BREAKING: Tennessee effectively nullifies federal hemp ban

By: Michael Lotfi
61

NASHVILLE, April 17, 2014– Yesterday, the Tennessee General Assembly took the final necessary steps to send legislation to Governor Haslam, which if signed, will nullify the federal ban on hemp.


House Bill 2445 (HB2445), introduced by Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), would mandate that the state authorize the growing and production of industrial hemp within Tennessee, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on the same. Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) is the chief Senate sponsor of the legislation.

Local media point to federal law citing hemp production is still banned on the federal level, and that the Tennessee legislation will only set Tennessee up to begin cultivation once the feds change the law. However, the legislation makes no such stipulation with regards to waiting on the feds.

The bill reads, in part:

“The department shall issue licenses to persons who apply to the department for a license to grow industrial hemp.”

Mike Maharrey, communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, noted that one word strengthened the bill considerably. “By including the word ‘shall’ in this legislation, it has a great deal of impact,” he said. “This means that rather than keeping it open-ended like other states have done, hemp farming will be able to move forward in Tennessee whether the regulatory bureaucrats there want it to or not.”

‘Shall’ is a legal term which creates a specific requirement far stronger than a word like ‘will.’ The former is more closely interchangeable with the word “must,” while the latter allows leeway for the object of the term to delay. In this case, the bill states that the Tennessee department of agriculture will have a mandate to license farmers for growing hemp.

Three other states – Colorado, Oregon and Vermont – have already passed bills to authorize hemp farming, but only in Colorado has the process begun.  Farmers in SE Colorado started harvesting the plant in 2013 and the state began issuing licenses on March 1, 2014. The feds haven’t said a word. In Vermont and Oregon, hemp farming was authorized, but no licensing program was mandated, so implementation has been delayed due to regulatory foot-dragging.

With passage of HB2445, Tennessee will most likely become the 2nd state in the country to actively produce hemp. The legislation also ensures that not only will hemp licenses be issued, but the process for doing so will start quickly. It reads:

The department shall initiate the promulgation of rules … concerning industrial hemp production within one hundred and twenty (120) days of this act becoming law…

Federal laws still remain on the books. However, the United States Department of Justice announced that it would no longer presume enforcement of federal hemp and marijuana laws last August. The announcement delivered a return of state police powers with regards to cannabis strains.

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Michael Lotfi is a political analyst and strategist living in Nashville, Tennessee where he works as the executive director for the Tenth Amendment Center (TN). Lotfi also writes a column at The Washington Times called "American Millennial". Lotfi graduated in the top 5% of his class with honors from Belmont University, an award winning, private university located in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Pegger204

    Thats great, however not liking the licensing aspect.

  • 7LibertyForAll

    Here’s your freedom back…..oh, wait, pay these extortion fees, licenses, and whatever else we can find to gouge you and remind you that you are still an effing slave.

    • Kyle

      The TN legislature have their heads up their collective hind ends…

      • http://space4commerce.blogspot.com Brian Dunbar

        Eh. The bill’s sponsor was on radio and explained his thinking. I paraphrase;

        ‘It’s to protect the grower. Because we have a lot of law enforcement out there who aren’t rocket scientists, we’ve spent _decades_ training them that hemp is pot is hemp and it’s all illegal. So these guys can whip out a license and say ‘see – I’m legal’.

        • Sinsibility

          You’ve nailed it that law enforcement are not rocket scientists, but they can learn how our laws have changed, and how to differentiate between cannabis species. Medicinal marijuana isn’t planted at all like industrial hemp anyhow.
          It’s the bribery for permission to plant a crop that rubs me the wrong way. It’s only because of the Rockefeller, Hearst, Nixon, Reagan reefer madness that they think they can get away with this.
          But, since the marijuana laws are on their way out too, maybe people will get over this mania.

    • mikeyb

      I wish people would Use their brain and simply look up the definition’s of terms
      From Dictionary.com Licence.1.a certificate, tag, document, etc, giving official permission to do something2.formal permission or exemption

      If it is licence it is not a right. you don’t have the “Freedom” to preform an act etc unless you are licensed by the state.

