Industrial Hemp Farming Act would remove Federal Restrictions on Industrial Hemp Farming
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
United States Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced a Senate companion bill to H.R. 525 to the House last week. The bill is called the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013.
It’s called a companion bill because it’s referring to something that is either similar or identical legislation which is introduced in the U.S Senate and House. Lawmakers who share similar views on the legislation may introduce this type of bill to promote consideration of the measure. In this particular case there were twenty-eight original co-sponsors, and if the bill passes, it will remove the federal restrictions on farming industrial hemp.
“Unfortunately, there are some dumb regulations that are hurting economic growth and job creation, and the ban on growing industrial hemp is certainly among them,” said Sen. Ron Wyden. “The opportunities for American farmers and businesses are obvious here. It’s time to boost revenues for farmers and reduce the costs for the businesses around the country that use hemp.”
While there have been many states to either pass or introduced pro-hemp legislation, the true freedom for farmers to grow hemp for an industrial purpose hasn’t been possible. Farmers in those states would risk being raided by federal government agents, could face prison time, or have their property taken away. The federal government overrides all state law, and the federal government sill classifies non-drug oilseed like industrial hemp as psychoactive drugs such as marihuana.
“We are very pleased to see action being taken in both the House and Senate, as well as in many state legislatures, on the issue of allowing American farmers to once again grow this versatile, sustainable, and profitable crop. American farmers are being denied the right to grow a crop that our Founding Fathers considered essential to our nation’s well-being,” says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp.