Hype about hemp is rising despite federal laws that recognize no distinction
between hemp and marijuana.
The cannabis plants are genetically similar but with one important
difference: Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive substance
that gets marijuana users high.
Yet the U.S. government considers hemp to be, like marijuana, a Schedule 1
controlled substance. That makes hemp's cultivation illegal, except with special
federal permits that are rarely issued.
Hemp has been grown and used as a textile at least since the 5th century B.C.
It was an important crop in colonial America and throughout the 18th and 19th
But the first anti-hemp salvo from the feds came in the Marihuana Tax Act of
1937, which required cannabis growers to be licensed and taxed.
Cultivation was temporarily encouraged during World War II — witness the
government's "Hemp for Victory" campaign — and some residual growing took place
through the 1950s.
But a further federal crackdown occurred with the Controlled Substances Act
of 1970, which classified any product containing any amount of THC as an illegal
Now, at least nine states, including Colorado, have laws allowing hemp
production, and several more have introduced legislation. A bill pending in
Congress would end the federal prohibition on hemp. Steve Raabe: 303-954-1948 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting303-954-1948 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting