Tag Archives: Growing
The more people you know who use marijuana, the harder it becomes to say that they should be arrested for possessing it. After all, the vast majority of marijuana users are productive and otherwise law-abiding members of society. This fact has become increasingly evident as more and more people come out of the “cannabis closet” and become open about their experiences with the substance.
Last Friday, House Speaker John Boehner’s daughter Lindsay married Dominic Lakhan, a Jamaican-born construction worker. Lakhan was arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana in 2006.
Is it possible that Boehner, who has consistently opposed marijuana policy reform, will start to come around now that he has a convicted marijuana user for a son-in-law? Does he think Lakhan is better off with an arrest record or that Lakhan deserves to be arrested again for using marijuana? Would he care about how it affects his daughter? Only time will tell.
Let’s hope his experience is similar to that of Republican Senator Rob Portman, who changed his stance on gay marriage after learning that his son is gay. While this position initially caused a slight loss in approval among Republicans in his state, the growing acceptance of gay marriage (which has been nearly mirrored by the increasing support for marijuana policy reform) could actually help him in the long run.
Politicians’ thinking traditionally lags far behind the general public on social issues, but it gets a little harder to ignore when that thinking hurts your own family.
When HIGH TIMES was visiting in Denver last month, we made sure to visit the Mile High City’s top dispensaries. Check out this informative video in which senior cultivation editor Danny Danko visits RiverRock Wellness and their outstanding cultivation facilities.
LONDON (Reuters) – British people can now aspire to and despise four new levels of social classes, according to a new survey conducted by researchers in partnership with public broadcaster the BBC.
The Great British Class Survey found that the prevailing notions of a system comprised of the Upper Class, Middle Class and Working Class only related to a slice of the UK population, when analyzed according to income, assets, social connections and social activities.
An “Elite” class and a “Precariat” (precarious proletariat)were the two most extreme groups at either end of a new social scale of seven classes produced by researchers from the London School of Economics (LSE) and University of Manchester based on two surveys conducted by the BBC and research firm GfK.
“It is striking that we have been able to discern a distinctive elite, whose sheer economic advantage sets it apart from other classes,” LSE Professor Mike Savage said.
“At the opposite extreme, we have discerned the existence of a sizeable group (the Precariat) – 15 percent of the population – which is marked by the lack of any significant amount of economic, cultural, or social capital.”
In between those two classes, researchers Savage and Manchester University Professor Fiona Devine alongside others found that the vast majority of the UK population can be broken down into an “Established Middle Class”, a “Technical Middle Class”, “New Affluent Workers”, the “Traditional Working Class” and “Emergent Service Workers”.
Of all the classes, the Established Middle Class was the biggest, representing 25 percent of the population and referred to by researchers as the “comfortably off bulwark of British society” who live predominantly in small towns or rural areas.
They were followed by Emergent Service Workers at 19 percent, the Precariat and New Affluent Workers at 15 percent each, the Traditional Working Class at 14 percent and the Technical Middle Class and the Elite both at six percent.
The researchers also highlighted that the Traditional Working Class, whose occupations included care workers, van drivers, cleaners and secretaries, were economically better off than Emergent Service Workers and the Precariat, but were also the oldest demographic group with an average age of 65.
“To this extent, the traditional working class is fading from contemporary importance, and clearly is less prominent than the established middle class,” the researchers said.
The survey turns on its head the traditional British notion of class, best represented in a black and white 1960s television sketch by comedians Ronnie Corbett, Ronnie Barker and John Cleese for the “Frost Report”.
In the sketch, the tall Cambridge-educated Cleese plays a bowler-hatted Upper Class person and the tiny Corbett a Working Class person in a flat cap, with medium height Barker in the middle wearing a trilby.
The three explain the complexities of British class by saying how the Working Class looks up to the Middle Class and the Upper Class, while being looked down on by both.
“I know my place,” is Corbett’s key punchline.
The Elites defined in the survey appear to have wealth, education, privileged backgrounds which the researchers said sets them at the apex of British society.
However, there was no mention in the statement of Britain’s landed aristocracy or royal family which sat at the top of the old class system’s structure.
The survey had two parts: one in which 161,400 people responded to the BBC’s online Great British Class Survey, and also a face-to-face survey of 1,026 people carried out by GfK.
(Reporting by Paul Casciato; editing by Stephen Addison)
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The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado has created a whole host of issues that previously never had to be addressed by those states’ governments. One such concern is whether a free, state-sanctioned program called “master gardeners” can be used to help folks learn to cultivate cannabis. Master gardener programs are run through state universities and made up of unpaid volunteers. The purpose of the program is to impart free agricultural and …More
In 1996 the actor Woody Harrelson, who has a sideline as an activist for legalizing marijuana, was arrested in Kentucky for planting four hemp seeds. Last month Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, announced his support for growing hemp in Kentucky, his home state.
