No field day for hemp

Hemp farming in Yolo County? Not if the feds have their way. The Woodland Daily Democrat reported last week that Yolo is one of five counties identified for possible hemp production under Assembly Bill 684. The bill, authored by arch-liberal state legislator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and arch-conservative Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, would allow industrial hemp production only in Yolo, Imperial, Kings, Mendocino and Butte counties (sorry SF, Humboldt), and impose a testing system to make sure the crops won’t get you high (again, sorry). Governors Schwarzenegger and Davis have vetoed similar legislation in previous years.

But even if AB 684 gets signed into law this time, the hemp industry might just go the way of medical pot. The Woodland paper quoted Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman Garret Courtney as warning that “in order to grow hemp, you have to grow marijuana, and that’s a violation of federal law.” Farmers may not want to run the risk of winding up in prison, like common criminals or, you know, doctors.