America Is Turning A Corner On Marijuana

Apr 2, 2014

Since the begin­ning of the year, more than 70 bills related to hemp have been intro­duced in more than half of the states in the U.S. That’s more than triple the num­ber of hemp bills intro­duced dur­ing the same leg­is­la­tion period last year, and nearly dou­ble the total amount of hemp bills intro­duced in all of 2013. Added to that is the recent pas­sage of the Farm Bill, which legal­izes indus­trial hemp pro­duc­tion for research pur­poses in states that per­mit it. Rep. Earl Blu­me­nauer (D-Ore.), one of the con­gress­men who intro­duced the indus­trial hemp amend­ment to the Farm Bill, told The Huff­in­g­ton Post that all the progress on hemp leg­is­la­tion is a key indi­ca­tor of just how fast pol­icy is chang­ing in the U.S. “It’s not just turn­ing a cor­ner, it’s turn­ing a cor­ner and run­ning down­hill,” Blu­me­nauer said. “The case against indus­trial hemp pro­duc­tion has always been flawed, but now three things are hap­pen­ing. One, we’ve been able to make some sig­nif­i­cant inroads in a vari­ety of states that have already passed leg­is­la­tion eas­ing [pro­duc­tion]. Sec­ond, the actual amend­ment to the Farm Bill was a bea­con. And third, we are just see­ing [that] the ice dam that has been con­tain­ing mod­ern­iza­tion of our mar­i­juana laws gen­er­ally is crack­ing.” Thus far, 12 states have legal­ized indus­trial hemp pro­duc­tion and about two dozen oth­ers have intro­duced leg­is­la­tion that, if passed, would autho­rize research, set up a reg­u­la­tory frame­work or legal­ize the grow­ing of indus­trial hemp in the state. In Feb­ru­ary, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill, which legal­ized indus­trial hemp pro­duc­tion for research pur­poses. The state bills, like the hemp amend­ment to the Farm Bill, rep­re­sent a sharp depar­ture from a long-standing ban on hemp under the fed­eral Con­trolled Sub­stances Act, which doesn’t make a dis­tinc­tion between mar­i­juana, the drug, and hemp, the plant. Hemp is the same species as mar­i­juana — Cannabis sativa — but they are cul­ti­vated dif­fer­ently in order to enhance or dimin­ish their THC prop­er­ties, depend­ing on the crop. Hemp con­tains lit­tle to no THC, the psy­choac­tive ingre­di­ent in mar­i­juana asso­ci­ated with the “high” sen­sa­tion. Last year, Col­orado farmer Ryan Loflin har­vested the first known hemp crop grown on Amer­i­can soil in nearly 60 years, after the 2012 pas­sage of Amend­ment 64 in Col­orado legal­ized mar­i­juana for recre­ational use and laid the ground­work for indus­trial hemp pro­duc­tion in the state. An eager Loflin planted 55 acres of hemp before reg­u­la­tions were offi­cially in place, but he met with no inter­fer­ence from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment or state offi­cials. With Colorado’s reg­u­la­tions now on the books, the state has become the first in the nation to legally reg­u­late hemp since the fed­eral gov­ern­ment allowed for lim­ited pro­duc­tion. Hemp — some­times called marijuana’s “sober cousin” — has a long his­tory in Amer­ica, one that skews largely toward legal use and encom­passes a range of house­hold prod­ucts, includ­ing paper, oils, cos­met­ics and tex­tiles. In the 1700s, Amer­i­can farm­ers were required by law to grow the plant in Vir­ginia and other colonies. For hun­dreds of years hemp was grown and used to make rope, lamp oil, cloth­ing and much more in the U.S. Amer­i­can indus­trial hemp pro­duc­tion peaked in 1943, with more than 150 mil­lion pounds from 146,200 har­vested acres. But pro­duc­tion dropped to zero in the late 1950s as a result of “anti-drug sen­ti­ment and com­pe­ti­tion from syn­thetic fibers,” accord­ing to the Asso­ci­ated Press. Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post (NY) Author: Matt Ferner, The Huff­in­g­ton Post Pub­lished: April 2, 2014 Copy­right: 2014 Huff​in​g​ton​Post​.com, LLC Con­tact: scoop@​huffingtonpost.​com Web­site: http://​www​.huff​in​g​ton​post​.com/

68dd43d592132372.jpg 150x112 America Is Turning A Corner On Marijuana

Con­tin­ued here:
Amer­ica Is Turn­ing A Cor­ner On Marijuana

Related Posts

Share This

Leave a Comment