Help us support local, independent news.


100% of reader donations support our local journalists.

For less than a subscription to the Journal for one reader, you can keep our news free for everyone in ABQ.

Pennsylvania Students to Learn About Hemp

Grade school students in Pennsylvania will be taught that hemp can be turned into sustainable plastic products.

According to a joint press release from the state’s Departments of Agriculture and Education, students in grades K through 12 can virtually attend the annual Farm Show in early January and learn about modern agricultural techniques. Students will learn about handling livestock, managing farms, working with computerized equipment and other skills. Older students will attend live webinars focused on business, alternative energy sources and challenges facing agricultural industries.

The agencies say that students will also learn how hemp can be manufactured into a sustainable plastic substitute. It’s unclear what will be included in the material concerning hemp.

“Every year, the PA Farm Show offers learning experiences and exposure to a growing field with real-world, rewarding opportunities,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Wherever you are on your career path—whether you’re looking for hands-on learning, career inspiration, or you just want to know more about your food and the challenges facing those who produce it—the 2021 virtual Farm Show will offer opportunities to learn and engage with agriculture and the science, technology, engineering driving it.”

Rand Paul’s Festivus Grievances Skewer Weed

Last week Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) once again performed the annual “airing of grievances” in observance of Festivus. This year the senator took aim at Democrats’ efforts to expand cannabis research.

Festivus is a relatively new holiday inspired by the ’90s sitcom “Seinfeld.” One of the holiday’s leading traditions is the “airing of grievances,” in which participants publicly list everything that upset them in the past year.

Paul has taken part in the tradition for at least three years in a row. In a tweet made on Festivus, the senator said one of his grievances was with the National Institutes of Health for funding a cannabis study. “They spent $3m to interview San Franciscans about edible cannabis use. Really. They must not have spent a lot of time around people who love cannabis. You do not need to pay them to talk about it,” wrote Paul. “What’s next, government funding to get people to post more about their CrossFit and Keto programs?”

While experts have pointed out that the joke itself was serviceable, critics say the sentiment is counterproductive considering the current climate around the subject. Both the Senate and House recently introduced bills that would have removed some barriers to cannabis research.