Oregon: Senate Votes To Put Oregon In The Hemp Business

By Michelle Cole, The Oregonian

There is a truth that must be heard! SALEM -- When the history of the 2009 Legislature is written, it may record that this was the year lawmakers put Oregon in the industrial hemp business.

The Senate voted 27-2 Friday to approve a bill that clears the way for hemp to be grown and processed in Oregon if and when the federal government gives growers a green light.

Senate Bill 676 still must pass in the House before the session ends later this month. But its sponsor, Sen. Floyd Prozanski, says he's convinced it will pass.

The bill would authorize the production, possession and commerce of industrial hemp and products. It would put the state Department of Agriculture in charge of regulating growers.

Industrial hemp is a cousin to marijuana. But it contains just trace amounts of THC, the psycho-active chemical in marijuana.

Hemp seeds are cultivated for food and other products in China, Canada and other countries. Hemp was grown in the United States until 1970, when it was redefined by the federal government as marijuana.

Prozanski, a Eugene Democrat, said he first learned about industrial hemp while campaigning in 1994. He's convinced it would be an economic boost for Oregon and has been pushing legislation to promote the industry since 1997.

Canada: Manitoba Announce Investment to Help Create Jobs

The construction and manufacturing sectors in Parkland get a boost

By Web News Wire, Business Desk

There is a truth that must be heard! The Honourable Rosann Wowchuk, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, and Inky Mark, Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced government support today to strengthen economic opportunities in the Parkland Region.

"The Government of Canada, through the Community Adjustment Fund, is taking action to ensure communities succeed at this time of economic slowdown," said Mr. Mark. "Today's announcement will help create jobs and stimulate the local economy, enabling our region to emerge from this challenging time, prosperous and stronger than ever."

"The province is committed to encouraging, supporting and advancing the economic development of rural communities by helping them prepare the way for local industrial expansion," said Minister Wowchuk. "The development of the Dauphin Industrial Park will help attract industries and commercial businesses to the Parkland region, which will provide jobs and help create more rural economic benefits."

The Rural Municipality of Dauphin, partnering with the City of Dauphin, will construct a waterline to service the new 205-acre industrial park, which lies northwest of the community.

Canada: Waterline Expected To Be Key Factor In Developing Hemp Processing Plant

By Winnipeg Free Press Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! The city of Dauphin and the surrounding rural municipality are constructing a waterline to service a new 205-acres industrial park northwest of town.

The initiative is expected to be a key factor in developing a long-discussed hemp processing plant in the area.

Ottawa and the province will fund about three-quarters of the waterline’s $804,850 cost, the two levels of government announced this morning.

The federal government is contributing a little over $400,000, while the province and two municipalities are sharing the remainder of the cost.

Mayor Alex Paul said the project is important to the entire parkland region.


United States: Natural Fabrics "Green" the Fashion Industry

By Barney DuBois,

There is a truth that must be heard! We're talking trillions of dollars. The world's apparel industry is one of the three necessities of life, remember? And we humans spend more for clothing than we do for anything else but the other two - which are food and shelter.

It wasn't long ago that we depended on large department stores plus neighborhood boutiques and shops - augmented by an occasional catalog order or lay-away purchase - to keep ourselves snappily attired for anything. This was interrupted by Wal-Mart, Target and the hundreds of specialty retailers whose brands we have memorized and forgotten. And now, the Internet is taking us to yet another level of confusion - and making lots of business for FedEx and UPS!

The term "green clothing" emerged somewhere during this massive retailing shift of the past decade, and the term's definition is yet being decided in the open market. Vogue magazine's latest issue underscores the importance of this debate, featuring the hottest new "green" styles (including an eco-bikini) worn by actress Cameron Diaz. The fashion mag's cover is even printed in green ink! But inside its pages are also the kinds of things you would expect - including a bachelorette party dress that requires $11,495 of your "green" and is about as recyclable as a can of motor oil.

New Mexico: Medical Marijuana Grower To Begin Distribution

By Jeremy Jojola, Eyewitness News 4; Matthew Kappus,

There is a truth that must be heard! For the first time, the only state-approved grower of medical marijuana is about to dispense the drug in New Mexico.

For the past two years, New Mexico patients allowed to smoke marijuana have had to rely on their own supply or get it illegally from dealers. But a state-approved grower based somewhere in Sandoval County is about to start distributing the drug.

