Hemp Bill Approved in New Jersey

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“The New Jersey Assembly of Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 4-1 in favor of Assembly Bill 2415. This legislation would legalize the licensed cultivation of industrial hemp. Members of NORML New Jersey including Executive Director Evan Nison were present to testify in favor of this legislation. – via Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

Ladybud was able to obtain the testimony of New Jersey citizen Mike Chazukow, a man who owns Hemp Heaven,  a New Jersey store in Morris Plains who was in favor of the bill:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

WI Woman and Hemp Stalk Crusher

October 1944: A woman feeds hemp stalks into a crusher for rope production during World War II at a farm in Wisconsin. 
PHOTO: Vinje, Arthur M., 1888-1972

There is absolutely no way to induce a psychoactive response by ingesting or smoking industrial hemp.  Because of this fact, today we recognize that the sacrifice of the hemp industry lacks justification. Prohibiting industrial hemp does not and never did contribute to reducing drug use or cultivation.

As a small business owner in New Jersey, I urge you to take steps to repatriate the industrial hemp industry.  As I’m sure you know, hemp is legal in more than 30 countries and according to the US Congressional Resource Service, the US is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp. I look forward to the day when these jobs come home to once again support families in the Garden State.

The environment will benefit from hemp because it is a sustainable crop and the ecologically superior choice compared to conventional industrial resources. Businesses and consumers will both benefit from reduced hemp costs because there will no longer be the need to import hemp products.  Less expensive hemp based foods will help NJ farmers to flourish as they make proper nutrition more readily available.

Personally, I feel this last benefit is so important it warrants repeating: Hemp seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. It is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free food high in fiber, protein, and omega fatty acids. Omega fatty acids are so healthy that its consumption “has been found in clinical studies to not only improve cardiovascular health, but also reduce depression, aggression, anger, and improve mental well-being.”3 Even TV’s Dr. Oz has recommended hemp seeds to children for breakfast to improve concentration at school and also recommends hemp seeds for pregnant women. It is a super-food; brain food.   This food will contribute significantly towards a healthier, better fed New Jersey. Health is wealth.

Longitudinal Section of a Cannabis Sativa Stem

Longitudinal Section of a Cannabis Sativa Stem

There is absolutely no risk in the creation of a domestic industrial hemp market.  This has been proven in (Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and Ukraine, etc…) to name a few. All of these countries cultivate industrial hemp without ill effects.

The benefits of a domestic hemp market are clear.  In fact, they are far too numerous to mention in the time we have allotted today. But they can be summed up in one word, health.  New Jersey residents will experience an improvement in environmental, financial, and personal health.  I applaud the committee for hearing this issue today and urge you to vote in support of Assembly bill 2415. Thank you.