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Let “cash crop” refer to hemp grown as a versatile alternative

Posted on September 10, 2000

In response to:
Cash Crop: State program aims to help local law agencies get rid of marijuana, Saturday, August 26, 2000

Fairview Heights, Illinois — I enjoyed reading the hemp news stories carried in Saturday, Aug. 26, issue of The Herald-Whig. Ann Pierceall took us up as the Western Illinois Force made two “drug busts” as part of Operation Cash Crop.

But, I am saddened by the fact that what is now being raised as a viable farm crop in other countries, we are destroying because of its relationship with marijuana. The fears expressed by our law enforcement were raised by the members of the Illinois Hemp Task Force as we spoke in a conference call with a representative of Canada Health, the agency that regulates their hemp crop. But, as in Europe, after an initial flurry of attempts to smoke hemp, the local pot heads realize that hemp is not smokable and stop bothering the farmers.

So the hemp in England is providing horse bedding for the queen’s stables. In Germany, hemp is going into the cars of Daimler-Benz. The French have a hemp building material lighter that concrete but five times stronger. And at one meeting of the Illinois Hemp Task Force, the president of Kenex of Canada displayed a 35- to 50-year hemp roof shingle his company makes.

It is my hope that not too many years from now, “cash crop” will refer to the hemp that is being grown by Illinois farmers as an alternative to corn and beans and as a crop that will be much more versatile than our soybeans.

Raymond G. Hollmann
Member, Illinois Hemp Task Force
Fairview Heights

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