Health Department spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer is not allowed under the law to reveal who or where that grower is, but she said the producer is working on a supply right now.

"Hopefully patients will be able to get medical marijuana from that producer by the end of summer," she said.

An article in the online edition of the Santa Fe Reporter revealed the county of the grower and that there are nearly a dozen possible locations for marijuana "growhouses," from Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Silver City, to as far south as Eddy County—where potential pot farmers have applied to grow legally.

Europe: Hemp Homes To Be Built In Government Drive

Experimental homes made out of hemp are to be built under new government plans.

By Ben Leach,

There is a truth that must be heard! A prototype three-bedroom house, funded by the taxpayer, will go on show today. The home is part of a government drive to build more housing with a smaller carbon footprint.

The "renewable house" features walls made from Hemcrete - a mix of hamp and lime - and was built thanks to a £200,000 grant from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC), which built the home, said building it used half the energy that building a traditional brick home would use.

It claims energy bills for the home owners would be as low as £150 a year, and predicts building on thousands of houses could begin soon.

Dr John Williams, head of materials at the NNFCC, told The Guardian: "The forecasts are that we could roll this out very quickly if someone places an order for 25,000 homes.

"Increasing numbers of farmers are growing hemp because it fits in with their current growing cycles between April and September and it is a good break crop for wheat.

"If just 1 per cent of the UK's agricultural land was used to grow hemp, it would be enough to build 180,000 homes per year."

The hemp house provides a cheaper alternative to traditional brick and mortar housing, with a build cost of £75,000 excluding groundworks.

Oregon: NORML and THCF Members Join Together for Adopt-A-Highway Community Outreach

By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard!

Members of Oregon NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and THCF (The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation) worked together recently, contributing to Oregon’s community outreach program Adopt-a-Highway.

Taking on the 2.5 mile stretch of Oregon Highway 26 in Gresham, from the intersection at Burnside and Powell to Stone Road, the group of volunteers cleaned up litter of all kinds, and bagged it for proper disposal.

Groups who participate in the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup program are recognized by their name displayed on signage marking their designated stretch of road. Oregon NORML now graces two signs on Highway 26, and believes this is just another step in achieving a closer connection to their community.

“Participation in the Adopt-a-Highway program gives us a great feeling of accomplishment,” said one of the Oregon NORML community outreach team members. “We hope that this inspires others in our area to continue good work in their own neighborhoods by not only cleaning up streets, but changing attitudes and defeating stereotypes. We do this because we care about our state.”

United States: Legalize Pot Now

With support from the unlikeliest circles, this could be marijuana's moment

By Mike Miliard, Boston Phoenix

There is a truth that must be heard! The Obama administration, already overtaxed with two foreign campaigns, made headlines this past week when it waved a white flag in a fight much closer to home. Gil Kerlikowske, the White House's newly minted director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy — the so-called drug czar — called for an end to the "War on Drugs."

Granted, Kerlikowske wasn't signaling an intention to lay down arms and pick up a pack of E-Z Widers. His was a semantic shift — a pledge to abandon gung-ho fighting words and imprisonment in favor of treatment. But it was newsworthy nonetheless. As Bruce Mirken, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project — the biggest pot-policy-reform group in the country — puts it: "Can you imagine [Bush administration czar] John Walters saying that? The Earth would open up!"

California: Scientists Hunt For Green Building Materials

By Michael Torrice, Mercury News

There is a truth that must be heard! The plank looks like a polished piece of plywood, and someday people may build coffee tables with it. But this wood was not grown in a forest — it was born from the greenhouse gasses seeping from landfills.

The Stanford University researchers who produced this wood alternative are part of a movement to support greener buildings by developing construction materials that are created and disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Green buildings are not only about replacing standard light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs or toilets with low-flush alternatives. Because manufacturing traditional building materials requires large amounts of energy and emits greenhouse gases, finding green alternatives will improve a building's overall environmental footprint.

However, inventors still must convince the construction industry that these products can replace centuries-old building materials.

"When it comes to construction and the environment, structural engineers make a mess and environmental engineers clean it up," said Sarah Billington, the Stanford researcher who leads the wood project. "We wanted to fix the mess from the start."

