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  • Hemp Is Harmless, a Potential Economic Miracle, and Still Illegal in America -- But the Tide Seems to Be Turning

    This article posted on AlterNet suggests "powerful politicians across the country are pushing to bring hemp back."

    The American hemp industry, revived in the 1990s in a wave of cannabis-fueled environmentalism, now sells $450 million a year of products from hemp-oil soap to hemp-coned speakers for guitar amplifiers, according to an industry trade group. Yet all the raw material used for these products, from fiber to hempseed oil, has to be imported, as it's still illegal to grow hemp in the United States.

    The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, introduced in the House on February 6 by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), would end that. It would amend federal drug law to legalize growing cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. Its 28 cosponsors include Kentucky Republican John Yarmuth and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. Mostly Democrats, they span a geographic and ideological spectrum from Dan Benishek, a conservative Republican from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, to Barbara Lee of Oakland, California, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    "Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers," Massie said in a statement announcing the bill. "Tobacco is no longer a viable crop for many of us in Kentucky and we understand how hard it is for a family farm to turn a profit. Industrial hemp will give small farmers another opportunity to succeed."

     

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