Ron Paul and Barney Frank Introduce Hemp Farming Legislation – HR 1866




A federal bill was introduced yesterday that, if passed into law, would remove restrictions on the cultivation of non-psychoactive industrial hemp. The chief sponsors of HR 1866, “The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009,” Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX), were joined by nine other U.S. House members split between Republicans and Democrats.

“It is unfortunate that the federal government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, from competing in the global industrial hemp market,” said Representative Ron Paul during his introduction of the bill yesterday before the U.S. House. “Indeed, the founders of our nation, some of whom grew hemp, would surely 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 co-sponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act,” concluded Paul.

“With so much discussion lately in the media about drug policy, it is surprising that the tragedy of American hemp farming hasn’t come up as a ‘no-brainer’ for reform,” says Vote Hemp President, Eric Steenstra. “Hemp is a versatile, environmentally-friendly crop that has not been grown here for over fifty years because of a politicized interpretation of the nation’s drug laws by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). President 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 President Obama’s administration will prioritize hemp’s benefits to farmers. Jobs would be created overnight, as there are numerous U.S. companies that now have no choice but to import hemp raw materials worth many millions of dollars per year,” adds Steenstra.

U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a California company who manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap, and FlexForm Technologies, an Indiana company whose natural fiber materials are used in over two million cars on the road today. Hemp food manufacturers, such as French Meadow Bakery, Hempzels, Living Harvest, Nature’s Path and Nutiva, now make their products from Canadian hemp. Although hemp now grows wild across the U.S., a vestige of centuries of hemp farming here, the hemp for these products must be imported. Hemp clothing is made around the world by well-known brands such as Patagonia, Bono’s Edun and Giorgio Armani.

There is strong support among key national organizations for a change in the federal government’s position on hemp. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) “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.

Numerous individual states have expressed interest in and support for industrial hemp as well. Sixteen states have passed pro-hemp legislation, and eight states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research. North Dakota has been issuing state licenses to farmers for two years now. The new bill will remove federal barriers and allow laws in these states regulating the growing and processing of hemp to take effect.

“Under the current national drug control policy, industrial hemp can be imported, but it can’t be grown by American farmers,” says Steenstra. “The DEA has taken the Controlled Substances Act’s antiquated definition of marijuana out of context and used it as an excuse to ban industrial hemp farming. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 will return us to more rational times when the government regulated marijuana, but allowed farmers to continue raising industrial hemp just as they always had.”

More information about hemp legislation and the crop’s many uses can be found at www.VoteHemp.com.

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives
Statement Introducing HR 1866, Industrial Hemp Farming Act
April 2, 2009

Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the growing of industrial hemp.

Eight States–Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia–allow industrial hemp production or research in accord with state laws. However, federal law is standing in the way of farmers in these states growing what may be a very profitable crop. Because of current federal law, all hemp included in products sold in the United States must be imported instead of being grown by American farmers.

Since 1970, the federal Controlled Substances Act’s inclusion of industrial hemp in the schedule one definition of marijuana has prohibited American farmers from growing industrial hemp despite the fact that industrial hemp has such a low content of THC (the psychoactive chemical in the related marijuana plant) that nobody can be psychologically affected by consuming hemp. Federal law concedes the safety of industrial hemp by allowing it to be legally imported for use as food.

The United States is the only industrialized nation that prohibits industrial hemp cultivation. The Congressional Research Service has noted that hemp is grown as an established agricultural commodity in over 30 nations in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act will relieve this unique restriction on American farmers and allow them to grow industrial hemp in accord with state law.

Industrial hemp is a crop that was grown legally throughout the United States for most of our nation’s history. In fact, during World War II, the federal government actively encouraged American farmers to grow industrial hemp to help the war effort. The Department of Agriculture even produced a film “Hemp for Victory” encouraging the plant’s cultivation.

In recent years, the hemp plant has been put to many popular uses in foods and in industry. Grocery stores sell hemp seeds and oil as well as food products containing oil and seeds from the hemp plant. Industrial hemp is also included in consumer products such as paper, cloths, cosmetics, and carpet. One of the more innovative recent uses of industrial hemp is in the door frames of about 1.5 million cars. Hemp has even been used in alternative automobile fuel.

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. Indeed, the founders of our nation, some of whom grew hemp, would surely 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.



