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Sakha Leader Wants to Plant Hemp to Replace Marijuana

The head of Sakha region wants to grow nonpotent hemp to inhibit the spread of naturally growing marijuana. Above, an outdoor plantation in the UK with a varietal of Cannabis sativa that contains ultra-low levels of cannabinoids, making it useless for recreational purposes.

The leader of the northeast Siberian republic of Sakha said Tuesday that nonpotent hemp should be planted in the region to inhibit the spread of naturally growing marijuana.

"There is cannabis that is free of drugs. I suggest planting it in the areas where the wild cannabis grows," Yegor Borisov said at a meeting of the local anti-narcotics commission, Interfax reported.

He said the measure would hinder the reproduction of the drug-containing cannabis plants and asked the local agriculture ministry to consider the proposal.

A ministry representative promised to conduct research and provide an expert opinion.

In September, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov, said drug-free cannabis could be planted to replace potent plants covering about a million hectares of the country.

He said that at least three Russian research institutes had cultivated 20 subspecies of "harmless" cannabis that could be used to produce oil, livestock feed, paper and other products.

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