Christiansburg says no thanks to Politis hemp request
Christiansburg has become the first community to rebuff a county supervisor who wants to establish industrial hemp farming.
By a 5-1 vote, the Town Council this month told Jim Politis, chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, the town would not endorse a pro-hemp resolution he has been circulating.
“I simply don’t want my name attached to anything urging the modification of the Controlled Substances Act,” said council member Cord Hall, who urged council to reject the resolution and brought in a federal agent to speak against it.
Tim Carden, resident agent in charge of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Southwest Virginia, told Christiansburg leaders hemp is cannabis, the plant species that’s dried, crumbled and smoked as marijuana, an illegal drug.
Politis has joined a crusade to lift restrictions on a form of cannabis they define as hemp, a crusade that has the conceptual endorsement of the Virginia Farm Bureau and Virginia General Assembly.
Hemp is grown now in China, India, Canada and parts of Europe and used in scores of consumer and industrial products, some sold in the United States.
Advocates say it contains less than 1 percent of the intoxicating properties in the recreational drug marijuana.
Advocates say hemp farming, which was once legal in this country, should resume because a domestic industry could create jobs and commerce.
At the request of Politis, the boards of supervisors of Montgomery and Floyd counties, the Blacksburg Town Council and Charlottesville City Council have adopted a resolution backing a federal bill to authorize hemp farming in the United States.
In spite of his first setback, Politis said he will keep pushing the cause.
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