Federal Lawmakers to Vote on Industrial Hemp Amendment to Farm Bill

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director May 24, 2013

    Senator Ron Wyden has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 3240, the Senate version of this year’s federal farm bill, 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.

    The amendment language mimics the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013,” which remains pending as stand-alone legislation in both the House and Senate but has yet to receive a legislative hearing. Senator Wyden’s provision to the Senate’s Farm Bill 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.

    “For me, what’s important is that people see, particularly in our state, there’s someone buying it at Costco in Oregon,” Senator Wyden previously stated in support of this Act, “I adopted what I think is a modest position, which is if you can buy it at a store in Oregon, our farmers ought to be able to make some money growing it.”

    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 this amendment would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.

    Senator Wyden’s amendment is co-sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has also expressed his support for this proposal.

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

    Click here to quickly and easily contact your Senator in support of industrial hemp.

    19 Responses to “Federal Lawmakers to Vote on Industrial Hemp Amendment to Farm Bill”

    1. grandma3d says:

      Hello fellow tokers and Sabrina, Sending love to you all and especially Sabrina. I wish you were my daughter, because you are totally awesome! You are on top of your game girl. Check out this video,although knowing you, you probably already seen it.


    2. PA otter says:

      I support attaching the hemp amendment to the farm bill. This is long overdue.

    3. Michael lr says:

      Ad Tzu, honesty, truth, facts, prayers,clear communication with real facts of education on the herb Marijuana, these are the ways to share with your grandparents or anyone for that matter. Marijuana is a medicinal herb, it has history for evidence that it was a good thing for centuries, it was money,greed,lies,half truths that have destroyed many lives over the use of a medicine, the herb Marijuana that has worked for centuries, with no reason to stop using it now. If it works use it if not don’t. And the commercial hemp products could turn our country and the world around for the better if we would identify those who choose to destroy the blessings of the plant by telling lies that only profit a few of select, positioned financially, wealthy corporate greedy people, and send them factual information about Marijuana and its medicinal benefits in love. Negative debilitating Marijuana laws and the effort to eradicate the herb has tragically cost humanity all over the world pain, and suffering. To a segment of our society that is already suffering from some incredible pain. Unfortunately what a bunch of ignorant sheep fooled by the dastardly fox we have been. Ignorant means not knowing. And sheep well you know everyone follows the one ahead of them wherever that may lead. I ask the opponent to Marijuana medicine, Please give others the freedom to use the medicine that works for easing the pains that ail millions of us. We make an educated conscious decision to medicate with natural herbs rather than supporting the Chemical industry with more money, don’t they have enough! Yes they do!
      Michael lr

    4. Ad Tzu says:


      I have approached my grandparents with the medical marihuana argument and they are quite receptive; though, I just read this legislation and I know this will more than interest them. So, how do you suppose I present this with the knowledge that this is a covert action on my part. No one in the family must know. The situation is not only fragile but potentially devastating on my part.

    5. Michael says:

      Ad Tzu… extra income for your parents? It’s a possibility that hemp could provide millions for your grandparents. The possibilities are almost without limit.

    6. If Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are for it, then all we have to do is get Pres. Obama to say something against it. Then all the Republicans will be tripping over each other to get to Congress to vote to pass it! Write to Obama today. VICTORY FOR HEMP!

    7. Michael lr says:

      Process, it will take some time for those in government and those in business to make major changes to the economics that Marijuana will affect as it is legalized. Yes the Machine needs to be built that will facilitate getting us back to the way it once was and better. Marijuana is finally emerging educationally as to what real benefits it has to offer so many millions of people. Let us work in a structure to be included in the business world we know of peaceful organized, educated, with sound business practices, order of operations, and tomorrow we will wonder what all the fuss was about. Oops we just made a major correction and now we have to adjust nations. Blessings Michal lr (patient)

    8. Ad Tzu says:

      My grandfather is a stud. He has farmed or been on a farm his whole life. I live in Oklahoma where The Compassionate Use of Marijuana bill just got a hearing. That is aside from what I ask here. If he were to cultivate hemp for industrial use, I wonder what benefit he might have in growing hemp as a cash crop: a supplemental income for my grandparents? Does that make any sense? I hope so. Well, if any of you know let me know.

    9. Julian says:

      Energy demand is a little too high to “destroy the oil industry in no time at all,” anonymous; We need all the oil and energy we can get, which is precisely why Hemp will be repatriated in our soil sooner than later. The American Chemistry Council could turn to hemp as an oil price stabalizer where corn ethanol failed. The oil and petrochemical industry doesn’t want a barrel of oil to go too high, but they also don’t want it too low. So they regulate crude oil with renewable fuels –and they make up and lobby rules over what we can make plastic out of –just enough to keep the motor running on fossil fuels so the price of oil can be profitable to the corporations that own the mineral rights on oil wells.
      But what would happen if everybody’s backyard was an oil well full of hemp? A green revolution? An American Golden Age of Hemp?
      We too often underestimate the power we have as consumers. By simply purchasing hemp products instead of petroleum-based ones we are creating pressure to let American farmers grow hemp once again. Food, Fuel, medicine and cellulose plastics made from biodegradable hemp oil is exactly what the doctor ordered for our sick little planet. Let’s keep donating to votehemp.com and NORML and if you can find hemp products you like at the store, or on-line buy them. I can’t wait to build houses out of hemp.
      But one other factor that is creating a demand for hemp oil is logistics; shipping is expensive. Fracking is expensive and its using up all our water. (Speaking of which, you better check your water rights cuz Big Oil is sucking it out from under us to run their fracking operations). Why worry about shipping costs or pipe lines when we can refine our own oil at home with an old press and a bucket? Of course oil and fuel for our vehicles requires a little more refining, so the big corporations aren’t “going away” but we could easily make oil for our furnaces and cooking at home. An American Golden Age of Hemp.
      I’m surprised the Chinese havn’t started doing this. They must have run out of clean farmland. Theres some irony for you; The U.S. has so much prime farmland, hence the midwestern “breadbasket of the world” we probably WILL end up shipping hemp oil to China– and China’s been cultivating hemp for thousands of years.

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