      Traditionally a licence is to be given the authority to break the law. This is still true of the modern day licence, if anyone says “Your free to do x, just go pay for a licence”then they don’t know what they are talking about.

      • 7LibertyForAll

        I am well aware of what a license is and it indicates permission, a privilege instead of an actual right…….that we USED to have. Good post, mikeyb.

  • Matt

    You can’t really nullify federal law but ok.

    • Colin Olmstead

      You are going to really like the tenth amendment and the word phrase “sovereign states” when you investigate them.

      • mikeyb

        Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

        I don’t see the word sovereign in there. Of course it may have been implied… but when a federation cannot be dissolved it is no longer unified it is imprisoned. We are not the sovereign states we are the provinces of america not the united states of america.

        Like it or not that is the reality. not how it should be but that is reality.

        • Colin Olmstead

          Democracy is almost irrelevant. Hear me out. America is a radical concept for one reason. It starts here.

          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
          equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
          Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
          Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted
          among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

          This is radical because before America it was almost never this way.
          Rulers or a ruling class derived their authority from a God or Gods and
          they ruled over the people. In America the individual is sovereign. Our
          power extends directly to us from God. We are individually
          authoritative.

          Democracy was an attempt to reflect this very
          radical concept. You will not find this concept written in to the laws
          of any of the countries we have “liberated” by giving people the ability
          to vote. You wont find it because it is radical and it imperils
          authoritarian systems.

          Some might say “Oh yeah obviously” but
          is that really how you view the world? Do you truly embrace the concept
          that you are master of your world along with its inherent
          responsibility? I say most of us don’t and I include myself. Its too
          easy to point a finger and say “Oh its those corrupt guys over there”
          and not recognize my own dereliction of duty.

          • mikeyb

            Were it that the proclamation of Jefferson were the lens to view the Constitution. all to often it is viewed by the lens of other frames such as Adams or Hamilton.

            The declaration is “Supposed” to be a fundamental view of the nation… It is not. It never was. we are taught in school that it was and now is the thing the nation stands for. Look around, that is not how it is. the laws are based on the Constitution not the thesis of Jefferson.

          • Colin Olmstead

            Agreed and I despise Hamilton but Jefferson has on his side the plain straight forward language of the Constitution. We must not ever stop positively asserting the correct position.

    • Colin Olmstead

      Your reply was not in the form of a convincing argument. The language of the tenth amendment is very plain. Its so straight forward that even a non lawyer can understand it. What a big surprise that ‘federal courts’ dont support it. You put too much faith in your government and have too little understanding of your own sovereign status.

    • Michael Lotfi

      Err… Actually you can, but okay.

      • Draken

        Nullification is great in theory, but the Supremacy Clause (Art 6 Clause 2) makes it a moot point…

        • Michael Lotfi

          Have you ever read the Supremacy Clause? If you have, you will note that it says “laws made in pursuance to this Constitution…” Can you well me where in Article 1, Section 8 Congress is delegated the power to ban hemp? Didn’t think so. Supremacy is only applicable when the federal law is made in pursuance to Article 1, Section 8.

          • Draken

            Commerce Clause… (Art 1, Sec 8, Clause 3)

            Side note, I’m not against Hemp. I agree that the ban on hemp should be repealed. My concern is that nullification is trying to go around the issue versus deal with the problem.

            I agree the Federal Government has overstepped it authority on many issues, but nullification doesn’t fix the overstep it just ignores it. I support trying to fix the problem, repeal a bad law versus ignore a bad law.

          • Michael Lotfi

            Sorry to inform you gents, but the commerce clause has nothing to do with hemp and the bill of rights has nothing to do with state law, as the bill of rights applies only to federal law and not state law. The “Eqaul Protection Clause” somehow being applicable to state law is simply a logical fallacy. Of course, you’d actually need to study up on the historical context to actually know the true meaning of these clauses.

          • Draken

            What Slaughter House? I know all about it, what is your point? Right or wrong, the SCOTUS has expanded the view of the 14th over the last 100 years.

