What is the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment?
The Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment is a state amendment proposal created by the Ohio Rights Group. It drastically changes Ohio laws involving cannabis (the plant whose flowers bud the well-known psychoactive drug marijuana). What is significant about this amendment is it makes Ohio, like Michigan and a few other states, allow marijuana possession and cultivation for medical use with a prescription. Ohio Rights Group’s media relation personnel has publicly stated that the Ohio Secretary of State will place it on the ballot in November, 2014 if it receives 385,000 signatures. The organization has also made it clear that it’s goal is one million). You can read more on the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment at the Ohio Rights Group’s website, ohiorights.org.1
What makes this amendment unique is not only will it legalize medical marijuana, but it would also legalize cannabis for industrial hemp production. Hemp is cannabis used on an agricultural level that has low Δ 9 -THC (Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive substance in marijuana) content. It is used produce food, fiber, fuel and other byproducts as opposed to marijuana. Cannabis has been recognized and favored for centuries for the versatility of it’s byproducts. George Washington said, “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” 2
Cannabis is not just good for making “relaxing” edibles. The cannabis seed is a jewel of an pantry staple, loaded with nutrition and versatile in many different foods.This edible seed has a variety of useful nutrients.
First, a large part of it’s weight is comprised essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, omega-3’s and 6’s and more. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential to eat because our bodies cannot produce them. In proper ratio they lead to great health and help prevent a variety of diseases.3
In addition, hemp seed has a very diverse and complete amino acid balance, making the proteins in it much more useful than the proteins in most foods. It has all the essential amino acids. The protein in hemp seed is unparalleled in rebuilding human tissue.4
Equally important, it is a great source of iron, zinc, and magnesium, a single 30g serving has 16%, 23%, and 48% of the daily value of those minerals respectively.5
As far as uses, hemp seeds share the same flexible preparation options as soy. You can create a flour or milk with the seeds. This flour and milk can be made into many foods. You can also prepare your hemp milk into a nutritious tofu, or just throw sea salt on them and snack on them raw.
There are few to no food items that can benefit your family like hemp seeds.
Fiber, Pulp, and Fuel
The fiber from the cannabis plant is a wonder to behold, and hard to ignore how much use we can have for it grown locally. The fibers and pulp can be used to make paper, automobile composites (many car companies use hemp composites in their vehicle’s parts at this present point), construction materials, geotextiles, clothing and other fabric based goods, and more.6
As a fuel base, hemp oil still sits in a major gray area. The drawback is limited economic motivation, as current hemp farmers in Canada are more likely to sell hemp into the health food market. This is due to increased financial incentive, presently not expected to change upon industrial hemp legalization in the United States. However, it’s value as a potential biodiesel cannot be ignored. University of Connecticut researchers have found that hemp oil biodiesel may have higher functionality at lower temperatures than other biodiesels (a problem plaguing conversion to food oil fuels).7
Moreover, one must note that hemp is one of the most productive biomass crops that can be grown in colder regions. This will become more significant as cellulose to ethanol conversions improve.8 Scientists are currently working toward converting the main material in plant cell walls, or cellulose into ethanol like they do with sweet and grainy carbohydrates.
What is drastic in our present ecological state is the benefits that hemp can offer the environment grown on a large scale. Studies have shown that hemp being produced on an industrial scale has a probability of lowering the ecological footprint of the agricultural industry.9 The Increasing in population and need for building materials also is moving the environmentally harmful practice of old-growth forest extraction to an unfeasible level. As hemp is an annual crop that grows more rapidly than trees, it can be a very sustainable source of wood, paper, and other materials.10
Conclusion, and How to get Involved!
Even ignoring all arguments on the many benefits of medical marijuana, the Ohio Cannabis Right’s Amendment is clearly an excellent idea if only for hemp legality. The economic and environmental effect of available hemp in this country is too important to disregard.
To get involved, the Ohio Rights Group website, Ohiorights.org, has more specific information about the bill, printable petitions, and contact information for those pursuing more information. I encourage every Ohio resident to take part in getting this on that ballot, so we can move forward in this state and maybe even be a tad closer to federal cannabis policy changes.
Ohio Rights Group website: www.ohiorights.org
Ballanco, T: The Colorado Hemp Production Act of 1995: Farms and Forests without Marijuana
Sacks, F: Harvard School of Public Health – Ask the Expert: Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Osburn, L: Hemp Line Journal, July-August 1992, pp. 14-15, Vol. 1, No. 1: Hemp Seed: The Most Nutritionally Complete Food Source in the World
Fortenbery, T; Bennet, M: Is Industrial Hemp Worth Further Study in the U.S.? A Survey of the Literature. July 2001.
Buckley, C: Hemp Produces Viable Biodiesel, Uconn Study Finds
Prade, T; Svensson, S; Andersson, A; Mattsson, J: Biomass and energy yield of industrial hemp grown for biogas and solid fuel
Alden, D; Proops, J; Gay, P: Industrial hemps double dividend: a study for the USA
Lin, T: Sustainable Development: Building a Case for Hemp; NC State University JTATM Vol. 4, Issue 3, Spring 2005