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Wisconsin: Lawmakers Propose Bill To Restore Industrial Hemp

Fairwater Hemp Company 1917

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

MADISON, WIS. - Lawmakers are seeking to restore Wisconsin's once-prominent hemp industry, giving farmers the chance to add the versatile plant to their rotation.

Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and state Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) have proposed a bill to regulate the production of industrial hemp, which has thousands of uses. The bill has bi-partisan support within the state.

Representative Kremer recently issued the following statement from his office on February 23, 2017: "I am really excited to have had the opportunity to educate myself on this topic over the past six months. The 59th Assembly District has a rich history of agricultural hemp production in the first half of the 20th century and processed industrial hemp in Hartford for the war department. Today, the future is bright for this commodity -- new jobs, increased tax revenue, brand new tech industries and agricultural growth."

“I think we can be a leader on this, and that’s what I’m hoping to get with this bill,” said Kremer.

United States: Cannabis Activists Join Social Media Blackout on Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20, 2017

Social Media Blackout

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Cannabis activists are joining a nationwide protest on social media during the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. President by posting only black graphics. Activists are also encouraged to contact their Senators to reject President-elect Trump's cabinet nominations for their anti-cannabis stance.

The wealthiest in U.S. history, President-elect Trump’s cabinet is to include people who have been publicly hostile to the very agencies to which they are expected to provide oversight, revealing an historic plutocracy in the making.

"My concern is that Trump will move cannabis to schedule II, marketing it as "compassionately legalizing medical marijuana" while actually handing cannabis over the the pharmaceutical industry. Nothing about the Trump administration is predictable," stated Vivian McPeak, organizer of the Social Media Blackout.

Oregon: Vote NO on Measure 26-180 Tax on Recreational Marijuana Sales - Portland Measure 26-180

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Vote NO on Measure 26-180 Tax Increase on Recreational Marijuana Sales (Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz's Proposed Money-grab on the Nascent Cannabis Industry)

The Cannabis Industry Is Taxed Enough. Keep Recreational Cannabis Affordable.

* More than 70% of Portland residents voted yes on Measure 91, and tax funds have already gone above and beyond toward the programs that Oregonians supported with the measure: 25% for drug treatment, prevention and mental health; 40% for school funding; and 35% for state and local police.

* There are no specifics on where this money is to be used, aside from some broad topics that, some of which, are already supported under the State allocation of tax funds from legalization. What is to prevent another money-grab next year, and then the following? Say no now.

* Raising taxes only continues to support the black market, rather than help to decrease it in Portland. Forcing higher taxes in turn raises prices for the consumer, only re-enforcing the black market. This hurts the growing cannabis industry.

Singer, Songwriter and American Icon Merle Haggard Passes Away at 79

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In a statement from his son, Ben Haggard said of his father, "He loved everything about life and he loved that everyone of you gave him a chance with his music. He wasn't just a country singer, he was the best country singer that ever lived."

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Merle Haggard, the prolific singer-songwriter whose autobiographical outlaw songs and political anthems are loved across generations of fans, died April 6 surrounded by family at his home in Palo Cedro, California.

Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, Haggard was instrumental in developing the Fender Stratocaster twang and rugged baritone voice of the Bakersfield Sound and recorded 38 No. 1 hits, including "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," "Mama Tried" and "Sing Me Back Home."

Haggard, although best known for his 1969 classic “Okie From Muskogee" which protested the counterculture of the time, had evolved his stance on the marijuana plant over the years.

Criminal Justice, the War on Drugs, and the Pursuit of Civil Liberty

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Born and raised in Cook County, Illinois, the friends I had and the life I enjoyed would earn me the label of long-haired, jean jacket wearing Deadhead, by some. Being lumped into a stereotype often has disadvantages, and I was an indignant witness to many atrocious casualties of the failed War on Drugs, specifically regarding marijuana. The shakedown always feels imminent, even today.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

In the United States, marijuana arrests, prosecutions, and convictions have wrought havoc on both individuals and communities, causing direct harm and resulting in dire collateral consequences including affecting eligibility for public housing and student financial aid, employment opportunities, child custody determinations, and immigration status.

Marijuana convictions can also subject people to more severe charges and sentences if they should ever be arrested for or convicted of another crime. In addition, the targeted enforcement of marijuana laws disproportionately against people of color, and the unsettling, humiliating experience such enforcement entails, creates community mistrust of the police, reduces police-community cooperation, and compromises public safety.

Music: Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real’s New Album “Something Real” Melds Variety of Styles, Eras and Emotions

Promise of the Real

By Angie Bachara
Hemp News

When Lukas Nelson talks music, it’s not just about sound. “Music is like color,” says Nelson. “When I listen to the musicians who affected me when I was growing you, I take from the primary colors to find my foundation. Then I apply secondary colors and the music becomes more and more complex.”

