Hemp Should Be A Hoosier Crop

by Curt Kovener

As reported on the front page a bill being studied this summer by the Indiana legislature could allow southern Hoosier farmers to grow a new crop: industrial hemp. The bill, authored by Rep. Jim Lucas of Seymour, passed the house earlier this year and was gaining support in the Senate when Gov. Eric Holcomb gave a thumbs-down further consideration
Like the baby with the bath water, hemp, and its much more popular cousin marijuana, were made illegal in the 1930’s. More on that in a bit.
What is industrial hemp? A variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% tetrarahydro-cannabinol (THC) concentration. THC is the chemical that provides the drug effect of marijuana where its concentration levels generally range between 5% and 20%, although higher concentrations occasionally occur.
To say another way, hemp is near beer to marijuana’s moonshine.
Perhaps it might be easier to view the differences between hemp and marijuana like we view sweet corn and field corn. Both of the corns are in the same biological family but eating the former is more tasty than the latter even though young immature field corn can be substituted on the dinner plate. It just lacks the sugar content and is a bit more al dente.
Industrial hemp is a fiber-producing agricultural crop that is grown in more than 30 countries throughout the world, including our neighbors to the north, Canada.
Industrial hemp is visually distinguishable from marijuana because of the purposes for which it is grown. Industrial hemp, grown for its long, strong and light fibers, is a single stalk often reaching a height of six feet or more. Marijuana plants are shorter and bushier with numerous branches with unfertilized flower clusters where THC is accumulated.
Marijuana is not self-pollinating. There are male and female marijuana plants. Pot growers will pull up and discard the male plants. The remaining females are longing for love and male companionship and as a result, their unrequited flower buds attain a higher level of THC.
Hemp and marijuana will cross pollinate but when they do, the marijuana’s THC is dramatically reduced. And that is not what the grower or the consumer are seeking.
The fact that the plants can cross pollinate could make the illegal marijuana growers some of the more vocal opponents of legalizing hemp because it would decrease the buzz of their buds. Remember that the next time someone opposes its legalization. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are looking out for the community’s morality or your children’s interests.
And from a marijuana control perspective, what better way than to let nature take its pollinating course?
Up until 1937 hemp was used for rope, sail and tent canvas, writing paper, clothing and other fiber. Hemp seeds can be crushed into an oil which is used for cosmetics and medicinal applications.
For a historic perspective, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. Jefferson used hemp paper for the first several drafts of the Declaration of Independence.
Given the many uses of hemp and the fact that it does not contain a significant quantity of the psychoactive THC, one wonders why its production was and continues to be prohibited in the United States. It is apparently the result of a combination of factors which converged in the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. At that time, the outlawing of substances to protect the morality of the America public was being pushed by crusading elected officials and religious leaders.
(Remember, prohibition didn’t work so well in America…except for organized crime & bootleggers.)
But there may have also been more personally profitable motives for outlawing heemp.
Newspaper magnate William Randolph Heart supported making hemp illegal for his own financial purposes. At that time, the Hearst empire included large tracts of forest that provided wood pulp for the newsprint used by his and other newspapers. Hemp has the advantage of growing faster and producing more paper per acre than trees. Fearing hemp-based paper could give his competitors an advantage and make his forestland less valuable, Hearst editorialized for making marijuana and hemp illegal.
With the current tariffs on wood-based newsprint, a Hoosier hemp newsprint manufacturing plant could be a homegrown answer leading to jobs and a market for Indiana farmers growing hemp.
The eventual decriminalization of industrial hemp at the federal level appears to be inevitable. Kentucky has already put into the bluegrass state’s laws the right to raise hemp.
The Bluegrass Commonwealth, a state considered backwards by some Hoosiers, is more than six years ahead of Indiana in the legalizing and growing hemp. Kentucky farmers are growing hemp for seed, oil and fiber and are developing markets for their product. That should rather make Hoosiers reconsider which state is really backwards.
The question facing the summer study committee and the Indiana legislature is whether Indiana should be positioning its farmers to take advantage of a new opportunity when it becomes available, or should we continue to ban the production of a beneficial and potentially profitable crop because of out-of-date misconceptions and prejudices.