Building materials are responsible for about 20 percent of the greenhouse gasses emitted by a building during its lifetime, said Brent Constantz, founder of Calera, a company that is producing green cement.

United States: Ex-Seattle Police Chief Heads to D.C. to Fight War on Drugs

by Kimberly A.C. Wilson, The Oregonian

There is a truth that must be heard! SEATTLE -- During nearly a decade as Seattle's top law enforcement officer Gil Kerlikowske was confronted with concerns about corner drug dealing almost daily.

"I would meet with community folks and they would say 'about two blocks from here,' or 'over in Belltown near where I live,' or 'down the street from my house, there's people selling drugs on the corner at all hours.' "

Kerlikowske's response as chief was playbook police work -- deploying officers to the scene, arresting players along the illegal drug trade food-chain and seizing territorial, if temporary, victory on the drug corners.

But a week into his new assignment as President Barack Obama's drug czar, Kerlikowske is using the platform to recast the "War on Drugs" as a matter of national public health and not simply the domain of the criminal justice system.

"I'd be happy if I can change the conversation about drugs. We recycle people through the criminal justice system but it's more than that," Kerlikowske said Thursday during a visit to Seattle before wrapping up his move to Washington, D.C., to direct the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Michigan: New Medical Marijuana Act Creates Local Dialogue

By Audrey LaFave, Daily Press

There is a truth that must be heard! ESCANABA - The new Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is starting a conversation locally. The director of the new U.P. NORML group recently discussed the issue in an interview with the Daily Press.

U.P. NORML is a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Jerry Glasscock, executive director, said the new act should be regarded as a right declared by the people of the state.

"This right started through a different way, it was a law the people were directly involved in and voted for themselves, instead of a select few voting in Lansing and deciding how we should live," Glasscock said.

He said the effective date of the act should be the date it was voted into law, Nov. 4. When people could start legally growing marijuana has been a source of controversy and debate.

"Right now, I see a lot of splitting hairs over this and that is not what should be happening here," he said. "If somebody started growing medical marijuana in November or December for someone who has cancer or has a doctor's prescription (it is legal). Why are we splitting hairs over the date? That is a waste of time and that is what will clog up the courts."

Glasscock said local law enforcement should be support the law, as it is their job to do so. He said although police and prosecutors may be against the medical use of marijuana now, he hopes in time they will accept it.

Europe: Hempcrete Warehouse for Wine Society Completed

Wine Society's warehouse uses preformed panels of hemp and lime that locks in carbon dioxide

By Stephen Kennett

There is a truth that must be heard!The UK's first warehouse building to be constructed using preformed wall panels made out of hemp has now been completed.

The £3.7m warehouse for the Wine Society in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, has been designed by architect Vincent & Gorbing and has exterior walls built of Tradical Hemcrete, which is a mixture of hemp stalk and modified lime. It is a development of cast insitu hemp-lime walling that locks carbon dioxide within the wall construction.

Mark Chandler, architect and director of Vincent & Gorbing, said: “The design responds to the requirement for minimal heating and cooling equipment with the resultant reduction in energy consumption.”

The cladding offers good insulation properties, explains Chandler, and helps maintain a stable internal air temperature throughout the summer and winter.

The 8.5m2 panels, which are 300mm thick, are mounted on the building's steel truss frame, while a 40mm-thick composite aluminium panel is used to provide weather protection on the external face.

Together with the highly insulated roofing system, it provides an insulated internal space that exceeds Building Regulations requirements.



United States: Supreme Court Will Not Review California Medical Marijuana Law

The Supreme Court announced Monday it will not get involved in a dispute over California's medical marijuana law.

By Fox News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! The case presented a direct conflict to the justices of California's Compassionate Use Act which its detractors say contravenes federal laws prohibiting drug use. A California appeals court ruled last summer that the state's medical marijuana law does not preempt a federal drug ban. Monday's decision by the high court effectively affirms that ruling.

Thirteen states have laws allowing for the limited use of marijuana. California's law allows for individuals and their caregivers to "possess, cultivate and transport" marijuana as long as it used for medical purposes. Local officials in San Diego objected and filed a lawsuit saying the state law violates the federal Controlled Substances Act.

