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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Hemp Production Would Be a Positive Development

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director February 1, 2013

    In a statement published Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a previously outspoken opponent of marijuana law reform, did something surprising. He came out in support of allowing the production of industrial hemp.

    “I am convinced that allowing its production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy,” McConnell’s statement read, “The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times that sounds like a good thing to me.”

    The Senator cited his discussions with fellow Ketucky Senator Rand Paul and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Come as being influential in his new position.

    It is worth noting, that as recently as last year, Senator McConnell was vociforus in his opposition to marijuana law reform. Replying to a constituent’s letter in 2012, McConnell stated that he was opposed to legalizing marijuana due to the “detrimental effects of drugs..[such as] short-term memory loss, loss of core motor functions, heightened risk of lung disease, and even death.”

    While he makes clear that he wants hemp regulated in a way “that does not compromise Kentucky law enforcement’s marijuana eradication efforts or in any way promote illegal drug use,” perhaps his new found support for hemp will become his “gateway” to supporting further rational marijuana policies.

    31 Responses to “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Hemp Production Would Be a Positive Development”

    1. dick justice says:

      what a joker. we can only hope he pulls his head out of his ass and supports further action on ending prohibition

    2. MitchLiesLikeRug says:

      Mitch “The Turtle” McConnel is not going to evolve on the cannabis issue simply becuase he’s united with Rand Paul on the issue of hemp.

      Right now McConnel has the Tea Party and Democrat Super PACs building funds to toss him out of the Senate in 2014. Ashley Judd has been floated as a candidate for Mitch’s seat. For those who don’t know, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., infamously said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.”

      All this guy does is play politics. He hasn’t “evolved” on the hemp issue. He’s trying to save his job by co-opting the voter-base that elected Rand Paul.

      If you would like to see hemp reform AS WELL AS cannabis reform, don’t buy this guy’s last-ditch efforts at being a decent human being. He spent the last four years making our economic recovery as slow and painful as possible in hopes that the BAD ECONOMY would win the White House for the GOP.

      Don’t you remember the hand-wringing over potentially BAD job reports each month? This guy has NO INTENTION of evolving on any position he doesn’t HAVE TO.

      I say let him work on hemp. Then vote in someone who is willing to continue that work for the RIGHT REASONS, as cannabis law reform would follow naturally from a Senator with real character.

    3. Dave says:

      MitchLies,

      I know, these guys are so wack, he might even write a bill and then vote against it…? So sick of this kind of crap from the GOP. I hope he is at least slightly sincere. The words that come out of his mouth actually made sense, about hemp jobs helping with the economy. That is nice, I rarely hear anything logical or of sound mind from people in the GOP, so that is very nice to my ears.

    4. Lets have less talk
      AND MORE WALK
      from these clowns.

    5. Wisco says:

      The average person is a little to shabby on the iq side to allow recreational marijuana. Haha I wish I could have capitalized the. Yeah the little. Hemp haha hemp on the other hand. Should be a world commodity! Hempcrete, 3 to 5 foot fibers. Hemp plastics.. You want to talk about dent resistant. Spaceship Ride? Clothing, construction material ( press board, dry wall, insulation, ECT…) supplementation. Solve world hunger. The amino acids and proteins in the hemp seed can be ground into flour substitute and maybe more. While we’re at the seeds. Hemp oil. Protein lotions for organic topical cremes? Bio fuel source. Free crop to replant. The crop. The crop it’s self is healthy for the environment. With a photosynthesis conversion rate (cO2 to O2)(carbon dioxide to oxygen)( GLOBAL WARMING to normal weather) 5 some times that of trees. That’s good cause we are cutting down trees fast enough that we should find a supplemental source of photosynthesis. Trees… Hemp can make non bleached paper… So thanks William Randolph hearse ( mis-spell intended). Ok but that’s enough you smart folks out there know the truth. You hippies that swear a lot. Pull up your pants and look professional. But have the heart of a kid. And to all get smart. We have to be the change. And organics sound green to me.

    6. Ben says:

      We NEED to end the prohibition of cannabis-

      as it was just put to me,
      “the reason alcohol is legal is because America realized we couldn’t win the ‘war on drugs’ back then.”

    7. Deek says:

      Mitchlies,

      That’s how politics work. They only care about votes and money, not us. That’s why Washington and Colorado voting to legalize it has changed so much (there has always been money against it). Mitch voting for hemp shows that, for better or worse, the system is still “working”

    8. jmalmo says:

      Uhhhh…Mitch McConnell is the Senate Minority Leader…

      [Paul Armentano responds: You are correct. The title has been corrected.]

    9. Cheryl says:

      It’s about time he pulled his head out his ass on something. At least Industrial hemp is a start. First thing i’ve been able to support that he has said.

    10. dk says:

      Once they smell the money, everything else will fall into place.

    11. Chris in WI says:

      You guys are missing something. Industrial hemp was the real target of the 1937 tax (behind the rhetoric). This may be big if this is allowed. I’m interested to see how ths pans out!

    12. lacy laplante says:

      all or nothing. looks like people are seeing the tides turn and they are desperate for a raft to hold on to

    13. phrtao says:

      If hemp is legal people must accept the fact that marijuana plants hidden in the middle of a hemp field would be very hard to detect (even for the licensed hemp grower). With hemp legal and marijuana illegal there needs to be some way of tackling this issue. Once a hemp field is planted it would require genetic tests to ensure the plants growing were incapable of producing significant quantities of THC. Even then the grower could insist that the intention was to produce hemp products not marijuana.
      Mitch’s support for hemp is maybe a stepping stone to accepting ALL the commercial benefits of the Hemp plant.

