Industrial Hemp Legalized in Canada! 3/6/98

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Beginning this spring, for the first time since World War II, the cultivation of industrial hemp will be legal in Canada. Health Canada will regulate the crop, with a limit of 0.3 per cent THC in seed samples, and a minimum of four hectares. The decision follows several years of debate over the issue during which pressure on the government mounted in the form of farmers who were eager for a new crop.

Senator Laura Milne, a Liberal member who had pushed for an end to the prohibition, told the Ottawa Citizen, "I am delighted that the matter is going ahead. This is an opportunity for Canadian farmers, unmatched in this century." While precious little hemp has been grown in Canada in recent years, there is expected to be a ready market. The U.S. currently imports about $100 million worth of the crop from countries, such as China, where cultivation is legal. The news will be particularly welcome up north, where the promise of a crop with a short growing season and a quick turnaround is important.

Some, however, were still unsatisfied with the ruling, claiming that the proposed regulations are too restrictive. Ron Schnider, of West Hemp Enterprises Inc., called the 0.3% THC limit too low. "I think it's actually the THC that protects it from pests, ironically enough" he told the Citizen. Brian Taylor, Mayor of Grand Forks, B.C., told The Citizen that one problem was that "limiting growing to a minimum of four hectares... eliminates a lot of small farmers."

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Issue #32, 3/6/98 Legislators Blast Mexico Certification: Resolutions to Overturn Introduced in Both Houses | US House Panel Approves Resolution Against Medical Marijuana | Newt Gingrich Calls for Lifetime Ban of Drug-Using Athletes Who Refuse to Snitch | Violent Week in Giuliani's New York Drug War | Medical Marijuana Initiative Filed in Washington State | Federal Agent Cleared in Shooting of Candy Bar-Holding Teen: Plus -- An Interview with Robert Godosky, the Teen's Attorney | Professor's Penn State Pot Protest Continues | California Inmates Get Ruling -- but no Justice -- in Sexual Assault Case | Industrial Hemp Legalized in Canada! | French Artists, Intellectuals Sign Petition Challenging Drug Laws | Irish Priest Urges Legalization | Quote of the Week: Who's the most "silly son-of-a- bitch" in Colorado politics? | Editorial: A real live shooting war in America

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