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Hemp: Ron Paul Introduces Industrial Hemp Bill in US Congress

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #473)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul has filed a bill that would legalize hemp farming in the United States. This marks the second time Rep. Paul has filed this bill, but it went nowhere in the last Congress. The bill, HR 1009, would allow domestic hemp manufacturers to buy their hemp from American producers. Currently, US law bars the production of industrial hemp, and American manufacturers have to import their hemp from other countries.

Ron Paul
This time around, Rep. Paul has nine cosponsors, all Democrats. They are Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Jim McDermott (D-WA), George Miller (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

"It is indefensible that the United States government prevents American farmers from growing this crop. The prohibition subsidizes farmers in countries from Canada to Romania by eliminating American competition and encourages jobs in industries such as food, auto parts and clothing that utilize industrial hemp to be located overseas instead of in the United States," said Rep. Paul. "By passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, the House of Representatives can help American farmers and reduce the trade deficit -- all without spending a single taxpayer dollar."

Hemp food manufacturers such as French Meadow Bakery, Hempzels, Living Harvest, Nature's Path and Nutiva now make their products from Canadian hemp. "Under the current national drug control policy, industrial hemp can be imported, but it can't be grown by American farmers," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. "The DEA has taken the Controlled Substances Act's antiquated definition of marijuana out of context and used it as an excuse to ban industrial hemp farming. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007 will bring us back to more rational times when the government regulated marijuana, but told farmers they could go ahead and continue raising hemp just as they always had," said Steenstra.

hemp plants
The introduction of the hemp bill comes just days after North Dakota issued the first state licenses for farmers to grow hemp. But North Dakota hemp farmers must still win approval from the DEA, something that is unlikely to occur under the current law. North Dakota isn't alone. Some 14 other states have passed pro-hemp measures and seven have passed bills that remove barriers to its production or research.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

If the law makers would stop throwing billions of dollars per year at a "war" that cannot be won and modernize the laws to allow farmers to resume growing hemp for industrial use as well as allow possession of marijuana for personal use, it would allow dea law enforcement as well as federal and local law enforcement agencies the opportunity to focus on issues that are much more dangerous (i.e.- crack cocaine, methamphetamine.)
The policy that England adopted to deal with prescription drug abuse, while not perfect, is much better than our current system. The system that England uses has put drug use/abuse into the hand of medical authorities where it belongs instead of in the legal system where the user receives little or no assistance for their problem. Instead, they are locked up at public expense where they learn other cunning ways to facilitate their drug use.
In a nut shell, England requires a drug abuser to register with the state. They are required to select a single pharmacy and a single physician where they are able to be treated with adequate quantities of the drug or drugs that they are dependent upon. The physician doesn't have to worry about losing his license and the patient doesn't have to worry that he or she will be arrested for any number of drug abuse violations. And last, but not least, the patient can take his or her prescription(s) to their pharmacy of record to have the prescription(s) filled without the pharmacist refusing to fill the prescription, or worse, calling the local dea/law enforcement agency to report what they believe to be drug abuse/fradulent prescribing. This system mostly eliminates the illegal black market, allowing the vast majority of the law enforcement to focus on the problem areas previously mentioned.

Sat, 02/17/2007 - 2:13am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

When you write articles such as the hemp law proposal by Ron Paul, you should provide a prewritten letter to our representatives so all we have to do is make a few entries and send the letter. Thats what Gun Owners Of America does. Go to the GOA site, subscribe to their 'legislative alerts' and when they send you an alert, you will get a idea of what I mean. It works.

If you would have all your readers send their reps the prewritten letter, you will get results.

Sat, 02/17/2007 - 9:45am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Supporting Ron Paul is a great idea, make sure you support Ron Paul for president while your at it.

Tue, 07/24/2007 - 5:01pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The pre-written letters are good but easily set aside in a file to collect. I might recommend instead a packaging of post cards with a picture on one side and a line or two explaining it on the other. Groups like StoptheDrugWar could package sets of the cards. One each for a state's two senators and one for the congress person. A larger set could include a message that focuses on telling state representatives and governors to advocate to congress for the issue.

The good thing about picture post cards is that they can quickly become graphic elements in offices. If your office receives a thousand of some picture it will get played with by office workers. its the nature of the beast.

That friends is how to raise the profile of the issue.

All of the groups should be doing post card mailings to government. Keep the theme cheap by doing the art in black and white. Make the cards downloadable.

Sun, 02/18/2007 - 8:54am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

The picture cards will work if you can show the true brutality of the war on drugs.