The intricacy of the music that has been created by Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real on their new album, Something Real, is an amazing combination of sound, color and a wealth of their lifetime influences. With only their own footsteps left to follow in, Promise of the Real is taking their music further than ever before.

United States: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden - Hemp is the future! (And also the past.)

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Hemp is a fascinating fiber.

For millennia, hemp has been used to make everything from paper to rope to soap. George Washington even cultivated it at Mount Vernon for industrial use. But a heavy-handed law is standing in the way of American farmers.

Hemp is legal to buy but illegal to grow. That means producers of hemp-based products spend millions importing this cash crop from Canada instead of buying it from Oregon farmers. And that’s got to change. Hemp may be in our past, but it’s also our future.

I had a wonderful time yesterday at the Industrial Hemp Expo on Capitol Hill. The hemp industry is growing by leaps and bounds and there are so many exciting developments. Hemp is an environmentally friendly alternative to everything from cotton to wood.

Industrial hemp has the potential to revolutionize our rural economies in Oregon while saving precious natural resources. I’m going to keep fighting to end its prohibition.

Thank you for standing with me!

Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon)

South Dakota: Bill Seeks To Allow Hemp Cultivation (HB 1054)

South Dakota Hemp

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Earlier this month, Rep. Mike Verchio (R-Hill City) along with a bipartisan coalition of 39 cosponsors introduced House Bill 1054 (HB 1054). The legislation would allow people to apply to the state Department of Agriculture for a license to grow industrial hemp, if they pass background checks.

"Cultivation of the plant could be a force for economic development in South Dakota if misconceptions about hemp can be dispelled," said Republican Rep. Mike Verchio, the proposal's sponsor.

Verchio sees benefits from allowing cultivation beyond the producers who grow it. "Hemp fields could feed manufacturing facilities to turn the plant into products ranging from mortar to fiberboard," he said.

"Industrial hemp is a farm crop, and it offers great benefits to industry," said North American Industrial Hemp Council Chairman Erwin Sholts, who has promoted hemp for decades.

HB 1054 was referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. It's first step will be getting out of the committee by a majority vote before moving on to the full House for a vote. The committee hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 2.

South Dakota Attorney Genera Marty Jackley has not taken a position on the measure.

The bill is patterned after North Dakota's industrial hemp law.

Maine: Cultivating Hemp for Fiber, Food, Fuel, Moving Forward

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By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Because of hemp's value as a cash crop, states such as Maine have turned to hemp to help farmers prosper. The state is one of the most recent to join the nationwide effort to research hemp farming, which gained momentum when the federal government eased restrictions with the 2014 Farm Bill.

In 2015, after Gov. LePage vetoed LD 4, an act to promote industrial hemp, state lawmakers showed their support for the bill by overriding his veto. The House voted for the bill 135-6, with 10 members absent. The Senate approved it 28-6.

In 2015, Jon Olson of the Maine Farm Bureau testified in front of the state's legislative committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, that his organization opposed the federal ban on hemp farming and saying of the state's farmers: "This could be a value-added crop that could help them," he testified.

John Jemison, an agricultural specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is among several researchers in New England investigating hemp as a crop that could be grown for everything from fishing ropes to insulation and seeds rich in nutrients and protein.

“It has the potential to be a really good rotation crop,” Jemison told farmers at the Maine Potato Conference this month at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center.

Hemp and marijuana are varieties of the cannabis plant, which has “been domesticated about as long as we’ve had agriculture,” according to Jemison.

Oregon: Cannabis Lobby Day at the Capitol, February 8th

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By CRRH Staff

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), along with several other cannabis organizations, will be participating in Cannabis Lobby Day at the Oregon State Capitol on Monday, February 8, 2016. The free speech event, will feature speakers, music and vendors, will be held from 12pm to 5pm.

* Protect the OMMP and continue the fight for patient rights and access to medicine.

* Prevent over-regulation of marijuana under M91 by the OHA, OLCC, OAC and ONI that could hinder, rather than aid, the creation, regulation and stabilization of legal marijuana related businesses.

* No Federal Scheduling - Support the effort to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. It is time for the federal government to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.

* Show support for social cannabis clubs. Clubs are an essential aspect of our culture and there should be allowance for these types of clubs.

* Network with Other Local Groups – CRRH, The Human Solution International, Oregon Chapter of Parents 4 Pot, Portland NORML, Cannabis Liberation Front and more!

All are encouraged to attend. We suggest to those who cannot attend to call or write to your representative and fill their inbox and voice mail with your input! Make your voice heard!

Press conference to be held at 12pm.
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Before arriving at the Oregon Capitol, you will want to know your State Senator and State Representative’s name & Salem office address. It is helpful to know what they look like.

