Marijuana and its Non-Existent Market Economy

Posted on May 1, 2000

If you grow it,…they will not come.

The Case Against Hemp

Editor’s Note: Global Hemp was able to obtain a copy of this letter that was distributed by Illinois State Police. This is an internal memo that is pure propaganda. As an informed reader can note, most all points made are false. The Illinois State Police issued this memo as they were officially opposed to the first Illinois Industrial Hemp Bill. However, the second bill added that the study to be conducted on industrial hemp would include a study to see what effect industrial hemp cultivation would have regarding law enforcement. After this portion was added to the second bill, the Illinois State Police officially dropped their opposition to the bill to become neutral — neither supporting or opposing the bill.

Illinois state police logo

Main Point 1: Hemp is marijuana is cannabis sativa is hemp.

  • The only kind of hemp targeted for development is marijuana (cannabis sativa).
  • There is no zero-THC (THC is the psychoactive element of marijuana) hemp.
  • Proposed THC levels for hemp are equivalent to 1970’s marijuana.

Main Point 2: Hemp is used to promote marijuana.

  • Legalization groups intermingle hemp advocacy with advocacy of marijuana use and legalization.
  • Hemp merchandise often comes with pro-marijuana statements on the item and/or in the promotion of an item.
  • Hemp groups like the North American Industrial Hemp Council fail to officially and actively oppose marijuana use, claiming instead to be “neutral” on this issue of central importance to the validity of their alleged motives.
  • Legalization advocates have long stated they use hemp advocacy as a ploy to decrease opposition to marijuana use.

Main Point 3: Hemp legalization would increase the costs of enforcing anti-marijuana laws and/or decrease the effectiveness of such enforcement.

  • The levels of THC proposed for hemp would be sufficient to produce a high in young, first-time users.
  • High -THC hemp and low-THC hemp look the same: chemical analysis would be needed to know whether each plant is high or low in psychoactive THC content.
  • Hemp potency can be increased through harvesting techniques.
  • Hemp potency can be increased through chemical processing.
  • Low potency hemp can be used as “filler” with other marijuana to increase bulk amounts available for sale.

Main Point 4: Hemp is not economically viable except as a small-scale specialty crop, with demand already met by exports from countries that subsidize hemp production.

  • The main factor in current US demand is promotion by pro-marijuana groups.
  • Demand is low because other raw materials or synthetic fibers are superior to hemp for commercial applications. Other materials produce a better product at a lower cost.
  • Hemp marijuana has no inherent environmental advantage to other alternative sources. The wild claims (e.g. about hemp’s yield per acre in comparison to trees or other crops) made by hemp advocates about hemp’s remarkable agricultural characteristics are unfounded.
  • For paper, hemp is only viable for specialty grades: not for mass-produced common grades.
  • For fabric, other crops (such as cotton and flax) do better than hemp, and synthetic fabrics have superior characteristics, such as not rotting like hemp does.
  • For oil, other plant (such as soybeans and canola) oils can do better than hemp oil.

Copyright © 2000, Illinois State Police. All rights reserved.

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