    14. Ll says:

      Unbelievable.

    15. Dave says:

      Phrtao, if it is not being used as marijuana, then it is hemp or food stuffs. No one said high THC strains can’t be used food anyway. The THC doesn’t go into the seed, so it is food whether it be hemp or marijuana. If a farmer finds some extra potent hemp, he can pull the weed out.

    16. jage says:

      mitch the turtle i love it. lol

    17. Elaine says:

      I have zero respect for the clown known as Mitch McConnell! He perfectly represents everything that is so screwed up with the Republican party and politics in general in this country. I have a great deal more respect for the Democratic party, in spite of their weaknesses, since they seem more willing to listen and respond to the Will of the People.

    18. Galileo Galilei says:

      I’ve seen this guy on CSPAN, and he is an arch-conservative with very little to say that isn’t blatantly partisan. This is exactly the kind of person we need to get on board with marijuana reform. This is the first time I’ve been aware of ANY support for reform in the Senate–and the majority leader, no less.

      Kentucky spends big bucks eradicating feral marijuana plants every year. Someone should tell Senator McConnell what hemp spores in the wind can do to a crop of Sensemilla ladies basking in the sunlight. Be sure to use the words, ‘The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.’

      The GOP just took a pounding in an election they should easily have won. Suddenly we see movement on immigration reform. They are afraid their strident, cruel comments will permanently lose the Latino vote. We need to make them just as afraid of voting NORML fans.

    19. Robert Wroe says:

      legalized hemp will be more effective at stopping outside growers than any laws ever were. Pollen dust can travel for miles, making growing of quality bud outdoors very difficult and maybe impossible.

    20. jayman says:

      Of course he is only trying to keep his job. That is what all politicians focus on. I’ve consistently said that the GOP could find its way back to relevance by taking up cannabis reform. They claim to be the party of small government and personal liberty, so getting the government out of the role of trying to stop adults from altering their consciousness in the way they choose would fit that. Most Democrats in office are too spineless to stand up for cannabis reform even though their base favors it by a wide margin. The Republicans have an opportunity to separate a portion of that base from the Democratic party, but they are probably too full of shit to ever be consistent in their “philosophy.”

    21. shane jackson says:

      If all the lawmakers will ever get their heads out of their behinds and realize that hemp
      is great for the economy and planet and push reforms for the decriminalization of weed
      and legal use for medical needs then maybe soon they will learn what a waste of money and time the war on drugs really has been. And then we can use those billions they keep wasting on health and support of the people.

    22. Anonymous says:

      The Dems got burned badly for being ‘soft on drugs’ before, so they’re cautious in the extreme. If they realize this is a chance to make more Dems for the next 20 years, they’ll act fast. The GOP is running scared of the Latino’s they’ve alienated. We need to put that fear in them as well.

    23. Anonymous says:

      The Dems were burned badly for being ‘soft on drugs before. If they see a chance they can spawn new Dems for a generation, they’ll grow a spine really fast. If the GOP sees it happening, they’ll grow a pair, too.

      Just sayin’…….

    24. spkavyo says:

      It’s only good if it helps him get votes. Asshole!

    25. Fed-Up says:

      Galileo and Robert,you are right.. Hemp can be their effective weapon against the psychoactive medicinal kind.

      “Son,we don’t grow that kind of weed around here.If you even think about it,my 50 acres of hemp will pollinate you’re sensimillia senseless
      until you have seeds coming out of your ears, boy.Do you understand me?That’s right! You go to colorada if you want to indulge in that blasphomy…not,here son”

      haha,sorry;)

    26. Angela says:

      Only problem is if hemp gets out there as in industrial of food product, monsanto is going to jump out and try to destroy it. I wonder what animal genes they would splice into it. Only safe, organic hemp.

    27. wedmax says:

      If there is a corpmonster monsanto danger as Angela predicts, the present tense here and now thing to do about it is to start raising millions of very small indoor gardens, maybe 4 plants, trading indoor seed strains etc. much as ready-to-toke herb is cooperatively marketed today by many citizens. Many internet websites are now attending to the big job of educating a widening public on indoor garden tech, and every individuals should check out this literature and bone up on grow-ups.

      Concerns are also expressed whether Big 2WackGo will seize a monopoly on cannabis products, market low-grade cannabis in huge 900-mg $iggerettes as the NIDA allegedly still does now, etc.!

      The pre-remedy here is (A)open a shop marketing vaporizers, e-cigarettes and gorgeous graphic CHOOMETTE screened one-hitters, adventurously named One Hit Head Shop or similar, in Seattle, Denver, Uruguay etc., (B) start a mass folk movement to handmake billions of one-hitters and teach every young person the vape toke technique
      so the ad-dictive rolled paper torch “smoking” format ($iggerette)
      disappears into art history and both tobacco and cannabis inhalant populations are monoxide-free.

    28. Anonymous says:

      Norml should come up with a list of every good use Cannabis Sativa, Indica and ruderalis have. Either test proven or word of mouth. Every last one.

      Might impress some people

    29. St. Nick says:

      Norml should come up with a list of every good use Cannabis Sativa, Indica and ruderalis have. Every last one. Whether they’re test proven or word of mouth.

      Might impress some people

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