Thanks to the folks at Hemp.com for pointing me to their site. As I browsed the site a bit this morning, I came across a hopeful article: legislation has been introduced in the US House to legalize hemp farming.
For the first time since the federal government outlawed hemp farming in the United States, a federal bill has been introduced that would remove restrictions on the cultivation of non-psychoactive Industrial Hemp. At a Capitol Hill lunch on June 23 to mark the introduction of H.R. 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005, about 100 congressional staff feasted on Bahama Hempnut Crusted Wild Salmon and Fuji Fennel Hempseed Salad. The five course gourmet hemp meal was prepared by Executive Chef Dennis Cicero of the New York City based Galaxy Global Eatery http://www.galaxyglobaleatery.comGood for Rep. Paul and colleagues -- it's long past time that we move back into this profitable and sustainable market -- keep in mind that hemp was farmed in the US until the 1930s -- we've probably all heard the stories about William Randolph Hearst and his journalistic (and self-serving) quest to lump industrial hemp in with marijuana and get them all banned. If I remember right, the Declaration of Independence is printed on hemp paper... Those are all just fun facts, though -- we're getting left behind on a very profitable crop that many of our struggling small farmers could raise without heavy fertilizer needs of other fiber crops.
At the luncheon the chief sponsor of the bill Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas.) described how H.R. 3037 will remove federal barriers to U.S. hemp farming by returning the regulation of hemp to the states. "It is unfortunate that the federal government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, competing in the global industrial hemp market," said Dr. Paul. "Indeed the founders of our nation, some of who grew hemp, surely would find that federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of a limited, restrained federal government. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to stand up for American farmers and cosponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act." Dr. Paul was joined by four original co-sponsors including Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), George Miller (D-Calif.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). The bill may be viewed http://www.votehemp.com/PDF/Hemp_Farming_Act.pdf
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