House, Senate Reach Accord for Legalizing Hemp in Farm Bill | Marijuana

House, Senate Reach Accord for Legalizing Hemp in Farm Bill

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The 2018 Farm Bill will include a provision to legalize industrial hemp, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the top Republican and Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee confirmed Nov. 29, 2018.

Lawmakers in the Senate and House Agriculture Committees announced that they’d reached an agreement in principle on the large-scale food and agriculture policy legislation and were in the process of finalizing “legal and report language.” But while there’s still “more work to do,” it seems that hemp legalization made the cut.

The Congressional Budget Office is currently scoring the bill. Once that’s complete and language is officially filed, the Farm Bill will be teed up for up-or-down votes in both chambers of Congress and, pending approval, sent to the president’s desk. Lawmakers are hoping to pass the bill before the end of the year.

McConnell has been the chief proponent of the hemp legalization provision. He spoke frequently about the economic benefits of legalizing the lucrative crop and said regulation should be in the purview of the U.S. Department of Agriculture rather than the Justice Department.

While the Senate-passed version of the Farm Bill contained the hemp language, the House version was silent on the issue, leaving it up to a bicameral conference committee to settle the issue.

Hemp would be defined as all parts of the plant — including seeds and extracts — as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC, according to VoteHemp. The crop would also be entirely removed from the Controlled Substances Act under the legislation.

States that want to be primary regulators are required to submit applications outlining their regulatory plan to the USDA, which will have 60 days to make a decision.

While lawmakers in both chambers spent months negotiating on other aspects of the wide-ranging bill, the hemp legalization provision has enjoyed bipartisan support.

“For the first time in nearly a hundred years, commercial hemp production will no longer be federally prohibited in the United States,” National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Political Director Justin Strekal said in a press release. “This represents a significant and long overdue shift in US policy.

It remains to be seen whether the final language is any different from the version the Senate approved. In particular, advocates will be watching to see if the conference report contains a provision that would ban people with felony drug convictions from cultivating and selling hemp.

This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content syndication agreement. Read the original article here.

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4 Comments

  1. Let’s say you smoke pot. Question: By doing so, are you helping the cause of marijuana legalization, or hurting it?
    Answer: Neither. You haven’t done anything for the cause yet, just by smoking weed.
    ..
    Now let’s add a condition: Let’s say you self-identify as Republican. Same question: Are you helping the cause of marijuana legalization, or hurting it?
    Answer: Again, neither. Identifying as Republican will not change the marijuana laws. Similarly, having a belief, by itself, will not change the marijuana laws. Neither emotion nor passion, by themselves, will change the marijuana laws.
    ..
    Now let’s add another condition: Let’s say you vote. And, let’s assume you vote straight Republican. Same question: Are you helping the cause of marijuana legalization, or hurting it?
    Answer: Now you are hurting the cause.
    Why? Because Republican politicians are marijuana prohibitionists. That’s just a fact! So, when you vote for them, your views YIELD to their views — they DO NOT yield to your views. They don’t become one of you; rather, you become one of them. Get it?
    ..
    They will NOT work for the goal of legalization. They WILL work to preserve marijuana prohibition, and forfeitures, and the prison-industrial complex. They will NOT “represent” you!
    ..
    So what’s the solution? Easy: don’t vote for the Republican bastards!
    Bottom line: It’s okay to be a Republican pot smoker, so long as you vote Democratic!
    Otherwise, you really are a so-called “stupid stoner”; and that’s bad, because it perpetuates negative stereotypes about cannabis consumers.

    • Dain, I smoke pot, am a Republican (best of both worlds). But what you are saying sounds like what an NRA member (I’m a Life Member) would say about voting for a Democrat rather than preserve your 2nd Amendment right. The only problem is, it’s not the Democrats pro marijuana stance I have a problem with, it’s all the other baggage they offer. If the only issue was marijuana they’d have my vote.

      • well said sir and I would as an American each view is validated more when you organize that Voice. Organize the Militia, also in the Constitution, we can in our state form organized Militia, I desire to form an Organize Militia. I have my own training center and war inventions to make ready our training center for eventual combat, during the new 30 years. We want to Train, every boy, girl, teenage, adult, senior, how to clean a gun, fire a gun and how to make amonition for the gun, so you have all the skills. Then if they need the skill they are not afraid of the guns and know how to pick it and shoot it.
        We would create an Million American Army over night in every town, city and mega, we all get guns and all learn to use them for self defense and group defense against Terror of all kinds.

  2. Paper made from hemp as well as canvas sails from hemp and other canvas items are all better products than if they are made from other materials. Paper made from trees works ok but killing the trees just adds to the greenhouse effect on climate. Back when the newspapers ran scandal stories about Cannabis, the newspaper business was owned by the same guy who owned vast forests of trees to make the paper out of… making paper out of the Cannabis plant [hemp] would ruin the business model, so the idea was to outlaw hemp. Here are the dynamics of repression and demonization, and such as this attends the corruption of the market places.
    **
    So a good first step in the right direction is bipartisan work by our Congress to legalize hemp at the Federal level. Medical and recreational legalization of Cannabis can then follow.
    **
    The politicians of either Party who work on the behalf of the people for the Constitutionally guaranteed right of the people to determine their own lifestyle ….. will garner electoral success and the favor of the people. United we Stand, steeped in the principles of human freedom.

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