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

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive 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:


      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
      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:


      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.