An Initiative to legalize hemp cultivation is underway in Arizona. Hemp, unlike marijuana, won’t get you high even though it’s classified under the genus, Cannabis. That’s because hemp contains minuscule amounts of THC. However, hemp is a very versatile plant. Once upon a time in America it grew everywhere, in fact it was illegal to own farm land and not grow hemp. Industrial hemp was used for shit like clothing, rope, medicine, fuel and paper including the paper used for the US Constitution.
Over the years a few states have recognized hemp’s economic value. As a result nine states now have laws allowing for and promoting hemp as a cash crop. Currently Arizona doesn’t permit farmers to cultivate hemp, however an organization known as Hemp Our World is aiming to change that. The group is mobilizing to collect more than 150,000 signatures required to place a measure on the 2016 ballot. From the blog Whaxy:
The initiative organizer, Christian Carrasco, told the Arizona Daily Star that the inspiration for this came from the measures recently approved in Colorado and Kentucky. Between now election day 2016, the organization plans to share knowledge and educate voters in Arizona so that they are able to make informed decisions. They are worried that people may confuse a hemp amendment with a recreational marijuana measure, and vote against it out of confusion.
According to Arizona representative Sonny Borrelli, however, this type of legislation may pass when the legislature reconvenes in 2015. He pushed for legalizing hemp cultivation last year with no success. Next year may be different, however, because the Arizona Farm Bureau recently approved the development, production and distribution of industrial hemp in the state with the goal of developing an ideal strain to plant as a cash crop.
There are also reportedly recreational marijuana legalization efforts organizing a push for the 2016 ballot. The hemp initiative is beginning the process now to allow for plenty of time to collect signatures.
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