Federal Government Legalizes Hemp

By: Michael Lotfi
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marijuana

WASHINGTON, February 5, 2014- After three years of negotiations, the Farm Bill passed both chambers of Congress on Tuesday. Hemp wasn’t necessarily one of the largely debated topics. However, hidden deep within the bill, a clause lurked that allows for colleges and universities to grow hemp for research purposes pending the respective states have legalized hemp.

So far, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, North Dakota, California, Kentucky, Vermont, West Virginia and Maine have legalized hemp. Also, more than a dozen states are moving pro-hemp bills through their state legislatures this season.

The bill still has to be signed by Obama before becoming law. He is not expected to oppose it.

Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin notes that it isn’t “completely legal”, but many states are already growing hemp regardless of the federal ban, and this move will certainly propel the movement to an unstoppable pace.


“Fields of hemp growing in Colorado already. Vermont legalized late last summer, and multiple other states are considering bills to do the same this year,” said Boldin. “Credit doesn’t go to the feds on this one. It belongs to the states, which had the courage to stand up to unconstitutional laws, and force the change on a national level.”

The Tenth Amendment Center is a national think tank pushing for the passage of pro-hemp bills within each state.

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Michael Lotfi is a Persian, American political analyst and adviser living in Nashville, Tennessee where he works as the executive director for the Tenth Amendment Center (TN). Lotfi founded TheLibertyPaper.org, which is an online news source that is visited daily by readers in over 135 countries. Lotfi also writes a column at The Washington Times called "American Millennial". Lotfi graduated in the top 5% of his class with top honors from Belmont University, an award winning, private university located in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Jeannie Rickard

    We need to start growing Hemp so we can start making products with it, not just smoking it! If it’s done right it would mean lots of jobs for Americans.

    • saspin

      Hemp and Marijuana are different. Marijuana gets you high but Hemp does not. So the question is did we legalize pot or hemp? Or both?

      • seabee1955

        Hemp.. you know what they make ropes with and a multitude of other products,,

    • ozlanthos

      Wrong Cannabis hun. If anything I’d expect the interest in smoking it to decline as the utilization of industrial hemp increases. There is no doubt that the era of Cannabis prohibition is ending. Funny part about it is that it is being ended in the worst possible way (as far as the fed’s credibility is concerned). Marijuana legalization….

      -Oz

    • Samuel Adams

      Can’t smoke hemp and get high. Learn the difference between hemp and marihuana.

  • Freeman Alexander

    “Credit doesn’t go to the feds on this one. It belongs to the states, which had the courage to stand up to unconstitutional laws, and force the change on a national level.”

    Awesome. Maybe income tax will be next (dare to dream).

    • staytuned

      The laws are too complex to unwind. The income tax will remain intact. They just added the Net Investment Income Tax to help fund the ACA.

  • Saspin

    Its important to disguish between hemp and marijuana… there is a big difference. Hemp does not contain THC and will not get you high. So which was legalized with this smoke and mirrors bill?

    • maynard

      It was a Farmers Bill, Hemp has many amazing uses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp
      If Universities are allowed to study hemp and prove its many uses, some people believe it will change the way we do business. (I’m one of those people)

      • Ory Browne

        Ironically it has already been proven. It just needs to be proven again. Which sounds weird but still, GO, HEMP!

      • lawrence

        it was already proven a long time ago, bloody hell.

    • Robert

      The difference is in its use.

      Hemp and Marijuana both come from the same plant – Cannabis Sativa L.

      The term ‘Hemp’ refers to the industrial use of the cannabis stalk and seed for textiles, foods, papers, body care products, detergents,plastics
      and building materials.

      The term ‘marijuana’ refers to the medicinal, recreational or spiritual use involving the smoking of cannabis flowers.

      Industrial hemp contains about 1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids, while marijuana contains about 5% or more THC

      • irish7_1sg

        Thanks for explaining! I think most folks consider hemp and marijuana the same. We see some people (above) that believe there is “a big difference”.

      • Keg

        Can we stop calling it Marijuana already?

        Marijuana is a derogatory term that was put on Cannabis Sativa/Indica in a smear campaign to criminalize a plant with known medical qualities.

        The word marijuana did not exist before the 1910s.

        • Robert

          First of all it wasn’t a “smear campaign” in 1910, it was what the Mexicans who migrated across the border states after the upheaval of the Mexican Revolution called it, “mariguana.”.

