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Hemp protest in front of White House

posted 11 Jun 2012, 10:29 by Mpelembe   [ updated 11 Jun 2012, 10:29 ]

U.S. hemp importer bets U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. government can't prove hemp plants are marijuana - as American farmers are shut out of hemp growing industry.

The CEO of America's top-selling natural brand of soap locked himself into a cage with hemp plants in front of the White House Monday (June 11) to protest U.S. policy on hemp farming.
David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, said he's waging a beer bet with U.S. President Barack Obama that the 12 industrial hemp plants that were locked in the secure steel cage with him were not marijuana and had no drug value.

Bronner said the plants were grown from Canadian industrial hemp seed containing less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and had no use as a recreational or medicinal drug.

"This is not a drug. This is like a poppy seed bagel. You know the poppy seed comes from the bread seed poppy, a non-drug cultivar of opium poppy. It's the same thing with industrial hemp. The rest of the world is moving on - Canada, China, Europe - and American farmers are just cut out. And in today's economy this is amazingly retarded," Bronner said.

Bronner said his company purchases 20 tons of hemp seed oil from Canada each year, and would like to give that order to American farmers.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) introduced an amendment to the farm bill last week that would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp.

The amendment, S.3240, would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana, allowing farmers to grow it.

Bronner says hemp seed and fiber products had U.S. retail sales last year of over $400 million.