THE EDITOR, Sir:
An article in the Sunday edition of The Gleaner, dated January 6, 2013, announces the possible revival of industrial hemp as a replacement of the dying tobacco industry of Kentucky.
This is a direction I recommended almost 10 years ago that Jamaica should have explored, especially with the vast scope of products that are offshoots of that plant, viz clothing, paper, lotion, food and biofuels.
As a nation whose youth are turned off agriculture because of the spectre of slavery which it conjures, I can see them warming to the vicarious prospect of cultivating a crop that possess an illegal image, but which has been sanctified by legislation. It may just be what we need to encourage a widespread desire to return to the soil by our young, unqualified labour force.
I am, therefore, urging our minister of agriculture to keep an eye on what is happening in Kentucky and to be ready to get on board should they get federal approval. If we can produce the best illegal hemp in the world, we are assured of being able to produce the best legal variety.
HOWARD HAMILTON (QC)
5 Duke Street, Kingston