          Secondly, what you are referring to didn’t happen until the 30′s by a HUGE bigoted asshole named, Harry Anslinger, director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1962.

          Lastly, I used the term as a way of separating the two uses and is why I “saddled” it with the descritption put forth.

          Scientifically it has always been referred to as cannabis but I have a sneaky suspicion Saspin isn’t a scientist.

    • Ben

      Ok you whippersnappers, grandpa here. Hemp is and was always the same, the Mexicans found a high and called this “bud” “marijuana”. THC is a product used for medicinal purposes which cure putnear everything, including cancer. Please, before you people go a jawin’, do your homework, ah, you never did it in school,, so why start now?

  • Ken

    1 acre of Hemp can make many times more paper than 4 acres of TREES… its important to get it legalised.

    • Keg

      Not paper, but cellulose pulp fiber.

      Also, it takes hemp 4-5 months to be ready for harvest. How long does it take a tree?

      • Mikehenken

        Years?

        • kevbot

          about 8 years

    • Surly Curmudgen

      And do it cheaper and with less pollution to the environment.

  • Ory Browne

    I grow happier when laws are made using facts, unadulterated facts that is.

  • Xakkar

    COME ON!!! Legalize it already!! They are milking this for everything they can

  • Charles Elias VanPoppen

    People growing high grade cannabis outdoors are gonna be pissed. The illegal status of hemp has worked in their favor for a long time, having kept low grade hemp pollen from fertilizing their designer strains, for the most part.

    • Keg

      There are easy fixes for this. Pollen does not get up and pollinate flowers on its own.

      • Tom Schneider

        No, the wind does that and can do it carrying the pollen for many miles. It will be a challenge to farming of high-grade Cannabis drug strains.

        • john

          like all plants they have a period of time they need to be pollinated. Pollinate them all by hand and you’ve already done the work, no matter what pollen the wind brings.

          • Surly Curmudgen

            Just grow the high grade THC variety in a green house.

  • Charles Elias VanPoppen

    Farmers in SD voted down a hemp bill because it limited the level of THC which they claimed was way to low to provide a good quality hemp product to compete in the market. They THC level they were looking for was still too low to get anyone high but our idiot legislators were to horrified to let it stand. Just sad.

    • nrob

      Hemp is not the same as people use to get high, Hemp has a very low THC content or none at all better do some research…

      • Keg

        Not sure you read and understood his comment.

        He was pointing out that in SD some of the legislators do need to do some more research.

    • Davo Paul

      LOL…Hemp you turd. Not “weed”. Energy resource, medicinal value, fabric alternative, making rope n shit, you putz!

      • JustAGuyFromNH

        Your reading comprehension needs some serious work.

        • Charles Elias VanPoppen

          Lol, I know right?

      • Charles Elias VanPoppen

        lol what?

    • Tom Schneider

      Charles – Mostly, it appears aversion to hemp legalization has been fueled by law enforcement groups arguing that hemp fields would be used to disguise marijuana crops, and hinder enforcement of anti-marijuana laws. Special interest fears of additional competition to their products is no doubt a factor in keeping hemp illegal, but it is difficult for the interests to openly argue this without seeming to want only the quashing of specific competition.

      • Charles Elias VanPoppen

        I understand this all. I was merely stating that the proposed and defeated hemp bill was bogus because the farmers didn’t even want to grow hemp of such low quality. The bill was flawed because it limited the THC amount to such low levels that it would have made the Hemp a very poor quality. The levels of THC the farmers were looking for was still too low to get anyone high. It was still Hemp. But the argument around the state was that it was WAAAAY too low.

  • Doc O’Zee

    The euphoraphobics will NOT like this. But they’ll adjust … in time.

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    Paper and cotton industry are about to have a hissy fit.

    • Draken

      Or are about to have record profits by starting new product lines…

    • Jess

      As well as BIG OIL

  • J_from_Irving

    Btw, Happy birthday, Bob Marley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuMlHdxiIZ8

  • Vashra Araeshkigal

    Bit misleading eh? What the government calls “hemp” and what smokers call “pot” are *barely* related.

    • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

      There is nothing misleading about the title or article. The photo might be a little misleading, but if you read the article it matches up with the title.