Tue, 07/24/2007 - 5:03pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I am not surprised that Republican Paul had to introduce the industrial hemp bill in the U.S. House. Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has embargoed major drug policy and crime legislation until after the 2008 presidential elections. Its politics above policy as usual for Democrats.

Pelosi: 'embargo', for politics, Kucinich drug war oversight

"Progressive Dennis Kucinich takes over a new House subcommittee, signaling changes in national drug policy"
"...Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the Democratic leadership have effectively embargoed major crime or drug policy legislation for the next two years, to avoid looking soft on crime in the 2008 election."
A Change in the Weather
The Los Angeles City Beat

Sun, 02/18/2007 - 9:29am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Nancy Pelosi is way out of line with this embargo. I am not why she thinks she will get away with this but she has lost all my support, in fact I now consider her an enemy of civil rights.

Tue, 07/24/2007 - 5:09pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Ron Paul is bringing America back to what our founding fathers envisioned. Nevertheless I feel, at this time we are stuck with a very corrupt government that favors profits over people, corporations over the little guys, and ignorance of the people opposed to an intellectual population. We must stand up for our rights immediately if we are to counter-act this regimes corrupt plans for the present and future alike. Thats why, we as American citizens must support Ron Paul for his presidential run in 2008. If you do not know who Ron Paul is or what he stands for, I advise you to perform some much needed research.

Mon, 02/19/2007 - 8:30pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I don't know of one positive benefit of tobacco, yet it is legal to grow in the US but hemp is not. If for no other reason than to stop deforestation for toilet paper, legalizing hemp should be a priority.

Thu, 02/22/2007 - 11:54am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I believe that the tobacco industries should be gone and the reform of the marijuana plant should be grown to help the sick and ill but for those who uses this should have a say like I did.

Thu, 12/20/2007 - 10:26am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This war on drugs could lead us into world war 3, costing millions if not billions of lives.

Wed, 07/25/2007 - 3:52am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The Oglala Lakota at Pine Ridge have a propriatary cannabis that they use for industrial hemp. It is called Cannabis oglalas.

Please see:

Brooks Kelly, Ph.D.

Sat, 08/25/2007 - 2:51pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Cannabis oglalas would be perfect to use as an energy crop for Executive Order 12919, which makes it the mandate of the DoD, DoE, USDA to maintain hemp for the US National Stockpile.

..what go around come around..

Fri, 09/28/2007 - 1:01pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

To increase US National Security, federal gov should purchase Cannabis oglalas seed from Lakota at Pine Ridge and grow it all over the United States for manufacturing petroleum alternatives to help comply with Executive Order 12919.

Make this country safer by growing hemp!

To hell with imported petroleum!!

iHEMP iHEMP iHEMP iHEMP not toxic petroleum..

Mon, 10/22/2007 - 2:03pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Please help. I registered as a Republican so I can vote for Ron Paul.

We need to do everything in our power to try to get this man elected

ronpaul2008 com
ronpaul meetup com

Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:40pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Everyone needs to check this link out. It's a digg link, so you can see the comments, and then when you click on the link on the digg page, it takes you to a youtube clip of Ron Paul at the Republican PBS debate. He kicked butt.

If you live in New York or New Hampshire, you only have until 10/12/2007 to register as a Republican to vote in the Primary for Ron Paul.

Sat, 10/06/2007 - 12:59pm Permalink
Nicholai Suppo… (not verified)

Winning the primary will be the hardest part so make sure you do vote in the primary.

Vote for Ron Paul to end the "war on drugs".

Mon, 10/22/2007 - 10:10pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Nicholai Suppo… (not verified)

Ron Paul for president
He should be president of the United States because he supports the legalization of med. marijuana.
Ron Paul is the people president.

Thu, 12/20/2007 - 10:32am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)


Dear things what hate industrial hemp,

Here on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are dozens of thriving patches of industrial hemp, Cannabis oglalas. This hemp has spread & become unstoppable, like wildfire, and is now common all over the Res. This hemp can't be undone. So let's just be frank, because there is no more time for beating around the bush. Ghandi made salt to free the slaves. Same with us on the Res using this non-drug industrial hemp Cannabis oglalas. We know you still don't get it so let us be more specific. Slaves no more are us. War is decided by a raised fist and we're tired of getting smacked around by you (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.) . We aren't bad, we love our country, our Res, & we're patriots. We just don't want to be slaves. We know how to read, write, to think, to act to protect ourselves and our children. We are no good as slaves. We do have a higher function though, it has nothing to do with getting high. Petroleum & wood pulp are not available as natural resources on the Res. No more lies, it won't work to keep us like slaves anymore. Truth trumps lies. This Cannabis oglalas is 0.065 % THC, and we know what that means in terms of our industrial independence and our emancipation.

