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senate Bill S. 134

Should the Federal Government Make It Legal to Grow Hemp for Industrial Purposes?

Argument in favor

Industrial hemp has numerous uses - such as clothing, paper, textiles, plastics, and biofuel - and allowing its production would boost the agriculture industry. And no, you can’t get high off of it.

Cole's Opinion
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08/25/2015
Why not? There is no legitimate reason for it to be illegal in the first place.
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Dan's Opinion
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08/25/2015
This is such a no-brainer that it's really hard to understand why industrial hemp was made illegal in the first place..... until you follow the corrupt money put up by its opponents to keep it that way (forest products, big pharma, petro oil and gas, plastics, cotton, pulp and paper).
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DCPolitical's Opinion
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06/18/2015
Hemp is a legitimate material which is very strong. It's not a drug, so there shouldn't be any worries regarding this. I am very against marijuana legalization but this is different, this will actually benefit the U.S.
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Argument opposed

This would make it more difficult for law enforcement to detect and prosecute marijuana crimes, as the plants look the same even if they have different THC content.

TDJCatholicBlogger's Opinion
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08/24/2015
No. The purpose here is to use "hemp" as cover for large-scale marijuana production. Would-be producers are counting on our ignorance and indifference to muddle the issue. I don't suck my thumb. I reject this bill.
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Mark's Opinion
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02/16/2016
Its only industrial purpose is recreational use, which is illegal in the entire country due to being illegal on the federal level.
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Jeremy's Opinion
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07/19/2016
If you're gonna legalize it, legalize all of it. This is more federal overreach.
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What is Senate Bill S. 134?

This bill would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act -- thus allowing industrial hemp to be grown without violating federal law.


Marijuana is currently classified as a
Schedule I controlled substance, which means that as far as the federal government is concerned it has no medical use and is likely to be abused. There is currently no exclusion for industrial hemp that isn’t used as a recreational drug.


Industrial hemp would be defined as any part of the cannabis sativa plant with a delta-9 THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. As long as the industrial hemp meets that standard and is in compliance with state laws it would be permitted.

Impact

Businesses and consumers that would use hemp-based products, farmers and their employees that would grow industrial hemp, the Attorney General.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 134

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Despite bipartisan support, a version of this bill that was introduced in 2013 failed to progress out of the Senate Judiciary committee before the conclusion of the 113th Congress.

Sponsoring Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) had this to say about the federal government’s policy on industrial hemp:

“The U.S. ban on hemp farming is an outrageous restriction on free enterprise and does nothing but hurt economic growth and job creation.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) emphasized that “allowing farmers throughout our nation to cultivate industrial hemp and benefit from its many uses will boost our economy and bring much-needed jobs to the agriculture industry.


Of Note: While there are 22 states that have enacted laws supporting industrial hemp, the federal government does not allow its production outside of academic and government research, which prevents it from being more widely grown by farmers.

The federal government hasn’t always been down on hemp -- during World War II the Department of Agriculture produced a film called Hemp for Victory which encouraged farmers to grow as much hemp as possible because other industrial fibers were less widely available.

Hemp is one of the most versatile crops on the planet, as the plant can be used to produce the following things:

  • Food - hemp seeds are very high in protein.

  • Building materials like fiberboard, hempcrete, and insulation.

  • Biodegradable plastics.

  • Paper and rope.

  • Biofuel in diesel engines.

  • Water or soil purification and weed control.

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user twiceplx)

AKA

Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2015
    Why not? There is no legitimate reason for it to be illegal in the first place.
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    This is such a no-brainer that it's really hard to understand why industrial hemp was made illegal in the first place..... until you follow the corrupt money put up by its opponents to keep it that way (forest products, big pharma, petro oil and gas, plastics, cotton, pulp and paper).
    Like (27)
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    Hemp is a legitimate material which is very strong. It's not a drug, so there shouldn't be any worries regarding this. I am very against marijuana legalization but this is different, this will actually benefit the U.S.
    Like (19)
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    I'm sorry you must be stupid to not see the multitude of Applications here. Oh that's right you're the the shepherd leading the sheep! Thanks for our failures!
    Like (11)
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    Just legalize all forms of cannabis, hemp and marijuana nationwide, and be done with it. Marijuana is safer and less addictive than both alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol and tobacco each claim hundreds of thousands of lives every year, while marijuana overdoses have claimed zero lives throughout all of human history, and yet somehow, marijuana is the only one of the three that's illegal. Apparently, a lot of Americans have never gotten over that Reefer Madness.
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    This could help the world if you really think about it.
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    Hemp grows quicker and is easier to replace than trees. Legalize it! On all levels!!
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    This is NOT a drug issue, it's a JOBS ISSUE! If passed it would provide a range of jobs ranging in skill levels from laborer to scientist! PLEASE DO NOT WASTE THIS OPPORTUNITY!
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    It's completely and utterly asinine that hemp is illegal. We pay OTHER countries to grow it instead of our own farmers! WTF!?!
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    It will preserve trees and it doesn't strip the soil like cotton does. It makes sense.
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    Hemp is an incredibly durable and sustainable resource.
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    This is a no-brainer.
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    We used to harness this plant's versatility & transform it into highly profitable, American-made products. America should take advantage of naturally occurring (sustainable) resources like this to create products & advantages for our future.
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    It's a little embarrassing that this even needs discussed
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    Taking the legalizing Marijuana the drug argument out of this is the only way it will be passed. I personally think Marijuana should be legal for all uses but specifically for textile industry and the like due to its vast amount of uses and sustainable renewability. The only reason Marijuana was ever made illegal in the U.S. was because it was a threat to the logging industry. A tree that we use to make a multitude of items in different industries takes years and years to grow back after being harvested. Those same products can be made with hemp and it only takes weeks for the plants to grow back. It didn't get the nickname "Weed" for nothing. Marijuana grows fast and is relatively easy to maintain, especially if being used for textile industry, and other uses like that. It gets complicated when you're trying to get high from it but that's a whole other issue. Increasing use of hemp in this country could help the economy, the environment, and hopefully open some minds up that Marijuana isn't as bad as we have been told for years and years.
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    The many uses of hemp in a non-recreational form far outweigh the foolish and ignorant laws that surround this industry. Oils, fabrics, and other materials can be made cheaply for our own use and reduce our dependence on other manufacturing countries.
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    Why not
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    The war on drugs needs to end and we need more sustainable materials, hemp can be one of these things.
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    You can't do anything with hemp but put it to work. There is no smoking hemp and getting high. That's impossible. Make it legal. It can make compostable insulation that's absorbs carbon emissions from the air. It can be used for clothes, ropes, sunglasses, shoes, sails, and probably a million other things. Make it legal and it will boom.
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    No. The purpose here is to use "hemp" as cover for large-scale marijuana production. Would-be producers are counting on our ignorance and indifference to muddle the issue. I don't suck my thumb. I reject this bill.
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