This letter is written in response to the Jan. 2 article in the Post Independent regarding the potential of local Garfield County farmers to grow hemp as a cash crop and subsequent hemp value-added products for economic development and local jobs creation.
As reporter John Colson points out, in the 1930s, the federal government placed marijuana on a list of banned drugs and because hemp has similar characteristics of marijuana, the feds cannot discern the difference between the two plants in a drive-by inspection. Therefore the DEA will never allow the economic development benefits of growing hemp to be deployed by local Garfield County farmers.
The economic development potential for growing hemp is far too great to allow the federal government to dictate to Garfield County farmers that hemp cannot be grown, because the DEA agents are too lazy or incompetent to discern the difference between hemp and marijuana growing in fields as the agents drive by.
Therefore, I suggest the Garfield County commissioners instruct the Garfield County attorney to develop a legal opinion to determine:
1. Does the U.S. Constitution give the power to the federal government to regulate the cultivation of hemp? Yes or no.
2. Is the 1930s federal law banning marijuana and its bureaucratic spillover into the cultivation of hemp in compliance with the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
In other words, I hold that under the 10th Amendment the federal government has no legal right to dictate to the farmers of Garfield County whether they can or cannot grow hemp.
Because Commissioners John Martin, Mike Samson and Tom Jankovsky each swore a constitutional oath, and because of the vast economic development potentials the cultivation of hemp offers, the Garfield BOCC must expeditiously become involved in the political and legal battle over the cultivation of hemp.
Carl Mc Williams
The main headline in the Post Independent Dec. 28 was "CMC President Jensen resigns."
The second paragraph states he is to receive a severance package of $500,000.
My understanding of a resignation is that the person is giving up their position. Severance is offered to someone who is relieved (fired, let go) of their position.
Reading Mr. Jensen's accomplishments pointed out he did a good job. He can be proud of that.
Still, there is no reason for a severance package. And a package of $500,000!
I would assume his job paid a salary that was satisfactory.
Once upon a time (many fairy tales start out like that), people worked for a lifetime and then retired. There would be a banquet of recognition, usually a gold watch, lots of smiles and clapping.
But $500,000 after four years and a resignation? I'm waiting for a rebuttal if my understanding of resignation and severance is faulty.