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Oregon: Department of Agriculture Gives Farmers the Green Light to Grow Industrial Hemp – Seeds to be Sown in Spring 2015

KentuckyHempHarvest2014

By Amy Peradotta, M.P.A. (Special to Hemp News)

In a phone interview on January 29th, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Operations Manager, Ron Pence confirmed, "the rules were filed by the ODA with the Secretary of States Office and were requested to become effective upon filing.” This is great news for anyone interested in growing industrial hemp in Oregon this year. Although a few details still need to be worked out, if all goes as planned, this spring Oregonians will be planting the first legal hemp crop in the state since 1957.

As early as next Monday, February 2, 2015, licenses will be available for anyone who wants to grow hemp in Oregon. Licenses are valid for three years and cost $1,500. While proponents have not been happy about the prohibitive cost of the licensing fee, many are still planning to move forward. The license application form will be available online the week of Feb. 2-6, 2015 on the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website. Interested growers can download the application, complete the form, and mail it in to the Oregon Department of Agriculture along with the licensing fee of $1,500.

U.S.: Historic Bipartisan Support to Remove Industrial Hemp from the Controlled Substances Act in both the House and Senate

Hempfield2014

By Amy Peradotta, Special to Hemp News

Hopefully you have heard a thing or two in the news lately about industrial hemp. If so, it is because it is finally gaining political traction again after a very insidious yet successful smear campaign lasting nearly 80 years, equating it to marijuana. If you haven’t heard about hemp in the news lately, keep your eyes and ears peeled because big changes are on the way!

As of 2015, twenty-one states have defined industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana and removed barriers to its production (CA, CO, DE, HI, IL, IN, KY, ME, MI, MO, MT, NE, NY, ND, OR, SC, TN, UT, VT, WA, WV). These are highly regulated pilot projects that must be administered in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and an institution of higher education. Despite the legality of hemp in these states, only two states (CO and KY) successfully planted and harvested a crop in 2014. This was the first legal crop grown and harvested on American soil since WWII. If you are wondering why that might be, it has to do with our good friends at the DEA.

Remembering Jim Klahr, Oregon Cannabis Freedom Fighter

Jim Klahr

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Musician Jim Klahr, an activist working to establish cannabis as an option for healthcare providers in the United States and a pre-transplant patient at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU), passed away awaiting a liver donor at OHSU on November 9, 2014.

Days earlier, on November 4, 2014, Oregon residents voted to end marijuana prohibition with Measure 91. In the campaign's declaration of victory, Anthony Johnson, the chief petitioner of the measure, thanked Klahr for his dedication and commitment to the issues surrounding cannabis.

As a long-time Oregon medical marijuana activist Klahr continually expressed the need for cannabis advocates to run for political office to have their voice and views represented within the legislature.

Klahr was a founder of Oregon Green Free – to help those who utilize the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program to become self-sufficient under the law of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. He believed medicinal, social and sacramental cannabis all have their place in society.

As an eight-year member of the Oregon Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana (OACMM), the committee established to implement rules for the state's medical marijuana program, he fought tirelessly for cannabis freedom, eventually serving two-terms as OACMM Co-Chair.

A chief petitioner on Oregon Measure 74, the 2010 initiative to improve safe access for medical marijuana patients, Klahr was also an instrumental spoke in the campaign to elect Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in 2012.

Oregon: 15th Annual Global Cannabis March in Portland on May 3rd, Thousands Expected to Rally to End Marijuana Prohibition

Cannabis proponents agree; the war on the cannabis plant is a farce, the drug war is taking its last gasp. No political movement in America has made it this far without eventually winning, and it's just a matter of time before marijuana prohibition crumbles.

Free Chris Williams!

By Michael Bachara, Oregon NORML/CRRH

Free Dana Beal! Portland, Oregon – On Saturday, May 3, 2014, nearly three hundred cities worldwide, including Portland, will participate in the fifteenth annual Global Cannabis March on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square to march at high noon through downtown Portland, accompanied by a police escort. Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and Oregon NORML are sponsors of this event.

Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square to march at high noon through downtown Portland, accompanied by a police escort. Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and Oregon NORML are sponsors of this event.

Oregon: Preparation Begins for Industrial Hemp to be Sown in Spring 2014

HempDisplay

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

After a panel of appointed experts can appease federal officials with a set of rules, Oregon farmers may sow a crop of industrial hemp next spring. The committee of agricultural experts and state officials has been selected by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and will come together in December to establish proper procedures for hemp cultivation in Oregon.

"The committee hopes to set up a program that will meet what the federal government calls a ‘robust’ standard," according to Jim Cramer, a market and certification official at the Department of Agriculture. "The goal is to do so in time for planting."

In 2009, Senate Bill 676, spearheaded by Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski, was passed by the Oregon legislature and then-Governor Theodore Kulongoski signed the historic bill into law. Since the passage, Oregon farmers have been hesitant to begin growing due to fear that they’d be prosecuted by the Drug Enforcement Administration for possession of a schedule I controlled substance.

In recent months, hemp’s legal status gained momentum. The federal justice department said it won’t prosecute cases in states such as Washington and Colorado that legalize and regulate marijuana.

Global: Come Climb The Mountain With Me (Inspired by Jack Herer)

Jack Herer California Venice Beach

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Accompanied by various clips of Jack Herer, musical activist Tim Pate performs the hemp anthem "Come Climb The Mountain With Me" in tribute to the historic hemp icon. Herer's passion revitalized hemp reform in the United States.

Footage archived by the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH).

To learn more about Jack Herer, check out http://jackherer.com

Illinois: Senate Approves Medical Cannabis Bill, Governor Urged to Sign Into Law

Illinois Seal

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Yesterday, the Illinois Senate voted 35-21 in favor of an historic bill that would allow people with certain ailments to use cannabis to ease their symptoms, if recommended by their doctor.

The bill, HB 1, which would allow Illinois residents with qualifying conditions the right to obtain 2.5 ounces every two weeks from a licensed dispensary, is expected to be signed by an "open-minded" Governor Quinn.

"We are embarking here on a way to achieve relief, compassionate relief, consistent with the law (with) a system which avoids abuse," according to the bill's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Bill Haine of Alton. "It's the tightest, most controlled legislative initiative in the United State related to medical cannabis."

"This is about individuals that are having a difficult time finding solutions to their cancer pains, that are finding other solutions and are going to the black market buying it anyway. We must find these solutions," Senator William Delgado, 2nd Legislative District (D), proclaimed on the Senate floor.

Proponents say cannabis can relieve continual pain without detrimental side effects of other pharmaceutical drugs.

Ohio: Four Proposals to Legalize Cannabis Take Root

Ohio Seal

There are four proposals in Ohio to either legalize medicinal cannabis or decriminalize altogether

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Earlier this month, Ohio State Rep. Bob Hagan (D), introduced two bills in the state legislature. The first, HB 153, would legalize cannabis for medicinal use by those with qualifying conditions. The second, HJR 6, would have the legislature put full decriminalization of cannabis on the ballot for Ohio voters.

“We need to admit that we’ve lost the war on drugs. By taxing the sale of marijuana at a reasonable rate, revenue can be used to implement programs that target more harmful drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. We could be making money to hire more police and fire, pull up our education system, put more money toward local government funding," Hagen explained.

Hagen added, "I've watched a lot of people come through my office suffering with maladies that regular prescriptions just didn't help. They asked me to do it, I said fine. It's the second time I've introduced it and it flies in the face of the pharmaceutical industry, but those who asked me to do it really need it because they've tried everything else."

In addition to the legislative bills, a group of grassroots activists in Ohio is also working to get an amendment on the ballot that would change the state constitution and legalize medicinal cannabis and restore industrial hemp.