U.S.: Oregon Delegation Legislative Action - Removal of Cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act

United States

Oregon Officials,

We are in a time of great change in our country with respect to the attitudes toward and understanding about cannabis, and as citizens, we will continue to fight for the liberation of the cannabis plant. Thousands of scientific studies have shown that cannabis has therapeutic, medicinal properties, yet cannabis remains listed federally as a Schedule I drug.

In the 1980’s, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L Young stated, “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

Compassionate Investigational New Drug program is a US Government-run program that allows a limited number of patients to use medical cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi. It is administered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) but no longer allows new patients. Oregon resident, Elvy Musikka, entered the program in 1988 and relies on the program's cannabis supply to alleviate her symptoms of glaucoma.

In 1999, the United States Department of Health and Human Services filed Patent 6630507 for cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

In June 2010, the Oregon Board of Pharmacy reclassified cannabis from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug.

Celebrate Love. Celebrate Life. (Honoring John Trudell)

John Trudell

Celebrate Love, Celebrate Life. (Honoring John Trudell)

On December 8, 2015, the earth lost a dedicated freedom fighter, friend and poet, John Trudell.

This Friday, January 8, from 7pm to 9pm at Portland Community Media (2766 NE Martin Luther King Boulevard, Portland OR), the cable access programs "A Growing Concern" and "Cannabis Common Sense" will be combined and co-hosted by Jim Lockhart and Paul Stanford for a two-hour tribute to the late, great Santee Sioux artist, John Trudell.

John's long-time Bad Dog bandmates, Mark Shark (guitar/vocals) and Milton Sahme aka Quiltman (vocals), will perform and join the panel to reminisce and celebrate the life of a dear friend.

The tribute will feature video clips of historic performances from John Trudell and Bad Dog and memorable spoken word from lectures John gave in Portland throughout the years.

If you would like to be a part of the live studio audience, please arrive before 6:45pm to ensure your spot. If you would like to participate in the tribute but do not live in Portland, we will be streaming the event globally at: http://ustream.tv/channel/cannabis-common-sense

What: A Growing Concern/Cannabis Common Sense - Celebrate Love. Celebrate Life. (Honoring John Trudell)

When: Friday, January 8, 2015 7pm-9pm

Where: Portland Community Media - 2766 NE Martin Luther King Boulevard, Portland OR 97212 - Studio A

Online: http://ustream.tv/channel/cannabis-common-sense

Oregon: Cannabis Legalization Legend, John Walsh, Passes Away

John Walsh, Oregon Capitol, July 6, 2012

Although his home was in Eugene, Oregon, John Walsh traveled the state collecting signatures and registering Oregonians to vote like Johnny Appleseed planted trees.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Today, January 3, the cannabis community lost a colorful and dedicated freedom fighter, John Walsh. Walsh collected signatures for the hemp and cannabis movement for the past thirty years and if asked, he could tell you exactly how many signatures he collected for each and every initiative and ballot measure that relates to hemp or cannabis throughout that period.

"It makes me terribly sad to say that John Walsh, one of the biggest cannabis activists in the country, and dear friend of mine has passed away. It was John that originally introduced me to SSDP during my Freshman year in college. Thank you for everything you have done to make this world a better place," said former University of Oregon President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Sam Chapman.

Chapman worked with Walsh for several years and called him a “poster child” for medical marijuana, on which Walsh relied for his chronic pain. Though he could not walk down stairs and had to do most everything sitting down, Walsh worked tirelessly for the legalization movement. Chapman noted that it was Walsh who inspired him to become involved with the SSDP.

Another SSDP Member, Attorney Bradley Steinman stated, "RIP, John Walsh. Thank you for all your selfless work and hustle to end the war on drugs."

Washington: Bills Gathering Support To Allow Home Grow Of Cannabis

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By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Last week, Seattle Hempfest announced support for the upcoming legislation regarding Washington House Bill 2196 and Senate Bill 6083, both of which would allow adult residents of the state of Washington to cultivate up to six cannabis/marijuana plants per domicile. The bills, if passed, will also allow the giving away of up to one ounce of pot between adults and allow citizens cultivating cannabis to possess up to eight ounces. It is currently a felony to give away cannabis in Washington.

After reading the full text of the bills, individuals are encouraged to Comment on HB 2196 & SB 6083.

The people of Washington have voiced their opinion on cannabis prohibition, stating a clear desire for citizens of be able to purchase, possess, and imbibe cannabis, free from prosecution. The implementation of I-502 has resulted in retail outlets for adult purchase of cannabis in many communities, generating jobs and tax revenue.

Unfortunately, it remains illegal for a citizen who is not a medical patient to cultivate any amount of cannabis in Washington. "Spending state resources on prosecuting and incarcerating Washingtonians who grow cannabis is not a prudent or effective use of our resources," stated Vivian McPeak, Seattle Hempfest's Executive Director in a release to Hemp News.