We are this for the long run, and we have common needs. Toiletpaper brings us together & this non-drug hemp makes it real. We have no interest in dependency for whatever reason. Simple and blunt. It is no different from Ghandi, what we have been doing with this industrial hemp, for our freedom. Making our own salt & industrial hemp, Cannabis oglalas whatever. We are making our own keys. We don't want to be dependent upon your system for our toiletpaper needs. We're sovereign Indians, within a Nation of law. We put down your shakle of slavery in our declaration of sovereignty in everything we do, in all our prayers. So... . . get on with it. It's over, we won. We emancipated ourselves and so long ago that you really need to catch up to the modern day. From the Treaty of 1868 to what.. .for god's sake people it's almost 2008. That we make our own toiletpaper from the industrial hemp which grows everywhere on the Res should not surprise anybody, you especially. You helped us call it Cannabis oglalas. We think about you every time we wipe our butts. We always keep you in our prayers. You used to be able to use us as slaves, but that day is over. We know our freedom intimidates and enrages you, and we know how that we would be so bucky and such is unpleasant in your eyes.. sorry. But still, it's over, and all your hate and thrashing, no matter, is futile, and you have to let go, because what you have done to us, no matter the attacks and lies, we stay in it for our children and for yours too because we are all one. We're in love. Lie to us and you lie to yourself.

Into cattle trucks no more. These are strange times, unusual concepts unthought are becoming commonplace. Society, you, all of us is changing so fast that eventually, and this is a simple fact, you are not going to be able to use petroleum like you have been forever nor will you have access to endless forests like you do now for toiletpaper. Lastly, we have faith in you that there will come a day when you wake up and come to your senses and decide to use industrial hemp for your own butt-wiping, biofuel needs and such. And we might be there for your needs. But when that day comes you had better hope that we are in a good mood up here on the Res, because so far you have been really trying our patience with your (needless) violence. Very bad manors you have shown towards hemp, towards this non-drug something that would benefit you and all of us so much. War is for the ignorant, and should be illegal. Kinda like genocide folks say don't happen to us, you keep trying to put us down and we keep trying to be free. The world is changing and this hemp is here to stay; come over to our side and let go of your hate, because the old ways of thinking are for dinosaurs. Evolve, or become extinct. Dependency is not being free, fear is not freedom. If nothing else, use of industrial hemp will increase US National Security via EO12919. Feels like we come full circle. What Black Elk talked about, the (re)completion of the sacred. Amazing, the awsome potential for Indians helping the US Gov?; finally, Happy Thanksgiving indeed!

The Salvation Of The State Lies In The Watchfulness Of The Citizen

Fri, 11/23/2007 - 1:04pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This bill died in Committee, but Ron Paul has another bill:

On April 2, 2009 Rep. Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1866, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009," with ten original co-sponsors: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), George Miller (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

You won't see Representative Frank and Representative McClintock co-sponsor many bills together; this truly has bipartisan support.

See for more information on this. Remember to write to your representative for they do work for you. Whether or not you voted for them, you still pay their salary.

If you need someone to hold your hand and write the letter for you, your a dope and you will never accomplish anything, just saying.

Thu, 05/14/2009 - 6:06pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Sounds like a good idea. Lets lock up the child molesters and killers! Let the government focus on the violent crimes to keep us and our children safe.

Sun, 04/05/2009 - 6:51pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sure that most people who do not already smoke pot will not start because of this. Employers will still test for marijuana, just as they have for alcohol, so the responsible people who run this country will go on doing what they do.

Why not just treat it like we do alcohol? Alcohol kills; marijuana doesn't. Alcohol can cause overdose and stillbirths and brain damage. The most significant danger associated with marijuana is what people have to go through to get it. Why should harmless hippie types and teenagers interact with crackheads and junkies and gangsters who they would normally not associate with? Why should we pad the pockets of the cartels instead of letting taxpayers reap the benefits of hemp and marijuana sales?

Of course, as a libertarian I could argue that people have to make their own mistakes, make their own decisions, and learn what works for their lives instead of being told how to behave in the privacy of their own homes and businesses by the government. At this point, we can't make a distinction between people who don't use marijuana by choice because they're motivated to be industrious and healthy and the people who don't use because they're afraid of getting fired or arrested. Wouldn't it be interesting?

Tue, 05/26/2009 - 12:02pm Permalink

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