    • Michael Lotfi

      Did you even actually read the article? I’m interested to know.

    • Tom Schneider

      @ Vashra – Cannabis Sativa is the name of a plant species. Hemp and marijuana are informal names (non-scientific) for variations of the one species Cannabis Sativa, so they are as related as possible botanically. Comparable to racial distinctions in humans, Caucasion vs. Mongoloid. So all the differences between “Hemp” and “Marijuana” result from environmental variations in the growing locale or human-guided breeding. Hemp is intentionally bread to contain the most and best fiber and/or other industrial characteristics but have insufficient THC to produce the marijuana “high”. Again the two names denote the same species of plant with varying physical (including chemical) expression. Please don’t spread misinformation.

      • Michael Van Horn

        Cannabis Indica is also a species of marijuana, although it is generally not used for industrial purposes the way Sativa hemp is. Most high-end marijuana in the States is a combination of both Indica and Sativa but is predominantly Indica. Some high-end pot is pure Indica.

        • the one

          And some of the strongest THC content cannabis is pure sativa strain, so what was your point exactly?

      • some stupid people on here

        They are both sub species of cannabis sativa. Which classifys them scientifically as different

        • Robert

          You have been weighed, you have been measured and you have been found to be, a One Trick Phoney.

    • Robert

      Both come from the same EXACT plant.

      Awhile back they invented this search engine called Google and WAY before that they invented a “study” known as botany.

      A simple combining of the two would do wonders for your poor understanding of the matter at hand.

      • some stupid people on here

        Well you should learn to Google better or actually read a botany book. They are not the exact same plant. It’s like saying all dogs are the exact same

        • Robert

          Industrial hemp is from the same species of plant that psychoactive cannabis comes from.

          I know you can’t wrap your head around that but it is a fact. Get over it.

  • Keg
  • Mike M

    Lets get the hemp discussion started so we can forget about all the special interst, earmarks and wasteful spending in this bill! of course that POtuS will sign it! Its a bad bill and it needs not to be passed!

  • Wayne D.

    America is going to be left in the dust again as China and even Canada are starting to ramp up commercial production of industrial hemp. Popular Mechanics declared hemp “The New Billion Dollar Crop” in 1937 but in 1938 the Hemp Tax Act killed the entire industry. Henry Ford made a car out of hemp that ran on hemp, they didn’t like that. I would venture to say the hemp could be “the next Trillion Dollar Crop”, food, fiber, oil, medicine. That’s why big business fought so hard to control it. Our country, our economy and future have been hijacked by the incredibly greedy.

    • Henry__H

      I’m pretty sure you’re pushing it a little realistically with the hemp. It can do a lot, but it can’t do as much as you’re making it out to do.

      • Sam

        You obviously don’t know much about the hemp plant then. In fact everything the commenter said hemp can be used for is correct. It’s a very versatile plant that can be used for fuel, food, clothing, building structures, paper products, cars, etc. Henry Ford did make a model car from hemp that did rub on hemp fuel. There is stuff called Hempcrete that is used to build houses. It is resistant to mold and mildew, regulates tempture better than what’s used today and absorbs vibration. It’s an excellent alternative in areas that are prone to earthquakes. Do more research before you tell someone that it can’t be used for that many things.

  • Flynn Larson

    Hopefully they’ll ease into using hemp for paper products :)

    • Willychaos

      Stoners and growers beware, with all of the hemp growning around. It’s a male plant and will produce pollen, and is sure to pollenate many peoples beloved female plants.. Js.. Research it a little. I’m all for it, there are no other negatives that I can see. Good for the environment, another fast growning cash crop. Many uses, from textile production, to alternative fuel. Ect ect..

  • Ben

    …I’d be very careful if I were a stoner, Hemp is the last resort for control. Remember Woodstock?

    • BiteMyJihad

      No, but I took the brown acid.

  • Andrew Crooks

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there are actually any benefits to growing a non-medical hemp plant just for its stalks and seeds. From what I’ve heard the variety that has THC actually works better for industrial purposes because of its higher oil content. Growing hemp is a waste. Just legalize it already. Harvest the drug and use what’s left of the plant for the industrial stuff.
    Also I would like to mention that we have really screwed up the CO2 to O2 ratios of this planet due to deforestation. Hemp and cannabis fields consume more CO2 and release more O2 than the same area of trees by 4 times. Between medical, industrial, and environmental uses, you can fill a book with the amount of ways this single plant could save the world.
    You could also fill a book with a list of drugs that are not only legal but accepted as safe and yet less medically useful and provably more harmful. Just look at the side effect list of any pharmaceutical. And even if there was real evidence of THC being harmful, and there isn’t, with all its benefits its like making seatbelts and airbags illegal because they can give you a bruise.