Oregon: Hempstalk Harvest Festival Set For October 17-18th in Tom McCall Waterfront Park

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By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Hempstalk Harvest Festival will be held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon on October 17th and 18th. Hempstalk advocates decriminalization of cannabis for medicinal, industrial, and social use. Founded in 2005, the festival features live music, guest speakers, food and goods vendors and information booths. This public event has always been free to attend, with a suggested donation of $10 per person.

According to Paul Stanford, founder and presenting sponsor of the event, "Hempstalk is about the many uses of agricultural hemp fiber, oil, protein, fuel and medicine. We are working to end adult cannabis prohibition, allow adults to grow their own and license the legal sale of psychoactive cannabis to adults. We believe that hemp will save the Earth's biosphere with the adoption of hemp seed for bio-diesel fuel, which will solve the energy and world hunger problems, and stop deforestation when hemp fiber is used for paper and building materials."

Featuring three stages, the Jack Herer Memorial Stage, the newly added Elechronic stage in the Larry “LK” Kirk Memorial Pavilion, and the Lyon Pride Stage, the event is sure to inspire and inform attendees. Already confirmed on the musical bill for 2015 are John Trudell and Bad Dog, Herbivores, Los Marijuanos, Binghi and the 7th Seal, John Cornett, The Sindicate, J Mack and Big Dub, Bad Habitat and more.

Oregon: Lawmakers Urge Oregon Department of Agriculture to Speed Up Industrial Hemp Program

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By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

On Monday, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici asked the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University to expedite the pilot project allowing farmers to begin planting industrial hemp in time for next year's growing season.

The program missed this year's growing season because of concerns in the state legislature over how hemp would coexist with the cannabis industry, which became legal for adult social use on July 1.

“The potential for industrial hemp production represents a great opportunity for Oregon agriculture,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Many Oregon farmers have expressed interest in participating in this pilot program and some have already obtained permits to grow hemp from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.”

"Without ODA’s active participation in the pilot program and the cooperation of OSU, Oregon farmers could lose out on the chance to make Oregon a leader in the hemp industry,” according to the lawmakers.

To date, Oregon has issued 13 licenses to farmers since adopting rules to implement the hemp program in January, but not all of the farmers have planted yet, according to Department of Agriculture spokesman Bruce Pokarney.

"I don't think there's any indication that we're not moving forward," Pokarney concluded.

Currently officials are visiting approved farms to make sure they are in compliance with hemp growing regulations within the state.

Oregon: AJ+ - How High Is Too High? (Documentary)

AJ+ - Weed The People

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Earlier this month, AJ+ traveled to Oregon's first legal social cannabis celebration, "Weed the People", to produce a documentary titled "How High Is Too High?". The comedic documentary showcases the emerging cannabis industry and brings awareness to social cannabis in America. At the event, growers distributed free cannabis samples, Obama Kush, Purple Alien Dawg and, the most popular, Girl Scout Cookie. Cannabis industry vendors educated the masses on their methods of cultivation. Most attendees received approximately seven grams of cannabis. The cost of the event was $40 per person.

Using their comedic point of view, AJ+ highlights the common assumptions about people who consume cannabis and then proceeds to discount those assumptions by talking with the event attendees and getting real opinions. One of the attendees, a computer programmer, states, "Sometimes when I'm stuck on a problem I don't understand, I can smoke and see things in a different way."

Since the passage of Oregon Measure 91, individuals over 21 are allowed to possess an ounce of cannabis in public and may possess eight ounces of cannabis in their home. Oregon residents may cultivate four plants for personal use, per household, and individuals are allowed to give away an ounce to friends and family.

Oregon: Celebrating a Champion - Larry LK Kirk

Larry Kirk

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Last Thursday, June 18, the cannabis community lost a colorful and dedicated freedom fighter, photographer and Army veteran, Larry LK Kirk. Known globally simply as "LK", Larry traveled the country to bring awareness to the injustice, which is the drug war. He believed no one should go to jail for a plant.

A long-time Hemp News and High Times photojournalist, LK captured thousands of historic photos in his effort to document the path to legalization. There was no distance too far in his effort to, as he stated, "document freedom as it happened.” LK had the ability and access to get the camera angles and photographic perspective that most could only imagine.

As an avid supporter of NORML, he had many friends in the organization from founder Keith Stroup to board member Rick Steves. LK was an Oregon NORML board member for several years and through his tireless efforts helped to persuade Oregonians to regulate cannabis in 2014.

LK was a regular attendee and judge at the High Times Cannabis Cups across the United States and in the Netherlands. Over the years, due to his dedication and charm, he became close family with the entire High Times crew.

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

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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

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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.

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