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Just as cotton is grown for fabric and rope, so is industrial hemp. Just as nut trees yield seeds for food and oils, so does hemp. Just as sorghum and alfalfa are grown for silage, so is hemp. Just as agricultural products are used for building materials, so is hemp. University of Purdue horticulturists identify many other uses for industrial hemp: manufacturing paper, cosmetics, landscape matting, animal bedding, carpets, etc.

Also, hemp can be grown anywhere in the U.S. and in comparison with many other crops requires fewer limited resources (e.g., much less water than cotton).

Opposition to industrial hemp stems from the misconception that hemp is psychotropic. It is not. Hemp is a variety of Cannabis (Sativa) containing less than 1 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the canabinoid effecting euphoria (PBS.org, 2015). By contrast, Cannabis Indica is a different variety containing 10 percent to 20 percent of THC. One is as likely to get as high from hemp as one is of getting drunk from drinking near beer.

Hemp also contains high concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), a canabinoid counteracting the effects of THC. Because of its lack of psychoactive properties, CBD shows promise for ameliorating epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neurologic pain, but without getting the patient high (Director Nora Volkow, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Huffington Post, July 23, 2015). Over 20 countries already market medicinal cannabidiol (SativaTm).

Given these facts, there is no rational reason to deny hemp farmers the rights afforded other farmers.

— William R. Todd-Mancillas, Chico