In its argument to the Court, the local officials said the California law is contrary to federal efforts to limit drug use. They argued "it is inevitable that marijuana originally grown for medicinal use will fall into the hands of recreational drug users."

California joined a handful of pro-Marijuana groups in asking the Court to not take the case. They argued the specifics of this case made it a "poor vehicle" for the high court to use in deciding such a controversial issue.


United States: Marijuana Does Not Raise Lung Cancer Risk

People who smoke marijuana do not appear to be at increased risk for developing lung cancer, new research suggests.

By Salynn Boyles, reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

There is a truth that must be heard! While a clear increase in cancer risk was seen among cigarette smokers in the study, no such association was seen for regular cannabis users.

Even very heavy, long-term marijuana users who had smoked more than 22,000 joints over a lifetime seemed to have no greater risk than infrequent marijuana users or nonusers.

The findings surprised the study’s researchers, who expected to see an increase in cancer among people who smoked marijuana regularly in their youth.

“We know that there are as many or more carcinogens and co-carcinogens in marijuana smoke as in cigarettes,” researcher Donald Tashkin, MD, of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine tells WebMD. “But we did not find any evidence for an increase in cancer risk for even heavy marijuana smoking.” Carcinogens are substances that cause cancer.

Tashkin presented the findings today at The American Thoracic Society’s 102nd International Conference, held in San Diego.

Boomers Reaching Cancer Age

The study population was limited to people who were younger than 60 because people older than that would probably not have used marijuana in their teens and early adult years.

“People who may have smoked marijuana in their youth are just now getting to the age when cancers are being seen,” Tashkin says.

United States: Plans Shaping Up for 2009 ‘Tour for Compassion’ Cross Country Bicycle Tour

By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Get your bicycles ready and pack a few spare tubes and tires, because the 2009 Tour for Compassion is about to begin, and it’s gone international. Beginning May 15th, 2009 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the group plans to ride across the United States by bicycle to raise awareness about Medical Cannabis Patient Rights and Freedoms.

Group organizer Ken Locke hopes the ride will educate people to the benefits of the Cannabis plant. Locke, a Medical Cannabis patient himself, has shared his personal story of dealing with a life-altering injury and how Cannabis has helped him live a functional and healthy life, free from prescription medications. He states in his story, “My personal experience has convinced me that the Cannabis plant must be for the use of all mankind. To this end, I ride across the United States of America. I hope that my bike ride will bring about awareness of the beneficial and healthy effects of medical marijuana.”

It is Locke’s belief (shared with a growing number of Cannabis supporters around the globe) that the past 70 years have been filled with false education and misinformation about the Cannabis plant. It is his goal to show the United States that there is a place for Cannabis in our society, but believes a re-education must take place. He hopes that the 2009 Tour for Compassion will have even more impact than the last ride.

France: Flax and Hemp Featured in New Era Bio-Composites

By Innovation in Textiles

There is a truth that must be heard! Paris - At the recent JEC Composites exhibition at Porte de Versailles, Paris, CELC Masters of Linen showcased the use of flax and hemp fibres in the future world of renewable composites. According to CELC, the environmentally sustainable properties of these two European-grown fibres are proving increasingly attractive to manufacturers seeking to incorporate sustainable solutions into their products.

The natural mechanical properties of flax and hemp bring high performance and competitive cost to new composite materials now being used in the Automotive, Furniture, Boat Building and Leisure Industries, the organization says.

“As renewable fibres, European grown flax and hemp help safeguard the environment, as their cultivation requires no irrigation, little or no artificial fertilisation and no pesticides. Their use within an otherwise intensive crop rotation regime, allows the land to recover fertility and quality, to enjoy an “environmental pause” , encouraging bio-diversity.” A spokesperson for CELC Masters of Linen said, adding:

“The mechanical properties of flax and hemp fibres, comparable to those of glass-fibres, offer lightness, low density and flexibility and are increasingly being used to reinforce PVC, PE and PP polymers replacing traditional synthetics. Both fibres can be structured into complex forms by extrusion or injection moulding."

Michigan: Medical Marijuana Special Report Part 1 - WNDU 16

By Sarah Platt, WNDU 16

There is a truth that must be heard! It received an emphatic 63% of the vote and majority support in all of Michigan's 83 counties.

You may recall, last November, Michigan residents voted to approve the use of medicinal marijuana for patients with serious ailments-- like cancer or chronic pain.