            So maybe in an ideal world you would be correct, but in the modern legal world you’re not. I agree with a lot of what you and the 10th Amendment Center is trying to do, but you deal with ideals I deal with reality. In our current court system, nullification is a fancy lot of nothing.

          • mikeyb

            I don’t mean to Troll you or anything Mr. Lotfi, or have a back and forth argument with you, both my time and yours are is very valuable. However I don’t see any logical fallibly at all. Could you elaborate?

            Did I say the “Equal Protection Clause” was in the bill of rights? you gotta keep reading its 4 more amendments down there.

            “The “Equal Protection Clause” somehow being applicable to state law is simply a logical fallacy.”

            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution…”

            ” nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

            This does not apply to the Help situation in TN but does apply to State sponsored segregation or limiting partner contracts due to a religiously defined law. (Hate marriage laws to begin with, I agree with Dr. Paul) But State Constitution can’t violate the federal one. It can violate/nullify federal law but not the Federal Constitution.

            It is in the Constitution. I don’t get you you don’t think it is applicable.

            In theory a State is sovereign and can leave a federation, the idea of “Right of self rule” but if you don’t abide by federal rules then you leave a federation.

          • mikeyb

            Well put Michael. this is the difference between trying to nullify a law you don’t like, and nullifying a law that is strictly unconstitutional.

            But…As it pragmatically stands Matt is correct not because of the Supremacy clause but because we are not the United States of America. For all legal intents and purposes we are America with 50 provinces. Any recent victory for states rights has been a token gesture. (Try to fight the Federal government they are gonna shoot your cows, as an individual or as a province.)

            I Don’t believe in absolute state sovereignty. In theory states should not be able to make laws or Constitution that violate the USA Constitution. (Such as my state of Utah and amendment 3 being a violation of the equal protection amendment of the Federal Constitution.)

            That is why Draken is wrong. it is not the Supremacy clause that makes it a moot point, but the bigger stick that makes it a moot point.

        • Elija Firebrand

          Jury of citizens > any court.

          • Draken

            Wrong type of nullification…

    • livefree1200cc

      You can when Federal law isn’t law at all. The ban against hemp was unconstitutional to begin with, and still is. The 18th amendment was required for alcohol prohibition. No such measures were taken for hemp. In fact, after the ‘ban’, farmers were encouraged to grow hemp during WW2. Also – the states can nullify any Federal ‘law’ they want to

      • Matt

        Federal regulation of THC has been explicitly ruled constitutional under the commerce clause. See Gonzales v. Raich.

        No, states cannot nullify federal law. Many state and federal courts have rejected nullification, including the Supreme Court, and we also had a big war over this sort of thing, if you’ll recall.

        • livefree1200cc

          Looks like its time to have another big war over it, because the Feds are overstepping their authority. If you believe anything you just wrote, you just might be a sheep

    • Elija Firebrand

      You most certainly can. The law is made up of the people which is the states, the federal law is beneath the state law.

      • Draken

        No federal law is above state law, that is where the Supremacy Clause comes into play. Jury nullification (as you mentioned below) is not the same as what is going on here. What the state is trying to do is say that we don’t like the federal law thus we are going to ignore it. I take issue with that. I take issue with anyone who ignores the law because they don’t agree with it.

        I’m not saying that law is a good one, quite the opposite. As I said below, my issue is that if the law is bad, change the law, don’t ignore the law.

  • BT

    I assume the the RINO in charge will destroy this bill as he has all other conservative values bills. Not much unlike the constitutional carry bill the Haslam said he would support and then shot down last week. Perhaps pre November he could switch his party affiliation and become an official Obam butt kisser. Aside from the gun bill, do not forget this actions in supporting Obamacare and accepting federal monies to advance state signups. Just another RINO pulling the wool over true, good conservatives eyes. Remember these things come November, I sure will.

  • BT

    One other point to make, remember that Haslam was a member of Bloomberg’s “Mayor’s against guns”, a group he was involved with until election time and it was released that their goal was gun confiscation. Remember this in November. NO MORE RINOS

  • http://cynicalinny.blogspot.com/ Bill

    The Tennessee legislator just basically said “Here have some liberty but not too much” then again this is par the course.