Oregon: 14th Annual Global Cannabis March in Portland this Saturday, Thousands Expected

Come out and support what has become a staple of local Portland culture, the Global Cannabis March.

By Michael Bachara, Oregon NORML/CRRH

Free Dana Beal! Portland, Oregon – Nearly three hundred cities worldwide, including Portland, will participate in the fourteenth annual Global Cannabis March on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square to march at high noon through downtown Portland, accompanied by a police escort. Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and Oregon NORML are sponsors of this event.

Musicians Justin James Bridges, Tim Pate and John Cornett have joined the roster for the rally, which runs from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Speakers for the rally include Leland Berger, Portland Attorney and advocate for the group Compassionate Oregon, Russ Belville of 420 Radio, Madeline Martinez of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and more.

“Cannabis proponents agree; the war on the cannabis plant is a farce, the drug war is taking a last gasp. No political movement in America has made it this far without eventually winning, it's just a matter of time.” according to Michael Bachara, Executive Director of Oregon National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Oregon: Petition to Rename Kelley Point Park to Herer Point Park Underway In Portland

There is a truth that must be heard! To: Mike Abbaté, Director of Portland Parks and Recreation
Attention: Assistant to the Director
April 15, 2013

Dear Mr. Abbaté,

We understand the naming or renaming of a park is complex and emotionally evocative, as assigning a name is a permanent identity for a public space, and often requires significant resources in terms of changing names on signs, maps, and literature to avoid confusion.

Our park renaming request is in reference to Kelley Point Park at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We understand the current naming of the park after Hall Jackson Kelley has historical reasoning, as Kelley was a vocal advocate for Oregon in the 19th century.

The Proposed Name:

Our group would like to propose the renaming of Kelley Point Park to Herer Point Park, in honor of Oregon author, activist, and icon, the late Jack Herer. We have reached the third anniversary of Herer’s passing and believe his significance to Portland culture, our Oregon community, and the international impact of his work and his best known book, which was a best seller in Germany and printed in over 20 languages, which he wrote and published here in Portland warrants this memorial within our city.

Reasoning:

Jack Herer registered tens of thousands of Oregonians to vote over the course of his lifetime and collected hundreds of thousands of signatures for a variety of state petition drives.

United States: Oregon State University to Offer Class on Industrial Hemp, First in the Nation

Hemp Chart

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Beginning Spring 2013, Oregon State University will be offering its groundbreaking course on industrial hemp. The online course, WSE 266, is being spearheaded by the College of Forestry’s department of wood science and engineering. The department believes hemp is an extremely useful renewable resource which is worthy of exploration.

Described in the course material as “an introduction to the botany, biology and agronomy of the hemp plant, its origins, historical contexts and implications of contemporary legal and social issues surrounding its use for food, fiber and building products,” the course will be led by hemp consultant Anndrea Hermann, M.Sc, B.Gs, P.Ag, an instructor at the university. Hermann is the President of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), and has recruited several guest lecturers in order to bring a multi-dimensional view to the curriculum.

Hermann has a wide range of hemp knowledge, from fiber and seed agronomy to building applications. She is also a partner at Hemp-Technologies, a North Carolina based company who produces eco-friendly hemp houses in the region.

“It’s an up and coming crop in the United States and we are going to need professionals coming out of academia who are experts in multiple areas,” according to Hermann. "Oregon can become a recognized leader in the environmentally conscience fiberboard manufacturing of the twenty first century."

United States: Petition to Pardon Medical Marijuana Provider Chris Williams

As a young man enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, Chris Williams swore an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." Now is the time to show him your support!

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Montana – Medical cannabis provider Chris Williams has been fighting federal prosecution since March 14, 2011, when federal agents served him a search warrant for his business, Montana Cannabis, along with 25 other medical marijuana businesses across Montana. Caregivers operating in compliance with Montana state medical cannabis law were shut down and arrested.

This raid (and others before and since) was in direct contradiction with the 2009 memo from the justice department, when the Obama administration stated that they “should not focus federal resources on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws,” and clearly shows how out of sync our Federal marijuana policy is with not only state law, but also the opinion of the America voter.

