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Sen. Ron Wyden Calls for Decriminalization of Industrial Hemp Farming
There is a prevailing misunderstanding in America today about the difference between marijuana and hemp, both of which are prohibited under federal law from being grown on U.S. soil. Somehow hemp, an industrial crop with virtually no hallucinogenic properties, got lumped in with marijuana in the federal government’s overzealous prohibition mandates back in the 1950s, a grave error that Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is hoping to change with a new farm bill amendment he recently proposed.
Co-sponsored by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Amendment 2220 to the federal farm bill (S. 3240) would effectively fix the broken laws that prohibit the cultivation of hemp in the U.S., but that simultaneously allow it to be bought and sold here. This failed policy has not only needlessly restricted American farmers from taking advantage of the rapidly growing demand for hemp by being able to grow it themselves, but it has also driven the entire booming hemp industry into countries like Canada from which it has to be imported.
“This is, in my view, a textbook example of a regulation that flunks the commonsense test,” said Sen. Wyden on the House floor concerning the mindless prohibition of growing industrial hemp in the U.S. “The only thing standing in the way of taking advantage of this very profitable crop is a lingering misunderstanding about its use, and the amendment that I have filed on this issue will end a ridiculous regulation once and for all.”
You can learn more about Sen. Wyden’s farm bill amendment by visiting:
America’s rich hemp history
Few people today are aware of America’s rich hemp history, which dates back to the early 1700s when colonists were actually required to grow hemp. Since it requires no pesticides or herbicides and has thousands of industrial uses ranging from textiles and cellophane to vehicle bodies and paper, hemp has long been an important cash crop, not to mention an amazing food source, throughout America’s history.