It's now been a month since the new medical marijuana law took effect. Michigan patients must get a doctor's recommendation and apply for a state permit to grow their own marijuana or designate a caregiver to do so.

Tonight, Newscenter 16's Sarah Platt begins her special report on the new law and who will benefit from it.

Viewers might not be aware that Michigan's medical marijuana law completely by-passed the state legislature. Because enough signatures were gathered, it went on the ballot as a public referendum and passed.

Here's a breakdown of the number of Michigan residents applying for medical marijuana.

As of May 1st, officials at Michigan's Department of Community Health tell us they've received 1,142 applications for medical marijuana. So far, 389 registration ID cards have been issued and 108 caregivers (or legal growers) have been given ID cards. These numbers are changing by the week.

Despite some controversy surrounding the new medical marijuana law, supporters say this is a big step for those who are dealing with serious and painful illnesses.

California: Novel Processes Developed to Make Faux Wood, Synthetic Fuel

By Bryan Sims, Biomass Magazine

There is a truth that must be heard! A university and a plastic recycling company are taking the lead in developing novel, cost-effective methods to produce saleable biobased products.

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a synthetic wood substitute made from hemp fibers fused with a biodegradable plastic resin called polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), which can be recycled to produce more of the same. PHB can also be used to replace the petrochemical plastics used to manufacture disposable water bottles, according to Sarah Billington, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the university.

Last year, the California Environmental Protection Agency awarded Billington and her colleagues a three-year $1.5 million grant to help the researchers develop biodegradable plastic beverage bottles. In 2004, the group received a two-year Environmental Venture Projects grant from Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment to develop durable and recyclable faux wood.

The hemp-PHB biocomposite material has several characteristics similar to wood from trees, according to Craig Criddle, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, who collaborated on the project. “It’s quite attractive looking and very strong,” he said. “You can mold it, nail it, hammer it and drill it a lot like wood. But, bioplastic PHB can be produced faster than wood, and hemp can be grown faster than trees.”

Washington State: Rick Steves Nominated for EMMY as Host of Program on Marijuana Laws

By ACLU Washington

There is a truth that must be heard! Travel writer Rick Steves has been nominated by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Regional Chapter, to receive an EMMY Award for his role as host of the ACLU of Washington's "Marijuana: It's Time for a Conversation." The half-hour television program examines the history and current impacts of state and federal marijuana laws and invites viewers to
consider, and discuss with others, whether those laws are working for our communities.

"Conversation" has been viewed more than 30,000 times in western Washington households subscribed to Comcast On Demand. It has received print and radio media coverage locally and nationwide, and it has been screened to capacity audiences at Spokane's Metropolitan Performing Arts Center and the Kirkland Performance Center. The associated website,, has received over 320,000 hits.

Seattle network stations sparked some controversy when they refused to air the program during evening hours when most adults would be likely to be watching. KING-TV and its affiliate KONG would only run the program at 1:00 a.m. KOMO and KIRO refused to air the program at all.

China: Officials Promote Growing of Hemp

By Xinhua, Shanghai

There is a truth that must be heard! OFFICIALS in southwest China's Yunnan Province are promoting the cultivation of hemp for industrial use to increase the income of local residents.

A hemp fiber processing factory with an annual capacity of 2,000 tonnes began production yesterday in Menghai County in Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, a mountainous region in Yunnan.

"The fiber from hemp is widely used to make socks and bulletproof clothes as well as top-grade suits," said Shi Dongming, board chairman of China Hemp Industrial Holding Investment Co Ltd, which runs the production line.

Local officials expect the plant to help raise the living standard of farmers.

The government provides the seeds for free to encourage cultivation. Farmers can also get technical training and instruction.

"Nearly 10,000 farmers are growing the plant, which can double their per capita income from less than 2,000 yuan (US$293) to about 4,000 yuan every year," said Jiang Pusheng, Communist Party chief of the prefecture.

Yang Yonghong from Manlu Village plans to plant more hemp next year. "The planting does not demand too much work. Companies will come to collect the hemp in the harvest time, so we are not worried about sales," she said.

Local officials said the growth would not lead to the production of illegal drugs, although Xishuangbanna is near the Golden Triangle region where drugs are produced and smuggled.

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