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Educating Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson on Industrial Hemp; He's "On Board"

Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson came to Berea College today and spoke to our entrepreneurship class. I took the opportunity to inform him about industrial hemp and why it should be immediately decriminalized (before hemp was criminalized in 1937, it was the number 2 crop grown in Kentucky behind Tobacco, and Kentucky grew more hemp than any other state).

When I first asked the question I was hounded by just about everyone in the room for being “that California kid who just knows a lot about dope.” I took the time to explain the difference between marijuana and industrial hemp, and how industrial hemp could immediately add thousands of sustainable jobs to the Kentucky economy overnight upon being decriminalized.

Abramson had never heard of the hemp issue before, but said he was “on board” and would bring it up to people at the State Capitol in Frankfort. He agreed that, at the very least, advocacy about hemp could be made. I added that if Kentucky wanted to go a step further, the state could essentially nullify the federal legal definition of hemp (which lumps marijuana and hemp together as “Cannabis,” when they are in fact separate species within the same family) as Oregon has already done in the past several years.

I told Abramson that this is what he will hear when he brings up hemp to his advisers in Frankfort: “Hemp is related to marijuana, and if it is legalized marijuana growers can and will hide their marijuana plants in hemp fields.” Of course, this reasoning is absolutely bogus because when hemp and marijuana cross-pollinate, as they do naturally, marijuana’s THC level (the chemical that gets you high) decreases.

That’s right, the potency of marijuana decreases if it is surrounded by hemp. Only boneheaded marijuana growers would even consider growing marijuana near hemp, because the quality of their pot would quickly go down the tubes. In fact, the single most effective action the government could take to weaken marijuana would be to immediately rescind anti-hemp laws and allow the growth of industrial hemp.


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I hope Monsanto does a nice job growing industrial hemp

Legalize the good stuff. I don't care what rope is made from. Dumb that hemp's illegal, but I don't personally care. It must be legal to grow somewhere because all the hippie kids have hemp hats and bags.

Some countries have legal hemp

But you have to jump through many of arbitrary hoops to grow hemp in places like Canada, which have plenty of hard-hitting business regulations that make it very difficult to start a business in the first place; much less a hemp business.

The hemp products you see are ones that don't require extensive lines of production or heavy investment. If hemp was fully decriminalized you would see endless amounts of hemp products - from nutritional bars to hempcrete and hemp plywood to hemp plastic (stronger and lighter than steel). For hemp to be fully utilized it needs to be fully decriminalized.

what's next, making "bath

what's next, making "bath salts" illegal?

People will always find something to sniff, ingest or inject in order to get high or whatever they try to accomplish.

Good going.

A lot of prohibitionists aren't necessarily authoritarians. Many are just doing what they think is in the best interest of their children and society and have never studied the issue. I was going to write an argumentative essay in my English class on time on why marijuana should remain criminalized. But, I found out real quickly that if I was going to argue for criminalization of marijuana, then, I would have to argue for prohibition of alcohol as well, since alcohol is a lot more dangerous than mj.

bonehead marijuana growers


we have pet names now

http://shelfsufficient.com - My site on getting my little family prepped for whatever might come our way.

http://growing-elite-marijuana.com - My site on growing marijuana

No Offense Intended

Hempcrete looks really

Hempcrete looks really promising. Anyone know about it? It is supposedly carbon negative.


They say their house cost $133 per square foot. If hemp were legal, it would drastically increase supply, lowering the price. I don't know how much of the $133 was the cost of the hempcrete, but that could dramatically lower the cost of housing. Much better solution than what congress was trying to do to subsidies multifamily housing through FHA.


The issue isn't being able to get hempcrete because you can

The issue is not being able to produce hempcrete HERE, it is a great building material. I have researched it for awhile as I want to build a house using that and a modified superadobe building method.

You can buy it just like you can buy hemp clothing, rope etc BUT we can't MAKE IT HERE and that is the issue.

You can grow a new crop of hemp for fiber and other materials EVERY YEAR versus harvesting trees that take HOW LONG to regrow? Plus it is carbon nuetral, hemp was here before we got too governmental and it was GREAT for America.

Most of our old documents were on hemp and it is completely pitiful that people fell for that damn refeer madness hogwash in the first place to get hemp + our wonderful marijuana banned.

http://shelfsufficient.com - My site on getting my little family prepped for whatever might come our way.

http://growing-elite-marijuana.com - My site on growing marijuana

The U.S. is forced to import hemp

Most countries, however, have stringent and absurd regulations controlling and limiting hemp production. If hemp were competing in a free market we would have an abundance of hemp products, but because production is so controlled we are generally limited to only hemp products that don't require extensive means of production.

For example, in Quebec you can't grow hemp anywhere close to a school or educational institution, you have to burn your hemp leaves twice a year, and the government consistently (and pointlessly) tests your hemp's THC level as well. Absurd regulations that don't help anyone and limit the production of this incredible plant.

Hemp plywood is three times more strong than traditional wood plywood as well, a nice addition to "hempcrete" and other hemp building products.

You sure its not an issue? I

You sure its not an issue? I knew you could get it here, but you couldn't grow it here. Excluding the allowance for shipping costs and border tariffs, do you think the price of hemp is already at a floor where the marginal cost of producing it is equal to the marginal revenue? Or do you think that an opened supply would cheapen it further?


