Hemp: Rep. Ron Paul Introduces Federal Bill for Industrial H

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Hemp: Rep. Ron Paul Introduces Federal Bill for Industrial H

Post#1 » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:20 pm

Hemp: Rep. Ron Paul Introduces Federal Bill for Industrial Hemp 7/1/05

US Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning congressman from East Texas, last week introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (HR 3037), which would remove federal restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, the low-THC, high-fiber cannabis cultivar popular in products from candy bars to auto body parts to sneakers. The introduction of Rep. Paul's bill marks the first time a hemp bill has been introduced at the federal level since the federal government outlawed hemp farming in the 1930s. (That ban was temporarily lifted during World War II as part of the "Hemp for Victory" program.)

Currently, some 30 other countries, including neighboring Canada, allow for hemp cultivation for industrial and nutritional purposes. Six US states have already voted to remove barriers to research on hemp production, while legislation is pending in 20 more. Support for industrial hemp also comes from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, which "supports revisions to the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp." And a leading farm organization, the National Grange, also "supports research, production, processing and marketing of industrial hemp as a viable agricultural activity."

But none of that can happen without a change in the federal law. Rep. Paul and hemp advocates tried to jumpstart that process last week at a Capitol Hill luncheon where about a hundred congressional staffers feasted on a five-course gourmet hemp meal featuring delicacies like Bahama Hempnut Crusted Wild Salmon and Fuji Fennel Hempseed Salad. Attendees were served up not only delicious food but also a healthy portion of rhetoric designed to call attention to the need for a new hemp law.

"It is unfortunate that the federal government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, competing in the global industrial hemp market," said Rep. Paul. "Indeed the founders of our nation, some of who grew hemp, surely would 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. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to stand up for American farmers and cosponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act."

Among the guests at the luncheon were four original cosponsors, Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), George Miller (D-CA) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ). Also in attendance was consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who called the US ban on hemp farming "bureaucratic medievalism."

North Dakota is one of the six states that have passed legislation okaying research into hemp. North Dakota state Rep. David Monson (R-Osnabrock), the sponsor of the hemp bill there, told the luncheon the federal government was an obstacle. "Industrial hemp production is on hold in North Dakota and the entire US, due to roadblocks in Washington DC," Monson said. "We have had tremendous bipartisan support for legislation we've introduced in North Dakota."

With companies ranging from Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps to Adidas to Nutiva Hemp Foods and many more all using hemp in their products, US farmers are poised to start profiting from hemp crops as soon as they are able. "Industrial hemp has become a lucrative crop for farmers in Europe, Canada and Asia, so farmers here are asking 'Why are we being left out?'" said Alexis Baden-Mayer, Director of Government Relations for the industry group Vote Hemp. "Because there are millions of cars on the road with hemp door panels, tens of millions of dollars spent annually on hemp food and hemp body care and hemp paper is being made in the US, people are asking tough questions about why the US government won't distinguish low-THC hemp from high-THC drug varieties. I believe this federal legislation will gain momentum over the next year as we spend time educating Congress and their constituents about the need for reforms," said Baden-Mayer.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson undoubtedly spoke for many farmers who see dollar signs around hemp. "Industrial hemp is used in a tremendous variety of products, including food products, soap, cosmetics, fertilizer, textiles, paper, paints and plastics," Johnson said. "Once the crop is legalized in this country, I believe science will find even more uses for industrial hemp, uses that will make industrial hemp a popular and profitable crop."

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Posts: 1087

Post#2 » Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:20 pm

I'll be damned. This is great!!! Of course it will fail. The strength of the forces aligned against this most valuable crop is afraid of the competition.

I'm a big fan of hemp products. I read where you give away hemp clothing to your grandchildren, they last that long. Many troubled farmers could be helped tremendously by this very versitile crop. The ban is contrary to human progress.

Henry Ford and Ransom Olds both designed their cars with hemp plastics(10 times stronger than steel and bends instead of dents) and intended it to run on hemp fuel. These two never intended for their autos to be run on petroleum products. Course, they're not making law or running our lives like the new and improved US Congress.

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