    • Ryan Hadden

      wow, keep giving us stoners a good name jackass. Hemp is one of the strongest fibers in the world, and grows well like a weed! lol

      • BiteMyJihad

        We should probably get a better name than “stoners”. Just sayin…

        • Ryan Hadden

          can’t argue with that!

      • Guest

        ^ I think that his point was that the federal ban on hemp with higher concentrations of THC via drug laws is just absurd – sure legalizing hemp is great (I still cannot see any good reason that it was banned to begin with), however it should be ALL hemp, not just the inferior strain of it that satisfies drug laws.

      • Chau N.

        I read some where that its more than just the strongest fiber but when made into a rope product, it is 4x stronger and lighter. Coorect me if i’m wrong

      • Andrew Crooks

        My point is, why bother growing hemp for industrial when the variety that has the drug works EVEN BETTER for industrial purposes. Its like growing ornamental fruit trees. Its stupid. You can’t smoke the stalk. Believe me, there’s a lot left. What are they doing with all the leftovers anyway? They probably just throw it away, then go cut down some trees. lol

        • Surly Curmudgen

          The higher the THC the weaker the fiber. This is long established fact.

    • Trey Max Jacobsen

      Hemp has a multitude of uses, including paper, concrete, biodegradable plastic, fiber, protein, fabric, and more. It’s not some useless plant with stalks and seeds

      Cannabis is great too, but it’s mostly just good as medicine. Hemp is great for the environment and the things we do, and cannabis is great for us. We legalize them both and it’s a win-win for humanity. I just hope we make it that far.

      • Lee G. Leissett

        Hemp is Cannabis. That was his point. Why are we celebrating the ability to grow an inferior strain of the cannabis plant. Cannabis produces THC to protect itself from UV light (among other reasons) Cannabis plants bred to produce less than .3% THC (Hemp), even though they still produce usable fibers and seeds, produce far less than a variety with THC. This doen;t mean that plants bred to produce high levels of THC (marijuana) will necessarily produce good seed or fiber. The point is, we shouldn’t regulate cannabis in any way because if we do we will never see its true potential.

        • Garrett K

          I agree that we shouldn’t regulate cannabis in any way.

          However, it is, at this point in time. With the legalization of industrial hemp, as well as with more states allowing medical cannabis…. changes are happening.

          This whole cannabis debate / regulation / policy change can be equated to a giant stone wheel. A single push won’t get the wheel turning. But continuous pushing, over time, will eventually get that wheel turning. As a person keeps pushing, the wheel will turn faster and faster.

          That’s exactly what’s happening with this entire situation. More countries are legalizing it, places are decriminalizing it, states are making medical cannabis available, and now we have the feds giving a greater thumbs-up for industrial hemp. It’s a process, and it’s happening.

          You asked “Why are we celebrating the ability to grow an inferior strain of the cannabis plant.” and I answer with “I’d rather have less resistance to the plant, overall, in the entire government umbrella, than wait for them to give on allowing higher THC versions of the plant to be freely grown.” Would you rather have a series of small easier wins, which naturally creates a big win over time, or attempt to go for 1 big win which has a lot of resistance to it?

    • Bob Loblaw

      Actually, if you’re growing it for fiber content rather than oil the non-medicinal hemp is more profitable(‘woody’). But if you want to put the OIL COMPANIES out of business, and make organic(awesome quality) paint, plastic etc. then it’s inferior to the oilier, medical strains. But I’m sure there’s some industrial that probably has good ‘enough’ oil content without it being medicinal to do all those things.