  • Elija Firebrand

    Why do people need a license from any government to grow what God created?

  • Tyranny Makes no Sense

    Isn’t this the same state that just struck down pro-gun legislation?
    So, they want you high on pot, but they don’t want you to be able to protect yourself from common criminals and government thugs, who want to kidnap your children, for using anything they think should be illegal.
    Sure, makes a lot of sense.
    If people cared as much about the Constitution and the protection of LIFE and LIBERTY, we wouldn’t be in the fix we are in now.

    • amg0D

      Hemp isn’t the same thing that gets you high. Learn the difference before you go off on conspiracies.

      • Sugga MeDeek

        I’ve got your conspiracy, punk.

    • http://space4commerce.blogspot.com Brian Dunbar

      “Isn’t this the same state that just struck down pro-gun legislation?”

      Calm down, Francis.

      I believe what you are referring to is the proposed law that would allow anyone to open carry.

      The existing carry permit law is on the books: iirc under that law one can carry, concealed, or open, after taking a class and applying for a shall issue permit.

      You can still carry a gun in Tennessee, same as last year.

      • Tyranny Makes no Sense

        Who said I’m not calm, yawwwwwn – you pompous pig.

        “The existing carry permit law is on the books: iirc under that law one can carry, concealed, or open, after taking a class and applying for a shall issue permit.”

        Show me in the second amendment where it says that you have to take a class or apply for a permit.

        Now, go fornicate yourself.

        • taxirob

          I think the “well regulated” part of the Second Amendment relates to personal responsibility., and suitability of an individual to accept that responsibility.

          You’re making the most common mistake that firearm ownership advocates make, characterizing those who desire reasonable regulations as some sort of fascist cabal. Seeing everything in strict black and white terms is driving away a lot of support from firearm ownership advocates. We’re not all against you, we just wanna figure out a way to stop kids from shooting each other, etc.

          Now, go think about a solution instead of helping to keep our people divided while the banks screw us all.

    • Baaahhhhh sheeple

      Who said anything about getting high? Why dont you pull that nozzle out of your ass, nazi

  • Robert

    Nullification isn’t Compact Theory as the Nationalists would have you believe.

    What we have is a bunch of Nationalists (Federal and Supreme Courts) determining their Nationalists Laws over riding individual state law.

    If EVER there was a conflict of interest, this would be one.

    Allowing Nationalists (federal government agencies and their court appointed Thugs in black robes) is akin to pedophiles writing laws and opinions in favor of pedophilia.

    Also, why is it politicians and judges have the same skill set as prostitutes but prostitution is illegal?

  • Abe

    Henry Ford’s first car ran on alcohol distilled from hemp. The Constitution was written on hemp paper. Why was there a ban in the first place. Just look as far as Rockefeller, and Hearst! (Standard Oil & Hearst Publishing)

    • trumpsahead

      I think it was DuPont who decided to make hemp illegal because it was becoming the best resource to produce paper. DuPont was using chemicals and trees to make paper, a very labor intensive production. DuPont would pollute the air and waters with chemicals, glues, to make pulp for paper. But hemp was clean and chemical free. Fascism was booming even then, but hey, Abe Lincoln spent more money on “special interests” than any president for years after him. He was a dictator who killed 600,000 Americans to “keep the Union together”. He should have been hanged instead of assassinated.

      • Abe

        That DuPont klan wouldn’t surprise me either. They were also involved in the 1933 coup with Prescott Bush, Herbert Walker, and Averil Harriman. , all related to “W” & “HW”. There were a whole bunch of other “Robberbarons”.

  • toocold06

    does the growth of hemp for industrial purposes, allow for recreational use? If so will Tennessee overturn Marijuana possession conviction and risk giving up slave, excuse me, inmates, from the prison system?

    • http://www.recklesscognition.tumblr.com/ Reckless Cognition

      Recreational use of what? Hemp is not marijuana.

