Pubdate: Thur, 21 Jan 1999 Source: Battle Creek Enquirer (MI) Contact: Fax: 616-964-0299 Author: Mike Dooley


The Drug Enforcement Agency recently burned a hemp plantation owned by Canadians in Nicaragua. The hemp was to be used for fiberboard to help rebuild cities after Hurricane Mitch. The oil was to be sent to U.S. health-food stores and the cosmetics industry.

Hemp usage could be a multibillion-dollar business worldwide. There are 29 countries such as Germany, Italy, England and Canada that are working to open markets in hemp.The seeds for the plantation were imported from China, routed and inspected at Los Angeles, then sent to Nicaragua.

What right does the DEA have to stop use of hemp in other countries or to destroy all hemp seeds in the United States at taxpayers' expense?

We in Kalamazoo are saying we will teach papermaking at a level second to none. But we are not telling that Canada is working to open a hemp paper mill. The new equipment needed to run this industry must be make from the ground up. What an opportunity for our higher-eduction community-to be at the forefront of a new industry.

Hemp is used to clean the soil after the accident at Chernobyl (phytoremediation). It also is being used to clean contaminated soils at military sites. I ask U.S. Rep.Fred Upton to initiate studies that would help us, as we are downwind to the Cook and other nuclear plants.

Prices of Canadian hemp oil and fiber and the phytoremediation study can be found at and the details on the story about Nicaragua at