Is This The Year That Congress Finally Says The Word “Hemp?”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 3, 2009

    It’s that time of year again.

    Texas Republican Ron Paul, along with ten co-sponsors, is seeking once again to allow for the commercial farming of industrial hemp.

    House Bill 1866, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009, would exclude low potency varieties of cannabis from federal prohibition.  If approved, this measure would grant state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.

    Several states — including North Dakota, Montana, and Vermont — have enacted regulations to allow for the cultivation of hemp under state law. However, none of these laws can be implemented without federal approval. Passage of HR 1866 would remove existing federal barriers and allow states that wish to regulate commercial hemp production the authority to do so.

    Upon introducing the bill in Congress, Rep. Paul said: “It is unfortunate that the federal government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, from 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. … I urge my colleagues to stand up for American farmers and cosponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.”

    Is Congress listening?

    Previous versions of The Industrial Hemp Farming Act were introduced in both the 108th and 109th Congress, but failed to receive a public hearing or a committee vote. In short, members of Congress decided that this issue was not even worth talking about!

    But times have changed. The U.S. economy is down and unemployment is up. Further, we have a President who is championing the notion of ‘green’ (environmentally friendly) job growth. (And who has even appointed one of our own to serve as his special advisor.)

    Will this be enough to finally convince members of Congress to break their silence and utter the “H” word? Why not ask them yourself?

    54 responses to “Is This The Year That Congress Finally Says The Word “Hemp?””

    1. watcher says:

      Looney Tune Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton called on the City Council to speed up the drafting of stricter regulations on medical marijuana clinics, calling current state law “Looney Tunes”

      He needs your comments about his Looney Tune position:

    2. About time. NC already has Hemp laws and there is a medi pot bill likely to come up. Get busy writing or e-mailing your legislators.

    3. ChrisfromTN says:

      Americans growing hemp?!

      That’s batshit crazy.

      We should make a list of all the Congressmen that vocally oppose this bill and then promote some kind of “point and laugh at” exercise… just a thought.

    4. Zack says:

      Ron Paul 2012!

    5. Justin says:

      I don’t think it’s gonna pass,the government is in our way and they have already shown us they do what they want not what the people want.Oh well…it would be nice to see it happen.

    6. FULLtiltJP says:

      I heard the reason hemp was made illegal in the USA was because it competed with high-wet-modulus rayon and the corporations that owned the patents used government help to eliminate the competition ~ HEMP…
      is that correct or am I wrong on this ?

    7. FULLtiltJP says:

      okay I did some searching and found this …
      Then, in 1955, manufacturers began to produce a new type of rayon—high-wet-modulus (HWM) rayon—which was somewhat stronger and which could be used successfully in sheets, towels, and apparel. The advent of HWM rayon (also called modified rayon) is considered the most important development in rayon production since its invention in the 1880s.

      hmm were politicos paid by corporate america to remove the competition so that this important development would result in $ ? growing your own food or producing something as useful as HEMP might allow people to live more freely and not need to be a part of the system.

      It is a bummer that HEMP is always spun into the DEA misinformation zone … when that is not what happened ….why it was made illegal ……. truly the reason why.

    8. Randy says:

      I’d love to see hemp legalized. Compared to marijuana, this seems like it would be safe political territory…

      I think next time there’s a Q&A session, we should focus our efforts on hemp questions, to get some momentum going for this.

    9. Jerry Moler says:

      During World War II hemp was grown in several states for the U.S. Navy. It was banned sometime after that. In Nebraska where I grew up it still grows wild all over the place. The cops still arrest people from out of state for harvesting it. I guess some people don’t know the difference. Everyone back home calls it ditch weed and would never smoke it because it just gives you a sore throat. There is very little thc in it. The stalks are the toughest thing you have ever seen. This is due to the wind conditions on the high plains. The plants natural reaction is to grow a much larger and stronger stock to withstand the forces of nature. All of the oldtimers there will tell of all of the uses that they had for this stuff on thier farms. They say it was the easiest and least exspensive way to produce the most important tool to all farmers and ranchers ROPE!!! We used hemp rope in the navy to tie the ship to the dock. These ropes were so strong that tug boats used them to tow huge ships around the harbor. Hemp is the strongest natural fiber in the world and places like Nebraska, Montana, Minn., Wis. could easly grow plentiful crops. It would be a huge positive to these states and thier agricultural communities. Please ask anyone that was alive and living inthose states to write to thier elected representatives about thier experiences with hemp. It might help convince them to lift this stupid prohibition.

    10. Trenity says:

      Hemp 4 Victory!