Hemp, one of the world's most versatile crops, has been used for centuries as a foodstuff, fabric, and fiber. This crop was grown in colonial New England and Virginia and is today cultivated in every industrialized nation in the world other than America. While hemp seeds and oils can be safely consumed and hemp clothes can be bought and worn across the US, all of the hemp used to create these products must be imported from abroad. Struggling American farmers have missed out on this growing market because, for over sixty years now, the Drug Enforcement Administration has grouped all varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant together in spite of the fact that industrial hemp possess vastly different fiber qualities and only trace amounts of psychotropic THC--a fraction of those present in marijuana.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 would help to undo this economically harmful misclassification. This bipartisan bill, proposed by Barney Frank (D-Mass) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), has been cosponsored by nine other house members and would finally allow the states that have passed pro-hemp legislation or resolutions (Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia), considered pro-hemp legislation or resolutions (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin), or where farm groups have advocated for a return to industrial hemp farming (Ohio and Pennsylvania), to choose whether to let farmers grow industrial hemp. (Thanks to the Vote Hemp Project for invaluable research.)
Please voice your support for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act by filling out the form below and submitting the message. We'll find your Congressional representatives based on your zip code and send them your email.