Between those jarringly disparate events lies the evolution of hemp from a countercultural cause to an issue championed by farmers in the heartland and conservative lawmakers.
On Monday, a panel of the Republican-controlled Kentucky State Senate unanimously approved a bill to license hemp growers. It was promoted by the state agriculture commissioner and three members of the state’s Congressional delegation, including Senator Rand Paul, who removed his jacket to testify in a white shirt that he announced was made of hemp fibers.
If the bill is approved by the full Legislature, Kentucky will join eight other states that have adopted laws to allow commercial hemp growing, although the practice is effectively blocked by federal law that makes no distinction between hemp and marijuana.
Mr. Paul, a Republican, said he would seek a waiver from the Obama administration for Kentucky hemp growers, while pressing Congress to delist hemp as a controlled substance, which hemp supporters say is a legacy of antidrug hysteria.
Both plants are the same species, Cannabis sativa, but hemp has only a trace of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Hemp’s champions see it as a source of agricultural jobs, an alternative for struggling tobacco farmers and a wonder plant with uses from bluejeans to building materials.
Attitudes are changing in surprising places. At a hearing on Monday in Frankfort, the Kentucky capital, the state police commissioner’s opposition to hemp growing was challenged by a former C.I.A. director, R. James Woolsey.
“The specter of people getting high on industrial hemp,” Mr. Woolsey said, “is pretty much exactly like saying you can get drunk on O’Doul’s.”
Hemp supporters say it is only a matter of time before legalization comes as people more fully understand the plant. They also point to states where voters legalized recreational marijuana in November — Colorado and Washington — as inevitably forcing a change in priorities in the Obama administration.
“The demonology of hemp is exposed as being not valid,” said Representative John Yarmuth, Democrat of Kentucky, a sponsor of a bill in the House to allow hemp cultivation. He said the movement to accept hemp has the same inevitability that he attributed to acceptance of same-sex marriage.
Still, the federal government has been unyielding. Farmers in states that allow hemp must seek a waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration or risk being raided by federal agents and losing their farms.
Dave Monson, a North Dakota wheat farmer and Republican state representative, has held a state hemp license since 2007, when North Dakota legalized cultivation. But he has no plans to plant. “I applied for a D.E.A. license, never got one,” he said.
A spokesman for the drug agency said it did not keep statistics on permits to grow hemp, which it does not distinguish from marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970.
Mr. Monson knows farmers just north of the Canadian border who profitably grow hemp, and he argues that it can be an economic boon. “The more states that do what we have done in North Dakota, if we can keep the pressure on, I think we’re going to see some movement at the federal level,” he said.
Hemp supporters claim a total retail value of products containing hemp at more than $ 400 million in the United States. But a Congressional Research Service report last year found that imported hemp raw materials was small, only $ 11.5 million. All hemp used in United States today — such as in Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps sold at Whole Foods — is imported, mostly from China.
Rodney Brewer, the commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, said that if hemp farming were legal, marijuana growers would hide their plants in hemp fields and the police could not tell them apart.
“They are identical in appearance when it comes to the naked eye,” Mr. Brewer said, predicting that legalizing hemp would create a boom for pot growers.
But Mr. Woolsey, who said he favored hemp because of “my interest in prosperity for rural America,” argued that no pot farmer would hide plants in a hemp field for fear that low-potency hemp would cross-pollinate with marijuana and lower the concentration of THC, its psychoactive ingredient.
Marijuana growers “hate the idea of having industrial hemp anywhere near,” he said.
The Kentucky bill faces resistance from some lawmakers, including the speaker of the State House.
Mr. Paul, after calling attention to his hemp shirt at the hearing in Frankfort, seemed to roll his eyes when he said, “You’d think you’re at a D.E.A. hearing.”
“This is a hearing about a crop,” he said. “It’s a crop that’s legal everywhere else in the world except the United States.”
Mr. Paul, elected in 2010 with Tea Party support, promised to introduce a Senate bill as a companion to the pro-hemp bill in the House, which has 28 co-sponsors. He is following in the family footsteps, since the first House bill allowing hemp was introduced several years ago by his father, Ron Paul, a former Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate. Ron Paul’s embrace of the issue fit his deep libertarian streak, which also at times embraced legalizing marijuana and other drugs.
Those positions placed hemp far outside the mainstream in many lawmakers’ minds, just as the image of its products — soaps, sandals and natural foods sold at co-ops — placed it in a counterculture.
But no better sign exists that hemp’s image is changing than its embrace by Mr. McConnell, the minority leader, who said in a statement last month that his mind had been changed “after long discussions” with Rand Paul and the Kentucky agriculture commissioner, James Comer, a Republican.
“The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real,” Mr. McConnell said.
A version of this article appeared in print on February 13, 2013, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Hemp Growing Finds Allies of a New Stripe in Kentucky.