Hemp Bill Introduced In Congress

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  Hemp Bill Introduced In Congress

Posted by CN Staff on April 03, 2009 at 12:58:50 PT
By Ryan Grim 
Source: Huffington Post 

USA -- A bipartisan group of agitating members of Congress introduced legislation Thursday to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp.Currently eight states -- Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia -- allow industrial hemp production or research, but federal law, which requires nearly-impossible-to-obtain-permits to grow hemp, trumps those state laws. The new bill would allow states to craft their own policy.
Hemp, a cousin of marijuana that can't get you stoned, is considered by the Drug Enforcement Administration to be a controlled substance because it kind of looks like pot. Synthetic fabric makers have long opposed hemp, which they see as competition.The United States is the only nation that blocks its farmers from growing hemp, though hemp products are legal to import and to sell. Somebody would have to smoke several acres worth of hemp, which has negligible psychoactive properties, for that policy to make any sense.But wild hemp continues to grow across the country. In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan took the anti-hemp policy to its logical conclusion and ordered law enforcement to uproot wild hemp wherever it was found. It was a wild success: by 1989, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimated it uprooted 120 million of the plants that year, which it referred to in government reports as "ditchweed." In 2001, it eradicated half a billion such plants, though not even that total could get someone high. The war on ditchweed continues today, but the DEA has stopped its embarrassing habit of disclosing the total amount of useless plants it uproots.The industrial hemp bill is being championed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a powerful committee chairman and outspoken critic of the drug war, as well as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a libertarian-leaning former presidential candidate suspicious of federal power. Nine other members, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's close ally, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), cosponsored the bill."Federal law is standing in the way of farmers in these states growing what may be a very profitable crop," said Paul when introducing the bill.Frank and Paul, in a letter [PDF] -- -- to congressional colleagues, note that "during World War II, the federal government encouraged industrial hemp farming to help the war effort."The industrial hemp bill comes as policymakers are taking a fresh look at the war on drugs in light of the very real war in Mexico between the government and rival drug cartels. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) has proposed an overhaul of the criminal justice system and Attorney General Eric Holder has vowed not to prosecute medical marijuana patients and clinics that are in compliance with state law.Though the bill faces long odds in Congress, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has said it "supports revisions to the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp." The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has also passed a pro-hemp resolution.Obama could change hemp policy without congressional action, noted Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra. "Obama should direct the DEA to stop confusing industrial hemp with its genetically distinct cousin, marijuana. While the new bill in Congress is a welcome step, the hemp industry is hopeful that the new leadership in the White House will prioritize the crop's benefits to farmers," he said.Ryan Grim is the author of the forthcoming book This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Ryan GrimPublished: April 3, 2009Copyright: 2009, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: Hemp Archives

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Comment #7 posted by AZMMPP2010 on April 05, 2009 at 06:17:28 PT:

Freedom holds no party membership
This bill brought to you by Texas Republican Ron Paul. THANK YOU DR. PAUL! Continue to be a shining beacon of truth, freedom, and liberty in the dark bowels of Congress.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 03, 2009 at 16:18:57 PT

H.R. 1866: To Amend The Controlled Substances Act
H.R. 1866: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.URL:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 03, 2009 at 15:51:43 PT

The First Law Against Hemp 
The first law against hemp was passed in 1937. This law was totally unconstitutional, but it took until 1968 for the Supreme court to agree that it was unconstitutional. In 1970-1972 American tax dollars paid to find out what to do about the hemp laws. Experts came back to president Nixon with this: Hemp is non-addictive, it is not a stepping stone to harder drugs, in fact it should not be in any drug category at all. They said there was nothing bad or dangerous about using hemp. Nixon didn't like hemp and went against what the experts told him and pushed to have laws passed against it on the grounds that it has no medicinal value. This of course is untrue as most doctors would tell you. Well, some might not tell you because the way the laws are now, fear of persecution keeps many of the ones that know the facts quiet. A doctor told me that doctors can lose their license if they tell you that hemp would help you.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 03, 2009 at 15:36:32 PT

I mean how will they be able to find cannabis growing in a field of hemp if it is of the sativa strain? The rules on Hemp are way to strict. Marijuana and Hemp are the same plant. Since Hemp in America is Marijuana by law as far as I know I don't understand how Obama could ok Hemp because he can't ok Marijuana. It takes Congress to do that. Did they do a separate Hemp law way back when they made Marijuana illegal? We aren't the same as Canada in how issues are handled really.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on April 03, 2009 at 15:22:50 PT

Dear FoM, look at Canada, they have been growing hemp for 10 years legally now. By; only allowing specific industrial hemp strains to be sown and to follow up with field test for THC once the crop reaches maturity.
On a mission from God!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 03, 2009 at 15:09:06 PT

A Question
How can Obama change hemp policy since hemp and cannabis are the same plant? If Obama can do that then how will they know the difference between different cannabis sativa strains?Excerpt: Obama could change hemp policy without congressional action, noted Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 03, 2009 at 13:23:31 PT

Another Small Step
Little by little we are going forward.
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