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32 Comments:

  1. Pingback: Here is Your Chance Ron paul Supporters

  2. Commercial hemp growing will raise havoc on the Medical Pot.

    The clouds of commercial hemp pollen will destroy the smokers pot.. These acres of hemp will give off a cloud of pollen and it will ruin the smokers pot crops.

    Seeded and cross strained is what will happen.. Sneaky way to ruin the medical pot business.. IMO.

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    • The people who are growing Cannabis sativa for maximal tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) yield can - heck, they must - maintain isolation to preserve their strains of the organism from accidental cross-pollination, just as they have to do when the prospect of windborne pollination from wild strains ("ditchweed") arises.

      Dr. Paul's commitment to common-law abatement of adventitious effluents - pollution - should provide the growers of THC- producing cannabis crops with methods in law to abate such nuisances as might arise from commercial growers planting for seed and fiber in their vicinities, if the quality of the medicinal "pot crops" are in any realistic fashion degraded.

      Or are you just being facetious, RAMPWORM?

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  3. Industrial hemp will become an integral part of Project Ice-SHARE/Green Earth (global water equilibrium) - supplying needed freshwater to local and regional locales - as this effort utilizes plastic pipe and other hardware made from industrial hemp.

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  4. Industrial hemp will become an integral part of Project Ice SHARE/Green Earth (global water equilibrium) - supplying needed freshwater to local and regional locales - as this project utilizes plastic pipe and other hardware made from industrial hemp.

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  5. Industrial hemp will become an integral part of Project Ice-SHARE/Green Earth (global water equilibrium equilibrium) - supplying plastic pipe and other hardware made from industrial hemp - as this effort fulfills freshwater needs in regional and local locales.

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  6. Rep.Ron Paul for President
    I recived a letter from Rep Don Young of Alaska,Regarding your bill H.R. 1866 Industrial Hemp Farming. He stated that the last time the bill had been introduced was during the 111th Congress.He questioned if the bill will be introduced in the 112th.?
    We Alaskans need your support by re-introducing this important bill for farmers here in Alaska.I believe Don Young will co-sponsor the bill this time he is very interested and understands the difference between Marijuana and Hemp.Good luck on your run for the high office of President. Sincerely,Frank w. Turney Fairbanks,Alaska

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  7. Please become leader of our country!!!! Legalizing hemp for crops would get my little farm with big dreams up on its feet. You can do it Ron!!!! You would be the first president I ever voted for!!!! Do it!!!!!!!!

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  8. I am 47 years old and live in Iowa and I have been reading about the benefits of Hemp as an agricultural crop. It is illegal to grow. What is wrong with this picture. With so many uses and the fact that it is eco-friendly I can only imagine what the real intentions for it being outlawed were in the first place. If the people of this country united our current government would surely be altered or abolished. Why do our leaders cater to the rich? They are not the majority. If I had my way I would fire every politician currently holding office and maybe jail some of them. The ignorance of our leaders is destroying all that America was meant to be. Why don't you just come right out and say it. We the government in order to form a more selfish union serve a select few (the rich) and suppress the majority of americans so that the few, not the many will thrive.

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  9. I just finished watching a documentaryabout Howard Zinn titled: You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train. I had heard about this film from a few friends who turned me on to his writing. It is a documentary film regarding Howards Zinns life and work. A life and work that probable means more today then it ever has since we have a leader in office who is probable one of the most UN AMERICAN leaders to date. What I noticed from start to finish during this film was a lot of rallies, marches, demonstrations, and protests, most of which were anti war and for civil rights. What I took from it was that when "we the people" organize we make things happen.

    ... we WILL be met at first with resistance, and even ruthless hostility by the government, which simpley means...that we have their attention and those so called powers are scared when we WAKE UP and organize and challenge them, and demand change. When we unite in such an awesome way, those leaders are reminded that the people (you and me) are really the ones in charge. The government may mount hourses, swing batons, fire tear gas, dawn sheilds and helmets, make a few unjust arrests...maybe bring in the national guard, some water canons or the latest in hi-tech crowd control gear...This is to be expected since we are exercising our rights and in doing so we are a threat to those sitting at the top in their easy chairs while making decisions that selfishly serve themselves and have negative affects on our right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. If we want something done...We don't have to wait for the "right guy" to get into office...Unite, organize, demand.
    It is up to us. The United States of America...Of the People, For the People, By the People. It is written..."That to secure these rights[ Life, Liberty, Happiness], governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government..."

    It is our call.

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