Skip to comments.Man aims to become licensed hemp farmer
Posted on 01/15/2007 2:07:51 PM PST by ellery
BISMARCK, N.D. - David Monson began pushing the idea of growing industrial hemp in the United States a decade ago. Now his goal may be within reach but first he needs to be fingerprinted. Monson plans this week to apply to become the nation's first licensed industrial hemp farmer. He will have to provide two sets of fingerprints and proof that he's not a criminal.
The farmer, school superintendent and state legislator would like to start by growing 10 acres of the crop, and he spent part of his weekend staking out the field he wants to use.
"I'm starting to see that we maybe have a chance," Monson said. "For a while, it was getting really depressing."
Last month, the state Agriculture Department finished its work on rules farmers may use to grow industrial hemp, a cousin of marijuana that does not have the drug's hallucinogenic properties. The sturdy, fibrous plant is used to make an assortment of products, ranging from paper, rope and lotions to car panels, carpet backing and animal bedding.
Applicants must provide latitude and longitude coordinates for their proposed hemp fields, furnish fingerprints and pay at least $202 in fees, including $37 to cover the cost of criminal record checks.
Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said the federal Drug Enforcement Administration still must give its permission before Monson, or anyone else, may grow industrial hemp.
"That is going to be a major hurdle," Johnson said.
Another impediment is the DEA's annual registration fee of $2,293, which is nonrefundable even if the agency does not grant permission to grow industrial hemp. Processing the paperwork for Monson's license should take about a month, Johnson said.
A DEA spokesman has said North Dakota applications to grow industrial hemp will be reviewed, and Johnson said North Dakota's rules were developed with the agency's concerns in mind. Law enforcement officials fear industrial hemp can shield illicit marijuana, although hemp supporters say the concern is unfounded.
North Dakota is one of seven states that have authorized industrial hemp farming. The others are Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana and West Virginia, according to Vote Hemp, an industrial hemp advocacy organization based in Bedford, Mass.
California lawmakers approved legislation last year that set out rules for industrial hemp production, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. The law asserted that the federal government lacked authority to regulate industrial hemp as a drug.
In 2005, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, introduced legislation to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in federal drug laws. It never came to a vote.
Monson farms near Osnabrock, a Cavalier County community in North Dakota's northeastern corner. He is the assistant Republican majority leader in the North Dakota House and is the school superintendent in Edinburg, which has about 140 students in grades kindergarten through 12.
In 1997, during his second session in the Legislature, Monson successfully pushed a bill to require North Dakota State University to study industrial hemp as an alternative crop for the state's farmers.
Canada made it legal for farmers to grow the crop in March 1998. Last year, Canadian farmers planted 48,060 acres of hemp, government statistics say. Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the provinces along North Dakota's northern border, were Canada's biggest hemp producers.
"I do know that industrial hemp grows really well 20 miles north of me," Monson said. "I don't see any reason why that wouldn't be a major crop for me, if this could go through."
You can even purchase consumable hemp. But they're really only interested in getting loaded.
No, the supremacy clause says that federal law valid under the US Constitution trumps state law. If the founders intended to allow federal powers to trump state powers in any and all ways, the 10th Amendment would make no sense.
"-- This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. --"
The typical refutation of Constitutional supremacy from FR's 'collective rights' faction parrots the 'manifesto' of the US Communitarian Party:
'-- We, as a society, decide which rights we will protect --- We can choose not to protect your right to arms or to do drugs.
If and when a majority of the people decide that we should, then we will.
Given that we're a self-governing nation, there's nothing to stop the majority from deciding this as the state pretty much has free reign to pass whatever laws they wish. --'
Well, there goes the FAA regulating intrastate flights, huh? Fly the hostile skies of Clarence Thomas.
"Commerce among the States, cannot stop at the external boundary line of each State, but may be introduced into the interior. It is not intended to say that these words comprehend that commerce, which is completely internal, which is carried on between man and man in a State, or between different parts of the same State, and which does not extend to or affect other States."
-- Gibbons v Ogden (1824). Opinion written by Chief Justice and Founding Father John Marshall.
Geez. It sure does seem to me that Chief Justice and Founding Father John Marshall was saying that if commerce DID affect other states, Congress may regulate it. (Later courts clarified that and said not only must it affect other states, it must substantially affect other states.)
