Another call for hemp

0
98

Ky voices: Rand Paul: Legalize hemp to aid Ky. economy

kentucky.com

farm-hempA recent national poll concluded that 43 percent of Americans believe unemployment and job creation is the most important issue facing our country. So it’s no surprise that Republicans and Democrats in Washington claim to be big supporters of creating jobs.

But the truth is D.C. policy-makers on both sides of the aisle stifle jobs and opportunity with regulations and policies that hurt our work force. And often, it flies in the face of common sense. The perfect example of this is the debate over industrial hemp.

Prior to World War II, Kentucky led the nation in providing 94 percent of all industrialized hemp. However, it was outlawed under an umbrella law that made marijuana illegal. This was simply because they are in the same botanical family and look similar.

But there are major differences in the two plants. Marijuana is made up of 20 percent tetrohydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering chemical, while industrial hemp plants contain less than 0.3 percent.

Comparing hemp to marijuana is like comparing poppy seeds found on bagels to OxyContin. Poppy seeds are in the same family of opiate — the same family that contains codeine, morphine, OxyContin and even heroin.

Yet, you can buy and consume food containing poppy seeds, as thousands of Americans do each day, without experiencing the narcotic effects the rest of its plant is harvested for.

So, the issue with hemp isn’t that the plant is harmful. It’s that the plant might be mistaken for marijuana.

This presents some challenges for law enforcement. But we can address those challenges. And we can return to growing and producing hemp in Kentucky. And in the process, create jobs and opportunity here.

Let me share an example of the economic potential for industrial hemp.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps is based in California and sells products made from hemp plants. David Bronner, the company’s CEO, says it grossed over $50 million in sales this past year. But since the production of industrial hemp is outlawed in America, the company must import 100 percent of the hemp used in their products from other countries.

The company sends hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars every year to other countries because American farmers are not allowed to grow this plant. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not allow the legal growth of hemp.

Today, hemp products are sold around the U.S. in forms of paper, cosmetics, lotions, auto parts, clothes, cattle feed and so much more. If we were to start using hemp plants again for paper, we could ultimately replace using trees as the main source for our paper supply.

One acre of industrial hemp plants can grow around 15,000 pounds of green hemp in about 110 days. For every ton of hemp converted into paper, we could save 12 trees. It is a renewable, sustainable, environmentally conscious crop.

Back in August, I stood alongside Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and a bipartisan group of legislators and promised Kentuckians that I would join the fight to allow the growth and production of industrial hemp. Comer stated that day that the soil and the climate in Kentucky are perfect for the growth of hemp, and that could ultimately allow the commonwealth to be the nation’s top producer.

Recently, Comer revived the long-dormant Kentucky Hemp Commission by calling its first meeting in more than 10 years. This took real leadership and I applaud him for his action. To help get the ball rolling and show our commitment, Bronner wrote a $50,000 check to the commission and I have pledged to match that donation from my personal political action committee.

While Comer and the commission work to address this issue in Kentucky, I have co-sponsored legislation in the U.S. Senate that would require the federal government to honor state laws allowing production of industrial hemp and would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana.

My vision for the farmers and manufacturers of Kentucky is to see us start growing hemp, creating jobs and leading the nation in this industry again. These jobs will be ripe for the taking, and I want the farmers in Kentucky to be the first in line.

1 COMMENT

  1. I was Charged with less than a gram of marijuana & they haven’t even given me a court date yet. 11months later? Must be that federal law they broke. I’m a 885(exemption) I’m a 822(exception) I’m a 802(27) (Ultimate User) Federal Status Clifton Municipal Court, NJ – Case 2012w000145 is of NATIONAL PUBLIC INTEREST… People Call The Clifton Court Clerk at 973-470-5824. “Anne Dreps” is the Court Director & let Her Know Case # 2012w000145 Is Of NATIONAL Public Interest. JUSTICE for ALL! The Private Business could have a 100 million++ individual members protected by the Private business. Instead of conducting business the State had locked me away for 112 days. So by the time Green Leaf dispensary located in Montclair N.J. opened, I had received 3 deliquency notices from the State of N.J. for not paying my taxes for Federal Industrial Hemp Cannabis sativa (marijuana). The Private business is part of the C.S.A. 822 (c) (1)(2)(3) ,885(a)(1) 802(27) that allows the manufacture(growing warehousing,transporting,distribution). The Private business provides a Sch 1 controlled substance for a private held membership, in our usual course of business, consistent with the code of federal regulations governing the statues. The business & it’s members are exempt from all statues of alleged criminal activity by the closed regulatory system enforced by the DEA. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151252889142792&set=o.136144386426391&type=1&theater

    Federal Register/ Vol. 68, No. 55 / Friday, March 21, 2003 / Rules and Regulations

    Regulatory Certifications
    Certain provisions of Federal law and
    executive orders (specified below)
    require agencies to assess how their
    rules might impact the economy, small
    businesses, and the states. (Hereafter in
    this document, these provisions will be
    referred to collectively as the
    ‘‘certification provisions.’’) DEA has
    conducted these certifications.
    However, before discussing the
    economics, the nature of this rule
    should be reiterated. This rule revises
    the wording of the DEA regulations to
    clarify for the public the agency’s
    understanding of longstanding federal
    law. In other words, through this rule,
    DEA is implementing what it believes to
    be the mandate of Congress under the
    CSA. (This mandate is that every
    substance containing THC be listed in
    schedule I, unless the substance is specifically exempted from control or
    listed in another schedule.) Regardless
    of how this rule might impact the
    economy, small businesses, or the
    states, DEA must carry out the mandate.
    It is also critical to bear in mind that
    only a very narrow category of ‘‘hemp’’
    products will be prohibited under the
    rules that DEA is publishing today. As
    a result of the exemptions issued by
    DEA under the interim rule, all ‘‘hemp’’
    products that do not cause THC to enter
    the human body are entirely exempted
    from control, regardless of their THC
    content. Thus, items such as ‘‘hemp’’
    clothing, industrial solvents, personal
    care products, and animal feed mixtures
    are considered noncontrolled
    substances (not subject to any of the
    CSA requirements) regardless of their
    THC content. This rule therefore causes
    no economic impact whatsoever on
    such exempted products.
    It also must be considered that when
    Congress enacted the CSA, it created a
    system of controls that was
    comprehensive in scope to protect the
    general welfare of the American people
    within the context of the Act.16
    Incidental restrictions on economic
    activity resulting from enforcement of
    the CSA have never been viewed as a
    proper basis to cease such enforcement.
    The certification provisions are no
    exception to this principle.
    Moreover, one of the chief aims of the
    certification provisions is to ensure that
    agencies consider the potential
    economic ramifications of imposing
    new regulations. This rule, however,
    does not create any new category of
    regulation governing the handling of
    controlled substances. Rather, the rule
    merely helps to clarify what products
    are, or are not, subject to what DEA
    believes are preexisting CSA
    requirements.
    DEA recognizes, however, that some
    members of the public disagree with
    DEA’s interpretation of the law with
    respect to THC. As a result, some
    companies may be continuing to market
    in the United States ‘‘hemp’’food and
    beverage products that contain THC.
    Accordingly, for purposes of calculating
    the economic impact of these rules, DEA
    has assumed THC-containing ‘‘hemp’’
    foods and beverages are lawful products
    until this rule becomes final.
    OUR Property is Lawful regardless of the THC content. The state of New Jersey has allowed the research & development of the property in the laboratory sense.

LEAVE A REPLY