Oregon: Earl Blumenauer - The Marijuana Initiative Process, The Decade of Decision

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Earl Blumenauer on Reform Since 1973, when Earl Blumenauer first voted for legislation that successfully decriminalized marijuana in Oregon, he has been a supporter of a reasonable approach to marijuana regulation.

While he feels there are still many questions about the effects of marijuana use, he believes that this is an issue best left to the states. Blumenauer strongly supports the initiative process and encourages people to push forward in this process of changing the law.

"I suspect that doing your job right, engaging people in this debate, in this discussion, looking at the facts, trying to bring people together in a thoughtful non-hysterical way, letting the evidence speak for itself...I suspect this will be your decade of decision," Blumenauer proclaimed at the 2010 National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's (NORML) Conference at the Governor Hotel in Portland.

After so many years working for the people of Oregon, Blumenauer has seen the evidence of our failed war on drugs, and feels that a re-examination of the way we handle marijuana and hemp would be greatly beneficial. Oregon has the potential to lead the way forward to a better future through regulation rather than prohibition.


Global: Canada Invests In Hemp Processing

Creating a market can present a challenge for producers, but there's a new option on the horizon in Canada: Hemp.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Canada's Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced that the government is investing in Advanced Foods and Materials Canada (AFM) to increase production capabilities of technology that turns flax and hemp straw into high-quality fiber. AFM will invest the money to increase the capacity of the bio refining process.

"These are by-products. Most farmers would rake up their flax straw and burn it in the fall. This now gives them potential value in re-manufacturing of that waste product," stated Ritz.

"When you see something like this that takes a waste by-product and puts the potential of tremendous value into it, it's a no-brainer to invest in those types of strategic initiatives," proclaimed Ritz.

The development of this technology will substantially increase the value per acre of hemp and flax crops by finding uses for parts of plants that are currently considered waste. The group believes the increased production and availability of high-value cellulose products will create living wage jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and research and development, which will in-turn benefit the agricultural sector and stimulate Canada's economy.

Washington: Seattle Hempfest - America's Largest Protestival - Aug 17th-19th




There is a truth that must be heard!WHAT – The Seattle Hempfest XXI, America’s largest "protestival"

WHEN – Noon – 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 & 19

WHERE – Myrtle Edwards Park - Pier 70 on the downtown Seattle waterfront

Is it time to retire marijuana prohibition? The world's largest cannabis policy retirement party thinks so. Seattle Hempfest 2012 expects many tens of thousands to attend its 21st annual event, and as America’s largest marijuana law reform event Hempfest invites everyone to join in the celebration to end cannabis prohibition Aug. 17-19 at Myrtle Edwards Park.

The 2012 "protestival" features hundreds of booths and six stages of music and speakers dotting the mile plus expanse at Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks, on the beautiful Puget Sound. With the Washington state decriminalization Initiative 502 on this November’s ballot, there will be much discussion about the merits and mechanics of regional cannabis reform on all of Hempfest's stages.

Up Close: Dr. Tod Mikuriya - Restore Cannabis!

Dr. Mikuriya felt cannabis was an important issue being swept under the rug and believed it was important to elevate conciseness and bring back cannabis to the awareness of the medical community as a therapeutic agent.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! In this recently un-earthed 1991 Time 4 Hemp interview, Dr. Tod Mikuriya talks about the importance of true cannabis research in the United States.

In 1966, Mikuriya became director at the drug addiction treatment center of the New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute, in Princeton. In 1967, he became a consulting research psychiatrist at the Center for Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies of the National Institute of Mental Health, where he was in charge of marijuana research. He left the assignment because he felt that the agency was interested primarily in research that highlighted the negative effects of the drug.

Mikuriya would eventually go on to become an author of Proposition 215, the 1996 state ballot measure that made it legal for California doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients.

