WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new bi-partisan amendment to the Farm Bill in support of industrial hemp has passed by a floor vote in the House today. Introduced by Representative Jared Polis (D-OR), Representative Massie (R-KY), and Representative Blumenauer (D-OR), the amendment allows colleges and universities to grow and cultivate hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. It applies to states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal.
"Vote Hemp applauds the passing of this bi-partisan amendment. This brilliant initiative allows colleges and universities the opportunity to grow and cultivate hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. "It only applies to states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal in order for those states to showcase just how much industrial hemp can benefit the environment and economy in those regions," continues Steenstra.
To view the amendment, please go to: http://votehemp.com/legislation
In a "Dear Colleague" letter yesterday, Rep. Polis, Rep. Massie, and Rep. Blumenauer appealed to fellow members of Congress for support with the following:
"Our bipartisan amendment is simple: It allows colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. It only applies in states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal.
Hemp is not marijuana. Our amendment defines industrial hemp as a product containing less than 0.3 percent THC. At this concentration, and even at much higher concentrations, it is physically impossible to use hemp as a drug.
From Colorado to Kentucky to Oregon, voters across the country have made it clear that they believe industrial hemp should be regulated as agricultural commodity, not a drug. At the very least, we should allow our universities—the greatest in the world—to research the potential benefits and downsides of this important agricultural resource.
We urge you to support this bipartisan, common-sense amendment."
To date, thirty-one states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and nineteen have passed legislation, while nine states (Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia) have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. However, despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents and possible forfeiture of their farms if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive drug varieties.
Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org.
SOURCE Vote Hemp