SEATTLE » Residents of Washington, Oregon and Colorado won’t just be considering whether to let adults buy pot at state-sanctioned shops when they vote next month on legalizing and taxing marijuana.
They’ll be voting on whether to let farmers grow marijuana’s far less potent cousin — hemp — for clothing, food, biofuel and construction materials among other uses.
But don’t expect farmers to start growing it, at least not immediately. The passage of the measures would create the familiar clash with federal law, which prohibits growing the plant for industrial, recreational or medicinal purposes.
Farmers who say they have enough to worry about with drought and crop diseases don’t want to also be left wondering whether federal drug agents will come knocking.
“Farmers are already engaged in a high-risk endeavor,” said Roy Kaufmann, a spokesman for Oregon’s pot initiative. “That weariness of potentially facing federal action is just too much of a disincentive.”
The three ballot initiatives to regulate pot like alcohol have garnered much attention, in part for the hundreds of millions of dollars they could bring into state coffers and for the showdown it could set up with the federal government.
No state has made recreational pot legal, and these measures would be the first to set up state-sanctioned pot sales. The Justice Department could try to block them in court under the argument they frustrate federal antidrug law enforcement efforts.
Sep 23, 2010 04:20 ET
HONOLULU, HI–(Marketwire – September 23, 2010) – Cannabis Business University’s President, Clifford J Perry, is proud to announce the successful launch of the Medical Marijuana Educational Series in Hawaii.
“We appreciate the people that attended the all-day event to learn about the medicinal and agricultural benefits of Cannabis and Hemp and to engage and participate in the process of determining the regulation and compliance issues that face the State of Hawaii.”