One of the only bright spots of last year’s farm bill is that it includes the production of hemp. This is a cause championed by Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul and Campaign for Liberty.
While in Congress, Dr. Paul introduced the Industrial Hemp Production Act, legislation that would have forbidden the federal government from enforcing federal laws prohibiting growing hemp in states that legalized hemp.
Here and below is Dr. Paul’s introductory remarks on the bill from 2011.
INTRODUCING THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP FARMING ACT
HON. RON PAUL
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Industrial Hemp
Farming Act. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act requires the Federal
Government to respect State laws allowing the growing of industrial
Nine States--Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North
Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia--allow industrial hemp
production or research in accord with State laws. However, Federal law
is standing in the way of farmers in these States growing what may be a
very profitable crop. Because of current Federal law, all hemp included
in products sold in the United States must be imported instead of being
grown by American farmers.
Since 1970, the federal Controlled Substances Act's inclusion of
industrial hemp in the schedule one definition of marijuana has
prohibited American farmers from growing industrial hemp despite the
fact that industrial hemp has such a low content of THC (the
psychoactive chemical in the related marijuana plant) that nobody can
be psychologically affected by consuming hemp. Federal law concedes the
safety of industrial hemp by allowing it to be legally imported for use
The United States is the only industrialized nation that prohibits
industrial hemp cultivation. The Congressional Research Service has
noted that hemp is grown as an established agricultural commodity in
approximately 30 nations in Europe, Asia, North America, and South
America. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act will relieve this unique
restriction on American farmers and allow them to grow industrial hemp
in accord with State law.
Industrial hemp is a crop that was grown legally throughout the
United States for most of our Nation's history. In fact, during World
War II, the Federal Government actively encouraged American farmers to
grow industrial hemp to help the war effort. The Department of
Agriculture even produced a film ``Hemp for Victory'' encouraging the
In recent years, the hemp plant has been put to many popular uses in
foods and in industry. Grocery stores sell hemp seeds and oil as well
as food products containing oil and seeds from the hemp plant.
Industrial hemp is also included in consumer products such as paper,
cloths, cosmetics, carpet, and door frames of cars. Hemp has even been
used in alternative automobile fuel.
It is unfortunate that the Federal Government has stood in the way of
American farmers competing in the global industrial hemp market.
Indeed, the founders of our Nation, some of whom grew hemp, would
surely find that federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and
profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the
constitutional guarantee of a limited, restrained Federal Government.
Therefore, I urge my colleagues to stand up for American farmers and
cosponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.