Action Alert! Contact your Representatives.
NORML is pleased to announce the introduction of H.R. 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005, sponsored by Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jim McDermott (D-WA), George Miller (D-CA) and Ron Paul (R-TX). This legislation is the first bill ever to be introduced in Congress to repeal the federal ban on the cultivation of industrial hemp as a commercial crop.
If passed, H.R. 3037 would allow states the legal authority to license and regulate hemp cultivation without conflicting with federal law. To date, several states have passed legislation authorizing the cultivation of industrial hemp for research and commercial purposes. However, farmers in these states can not legally grow hemp without federal permission to do so. House Bill 3037 would remove this federal hurdle by granting states “exclusive authority” to regulate the growing and processing of industrial hemp.
Currently, the United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to a 2005 Congressional Resource Service (CRS) report. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food.
There really is no reason to deny farmers this additional crop, and the economic options that it gives. The drug warriors will resist this, of course, and here are the ridiculous arguments they’ll give (be ready for them):
- This will interfere with law enforcement’s ability to eradicate marijuana and prosecute marijuana growers. Drug kingpins will hide marijuana grows inside so-called industrial hemp fields. (Of course, this has no validity. The worst thing you can do is mix marijuana and industrial hemp — cross-pollination destroys the value of both. As far as prosecuting… well, I assume that the prosecutor would need to test the seized marijuana. Aren’t they doing that now?)
- What about the message that this sends to children? (Politicians should no longer be allowed to say those words — it’s the clearest indication that exists that they’re about to lie to you. The message we’re sending to children is that farmers are going to grow a crop that will be able to make a bunch of things, and that you can’t get high from it.)