To the editor: The Drug Enforcement Administration pretends it “cannot tell the difference between hemp and marijuana” as an excuse to keep hemp off the market. (“Don’t Smoke It,” Aug. 5, 2009). This is a huge lie. The differences between hemp  and marijuana crops are so obvious that they can easily be seen a hundred yards away. Anyone who cannot tell the difference is a complete idiot.

Hemp is planted on four-inch centers or sown broadcast on the field. When a hemp crop gets to be more than a couple of feet high, it makes a wall of plants so dense that  it is impossible to walk through. Even a blind man can tell a hemp field from a marijuana garden.

the blok rectangle

Marijuana, on the other hand, is planted on 4- to 6-foot centers to allow branching and bud production, and it is not difficult to walk between the plants.

Good marijuana comes from unfertilized female marijuana plants. All production in a marijuana field comes from female plants after all of the male plants are eliminated

Mixing marijuana with hemp will ruin the marijuana when it cross-pollinates with the low-THC hemp. That’s why marijuana growers diligently remove all male plants from a crop. Only a very foolish pot grower would try producing marijuana in a hemp field, where removing male plants is utterly impossible.

When the DEA uses the alibi of not knowing the difference between hemp and marijuana, they are admitting their own ignorance, stupidity, and utter dishonesty.

Ralph Givens

Daly City, Calif.


To the editor: Peter Gorman’s story made a lot of sense regarding the move to legitimize the growing of industrial hemp.

Of course there’s always room for abuse, but ultimately the good will outweigh the bad, and this is a ripe time, with the economic downturn, for a cash crop with a litany of uses. Industrial hemp could be an agricultural bonanza for our state. Since it has extremely low levels of the active marijuana ingredient THC, laws ought to be passed allowing its production.

Renee Sudderth

Fort Worth

Healthcare Roulette

To the editor: E.R Bills wrote an excellent piece (“Healthy Debate,” July 29, 2009) in the Second Thought forum. It’s a reminder that the 10th Amendment provides protection from government bureaucrats and their intrusions upon individual states. But it’s on a collision course with the Obama administration because money always usurps common sense.

Gov. Rick Perry has a legitimate appeal to Congress to defeat this “Obama care” health insurance measure, as it would have serious ramifications for Texans.

Since Texas has a higher percentage of uninsured folks, the average small business and taxpayers can’t afford the cost to insure them: It’s a financial coup de grace if implemented, and, as Perry said, “It’s a massive takeover of the private sector economy.”

This healthcare debacle is nothing more than socialism, as the government plays Russian roulette with our lives and rights. We cannot in good conscience afford this proposed federal mandate. Give us a break!

Rex Cantrell

Fort Worth


Keep Our Charity at Home

To the editor: Dan McGraw’s article (“Detours Home,” July 29, 2009) was a compelling chronology of the homeless problem and the efforts by so many individuals, churches, and agencies that assist these folks to get education, rehabilitation if necessary, and eventually homes and jobs to become self-reliant, contributing assets to the community.

In the homeless population, many people are mentally challenged, have drug addictions, or lack education. Thus, their work skills are limited. The fact that the government subsidizes some of them results in many recipients having their money stolen, or they waste it on cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. Often the government’s intent to assist merely exacerbates problems of the homeless.

Years ago those with mental problems were institutionalized, “out of sight, out of mind.” These mental facilities were nothing more than warehouses where abuse was not uncommon. Now these unfortunate folks are street urchins, so to speak. The government is guilty of much profligate spending, sending billions to foreign countries to pay them to be our friends. We should be applying those bucks to bring our own country out of poverty and homelessness and offer decent medical attention to one and all.

As for Mike Moncrief keeping mum on this story: Our reticent mayor never gives comments to any journalists with Fort Worth Weekly because he lacks the ability to give intelligent responses to questions.

Edna Maskell

Fort Worth