Support for hemp

The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program was established in 2016, opening the door to a budding industry. Today, North Carolina is home to 1,164 licensed hemp farmers, 665 registered hemp processors and countless retailers and consumers of hemp-derived products, including CBD.

Currently, lawmakers in Raleigh are working to craft a permanent framework for the state’s successful hemp pilot program. This year’s North Carolina Farm Act includes provisions on hemp, which can provide meaningful parameters to ensure that the cultivation, processing and marketing of hemp products are conducted in a responsible manner that’s consistent with the public interest.

Unfortunately, many representatives from the law enforcement community are suddenly voicing opposition to certain areas of the bill’s hemp provisions, placing simplicity over the interests of family farmers and rural North Carolina. Yes, hemp looks and smells similar to marijuana, but unlike marijuana, hemp is a federally legal crop, not a recreational drug.

As lawmakers chart the course for North Carolina’s agricultural economy — our state’s top economic driver — I hope that they will look beyond misinformed fear mongering and consider how their actions will impact the farmers who have lived and worked the land in our great state for generations.

I urge lawmakers and law enforcement to work with hemp farmers to understand this agricultural commodity and the positive impacts it has had and can continue to have on our state. Let’s pass a Farm Act that sets farmers, the hemp industry and North Carolina on a path for sustained success.

Daniel Byerly

Kernersville

A vile cartoon

The purpose of an editorial page is to offer readers a variety of opinions and viewpoints. Some are reasoned arguments. Some are simply the emotional output of excited minds. Readers will agree with some of the opinions, and strongly reject others. Arguing with things that appear on editorial pages is an exercise in futility. Nothing will change, especially the opinion of either party. The best way to deal with editorial pages is to smile at the wit and ignore the nitwit.

Occasionally, however, something appears that begs a comment. I refer to the July 1 editorial cartoon. Regardless of how one feels about the facilities used to house and feed immigrant children, it is being done without malice in an effort to ensure they are taken care of. Therefore, comparing those efforts to what happened to the victims in Nazi concentration camps is vile and obscene and intellectually vacuous. It belittles the suffering of the victims of the Holocaust and adds nothing to the solution of the problem.

Editorial cartoons are not like letters to The Readers’ Forum. I submit that most readers will interpret an editorial cartoon as something created by a cartoonist on the editorial staff of the newspaper and reflective of the editorial staff’s viewpoint. What other interpretation could they have? They have no knowledge of where these things come from. So, I suggest that the staff be sensitive to what the cartoon conveys to readers about the values and opinions of the staff.

Herbert Osmon

Winston-Salem

The Journal receives its cartoons from Cagle Cartoons, a syndicated cartoon service. They do not represent the opinion of the Journal. — the editor

Low

When I see the photos of the immigrant families being detained like prisoners, jammed up like sardines, side by side with no moving room, I just do not understand. I know they have emotional pain and broken spirits.

And the children walking around in dirty diapers, and hearing that they cannot even get cleaned up, just think if it was any of us. We would want respect. What makes these people any different than us? We are all human beings seeking a chance to grow and do something good in the world.

When a president of the United States wants to spend millions of taxpayers’ dollars on a parade instead of helping people in need, this president is low. Think about it.

James Fleming

Clemmons

Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to Letters@wsjournal.com or mail letters to: The Readers’ Forum, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Letters are subject to editing and are limited to 250 words. For more guidelines and advice on writing letters, go to journalnow.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

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