April 19, 2007
Hemp bill hearing and a busy day at the Capitol
Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday was a busy day at the Capitol, with the legislature in session and a number of public hearings scheduled throughout the day. In Room NW-328, the Committee on Rural Economic Development gave a good reception to Assembly Bill 146, which proposes the state study allowing farmers to produce agricultural hemp.
Among those testifying were a pair of family farmers on whose farm hemp had been cultivated, with government approval, to help out the war effort. They brought with them a 1944 federal contract allowing them to produce hemp and a Marihuana Tax Stamp. It was an amazing little document.
A number of familiar faces were also present including Rich Ray, the owner of Madison’s great hemp store, Hempen Goods click here, Ben Masel, well-known for his hemp expertise, along with hemp supporters from Green Bay, Sauk County and the Stevens Point areas, both locales that saw hemp cultivation before the government lost its mind regarding the cannabis plant.
Reflecting back on the day, which included playing postman for Jacki click here, visiting lawmakers offices, and showing first time visitors the ropes, like how to register at a hearing, it was very productive.
How can we find a way to get more people to interact with their elected representatives regarding the cannabis issue? It means something when a group of folks take an interest in changing things and make the effort to visit the Capitol and make their views known. Kudos to the vanload of young activists from Stevens Point that drove down to support the hemp bill, meet their lawmakers’ staff, and generally show support for cannabis law reform. If more folks from around the state would organize and lobby, I believe things could be different. If nothing else, it’s a beautiful building, and it belongs to the people. Too many legislators come and go without ever realizing its supposed to be about the people. We need to reclaim it.
Oh yeah, and speaking of reclaiming, please come down to the Dane County Courthouse next Tuesday, April 24, for the preliminary hearing in the ridiculous overprosecution of Chris Lankford by Dane County DA Brian Blanchard. We need to reclaim sanity in the county’s criminal justice system, when a man is facing felony charges for passing a joint at Harvest Fest 2006 in Madison. Courthouse is at 215 S. Hamilton at 10:30 AM, Room 1A. Be sure to arrive a few minutes early to clear the metal detectors, and remember to leave anything at home that might set them off!
Posted by Gary at April 19, 2007 12:36 AM
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