The U.S. could easily produce hemp

Marginal cost of growing/processing hemp would vastly decrease when decriminalized. In Canada, where hemp is lightly legal, it is still exceptionally difficult to process hemp which is necessary to make any hemp products such as plywood or hempcrete. Hemp's price floor is artificially high because of government regulations and prohibitions, I guarantee it.

Kentucky Lt Governor Jerry Abramson and Industrial Hemp

A little history with Kentucky Industrial hemp: First an actual Kentucky Hemp Commission was setup by the 2001 Kentucky State Legislature and former Governor Paul Patton. The official commission is still supposed to hold meetings, but has not been funded in the state budget. So, two months ago private citizens gave power, so the official Kentucky Hemp Commission could meet and move forward.
Okay, Take Back Kentucky, the Kentucky Hemp Coalition, Craig Lee, and multiple others have tried to get Governor Beshear, the bureaucracy to look into Industrial Hemp. We even had a major campaign surrogate come to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to show him the benefits of industrial hemp. We did not get anywhere with the Beshear Administration. So, please contact Norm Davis at: http://www.takebackkentucky.net/ and let people know that the Lt. Governor of Kentucky is looking like he is on board.

I emailed Take Back Kentucky yesterday

If I don't get a response next week, I will contact them again. Happy to help out in these efforts!

Well just to play devils

Well just to play devils advocate, if I were still into dope smoking, I would tolerate a lower THC content. I never cared what quality it was. So long as it didn't completely degrade to hemp quality, I'd still smoke it.



The THC wouldn't decrease to the low level of hemp (which is below .3% THC), but it would decrease a bit if it was cross-pollinated with hemp plants. The reasoning I gave was more to appeal to politicians who have no interest or clue about the harmlessness of marijuana and the harm of anti-marijuana laws.


We'll be talking about this issue at our Take Back Kentucky meeting in E-Town. www.takebackkentucky.com

I didn't know this group existed.

I live in E-town and didn't know about you guys! I will definitely try to make it to the meeting tomorrow.

Very nice you stood your

Very nice you stood your ground and made your statements. Proud of you!

Thanks so much!

Thanks and other thoughts

Just a point of clarity, or confusion: for quite some time, scientists have argued whether there are different species or sub-species of Cannabis Sativa L. Whether there are one, two, or three species in the Cannabis genus (or sub-species in the Cannabis species), it is clear that they can produce fertile offspring. The Wikipedia article on Cannabis provides more detail than I can here.

Within each species there is great genetic diversity and through a careful breeding program, particular traits and chemotypes can be selected from any breeding stock of Cannabis. E.g., hemp like offspring can be selected from drug strains over several generations and vice versa. Although is possible to look for particular expressed genes which control the production of Cannabinoids from their chemical precursors, it is not viable to test a hemp field in this manner. Rather like other industrial countries which have legal hemp production, a maximum THC content limit may be tested and enforced at lower expense.

You are right that the introduction of hemp can reduce the genetic qualities of nearby drug strains. However, to the illicit cultivator there is a much more pressing concern with the introduction of stray hemp pollen, namely that it will fertilize female drug plants and reduce the quantity and quality of the processed flowering tops which can be harvested. Once a female Cannabis plant is fertilized it reduces the energy spent on the creation of more and bigger bud structures and the conversion of precursors into Cannabinoids and instead expends energy on seed formation. Bud that has been seeded commands less on the market than sensemilla. This effect is immediate and doesn’t depend on one or several generations to affect the quality and potency of drug strains illicitly cultivated.

I thank you for bringing the issue of hemp to the Lt. Governor. Hopefully, the economic and environmental benefits of hemp will prove persuasive over the misguided fears of the racist drug war. I look forward to the day when legal Cannabis is once again a top crop in Kentucky and across the country.

make no mistake

Cannabis is still the top crop in KY. Less than 5 plants is a simple misdemeanor.


Was just recently the mayor of Louisville and the citizens loved him. It is our current Democratic administration in Frankfort that passed HB 463 that is helping to keep nonviolent and victimless crime offenders out of jails and prisons. There are very few misdemeanors that you can be taken straight to jail. Most of the time, law enforcement is REQUIRED to give a citation and notice to appear than take you to jail. It seems to be working because many counties are complaining about their "lost" budget. When did violating civil rights become a business?

Abramson is sincere

Abramson strikes me as an honest and sincere individual. He has been in government virtually all of his life, but it seems that he's managed to stay more principled and honest than most. Glad this isn't the only issue that he's open to for alternative/new ideas.

the Democrats

In Frankfort get bashed here by the ignorant, but a majority of their moves have been made with the citizens of KY in mind. KY has always been a free state. We have our own fair share of problems (#1 prescription drug abuse in nation, high unemployment, poverty, high obesity rates) but we do have legislatures in Frankfort who seem to be doing the best they can with what they have.

Awesome! You can be really


You can be really proud :)

Very well stated! Very convincing arguement

without being argumentative. Rand Paul is strongly advocating for this as well.

Thank you!

Appreciate the kind words. At this point we need to educate everyone in government who's remotely open to learning about hemp, whether it be local, state, or federal government. Glad Rand is behind this as well!

Bump for Kentucky!