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  Time To Legalize Hemp
Posted by CN Staff on February 20, 2013 at 07:24:03 PT
By The Register-Guard 
Source: Register-Guard 

hemp Washington, D.C. -- It’s an unusual coalition, even for Sen. Ron Wyden, who is well known for reaching across the aisle to work with Republicans on legislative proposals ranging from health care reform to overhauling the nation’s tax code.

Now, Wyden is working with Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican and tea party icon, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also of Kentucky, on a proposal to remove hemp from the federal list of controlled substances. Their bill would clear the way for agricultural production of industrial hemp, the non-narcotic plant that shares a species name, genus type — and illegal status under federal law — with marijuana.

The case for legalizing hemp is simple and compelling. The United States is the world’s largest consumer of hemp but is the only industrialized country that bans farmers from growing the product. Wyden notes that U.S. hemp imports have grown by 300 percent over the past decade and that Canadian farmers, attentive to the potential for profit, have doubled the acreage devoted to hemp in that country in the last two years alone.

“Unfortunately, there are some dumb regulations that are hurting economic growth and job creation, and the ban on growing industrial hemp is certainly among them,” Wyden said. “It’s time to boost revenues for (U.S.) farmers and reduce the costs for the businesses around the country that use hemp.”

Wyden’s right. Legalizing hemp is a no-brainer; Congress should have done it years ago. Eight states, including Oregon, have removed legal barriers to hemp production. But farmers in those states are reluctant to grow it as long as they run the risk of federal raids, prosecution and prison time.

Yet federal lawmakers continue to succumb to misinformation that lumps hemp with marijuana because both contain tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance better known as THC. As Wyden notes, hemp contains only minuscule levels of THC. His bill would remove hemp from the federal list of controlled substances and define it as a non-drug as long as it contained less than 0.3 percent THC. That would enable U.S. farmers to grow the hemp that is now imported from countries such as Canada, China and France and processed into clothing, nutritional items, building products and cordage.

Numerous attempts to end the nonsensical ban on hemp have failed. In the last session, Wyden tried in vain to add a hemp amendment to a major farm bill, and later introduced legislation along with co-sponsors including Sen. Jeff Merkley, who has endorsed his Oregon colleague’s latest effort.

Hopefully, Wyden’s unusual partnership with Paul and McConnell will draw more Republican votes and allow farmers in Oregon, Kentucky and elsewhere to, in McConnell’s words, “harness the economic potential that industrial hemp can provide.”

Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Published: February 20, 2013
Copyright: 2013 The Register-Guard

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Comment #2 posted by museman on February 20, 2013 at 11:02:13 PT
Cannabis users safer drivers
Without being caught their rates go down because of less accidents.

"Mark Anderson and Daniel Rees in November 2011, shows that increased marijuana use amongst adults has decreased alcohol related traffic deaths in said states. This study provides solid evidence that marijuana is not only a safe substitute for alcohol, but it also makes for more safer drivers."

“The hypocrisy of it all is that if you get caught driving under the influence of marijuana, you will be fined and perhaps thrown into jail. What's worse is that your insurance rates will definitely increase due to the traffic violation,” says Mr. Shaffer, “What law enforcement agencies and insurers do not understand is that driving while high is actually a safe activity. I guess the key to safer driving is to use marijuana, but to do it under-wraps.”


[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by The GCW on February 20, 2013 at 07:45:02 PT
Why don't free American farmers grow hemp?
It's time to RE-introduce hemp as a component of American agriculture.

Hemp related news articles are pointing out how ignorant it is to prohibit hemp farming. There is so much ignorance that it's difficult and impossible to list all the ignorance.

But here's another:

Communist Chinese farmers grow hemp but FREE AMERICAN farmers are not allowed.

And America's largest foreign debt is with China.

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