There are five people running to represent the 2nd Congressional District. Two Democrats (incumbent Tulsi Gabbard and Shay Chan Hodges), two Republicans (Eric Hafner and Angela Aulani Kaaihu) and Natural Law Party candidate Richard Turner. From Keaau on the Big Island, Turner’s political views clearly fall outside the traditional two-party system: He’s pro-Donald Trump, electric car, mandatory minimums and marijuana legalization.
MAUITIME: What is your top priority if elected?
RICHARD TURNER: Funding to build homes/shelters for homeless individuals and families. There are people living in old cars, tents, under bridges or in business doorways, and you may find them under your lanai. The state of Hawaii is third in the nation for homeless per capita, and Big Island is nearly triple that of Oahu. They live in our dense forest, beaches and parks, because of this they are out of sight and for many officials out of mind.
MT: What event in your life best prepared you for public office?
RT: Teaching Elementary School.
MT: Who should be the next President of the United States?
RT: Donald Trump, I trust him a lot more than Hillary Clinton.
MT: Which person who previously held the office you’re seeking do you hold up as a model? Why?
RT: None, I don’t feel that past office holders have properly dealt with our homeless issues, educational funding.
MT: What (if anything) should the U.S. Congress do to reduce gun violence?
RT: Impose longer mandatory minimum sentences for felons using firearms. Disarming innocent law-abiding citizens does nothing to protect innocent law-abiding citizens.
MT: What (if anything) should the nation be doing (that it isn’t already doing) to alleviate climate change?
RT: Increase wind turbines/solar farms, increasing electricity/decreasing price. Moving more toward electric cars.
MT: In Strieff v Utah, the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that police can keep evidence seized from stops made without reasonable suspicion if police find an even minor arrest warrant on the person stopped. Do you support this? Why or why not?
RT: Yes, The evidence Officer Fackrell seized incident to Strieff’s arrest is admissible based on an application of the attenuation factors from Brown v. Illinois, 422 U. S. 590. In this case, there was no flagrant police misconduct. Therefore, Officer Fackrell’s discovery of a valid, pre-existing, and untainted arrest warrant attenuated the connection between the unconstitutional investigatory stop and the evidence seized incident to a lawful arrest
MT: Do you support full legalization of marijuana? Why or why not?
RT: Yes. On an annual basis, one acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is stronger and softer than cotton, lasts twice as long as cotton, and will not mildew.
Cotton grows only in moderate climates and requires more water than hemp; but hemp is frost tolerant, requires only moderate amounts of water, and grows in all 50 states. Cotton requires large quantities of pesticides and herbicides–50 percent of the world’s pesticides/herbicides are used in the production of cotton. Hemp requires no pesticides, no herbicides, and only moderate amounts of fertilizer.
On an annual basis, one acre of hemp will produce as much paper as two to four acres of trees. From tissue paper to cardboard, all types of paper products can be produced from hemp. The quality of hemp paper is superior to tree-based paper. Hemp paper will last hundreds of years without degrading, can be recycled many more times than tree-based paper, and requires less toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process than does paper made from trees.
Hemp can be used to produce fiberboard that is stronger and lighter than wood. Substituting hemp fiberboard for timber would further reduce the need to cut down our forests. Hemp can be used to produce strong, durable and environmentally-friendly plastic substitutes. Thousands of products made from petroleum-based plastics can be produced from hemp-based composites. It takes years for trees to grow until they can be harvested for paper or wood, but hemp is ready for harvesting only 120 days after it is planted. Hemp can grow on most land suitable for farming, while forests and tree farms require large tracts of land available in few locations. Harvesting hemp rather than trees would also eliminate erosion due to logging, thereby reducing topsoil loss and water pollution caused by soil runoff.
Hemp seeds contain a protein that is more nutritious and more economical to produce than soybean protein. Hemp seeds are not intoxicating. Hemp seed protein can be used to produce virtually any product made from soybean: tofu, veggie burgers, butter, cheese, salad oils, ice cream, milk, etc. Hemp seed can also be ground into a nutritious flour that can be used to produce baked goods such as pasta, cookies, and breads.
Hemp seed oil can be used to produce non-toxic diesel fuel, paint, varnish, detergent, ink and lubricating oil. Because hemp seeds account for up to half the weight of a mature hemp plant, hemp seed is a viable source for these products.
Just as corn can be converted into clean-burning ethanol fuel, so can hemp. Because hemp produces more biomass than any plant species (including corn) that can be grown in a wide range of climates and locations, hemp has great potential to become a major source of ethanol fuel.
Literally millions of wild hemp plants currently grow throughout the U.S. Wild hemp, like hemp grown for industrial use, has no drug properties because of its low THC content. U.S. marijuana laws prevent farmers from growing the same hemp plant that proliferates in nature by the millions.
From 1776 to 1937, hemp was a major American crop and textiles made from hemp were common. Yet, The American Textile Museum, The Smithsonian Institute, and most American history books contain no mention of hemp. The government’s War on Drugs has created an atmosphere of self censorship where speaking of hemp in a positive manner is considered politically incorrect or taboo. United States Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, used products made from hemp, and praised the hemp plant in some of their writings.
No other natural resource offers the potential of hemp. Cannabis Hemp is capable of producing significant quantities of paper, textiles, building materials, food, medicine, paint, detergent, varnish, oil, ink, and fuel. Unlike other crops, hemp can grow in most climates and on most farmland throughout the world with moderate water and fertilizer requirements, no pesticides, and no herbicides. Cannabis Hemp (also known as Indian Hemp) has enormous potential to become a major natural resource that can benefit both the economy and the environment.
Photo courtesy Richard Turner