  • Kent

    =

    According to
    Vyatcheslav Krasheninnikov: Humans were created about 7500 years ago. Birds
    participate in time creation. It’s a sin to kill birds. Dinosaurs live under
    our level. They will get out through sinkholes and lakes. To kill them, go for
    their nerves. Demons grow human skin and put it on so as to look like us.
    Demons will invite people to be healed inside their UFOs; those who go will be
    like zombies after. Gov’t provides demons with diamonds and allows demons to
    abduct people. If you’re being abducted, scream: “JESUS!!!” Demons
    use diamonds and souls to power their UFO craft. The bigger the diamond, the
    more it lasts. Demons have 4 UFO bases: 1)Moon 2)Inside fake mountain Kailash
    in Tibet 3)In lake Baikal in Russia 4)In Atlantis which is underneath the
    Mariana Trench in Pacific Ocean. There are no aliens. Nobody lives on other
    planets. Airplanes that go down are hit by demons because they need the
    airspace to fight Jesus. Antichrist is pale with red eyes. Don’t go into a UFO
    to be healed by demons. 666 is given by isotope rays on wrist or forehead when
    people stretch hands to receive small plastic grey card (world passport).
    Police will chip and isotope ray people on highways. Food stores will isotope
    ray people too. Antichrist will also release prisoners to mark people. Reject
    666 at all cost. If you’re about to be marked, scream: “Lord, have
    mercy!” three times. Go hide with Orthodox Christians to escape 666. God
    gives you a name during baptism. Devil gives you an anti-name during
    anti-baptism. Barcode is Druid black magic curse and a form of mark of the
    beast just like Social Security. People who took any number (which is an
    anti-name given during anti-baptism by the beast) on documents or in computer
    go to temporary hell; but those who receive green 666 (given with world
    passport with no name on it) on forehead or wrist go to permanent hell. How not
    to go to hell? Give back all these anti-name anti-baptism documents back to the
    beast by writing to appropriate authorities. If authorities refuse to cancel
    these anti-names, then write again (up to three times). If you wrote to the
    gov’t three times about it, but gov’t refused, then God will not send you to
    hell. Don’t take the microchip. If you already took it, get rid of it because
    microchipped people will be influenced by computers to take the world passport
    (grey plastic card with no name on it). Don’t go into a UFO to be healed by
    demons. Those who reject 666 will go to heaven. Also, their direct ancestors
    will be saved from hell.

    • Eric Strauss

      I had no idea all that stuff was going on. Sheesh, talk about being oblivious, right! I had no idea that the green 666 resulted in permanent hell or I never would have accepted it.

      I’ll get started on writing the government 3 times right now.

    • xfahctor

      I think your number is off by a few……oh….millions of years

    • saturnx311

      No aliens, but there are demons. R-i-i-i-ight

    • Surly Curmudgen

      Your wheel is missing a few bearings and the hamster died!

  • tree snug
  • getit34

    FINALLY I NEED TO SMOKE SO MUCH MORRRREEEEE

    • http://www.joshuascottmccullough.com/ Josh McCullough

      You’d die of smoke inhalation before you got a buzz … but good luck!

  • http://www.joshuascottmccullough.com/ Josh McCullough

    Ridiculous that only colleges & universities can grow it. SO DUMB (and probably illegal). But a step in the right direction.

  • derekwardlies

    they never had the authority to ban a life form created on this planet in the first place.

    • Quixote

      Yes: that is correct; they never had the authority to make a plant illegal.

      Indeed, “Year of the Bible” legislation during Reagan’s Presidency would seem to respect that Biblical verse: “God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed” – Genesis 1:29. The government can not “legalize” anything. That which is not prohibited by Cesar is permitted. Their laws against it were unlawful, unConstitutional, from the start. In a similar vein, rights are enumerated, and hopefully respected by governments, but they can never be granted by a government.

      Allowing universities to grow it under research is still, sadly, compliant with international treaties as that is the exemption in the treaties, i.e., research, and very far from so called “legalization”. The dialogue should be about ending the illegal prohibition.

      To claim this is legalization further degrades rights

    • Eileen Kuch

      And hemp is a plant – a plant with many uses. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, hemp was used for making clothing, sails for ships, and rope, since the material from it was quite strong and durable. It never should have been banned in the first place – just as you said – governments have never had the authority in the first place, since hemp, as a plant, is a life form.

  • Ghey-Dave

    Holy crap, that “American Parasite” link in the middle of your article is full of so much bullshit

  • Surly Curmudgen

    Is it necessary to pay for a license to grow corn? The license fees and regulations on the growing of hemp will be such that any plot less than a thousand acres will not be profitable. Damn all lawyers and politicians to hell.