Up Close: John Sinclair - Free the Weed

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Every once in a while an activist comes along that changes the way a political issue is perceived. Last month, Paul Stanford of the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) had the opportunity to interview such a man, John Sinclair. In Stanford’s interview (above), Sinclair discusses the current medical cannabis community and gives his views on where he hopes the cannabis legalization movement will evolve.

Sinclair, an iconic American poet from Flint, Michigan, is the former leader of the White Panther Party, which was an anti-racist counter cultural group of white socialists seeking to help the Black Panthers in the Civil Rights movement from November 1968 to July 1969.

Sinclair has also been steering the marijuana counter culture towards legalization since 1965. He was introduced to marijuana activism after receiving, from New York City, a marijuana flier from Allen Ginsburg and Ed Sanders’ pro marijuana group LeMar (Organization to Legalize Marijuana). Being familiar with a print press, Sinclair created his own marijuana flier and began holding monthly meetings to end marijuana prohibition in the state of Michigan.

Oregon: Global Cannabis March Unites Three Legalization Initiatives

By Michael Bachara, OCTA 2012, Sensible Oregon and OMPI Supporter

There is a truth that must be heard! Portland, OR – This weekend, Portland experienced solidarity from multiple cannabis legalization groups as hundreds assembled from across the region to have their voices heard in the 13th Annual Global Cannabis March through the streets of downtown. Complete with a police escort, marchers began and ended in Portland's living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Members of Oregon National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Oregon NORML), The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, Oregon Green Free, National Green Friends and many others participated in the annual event, which is held every year on the first Saturday in May.

As Oregon hemp and cannabis activists move forward with multiple initiatives for November and beyond, it is time for a common bond to unite us all. The legalization of cannabis has an optimistic chance this year to make the Oregon ballot as the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) and Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative (OMPI) both bear down for the final stretch in signature gathering efforts.

Both OCTA and OMPI have until July 6, 2012 to turn in the required number of signatures, and each campaign is confident they can make it, but will need active participation from Oregon voters.

Oregon: Vote Ellen Rosenblum - Candidate to Become Oregon's First Female Attorney General

"The Attorney General is the people's lawyer, and I have the depth and the range of experience to be a strong advocate for the people of Oregon." Ellen Rosenblum

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! As Oregon moves closer toward marijuana legalization in November with the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012 (OCTA 2012) and the Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative 2012 (OMPI 2012) petition drives, the race for Oregon Attorney General on May 15th between Appeals Court Judge Ellen Rosenblum and former acting U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton will be crucial to the implementation of the cannabis legalization initiatives.

Earlier this month, in a debate at the Eugene City Club, Rosenblum said she supported the state’s current medical marijuana law as one that "provides vulnerable citizens with the medicine they needed to cope with their diagnoses."

On the other hand, Holton said the law is actually "a train wreck, putting marijuana in the hands of people, kids, who are not using it for pain management purposes. Of 50,000 card holders, 30,000 got them from 10 clinics. We’ve got a broken system."

United States: Your Voice, Your Vote - Oregon Cannabis Tax Act

By Ms. Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Those who continue to debate the issue of marijuana legalization in support of its prohibition by using false propaganda created in the 1930's to manipulate voters by fear, only succeed in talking themselves deeper into a hole, because research has shown that propaganda to be mostly lies. By educating yourself on the merits of the cannabis plant for its medicinal and industrial properties, you will learn that all of the wasted money thrown into the war on drugs must stop, and as a global community we should be harnessing the benefits to our community and our economy by openly allowing the growth, use and sale of industrial hemp and medical and recreational cannabis.

According to Paul Stanford, Chief Petitioner of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012 in the attached video from KATU Channel 2 News "Your Voice, Your Vote" debate, "We want to take the stigma out of marijuana and allow it to be a real medicine that doctors can prescribe through pharmacies." Taking the stigma from marijuana is a matter of education about cannabis and telling the truth rather than spouting propagandist lies.

Wasting Our Tax Money

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