Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has a response(ish) to a petition sent to the White House supporting the legalization of hemp. In his “response,” Gil reveals either a stunning ignorance about hemp, or a shocking propensity to tell a whopper.
By Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
America’s farmers deserve our Nation’s help and support to ensure rural America’s prosperity and vitality. Federal law prohibits human consumption, distribution, and possession of Schedule I controlled substances. Hemp and marijuana are part of the same species of cannabis plant. While most of the THC in cannabis plants is concentrated in the marijuana, all parts of the plant, including hemp, can contain THC, a Schedule I controlled substance. The Administration will continue looking for innovative ways to support farmers across the country while balancing the need to protect public health and safety.
The amounts of THC found in industrial hemp — even in the flowers — are so minute as to be meaningless, since the trichomes contain a preponderance of CBD instead. But the amounts of THC found in hemp fiber are so low as to be undetectable — that’s why hemp fiber products are legal in the United States.
“Extracting THC from industrial hemp and further refining it to eliminate the preponderance of CBD would require such an expensive, hazardous, and time-consuming process that it is extremely unlikely anyone would ever attempt it, rather than simply obtaining high-THC marijuana instead,” according to Dr. David P. West, Ph.D., for the North American Industrial Hemp Council
“I did a lot of work on this and I can’t believe the response that the White House gave,” said petition author Tom Murphy of Vote Hemp.
“I briefed the guy at ONDCP who wrote the response and I’d bet money and give you odds that this response is not what he wrote,” Murphy told Toke of the Town Tuesday afternoon. “He knew the difference!”
The latter’s actually not unlikely, since, as head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Kerlikowske is forbidden by law from supporting cannabis legalization.
|Tom Murphy, Vote Hemp: “I did a lot of work on this and I can’t believe the repsonse that the White House gave”
That’s right: there are actually laws in place to prevent the implementation of better and saner policies, at least when it comes to the War On Marijuana.
The language of the original petition is as follows:
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Allow Industrial Hemp to be Grown in the U.S. Once Again
Lost opportunities for farmers and businesses have real consequences. With over $419 million in estimated U.S. retail sales, American companies making hemp products have no choice but to import their raw materials because American farmers continue to fear they will be prosecuted due to an outdated federal policy which confuses non-drug industrial hemp with drug varieties of Cannabis.
Sustainable hemp seed, fiber and oil are already used in nutritious food, textiles, body care and even auto-parts. Many American companies are using imported hemp in their products today.
We urge you to allow U.S. farmers to follow in the footsteps of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, all who were hemp farmers, and once again grow this sustainable and profitable non-drug crop.