If you’re thinking marijuana legalization is right around the corner with all the new initiatives and bills being proposed around various states, then you might want to read this story. Illinois has voted AGAINST allowing farmers permits in their state to grow the specialty crop: hemp. Read on to find out why this is such a travesty.
House Bill 1383 was defeated by a vote of 28-83! WHAT!? If you’re not familiar with hemp, it’s a low-thc fiber cultivated from the cannabis genus. It was outlawed in the 1930’s and earned a slight reprieve during WWII (sorta like women working…), but then was federally classified a schedule 1 drug. This mean’s it’s almost impossible for states to pass this law since it would stand in direct contrast to the federal one.
Opponents cited the federal government’s classification of hemp as a controlled substance. A state law allowing for hemp production would put the state in conflict with the federal law, they argued.
“I would suggest a resolution asking the federal government to move it from Schedule One to Schedule Two so we could do more things, make the kind of distinctions between the plants (hemp and cannabis),” said Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago).
Also some reps claim hemp production is just the cover marijuana growers are looking for:
Downstate Republicans cited law enforcement opposition to the measure. “I had a call from [Sangamon County] Sheriff Williamson, and he asked me not to support it,” said Rep. Rich Brauer (R-Petersburg).
Sangamon County Chief Deputy Jack Campbell told The State Register-Journal that legalized hemp production would make it harder to find illicit marijuana. “Like with medical marijuana, there will probably be abuse with it, and it would probably be a nightmare to control,” Campbell said.
Despite the repeated insistence by US law enforcement spokespersons that hemp production would provide cover for illicit marijuana production (and their implicit acknowledgement that they are unable to tell the difference)…
But “that has not proven to be the case in Canada and Western Europe, which have legalized hemp production without any problems of that nature.”
Typically, lawmakers are overreacting and worry the evil scourge of marijuana production under the guise of hemp fabric (which is cheap and cost effective) will dirty up their little state. It won’t, and farmers will continue to rely on subsidies from our government while these same elected representatives yell at Obama to stop spending money helping the poor. You can see the cycle here can’t you?
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