It’s Now The Law; Don’t Cross The Color Purple

by Curt Kovener

As of July 1, Indiana landowners have a new way to mark property for no trespassing— with purple paint. This is good news for those of us who dwell in the wilderness.
Owners of private property are now be able to exchange damaged or stolen “No Trespassing” signs for a line of purple paint with the Purple Paint Law. This is according to the House Enrolled Act 1233 which allows Hoosiers to mark their property and prohibit trespassing by marking vertical purple paint lines on trees or fence posts.
The idea is to have a quick and easy fix for property owners besides putting up the normal “No Trespassing” signs. There are requirements to how the purple line must be placed though.
If you paint a purple line on a tree, that is the same as saying no trespassing. So you no longer have to post no trespassing signs. But it has to be visible and a purple line.
Purple painting property owners need be aware that some spray paint will fade over time. If marking a tree, you are painting a living thing. With growth and weather, the color made fade or change. Tree marking paint specifically designed for the forest industry may be a better, longer term bet. The law does not specify what shade or purple—violet, lilac, fuschia, deep purple.
The law says that any purple mark must be a vertical line of at least 8 inches in length. For trees, the bottom of the mark needs to be at least 3 feet but not more than 5 feet from the ground. Marked trees may not be more than 100 feet from the nearest other marked tree.
Purple marks can also be on any fence post as long as the mark covers at least the top 2 inches of the post. For fence posts, the bottom of the mark needs to be at least 3 feet but not more than 5 feet and 6 inches from the ground. A marked post cannot be more than 36 feet from the nearest other marked post.
Instead of putting up a sign, which can get ripped down, shot or destroyed in some other way, lawmakers think that by painting a purple line everybody will understand.
But will color blindness be a credible defense by trespassers?
Perhaps for urban dwellers, a new purple color scheme will be decorating the neighborhood.

Is That REALLY What They Meant?

by Curt Kovener

Newspaper headlines are meant to sell the story and prompt the reader to read it. If they can be they should be witty, creative, perhaps punny but above all truthful & accurate.
But sometimes in our quest to get you to read our story, headline writers try to sell you on reading the story but on second look, you have to wonder what they were thinking…if they were at all.
Here are some examples of editors getting caught with their headlines down; a bold-face botch with a red-face result.
•Grandmother Of 8 Makes Hole In One
•Veterinarian Testifies in Horse Suit
•Two Convicts Evade The Gallows; Jury Hung
•County Officials Talk Rubbish
•New Housing For Elderly Not Yet Dead
•Farmer Bill Dies In House
•Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
•Queen Mary Having Bottom Scraped (they were referring to the ship…I hope)
•Women’s Movement Called More Broad-Based
•Antique Stripper To Display Wares At Store
•Meat Head Fights Hike In Minimum Pay
•City May Impose Mandatory Time For Prostitution (are we talking about employee benefits?)
•Stud Tires Out
•Planned Parenthood Looking For Volunteers
•Child’s Stool Great For Use In Garden
•Judge To Rule On Nude beach
•Police Help Dog Bite Victim
•Dealers Will Hear Car Talk Friday
•Enraged Cow Injures Farmer With Ax
•Miners Refuse To Work After Death
•Juvenile Court To Try Shooting Defendant
•2 Sisters Reunited After 18 Years In Checkout Counter
•Killer Sentenced To Die For Second Time In 10 years
And in the painfully obvious department:
•Expert Says Something Went Wrong In Jet Crash
•Foul Play Suspected in Death Of Man Found Bound & Hanged
•Blind Woman Gets New Kidney From Dad She Hasn’t Seen In Years
•Local Couple Found Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
•U.S. High Schools Require Some Study For Graduation

