10 Mar Battle for industrial hemp heats up at state level
Recently, the Kannaway Blog has been reporting on bills that were introduced in the Senate and House at a federal level. But the real battle for industrial hemp is happening at the state level. Currently 20 states have passed resolutions for industrial hemp pilot programs per the federal agricultural bill.
Still other states are drafting and pushing legislation that goes beyond the federal stipulations for pilot programs. Recently, a bill passed with unanimous support in New Hampshire that would act in direct opposition of the federal ban on industrial hemp. This bill, while still in violation of the supremacy clause, is in the tradition of nullification that was set forward originally by Thomas Jefferson.
Nullification is the process by which states or juries can protest federal laws they find to be unconstitutional or inappropriate. Nullification has a long history in the US.
This is happening while the Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture is seeking out farmers to participate in their Hemp pilot program. There is currently an application available on their website, as well as tools to help ensure compliance with DEA regulations. The application asks for information such as the type and amount of seed needed as well as the acreage that will be planted.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, It seems to fly in the face of what the founders of this country have laid out for its future. An application to grow a plant that was integral to the founding of our nation? Ironic to say the least.
While New Hampshire and Tennessee move toward industrial hemp, legislation was introduced in the “Show Me” state of Missouri that would re-classify industrial hemp, removing it from the controlled substances list. Missouri state Senator Rob Schaaf, who introduced the bill, noted that hemp has over 50,000 uses. He also stated “Hemp used to be the number one industry in Missouri. Hemp is a rapidly growing plant. It chokes out other weeds.”
As the states lead the way toward ending prohibition, there has also been more movement at the federal level against the prohibition of Marijuana-at least for medical purposes. Three Senators plan on introducing legislation today which would end Medical Marijuana patients in states with medical access fear of federal prosecution. The bill is called the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act would cause the federal government to more or less-get out of the way.
Check the blog again for full details and updates on the CARERS act