Hemp

It is illegal to grow hemp in this country.  For some ridiculous reason, the government’s prohibition of psychotropic marijuana (which is itself ridiculous), also includes and criminalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp, which is not an intoxicant.  The USA is the only country on the planet where growing hemp is illegal.

Hemp was once a major agricultural crop in this country.  The pilgrims grew it.  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew it.  It was the major cash crop in Kentucky.  The original Declaration of Independence was written on paper produced using hemp.

In 1970 the federal government imposed strict limitations of the production of cannabis sativa, making no distinction between cannabis with intoxicating levels of THC, and industrial hemp.  In order to grow hemp a DEA permit is required.  None have ever been granted.  The US is the only developed nation on earth that does not cultivate hemp as an agricultural commodity.

Products made from hemp are not illegal here.  So all the hemp milk and other hemp products sold in this country are imported, primarily from Canada, France and China.   As as a result, millions of dollars that could remain in local communities here, are transferred overseas.

Blocking the production of hemp is silly and unjust.  Nine states (North Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, West Virginia, Montanta, Vermont and Oregon) have passed laws permitting hemp production, but the DEA and Federal authorities continue to block any attempts to move forward. 

As is so often the case, Representative Ron Paul of Texas is leading the fight to protect the rights of America’s farmers.  He has introduced a bill (HR 1866) that would remove the federal prohibition against growing hemp, by excluding industrial hemp from the federal definition of marijuana.  As Dr. Paul said in introducing the bill, “It is unfortunate that the Federal Government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, competing in the global industrial hemp market. Indeed, the founders of our Nation, some of whom grew hemp, would surely find that Federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of a limited, restrained Federal Government. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to stand up for American farmers and cosponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.”

Write your members of Congress.  Support HR 1866.

 

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