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Industrial Hemp Farming Legislation Reintroduced In Congress

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 11, 2013

    Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) and 28 co-sponsors, including House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN), have reintroduced legislation in Congress that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only trace (less than one percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.

    House Bill 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The measure grants state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.

    Eight states – Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia – have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production. Passage of HR 525 would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.

    “Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers,” Rep. Massie stated in a press release. “Industrial hemp will give small farmers another opportunity to succeed.”

    Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) are supporting the introduction of a companion bill in the US Senate.

    According to a Congressional Research Service report, “The United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop.”

    Previous versions of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act have stalled in Congress. The issue has never before been debated in the Senate.

    Additional information regarding HR 525 is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    21 Responses to “Industrial Hemp Farming Legislation Reintroduced In Congress”

    1. QuaxMercy says:

      How can this NOT be passed out of committee? How can this NOT get its upper-down vote in both houses?
      Yet, if ’twere, it’d be totally out of the character of any thing that’s gone before, of late.

      Hmmmmmm…..the herbal healing of the Nations?

      How will we fug this up?

    2. D.S. says:

      This bills is one of the ones that could make millions if not more for small farms like Rep. Massie said if large farms don’t take it and produces a lot of money per acre compared to most other cash crops the only problem is the money it will take small farms to switch from other crops to industrial hemp. In many states this would boost the economy make jobs and if we don’t export the raw material but produce stuff with it we can get back some of the clothing and textile industries while not giving the money to other countries. We import tons of this stuff but relatively little of the stuff makes more money then the importing so the industrial hemp business could catch up to corn and tobacco in as little as 5 years.

    3. Anthony Julius Lannutti says:

      I think it would be easier of the movement tries to move forward a with a Constitutional Convention about marijuana. To amend the US Constitution, you would need 33 states to call for a constitutional convention… well, medical marijuana has 18 states so far. As we get closer to 33 states, the feds will have to move forward and reform the laws as to avoid being forced into a constitutional convention.. and a possible constitutional right to use pot. that means we are a close as 7-8 states away from being a huge threat to the national position on marijuana. Support a constitutional amendment resolution in your state

      And, the resolution to call for a national Constitutional Convention on marijuana would be much easier to pass than even medical marijuana itself….as it is a states rights issue and one state even though it don’t have medical marijuana may want the right to have it if they chose to… or it may support another states right to do what it wants… as there is a huge number of state that have conflicting laws with the federal government.

    4. Galileo Galilei says:

      I see lots of GOP names in the mix, including ‘fight-it-tooth-and-nail’ Romney’s running mate and the curmudgeon Senate Minority Leader. This is a triumph of science over ideology.

      A brave new world.

    5. Tom says:

      after this third nuclear test from north korea i should not see why marijuana or hemp and never did see why both should be big problem we could all die as soon as a few months or get drafted mabey if they do it again so who ever dosen’t want it legal should give up all ready seiresly its over… and the feds lost its not worth to keep fighting keep your eyes on the real problems but not marijuana because its not one of them

    6. JohnyHempseed says:

      If this passes (i live in Oregon) Does that mean i can instantly grow Hemp in my back yard!?!?!?

    7. JohnyHempseed says:

      Ive been planning to grow 1 acre of hemp on my family’ parcel of land. This crop would save us 80-90 percent of our purchased items per year!! Ive been ready to grow this for a year now!! YES!

    8. john w says:

      Well yeyyyyy!!!!! Sounds like u.s. is gonna start makin some money!!!

    9. TheOracle says:

      Get it done!

      If even Mitch McConnell is backing this, his state must really be hurting for money. He needs to convince his fellow prohibitionist brethren so remove cannabis from Schedule I and the CSA. Otherwise, he’s just pandering in order to get votes, using the voters just like Republicans use abortion to get people’s votes and then nearly everything else they do is not in the interests of those very same people.

    10. Patriot1 says:

      It’s ridiculous that hemp has been illegal for so long. After all, the Declaration and the Constitution were both written on hemp paper! Since hemp has so many uses, it could create a lot of jobs here in America, especially manufacturing jobs, which we desperately need. We have become a nation which no longer produces anything, due to mass outsourcing of jobs overseas. One thing that can be made with hemp is clothes. Everybody needs clothes, so that is one thing that will always be in demand. If you look at most of the clothes you buy nowadays at Wal-Mart and other retailers, at least 90% of them are made overseas. I have long said that we should be making those here, not in some Third World country on the other side of the globe. If we can legalize hemp, then we could go back to making our own clothes here in the USA, as well as many other things that can be made with this terrific wonderweed. Legalized hemp can help make America strong and self-sufficient once again and then we can tell all the global corporations to go to hell!

