New Version of Farm Bill Passes House:
On July 11, 2013, the House of Representatives passed a new version of the Farm Bill, H.R. 2642. This measure passed by a vote of 216 to 208. It was a bipartisan amendment to the Farm Bill introduced by Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado; Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon; and Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky.
The Farm Bill and Hemp
One amendment to the Farm Bill that passed allows universities to cultivate hemp for academic and cultural research. This only affects states where industrial hemp farming is already permitted under state law. Nine states have recognized industrial hemp as a distinct version of hemp and have removed barriers to production. These include Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia.
Dangers of Raids
As the representatives pointed out to their colleagues in their letter, hemp is not the same thing as marijuana, and poses no risk as a drug due to its extremely low levels of THC. Despite the legalization of industrialized hemp, farmers are still at risk of raids if they grow this crop on their farms because many agencies, including federal ones, have not distinguished industrial hemp from psychoactive drugs.
Previous pro-hemp legislation involving growing it on farms includes the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009, introduced by then-representatives Ron Paul and Barney Frank. This bill, known as H.R. 1866, clarified the differences between marijuana (a psychoactive drug) and oilseed and fibrous varieties of hemp. Legislators are slowly beginning to realize the great resource that hemp can be; it’s sustainable and can be used to create a wide variety of products, including fabric and paper.
As it stands, there are some states that still ban the growth of industrial hemp, and the U.S. is the only developed country where this crop is still banned (albeit only in some locations). It is believed that allowing the growth of industrial hemp – and educating agencies on what is legal hemp versus what is marijuana – can go a long way toward creating jobs in a variety of different industries including creating RKI single gas monitors.
Those who oppose the growth of industrial hemp, however, do so on the grounds that hemp plants could be mixed with marijuana and that it would be difficult to tell the difference between the two plants. As some states accept the practice, more states may follow suit once the state lawmakers see its economic benefits and possible uses in commercial industries.
With the passage of the 2013 Farm Bill and state-level efforts to legalize medical and recreational use of marijuana, barriers to cultivation of hemp for fabric, paper and more continue to be eroded.
Guest Blogger/Written By: Courtney Gordner Journalism at Penn State University she can be reached on her blog, Talk Viral. Talk Viral covers a variety of ramblings from yours truly, but also aims to provide writers with the essentials to marketing themselves as a writer, promoting themselves through Public Relations, as well as helping businesses grow from your content.
THANK YOU Courtney, we appreciate your support on this topic!!
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