Ban on Industrial Hemp Results in High Prices and Lost Jobs

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

Statement on Hemp History Week
May 6, 2010

Madam Speaker, I rise to speak about Hemp History Week. To celebrate the American heritage of growing industrial hemp, the Hemp Industries Association, Vote Hemp, several American manufacturers, and allied companies and organizations have declared May 17 to May 23 to be Hemp History Week. Throughout the week, people will recognize America’s legacy of industrial hemp farming and call for reinstating respect for farmers’ basic right to grow industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp was legally grown throughout our country for many years. In fact, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew industrial hemp and used it to make cloth. During World War II, the federal government encouraged American farmers to grow hemp to help the war effort.

Despite industrial hemp farming being an important part of American history, the federal government has banned cultivation of this crop. In every other industrialized country, industrial hemp, defined to contain less than 0.3 percent THC–the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, may be legally grown. Nobody can be psychologically affected by consuming industrial hemp. Unfortunately, because of a federal policy that does not distinguish between growing industrial hemp and growing marijuana, all hemp products and materials must be imported. The result is high prices, outsourced jobs, and lost opportunities for American manufacturing.

Reintroducing industrial hemp farming in the United States would bring jobs to communities struggling in today’s economy, provide American farmers with another crop alternative, and encourage the development of hemp processing factories near American hemp farming.

Industrial hemp is used in many products. For example, industrial hemp is used in protein supplements, non-dairy milk, and frozen desserts. Hemp flour is in breads, crackers, chips, dips, and dressings. Hemp seeds may be eaten plain or added to prepared foods. Additionally, hemp oil is used in a number of cosmetic and body care products, and hemp fiber is used in cloths. Industrial hemp is also present in bio-composite materials used in buildings and automobiles.

I first introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (HR 1866) five years ago to end the federal government’s ban on American farmers growing industrial hemp. In this time, the industrial hemp industry has grown much larger. Despite its American history, industrial hemp is the only crop that we can buy and sell but not farm in the United States. The federal government should change the law to allow American farmers grow this profitable crop as American farmers have through most of our nation’s history. Please cosponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act and join me in celebrating Hemp History Week.

  • Anonymous

    LEGALIZE HEMP! If hemp were legal there would be no oil spill in the gulf right now.. Planting only 6 percent of the continental United States with biomass crops such as hemp would supply all current domestic demands for oil and gas.

  • Ganja

    Im for legalizing Cannabis!! It has been used as medicine for thousands of years. You can literally make anything out of it and it happens to have been and still is the standby crop for humanity. It will grow in the worst soil in horrible weather and still produce pounds of edible seeds. It can be grown between crops in our modern agriculture system, when fields are typically left fallow for the weeds. Its root system also extends several meters into the ground pulling nutrients and water to the surface that otherwise would not have been reached by other plants. It is the real deal if anything could ever be argued to have been made for humanity this most certainly would be at the top of the list. I could go on extolling the virtue of this amazing plant but i think im gonna go hit the bong(water cooled) better on the lungs. O and it can be cooked into almost anything no smoking necessary!

  • What is the use of spending money to make it a crime producing and distributing hemp and Marijuana? Personally I don’t use them, but we’re losing money and jobs that could be created if we continue to banned them. Fred you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • fred the protectionist

      Wrong, you free traders would outsource hemp production just like you’ve done to every other industry in the US.

      Another lie by you types, you don’t care about “Jobs or taxes”, you just want to get high; don’t forget to bring a towel.

  • fred the protectionist

    There is this informercial on TV lately, a white guy being interviewed by an indian woman, and in the backround it’s the Larry King LED map of the world at Larry King’s desk. But that’s what capitalism is all about, right Libertarians? Libertarians are fraudsters and scammers who believe that thou shalt provide false witness at every opportunity to make a buck. Money money money money, it’s all you Libertarians and Neocons care about.

    • Grant

      I can’t figure out why “Fred the Protectionist” has to comment about everything on this site. If you don’t like freedom, go away.

      I think he’s got his head shoved too far up his has to realize Obama and the Democratic leadership are part of the establishment. He’s in bed with big oil, the MIC, and just gave a 500 million dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton.

      Wake up, dude.

  • Clinton’s Ghosts

    I am enthusiastic about industrial hemp. Using this annual crop we can print books, newspapers, phone books and tons of junk mail without cutting down a single old growth tree. Hemp was used to make rope and clothes and hemp paper is much more durable than tree paper.

    I am also positive that alcohol is more detrimental to your health than smoking pot. Do your homework, be sure to include the survey of students in NYC sponsored by Mayor La Guardia.