    11. Rithoa says:

      The illegality of hemp speaks bounds about our lobby-ist controlled government.

      They can’t even peg hemp with the same lies they used to target smoke-able cannabis.

      Some industries simply don’t want the competition.

    12. Stephen Daniel says:

      House speaker Greg Stumbo said we need to keep hemp illegal because it would just be another subsidy. He said we can not afford another subsidy in this country. He also stated that hemp production would not help the economy and would not bring jobs, therefore we should keep it illegal. I guess what his logic is, we need to make all things illegal that may require subsides. He said besides, we need to study it more, the senators should not just jump on it without doing some research first. Rodney Brewer, Kentucky state police commissioner said people will get high off of the less than 1% THC hemp if smoked in large quantities and that would create serious problems. Greg Stumbo is blocking hemp! We know who fills his deep pockets.

    13. Dan says:

      This would create the ultimate green jobs. Sometimes you have to look back, to go forward. Considering Hemp can be made into 25,000 different products,this country has been missing out.

    14. Pot Guy says:

      For once the US might beat the UK on logical laws… one can hope.

    15. Stone Mountain says:

      I think it would be easier of the movement tries to move forward a with a Constitutional Convention about marijuana
      —-
      I don’t mean to offend but it’s absurd if you think accomplishing that (for any purpose) is easier, not to mention the side effect that such a convention is open to be hijacked for other purposes. Bad idea.

      Galileo Galilei – No what it is are these politicians recognizing there are more votes to be gained (or not lost) from this in their district or states then their are to lose, along with the side benefit of potential jobs for same.

      @The Oracle – If you can’t see that both sides do that of which you speak you really should change your handle. ;)

      “Some industries simply don’t want the competition.”

      Indeed, there is that aspect too it as well.

      @Erik – Thanks for linking directly to the bill (or where it will be when after it gets properly recorded).
      http://www.votehemp.com/PDF/hr525_113th.pdf
      Has a copy for those that don’t want to wait a day or two for it show up on Thomas.
      – It’s very short to the point (clean bill) amending CSA excluding Cannabis sativa plants having a thc content < .3% from the act where it's purpose is for industrial hemp production.

    16. TheOracle says:

      No kidding. Forget the Libertarian constitutional convention because it just ain’t gonna happen. It’s a pipe dream. Pun intended. :-)

    17. julian says:

      The hipocrasy of the outlaw of hemp has grown full circle. Thanks to senator Wyden, D-Oregon who spelled it out to the “tea party” before the presidential elections the last time the hemp bill went to Congress. He said hemp can “create jobs and revenue without spending a dime.” Right out of the tea party handbook; Rand Paul R-Ky and son of Ron Paul already represents a state with a long hemp history. Republicans need this bill. America needs this; the numbers are out and Congress is crunching numbers with a short deadline. The drug war has less support every day and the truth over its injustice is revealing itself more to the deceived. Now the weak must be strong.
      Clearly the DEA will be stripped of their unlawful legislative power under the Controlled Substance Act.

    18. julian says:

      The DEA really set themselves up for a revelation of past due punishment. They’re heading to the supreme court since DEA director Michelle Leonhart testified before Congress and apellate court that marijuana has “no medicinal value.” Now Congress is poised to cash in on hemp under budget pressure but here’s the caviat of the hubris and alter-ego of the DEA; the Controlled Substance Act gave legislative to this executive agency to write marijuana law and the DEA refuses to admit there is a difference between hemp and marijuana. The DEA could have seen this coming and struck a deal with Congress to consolidate power. But instead the agency has behaved so ruthless and corrupt to covet their power that the stage is set to reveal the egomaniacs for what they are; a rogue cartel agency given unconstitutional authority to legislate under a failed Controlled Substance Act.
      I have plenty of reasons to

    19. adam says:

      I dont see this passing with a legitimate ability for farmers to grow. There will be high taxes, special permits, regulations ect that will prevent anyone but corporations from growing.

    20. Mina says:

      Hemp clothing are the best choice in these day’s they are echo friendly and more stronger then any other fabric which is widely used all over.

    21. ganjadite says:

      Hemp can revitalize our national economy if we let it. I haven’t looked into the specifics of this law but I hope it wont be taxed like they are proposing Cannabis. Thanks for the post.
      If you want some yummy pot recipes check out ganjalious.com
      Sparkle On Dude

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