Who to believe? A Founding Father's opinion in a landmark case or Clarence Thomas' musings?
Hemp gums up processing machinery, so unless we can get a few million more Mexicans to process it for fifty cents an hour it's not going to work as an industrial crop.
If industrial hemp is not marijuana then I don't understand why it was hemp made illegal to begin with?
And so start the lies of omission.
"-- I write separately only to express my view that the very notion of a 'substantial effects' test under the Commerce Clause is inconsistent with the original understanding --".
Typically, our Communitarian commerce clause FReekers drag out the pitiful old 'FAA bit', as if anyone contests the 'police powers' of Congress to reasonably regulate air traffic among the several States.
It the "substantial effects" effect. "If we can't regulate everything, then we can't regulate anything."
Products made from industrial hemp are very durable. I have used the same hemp wallet for the last 10 years and it has held up at least 5 times as long as any leather wallet I've ever had. I would say it will last at least another 5 to 10 years.
You're either extremely misinformed about hemp, or you're a liar.
Your mouse broken? There's a link included in the post where you can legally buy consumable hemp.
But they're really only interested in getting loaded
Please, by all means entertain me and tell me the connection between farming hemp and "getting loaded."
Then you're the liar.
A. Hempfest features an entire area and stage, the Hemposium, that features exhibits, displays, demonstrations, panel discussions and featured speakers on the issue of industrial hemp and it's many uses. There are many hemp product vendors at Hempfest to choose from. But any serious discussion about domestic industrial hemp production will inevitably end up at the Drugwar. As Americans, we feel equally passionate about industrial hemp, medical marijuana and responsible adult recreational use.
More insight from the Founding Fathers about the balance between state and federal government (from actual drafters of that document, rather than people like Marshall who merely voted to ratify it):
During the debates on the Constitution between 1787 and 1788, many observers worried that the generality of the document, combined with the Supremacy Clause, would allow a centralization of power in the hands of the Federal Government beyond the limited enumerated powers granted to it. Much of the initial opposition to the Constitution was rooted in the fear that the Federal Government would become too powerful and would eliminate the States as viable political entities. Samuel Adams, for example, worried that if the several states were to be joined in "one entire Nation, under one Legislature, the Powers of which shall extend to every Subject of Legislation, and its Laws be supreme & controul the whole, the Idea of Sovereignty in these States must be lost." Similarly, George Mason argued that "the general government being paramount to, and in every respect more powerful than the state governments, the latter must give way to the former."
This concern was so strongly voiced that the proponents of the Constitution assured that a Bill of Rights, including a provision explicitly reserving powers in the States, would be a top priority for the new Congress. The Tenth Amendment was added soon after ratification in 1791. It emphasizes:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
The drafters of the Constitution believed that to protect liberty, power should be divided between the Federal and State Governments so that "[a]mbition be made to counteract ambition." They described this new form of government as "in strictness, neither a national nor a federal Constitution." Madison explained the division of power by contrasting the attributes of a "national" government with the federal system of governance established by the Constitution. He explained that while a national government would possess an "indefinite supremacy over all persons and things," the government established by the Constitution consisted of "local or municipal authorities [which] form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject within their respective spheres to the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere." In this "compound republic of America," Madison said, "[t]he different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself."
While the Constitution limited the powers of Federal Government, and the Federal Government checked the States in limited areas such as interstate commerce, the States also were limited by competition among themselves. Federalism created a marketplace among governments. Citizens could vote with their feet and take themselves and their wealth elsewhere if subject to abuse.
James Madison to Joseph C. Cabell
13 Feb. 1829
For a like reason, I made no reference to the "power to regulate commerce among the several States." I always foresaw that difficulties might be started in relation to that power which could not be fully explained without recurring to views of it, which, however just, might give birth to specious though unsound objections. Being in the same terms with the power over foreign commerce, the same extent, if taken literally, would belong to it. Yet it is very certain that it grew out of the abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the non-importing, and was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government, in which alone, however, the remedial power could be lodged.
The Founders' Constitution
Volume 2, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce),
Political viability equals legalized hemp farming?
It's always instructive to hear the view from the beltway.
Is that one of the voices in your head?
You're cute when you're snarky.