Cops and the DEA have constantly said that industrial hemp is too dangerous for the U.S. to grow (denying farmers a potentially profitable crop, and forcing us to import any hemp products). They usually come up with some bizarre justification, like the notion druggies will hide marijuana crops inside the hemp fields (total nonsense because of the problem of cross-pollination, which would create worthless offspring).
What it really boils down to is that they want to be able to search and destroy anything that looks like marijuana, without having to do, you know, police work.
Just look how tough the job is for cops in other countries…
It was an anonymous tip that set things in motion. A quick view from a helicopter was enough for the confirmation. The Lelystad (Netherlands) police was certain: the 47,000 plants in this illegal hemp plantation, hidden in the midst of a corn field, would be worth about $6 million, when sold as weed. So there was only one thing they had to do: ruin the plantation, as soon as possible.
Yesterday they worked their way through about half of the plants as a couple of researchers from Wageningen University showed up. They were flabbergasted. Why on earth would the police kill all the plants they had been growing for so long and handled with so much care? Why would they destroy their contribution to innovation in the natural fiber industry? Slowly the policemen became aware that what they thought was the raw material for a lot of hash, in fact was an academic test site for new textiles.
Update: Once again, Scott Morgan and I independently write essentially the same damn post.