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Organic Consumers Lobby Schwarzenegger to Sign Landmark Bill Legalizing Hemp Farming in California


Ronnie Cummins 218-226-4164      
Ryan Zinn 714-401-7129

September 13, 2006

Organic Consumers Lobby Governor Schwarzenegger to Sign Hemp Farming Legislation Now on His Desk
Organic Farmers and Consumers Stand to Reap Benefits From New Law

SACRAMENTO, CA ­ - The Organic Consumers Association network of more than 100,000 consumers in California is lobbying Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign into law AB 1147, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act.  This landmark bipartisan legislation effectively regulates cultivation of non-drug varieties of cannabis to produce a versatile crop that is easily grown organically.  With demand for organic hemp food products growing at a rapid rate, this legislation will help localize organic hemp production in California which currently imports more hemp seed and oil than any other state.

"Organic consumers feel it is very important for Governor Schwarzenegger to stand up to the lies about industrial hemp that have resulted in its absence from American agriculture for fifty years," says Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director and co-founder of the Organic Consumers Association.   "The amazing nutritional benefits that come with hemp seed are being discovered by millions of Americans who are also concerned about pesticides and other chemicals applied in the field.  Organic hemp, since it doesn't require pesticides, can be readily grown organically by farmers in California while its seed is rich in brain food known as Omega 3 essential fatty acids.  With high protein content and lots of vitamin E, hemp seed and oil should be in every American diet."

Hemp is a boon for the environment because pesticides are not required and weeds are suppressed along with some soil-borne pests, thus improving the soil structure for the subsequent crops.  Hemp's leaves return nitrogen back to the soil, i.e. they convert nitrogen fertilizer into organically bound nitrogen, which improves soil fertility.  Rotating hemp with soybeans also leads to a dramatic reduction of cyst nematodes (a soy-decimating soil parasite with few cures) without any chemical input.

"Walk into any natural supermarket and you will find organic hemp used in food, body care, and clothing.  It is truly a shame that due to an over zealous war on marijuana, farmers have been cut out of this quarter of a billion dollar industry," adds Cummins.  "Governor Schwarzenegger can fix this ridiculous situation by bolding standing up for farmers to simply have the same right to grow hemp that farmers in Europe, Canada and China already have."