This Summer’s Very Report Is Berry Good

by Curt Kovener

With the multitude of changes that have been and continue to go on with the newspaper, I had been derelict of duty with mowing the area of the wilderness to keep too much from becoming more wilderness.
Mowing is therapy for me. I can think, solve problems, foresee additional ones, and come up with possible alternative solutions.
And when the grass is tall I have to mow slower which gives me time to view the landscape.
I am pleased to report an excellent black raspberry crop along the mowed edges. Unlike previous years when they would ripen slowly, this summer entire canes are showing shiny ripe fruit.
A move to the lower walking trail shows a good potential for the blackberry crop. There has been adequate rainfall (sometimes too much, too quick) in the wilderness so I expect the now green blackberries to turn red then fill out to their juicy ripest.
Then it will be knee-high muck boots, bug spray and my homemade berry bucket. In its former life it was a coffee can and a length of spare 12-2 copper wire serves as a bail. A small spring loaded clamp affixes the bucket to my belt so I can use a two-handed pickling style.
While it is hotter, I wear an old long-sleeve shirt so the briars claw the fabric of the shirt and not my skin.
The first bucket of blackberries goes to Becky’s cobbler. And the first cobbler out of the oven gets initiated with vanilla ice cream.
Future buckets of blackberries get washed and placed in plastic bags in the freezer for winter cobblers and memories of summer.

The Summer School Of Life Is In Session

by Curt Kovener

School may be out for the summer but education continues throughout the years. Let’s re-visit the collectible quotes of Prof. Ron Atkins— educator, philosopher, and generally inspirational gentleman— and let us be edified on life experiences.
•Every child should have an occasional pat on the back as long as it is applied low enough and hard enough.~Bishop Fulton Sheen
•Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid. ~Franklin P. Jones
•It is always the best policy to tell the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar. ~Jerome K. Jerome
•No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power. ~P.J. O’Rourke
•Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. ~Aldous Huxley
•Many men climb to the top of the ladder only to find it’s been leaning against the wrong wall.
•True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable. ~David Gentry
You can always tell a friend; when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job. ~Laurence J. Peter
•A clear conscience is often a sign of a bad memory.
•It is better to be crazy with the rest of the world than to be wise alone. ~Balthazar Gracian
•We were happily married for eight months. Unfortunately, we were married for four and a half years. ~Nick Faldo
•My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met. ~Rodney Dangerfield
•One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. ~Elbert Hubbard
•You’ve got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.
•When the missionaries cam to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. The said, “Let us Pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. ~Bishop Desmond Tutu
•A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad. ~Bob Edwards
•No woman ever falls in love with a man unless she has a better opinion of him than he deserves. ~Ed Howe
•Nature gave man two ends—one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then, man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most. ~George Kilpatrick
•Never argue with a fool; people around you might not be able to tell the difference.
•I have offended God and Mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have. ~Leonardo daVinci
If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles. ~Doug Larson
No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions. ~Charles Steinmetz
•Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. ~Chinese proverb

Biting The Hand That Feeds Us

by Curt Kovener

We’ve passed along the funny mistakes of newspaper stories and headlines. We’ve passed along the humorous errors of church bulletin bloopers.
So maybe it is time to be equal opportunity and poke fun at the people who help pay our bills: advertisers.
These were found in newspapers ads but we are not so sure what was written was what was meant.
•Illiterate? Write today for free help.
•Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you’ll never go anywhere else again.
•Our experienced Mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals and smacks included.
•Stock up and save. Limit: one.
•Semi-annual After-Christmas sale.
•Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.
•Dinner special: Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00.
•Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home.
•For sale: Three canaries of undermined sex.
•Great dames for sale.
•Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition.
•Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.
•Vacation special: have your home exterminated.
•Get rid of aunts. Zap does the job in 24 hours.
•Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates. Automatically burns toast.
•For rent: 6-room hated apartment.
•Work Wanted: Man, honest. Will take anything.
•Used cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first.
•Christmas tag sale. Handmade gifts for the hard to find person.
•Wanted: Hair cutter. Excellent growth potential.
•Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
•Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops.
•Wanted: Widower with school age children requires person assume general housekeeping duties. Must be capable of contributing to growth of family.
•And now, the Superstore—unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.