THE BLOG

Obama Legalizes Limited Hemp Farming

02/11/2014 03:13 pm ET | Updated Apr 13, 2014

We wouldn't blame you if you doubted President Obama's word.

When he ran for President he vowed that marijuana enforcement in medical-legal states would not be a priority. We all know how that turned out (his DEA and Department of Justice cracked down on California dispensaries, including several in L.A.).

Maybe the Prez is mellowing out just a little, though. He actually signed a bill into law that grants limited legal status to the outlaw industry of hemp production.

The hemp rule was actually an amendment attached to the five-year, nearly $1 trillion taxpayer giveaway known as the Farm Bill. It subsidizes major agribusiness, ensuring the price of corn and soy is super-cheap, while giving some allowances to the poor, mainly in the form of food stamps.

Obama signed the whole package into law over the weekend. According to the organization Vote Hemp, the hemp amendment:

...allows State Agriculture Departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes, but it applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.

One of those states is California. This year, 13 states have introduced laws to further legitimize hemp. It's not marijuana legalization, but it's one step in the direction of sanity.

Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra said:

This is the first time in American history that industrial hemp has been legally defined by our federal government as distinct from drug varieties of Cannabis. The market opportunities for hemp are incredibly promising--ranging from textiles and health foods to home construction and even automobile manufacturing. This is not just a boon to U.S. farmers, this is a boon to U.S. manufacturing industries as well.

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