    I love the idea of cutting organized crime off from their black market opportunities by legalizing all drugs. Instead of wasting money pretending to “fight” a “war” on “drugs”, which is just an excuse to implement police state infrastructure and also to shift the wealth of the middle class to an exclusive minority, spend that public money insuring the quality of the drugs, promoting profitable adult recreation facilities and rehab for those who need it. Just like Dr. Timothy Leary told Congress 46 years ago.

    I hear the DEA is 100% corrupt, the CIA has been busted smuggling cocaine and heroin for over 40 years and they tainted police departments across the nation, including personal involvement of George H W Bush and Bill Clinton. The cat is out of the bag.

    The major obstacles to this are the alcohol lobby, the pharma lobby and the programmed attitudes of stupidity, stigma and stereotyping. The worst kind of stupid is the closed minded know-nothing know it alls like Bachman and the Faux News parrots.

    While politicians get paid to do nothing and lobbyists get paid to obstruct the system, trillions are being accrued by criminals who hate America.

    Americans need to have someone explain the word ‘freedom’ and the concept of participatory government.

    • Kale R.

      Dead on to the point, Clinton’s Ghost. With all that, I’d like to add that America locks up more people per capita than all of Europe. Either we’re just more criminal by nature, or there’s something wrong with the society we live in.

      In Amsterdam, you’ll find coffee shops line the streets. A coffee shop over there is about as exciting as an ordinary bar over here in America. A joint is about as exciting as a can of beer over there, and so nobody sells them under the table, nobody gets shot down in the street for it, nobody spends the rest of their life in prison for it, and they do just fine with that. Hmm, imagine.. if we just locked up all the drunks in America, too, maybe we’d have the “perfect ‘Just-Say-No’ society” America is trying to create.

      People are going to use drugs, they have for thousands of years and man-kind doesn’t seem to want to kick the habit any more than they have. You see, maybe it’s just our flaw as compassionate creatures, we all just look for something, anything, to take away the pain. No matter what that something is and no matter where that pain comes from.

      Nobody would say prostitution is a “good thing”, but why not instead have them out there getting checked by a nurse every month to see that they’re not spreading diseases or when things get to much for the prostitute she can push a button and instead of a pimp come to the rescue, a police officer. The laws against drugs, prostitution, etc. are all laws against the “worst human nature had to offer” and America thinks it better to just lock up and put the law against whoever lives “the wrong way”.

      Just the fact that homosexuals can’t get “legally married” is a perfect example of the Government’s idea of what kind of lifestyle you should have. It’s not like our country was born from separation of church from state or anything, right? America has too many religions to create laws off one specific one. I say everyone is entitled to their opinion, like Dr. Ron Paul said, and who is so perfect in this world to have the right to dictate and challenge your opinion. My opinion of marriage is “two people, in love” and that’s it.

      We’re all people, we all live certain ways for certain reasons. Give us the right to life, and the right to choose where that life goes from where it’s been. It’s time for a decentralized approach.


  • Grapes

    Please define Ron Paul in globalist terms, I am interested to hear your logic fail. If anything Industrial hemp growing is Nationalistic, I would normally associate globalism with neo-liberalism.

    • fred the protectionist

      There is no manufacturing (even hemp) with free traders like you.

      • Troll Alert

        Troll detected, logic fail is epic.

  • fred the protectionist

    Wrong, free traders like Ron Paul would outsource hemp production. Don’t listen to the lies of a globalist. neocon or Libertarian or Liberal or Socialist or, hell almost every politician in control of this country.

    You should have voted for Ross Perot or Pat Buchanan.

    Stick to the FED conspiracy theories, it’s what you’re best at.

    • George H W Bush’s Honor

      I did vote for Ross Perot. You should be interested to know that ex-CIA agents have come forward to testify that they were ordered to conduct subversive operations to abort Ross Perot’s campaign, identical to what they had done to destabilize campaigns in other countries. Google ‘Terry Reed’, ‘Mena Arkansas’ and ‘Tatum pegasus’ videos and WAKE UP!

      • fred the protectionist

        Voting for Ross Perot then turning around and voting for a globalist open-border/free-trader like Ron Paul cause they’z different is pure lunacy.

        Change, different, change you can believe in.

        People are stoopid.

  • Ryan

    You tell ’em Ron!
    End this ridiculous ban on industrial hemp, and put our people back to work!
    These political parasites on freedom are nothing but bad news for us all. Even with an economy as bad as it is, they wouldn’t even consider this purely rational action.
    Only paranoia compounded by ignorance keeps it illegal to grow industrial hemp.
    Throw the bums out!