Colorado lawmakers, scientists eye hemp for toxic soil remediation

See? We can make a difference! Hemp activists (including me) have been educating about this fabulous weed for decades. I personally became aware of hemp’s extraordinary uses over 20 years ago. Here is the fruit of our labors! (Thanks largely to “granddaddy” Hemperor Jack Herer.)

Colorado House bill allowing study of hemp’s soil-cleaning potential has panel’s backing

A bill to study the benefits of growing industrial hemp cleared its first hurdle in the state legislature Monday.

The bill, from state Rep. Wes McKinley, D-Cokedale, received unanimous support in the House Local Government Committee despite questions about whether it would create a showdown with the federal government, which considers it illegal to grow hemp. The study, which would be funded with private money, would look at whether industrial hemp is effective at sucking pollutants from the soil, as some research suggests it might be.

“We simply don’t have the data,” said Erik Hunter, a Ph.D. candidate at the Colorado School of Mines who studies using plants to clean soils—a process known as phytoremediation. “We would be creating a new body of data.”

Hunter noted that hemp was planted at the Chernobyl nuclear-disaster site in the hopes of cleaning radiation from the ground. On that premise — and on the potential for other uses of hemp for food, textiles and fuel — lawmakers were intrigued.

“This is fascinating to me,” Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, remarked.

But concerns arose over whether Colorado’s hemp study would be a federally illegal conspiracy. The Drug Enforcement Administration considers hemp and marijuana — hemp’s plant-family twin — to be one and the same, and the cultivation of either without DEA permission is a felony under federal law. Hemp activists argue that it is virtually impossible to get high from hemp.

McKinley’s bill would not require the state to seek DEA permission, which is difficult to obtain.

Lawmakers on the committee questioned whether the bill would authorize illegal activity and whether banks — which have been reluctant to deal with medical-marijuana dispensaries because of federal laws — would be willing to hold the money for the study. “(Would this be a) 10th Amendment charge up the hill?” asked Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, referencing the constitutional states’ rights provision?

While hemp activists at the hearing described it as a legal gray area, McKinley said lawmakers shouldn’t worry too much about the federal response.

“We’re not growing it; we’re studying it,” McKinley said in a rhetorical distinction that drew laughter from fellow lawmakers. McKinley said the study would be small and would seek to grow hemp on only a handful of well-secured, well-regulated acres.

House Bill 1099 still has a long way to go before becoming law. Its next stop is the House Appropriations Committee.

Further Reading

Why hemp could save the world

Hemp bursting out all over

Hemp for Food and Fuel


  1. In the Netherlands every farmer can grow hemp on his land , if he thinks it brings some profit . The thc is very low for hemp in agriculture crops . You can also freely smoke a joint in the coffee shop or at home with a lot of thc , or smoke it where ever you want in free space . lol . Also for medicinal use , people profit from it . So hemp is free of usage , but there is not a sign of a hemp society in the Netherlands . In the U.S.A. billions and billions of dollars are wasted to control , arrest , judge and lock up thousands and thousands of people who only posses and/or smoke some pot . Really pathetic and depressive ! So , i think you are doing a good job by promoting hemp , but it will not become a solution for the growing problems on planet earth , in my opinion only nanotechnology can save us , i hope .

  2. Colorado lawmakers, scientists eye hemp for toxic
    I dont think it will work for soil clean up.
    The first issue would be is some toxins do travel that way. The other thing is the root system dont go that deep into the soil. As for radiation clean up , you dealing with an issue of something that decays over time , so how would the plant clean that up ( in this case any plant )

  3. hemp
    :cheer: I have always believed the hemp is the answer as a renewable resource for our energy needs, not only for fuel for our homes ans cars but for the building of homes. The strength in hemp fibers are amazing.

  4. The Evidence Is Here
    Thank you for posting this. I am one of the authors of HB12-1099 and the evidence and research that I have assembled from around the world, has shown the efficacy of hemp to phytoremediate many contaminants from the soil. These contaminants include, but are not limited to, heavy metals such as aromatic hydrocarbons, lead or mercury, dyes, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and excessive nutrients.

    I am publishing this information in the next issue of and will explain, in detail, how this all works.

  5. Research on the subject of industrial hemp was done years ago and it was very well done and the bottom line is that the government wants to be in complete control of it and therefore it is a very political subject. An interesting metaphor that would parallel this would be……What would you do if a person came up with a positive cure for cancer that was 100% effective. That person would be quietly terminated because it would end billions of dollars involved in finding the cure and the employment of millions of people. Think I’m crazy? Check out this patent number 5,188,738 it’s the cure for AIDS patented in August of 1992. Google the names on the patent and read the articles written. Similar to Royal Rife, but that’s another story.

  6. Outstanding Dr. Lauve. Thanks for posting here and sharing that important information. I will look forward to that magazine article. Keep up the great work!

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