Former Douglas County sheriff and current state senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, isn't shy about his reefer madness over anything that's related to any variety of cannabis plant, as we saw during the debate to allow some patients access to medical marijuana.
And despite the light-headed attempts by representative Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, to woe the senator's support for allowing farmers to grow hemp in Minnesota (hemp products are legally for sale here), he continues to fear pot's hard-working cousin.
Forum News Service writer Jonathan Knutson reports in the Mitchell (SD) Daily Republic article, Industrial hemp gains ground:
Even so, industrial hemp continues to face major challenges. To critics, the crop is too much like marijuana and allowing its production would be risky.
"I think it's a social push to get everyone to be accepting of marijuana," says Bill Ingebrigtsen, a Republican state senator from Alexandria, Minn., and former sheriff. "Industrial hemp is a baby step. I'm not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but there are those out there would think we should legalize illegal drugs, and I truly think this is just a movement in that direction." . . .
But hemp suffers because some people confuse it with marijuana. "We have to distinguish it (hemp) from its cousin," Eken says. "I liken it to throwing someone in jail because they have a cousin, who they closely resemble, who did something wrong."
Science supports Eken's analogy. Back in June, Minnesota Public Radio reported Hemp vs. marijuana: Minnesota researcher finds genetic difference.
Several farmer friends suggest to us that that genetic difference matters. You'd have to smoke a telephone pole-sized joint to get a headache from industrial hemp.
In September, in MN Senator Gary Dahms shares scary vision of pot-loving DFL majority with Brown Co faithful, we reported on another Minnesota Republican state senator, Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, waving the bloody bong of legalized marijuana, this time as the secret agenda of a DFL majority. Okay then.
Photo: Grumpy cat Ingebrigtsen was given some hemp hearts, but still isn't having a change of heart about industrial hemp farming.
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