Let Farmers Grow Industrial Hemp in the USA

The US is the only industrialized nation that does not allow the production of the agricultural crop Industrial Hemp.

Although it has absolutely no drug potential, the federal government treats industrial hemp as if it were marijuana, the drug variety of cannabis, and claims that allowing industrial hemp production would interfere with marijuana prohibition. But none of the more than 30 other countries that grow industrial hemp have had trouble enforcing their marijuana laws as a result. It is time that the US join the rest of the industrialized world and the rapidly growing market for hemp seed, fiber and stalk.

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act is a bill that would give US states the right to choose whether or not to grow industrial hemp. If this passes, the 14 states that have already enacted laws or resolutions in favor of industrial hemp farming would be able to add this profitable crop to their economies. This is the legislation we support.
[More Information]

Quickly stated:
    Industrial Hemp is a agricultural crop that is legal to eat(hemp seed food products), wear(textile fiber), burn (biomass fuel), buy, sell, import, export. It only illegal to grow. [more information ]

- Same plant species as marijuana, but it is distinguishable both genetically and chemically. If you smoke industrial hemp you get a headache not a high.

- All other industrialized nations, including Canada, France, and Britain, grow industrial hemp.

Imported yearly into the US
-12 million in hemp food products   -40 million body care products with hemp ingredients
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-Between 250 and 300 million worth of hemp products are sold yearly in the US
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Most common use:
-cloth (shirts, pants, etc.)

Very good for paper production
- One acre of farmland growing hemp is the equivalent of 4 acres of woodland.
- Paper production methods are already established for Hemp
- It has been used in France for centuries to produce specialty papers for cigarettes and bibles.

Solve our Energy Crisis
- - Hemp produces competitive volumes of bio-fuels. This is a good crop for making biofuels such as ethanol, butanol and biodiesel.

Better for Environment and Farmers
- No Herbicide required ever and little insecticide needed
- Less chemicals means better environment and less cost for farmers

If you would like to support this issue over the long term please visit Vote Hemp.

If you would like to further support this petition visit the petition drive website: HempPetition.com
Dear Representative,

We are writing you in support of
H.R. 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005. It is our belief that
industrial hemp is being unfairly coupled with marijuana by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This was not Congress's intent when it passed the Marihuana Tax Act of
1937. In fact, hemp farmers were told that despite the tax, which was minimal for non-drug hemp, they could continue to grow hemp as they had always done and forecasts for the industry were sunny. In February 1938, Popular Mechanics released an article about industrial hemp titled "New Billion-Dollar Crop". During World War II, the USDA launched the Hemp for Victory campaign, encouraging farmers to grow hemp to supply the Navy. Industrial hemp was grown in the US until the late 1950s when competition with synthetic materials drove it out of the marketplace.

Today, the Controlled Substances Act contains the same language as the Marijuana Tax Act. Congress never changed the law, the Executive Branch just changed its interpretation. The DEA erroneously interprets the marijuana law's exception for industrial hemp as an allowance for importing but not growing industrial hemp.

With new technological uses for natural materials on the upswing, industrial hemp is finally seeing the potential that Popular Mechanics recognized in 1938. New--or newly recognized -- uses of hemp include fiber-reinforced auto parts, bio-fuels, and omega 3-rich foods and personal care products. These, along with more common uses of hemp such as textiles and paper, are growing in popularity, but not as fast as they would if the expense of importing the raw materials were lifted. The US is importing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hemp products every year and imports are only increasing.

Industrial hemp can be grown without hurting anti-drug efforts.

In the US, half the states have considered industrial hemp farming, and 14 have passed pro-hemp laws or resolutions, including Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maine, which would currently be farming industrial hemp if it weren't for federal prohibitions. H.R. 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, would allow these laws to take effect.

The other industrial countries have shown that industrial hemp farming doesn't interfere with marijuana law enforcement. In Canada, the new industrial hemp industry has successfully kept marijuana out of its fields. A farmer must acquire a license to grow industrial hemp, and then mark out by GPS coordinates the exact size and shape of the field. Then there are field inspections, and laboratory tests. If anything were to be wrong, the field would be plowed under causing the farmer to lose the crops. As one might expect, no one interested in growing marijuana has done so through this program--it just wouldn't work.

To end with here is a brief list of the benefits of growing hemp:
  • Hemp is a low-maintenance crop requiring less herbicide or pesticides chemicals than other crops
  • Fibers are long and strong, useful in textiles and building materials
  • One acre of hemp can replace multiple acres of wood for paper production
  • The production of hemp paper requires fewer chemicals than wood paper and can be done without any harsh chemicals.
  • Industrial Hemp is ideal for biofuels as it can produce two to three tons of seed per acre and upwards of 10 tons of cellulose per acre per season between stalk, leaves, and seed. Cellulose is a newer source for ethanol.
  • Industrial Hemp seed is a healthy food product which sells nearly 12 million worth in the US and growing.
  • The seed oil is a popular ingredient in personal care products, 40 million worth in a 12 month reference period in 2004 and 2005 were sold in the US.
  • There are more than 2.5 million cars on U.S. roads that contain hemp biocomposites.
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