- Published on 19 June 2012
- Written by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director
Washington, DC: The federal government continues to oppose allowing licensed farmers the opportunity to cultivate industrial hemp for fiber and other agricultural purposes, according to statements posted this week by Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske on the whitehouse.gov website.
Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (typically less than .03 percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana. According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, "The United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop." Farmers in Canada and the European Union grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food.
Stated Kerlikowske on the White House's 'We the People' website: "Federal law prohibits human consumption, distribution, and possession of Schedule I controlled substances. ... While most of the THC in cannabis plants is concentrated in the marijuana, all parts of the plant, including hemp, can contain THC, a Schedule I controlled substance. The Administration will continue looking for innovative ways to support farmers across the country while balancing the need to protect public health and safety."
A white paper published by the North American Industrial Hemp Council counters: "The THC levels in industrial hemp are so low that no one could get high from smoking it.
- Published on 19 June 2012
- Written by Ryan Fletcher & Tom Murphy, Vote Hemp
WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the fourth time since the federal government outlawed hemp farming in the United States over 50 years ago, a federal bill was introduced on May 11, which if passed, will remove restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis. The chief sponsor, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter last week seeking support for H.R. 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011. H.R. 1831 is almost identical to H.R. 1866, which was introduced in the 111th Congress in 2009.
"We are pleased to see the re-introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act in Congress. Vote Hemp is currently working with a Democratic Senator who is preparing to introduce companion legislation in the Senate in support of industrial hemp farming," says Vote Hemp President, Eric Steenstra. "It is due time for the Senate as well as President Obama and the Attorney General to prioritize the crop's benefits to farmers and to take action like Rep. Paul and the cosponsors of H.R. 1831 have done. With the U.S. hemp industry valued at over $400 million in annual retail sales and growing, a change in federal policy to allow hemp farming would mean instant job creation, among many other economic and environmental benefits," adds Steenstra.
U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a California company that manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap in the U.S. as well as best-selling hemp food manufacturers, such as French Meadow Bakery, Living Harvest, Manitoba Harvest, Nature's Path, Nutiva and Sequel Naturals who make their products from hemp grown in Canada. Sustainable hemp seed, fiber and oil are also used by major companies such as Ford Motors, Patagonia and The Body Shop.