    • Calis_in_the_tank

      And in lies a lot of the dilemma. To many people think “Hemp” is the stuff you smoke.
      Hemp grown for industrial use is not the same as Marijuana grown for smoking.
      More education from the industrial growth supporters could go a long way to help support their cause.
      Jmo thanks :)

    • Bob Loblaw

      That argument is what legislators used to include hemp in the treasonous/unconstitutional cannabis ban in the 1930s. They used that argument to take advantage of the ignorance of the general public.

      So the question becomes if you don’t understand the difference between industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis how long does it take for you to take control of your mind away from the propagandists and educate yourself on it?

      And yes, ‘recreational’ use is itself in fact medicinal. The stuff reduces the risk of various types of cancer in a multitude of studies and elevates mood which also has been shown to affect the immune system and over all health to a significant degree.

  • Kirschwasser

    Hemp was an integral part of the American economy for over 300 years before it “suddenly” became illegal in the early to mid part of the 20th century.

    Hemp For Victory (1942):

    Hemp for Victory – Filmed in 1942 by the US Government!

    Looks like somebody didn’t want the competition (which is generally the way that all organized crime works)….

  • Common Sense

    The feds don’t have a right to ban anything. They needed a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, where is the amendment to ban hemp. Where is the amendment to ban marijuana or any other drug for that matter?

    The feds don’t have a right to ban ANYTHING and you people need to get that through your thick skulls. They don’t have a right to impose any restrictions on firearms, religion, free speech and most anything else you can think of.

    Stop thinking like a slave if you don’t want to be treated like one.

    • trumpsahead

      My sentiments exactly. How is it legal if you need a license to grow it?

  • bonnieblue2A

    Industrial hemp was covered in the most recent Farm Bill.

  • blakmira

    More like a doublespeak/drag your feet approach. There’s no “liberty” in
    this bill — just the illusion of it. Let the people celebrate what
    outwardly appears as a “victory” only to realize absolutely nothing has
    changed. But what if every farmer [and citizen with land] in Tennessee just
    started growing hemp [from non-Monsanto seeds] irregardless of how this convoluted bill was worded? That would be the only victory here.

    • Shasas Felkim

      irregardless is not a word

      • Johnny Courtney

        Main Entry: ir·re·gard·less
        Pronunciation: ˌir-i-ˈgärd-ləs
        Function: adverb
        Etymology: probably blend of irrespective and regardless
        Date: circa 1912
        nonstandard : regardless
        usage Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

      • blakmira

        As you were too lazy to do your own homework, Johnny Courtney did it for you — yes, “there is such a word.”
        Now look up the word “moron.”

        • Shasas Felkim

          ok so your definition of a word is a series of letters that string together yet has no real definition…wow schools these days. Lets break this down shall we the word regardless is already a negative tense and the prefix “ir” is a negative tense so when you add them together you get “irregardless” a word that is by nature a double negative, and I’m sure you remember double negatives right…a double negative occurs when two forms of negation are used in the same sentence. In this case It was the same word. Might I remind you also that people also believed the world to be flat once…they were not right either.

          • blakmira

            Did you look up the word “moron” yet? Blah, blah, blah. Did you say anything? Way to divert the entire discussion from the original topic.
            Moron.

          • Shasas Felkim

            It would seem that you refuse to accept simple logic, regardless of the fact that it is plainly in front of you. As far as the issue at hand, any step in this direction of reforming cannabis law is progress in my book. Now for the answer to the question you posed earlier yes I did look it up and here is the definition as requested although given your obvious difficulties defining the english language properly I’m not sure if this will actually help you but good look in your path of self discovery.
            mo·ron (môr′ŏn′, mōr′-)
            n.
            1. A stupid person; a dolt.
            2. Psychology
            A person of mild mental retardation having a mental age of from 7 to
            12 years and generally having communication and social skills enabling
            some degree of academic or vocational education. The term belongs to a
            classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.

          • Carol Ann Hunigan Booher

            Once again who cares?????

      • Carol Ann Hunigan Booher

        Who cares we get the message, some people have nothing to do but check grammer and spelling. We get the message. Get a life..