‘It’s rope, not dope’

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By Abigail Whitehouse

One main argument against hemp is one that is tired and over-exaggerated – it’s too much like marijuana.
But as usual, the true science says otherwise.
Those opposed to hemp will have you believe that growers will be inclined to hide marijuana plants within hemp growing capacities.
But the fact is, cross-pollination between hemp and marijuana plants would drastically reduce the potency of marijuana fields and could quite possibly DETER marijuana growers.
If anything, law enforcement officials should be advocating for industrial hemp.
Likewise, the last thing that hemp growers who are cultivating a specific strain would want is an unknown strain mixing with their plants.
Another cliche argument being made is that the untrained eye cannot tell the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, (despite one being short and bushy and the other being tall and thin).
But here’s a simple solution – train your eyes.
Can officers not be trained to know the difference in appearance between hemp and marijuana? Sure, to the untrained eye it may be difficult– but we are living, breathing humans and we’re capable of learning new things every single day.
And lastly, you cannot get high on hemp. Hemp seed is not psychoactive and cannot be used as a drug.
The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not allow industrial hemp production. All around us, hemp is being produced and because it’s not being produced here, we’re buying it from somewhere else.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s website features a page titled Industrial Hemp Facts and states “Canada had 38,828 licensed acres of industrial hemp in 2011. Canadian exports of hemp seed and hemp products were estimated at more than $10 million, with most going to the U.S.”
James Comer, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, has said before that hemp is an enemy to marijuana and law enforcement should be in favor of hemp for that very reason (Central Kentucky News, 2013).
The long believed and unfounded fear of hemp has stifled Kentucky farmers for long enough.
In my 24, almost 25 years of living in Kentucky I have learned one very important thing – when you give Kentucky farmers land and the freedom and resources to work it, they will never fail to amaze you with their determined innovation and refusal to be anything other than the very best in every aspect of their work.
It’s rope, not dope. So give Kentucky farmers the freedom to grow it.