Dad raised hemp for rope production, not for smoking, after World War II 5:43 PM, Sep 8, 2012

John Newport,  Springfield

 

http://stevemarkwell.com/images/rescuetripmar2009/061.jpg

 

Festival-goers celebrate hemp’s diversity” (News-Leader, Sep. 3) brought back memories. In 1946, I was living on a farm in south central Kentucky, and one spring day a couple of “feds” came by and asked my dad and the farmer on an adjoining farm if they would raise a few acres of hemp and harvest the seed.

The seeds were being grown for export to the Phillipines, where hemp had been a main crop before the war, and was used to make rope. As a result of the war, hemp seeds in the Phillipines were either in short supply, or nonexistent. My dad and the other farmer agreed to raise some hemp, and were well paid to do so.

The feds specified how the seeds were to be planted — in crossed rows, which made it possible to cultivate for weed control by plowing from east to west and from north to south.

They also specified how the seeds were to be “thrashed” by hand, and said that all stalks and leaves were to be burned immediately after the seeds had been gathered — which we thought was somewhat unusual.

Gathering and piling up the stalks, which were about 8 feet high, and burning them turned out to be the hardest part of the job.

My dad smoked his home-grown tobacco, and the thought of smoking some hemp leaves probably never occurred to him. However, the farmer on the adjoining farm didn’t smoke tobacco, and he smoked some hemp leaves — one time, he said.

He said the strange feelings he had after smoking hemp were such that he was afraid of something different, and worse, happening if he smoked it again.

Each summer for the next three years, the feds came by and looked for any hemp plants that might have grown from seeds lost in the “thrashing” process, and from being carried by birds far from the areas where the hemp had been grown.

Today, when I hear about people growing marijuana, I think, “Been there, done that.”

CONTINUE READING…

Judge tosses 150 pounds of marijuana over GPS use in Kentucky

 

image

 

LOUISVILLE — When Kentucky State Troopers stopped 49-year-old Robert Dale Lee on Interstate 75 in September 2011, they knew he would be coming their way and what to look for in his car.

The Drug Enforcement Administration had been following Lee’s car from Chicago using a GPS — a tracking device placed on the vehicle as part of a multi-state drug probe — and troopers found 150 lbs of marijuana in his car.

Now, a federal judge has ruled the stash inadmissible in the case against Lee because the DEA and troopers didn’t have a warrant to place the device on the car.

“In this case, the DEA agents had their fishing poles out to catch Lee,” Judge Amul R. Thapar wrote. “Admittedly, the agents did not intend to break the law. But, they installed a GPS device on Lee’s car without a warrant in the hope that something might turn up.”

Lee is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana. No trial date has been set. His attorney, Michael Murphy of Lexington, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Kyle Edelen, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Lexington, said prosecutors are reviewing the ruling and evaluating whether to appeal Thapar’s decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court in January struck down law enforcement’s use of GPS tracking in investigations without a warrant. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the 5-member majority that it was the attachment of the device that violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. That case involved a GPS placed on the Jeep of suspected Washington, D.C. drug kingpin Antoine Jones. The ruling overturned Jones’ conviction and life sentence.

Lee’s case predated that ruling, so the admissibility of the marijuana remained in question until Thapar’s decision.

The case arose after a cooperating witness told investigators that Lee, who previously served 42 months in federal prison for gun and drug convictions, had been buying marijuana in Chicago and bringing it back to eastern Kentucky in his car.

CONTINUE READING THRU THIS LINK…..

James Higdon’s “The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History”

press release

April 16, 2012, 3:57 p.m. EDT

James Higdon’s “The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History” Available This Week

NEW YORK, NY, Apr 16, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — ATTENTION JOURNALISTS AND PRODUCERS: 4/20 — “The Pot Holiday” — is this week! James Higdon is the perfect choice for any conversation about marijuana legalization. Call now to schedule an interview.

In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Mafia.

Author James Higdon — whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration — takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states, and seized two hundred tons of pot. Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State, and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heartbreaking altruism. This work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful and riveting detail.

“James Higdon has written a compelling, fast-moving saga about how a backwoods band of outlaws, begat by Kentucky moonshiners of the 1920s, took over the marijuana business in the Midwest and led the Feds on the biggest pot chase in American history.” –Bruce Porter, author of BLOW: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

James Higdon has worked for the Courier-Journal in Louisville and the New York Times, contributed to The Prairie Home Companion, researched the NYPD counter-terrorism and intelligence divisions for the new CBS series NYC 22 (produced by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal), and is currently a contributing editor with PBS Frontline’s Tehran Bureau.

The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History Lyons Press – April 2012 – Cloth — 400 pages – $24.95 – ISBN-13: 978-0762778232

        
        Media Inquiries:
        Ellen Trachtenberg
        610-212-1823
        Email Contact
        
        
        


SOURCE: Globe Pequot Press