Letter to the Editor

Legislators should make progressive changes

In the Jan. 13 edition of the Herald, the political cartoon unfairly portrayed Gov. Fletcher as an enemy of higher education. No, I’m not a Republican and I didn’t vote for him, but I am sure that Fletcher doesn’t believe that money for secondary education is “waste.” He isn’t (U.S. House Majority Leader) Tom Delay.

Money is something that Kentucky doesn’t have. In recent budgets, we no longer trim fat, we cut to the bone. Our state is in an undeniable financial crisis, but we can take this opportunity for progressive change.

In the United States, there is no legal distinction between marijuana and its cousin, hemp. Although it is humanly impossible to get high from smoking hemp, it remains illegal in the United States.

Hemp can be used to make paper, edible seed, fuel, oil and personal hygiene products among hundreds of other uses. Even in your posh BMWs and Mercedes vehicles, hemp is used in dashboards and instrument panels.

In the Spring 2000 I wrote Sen. Mitch McConnell seeking his opinion. In his reply, he said, “Until I am assured the growing of hemp will not be abused, I would not feel comfortable supporting legislation for the legalization of hemp.”

So basically he doesn’t know that you can’t abuse hemp, and that unless this issue will cost him votes, he will not support revision of myopic drug laws.

In March 2000, the General Assembly passed a resolution requesting the Drug Enforcement Administration to revise its policy, so that states can revive and develop the hemp industry.

This issue has lost steam and needs the spectacle of a unilateral pre-emptive strike. Go hither and educate your elected officials. When they come to kiss your babies, hold their feet to the fire.

Stephen Dickinson

Henderson senior