Bipartisan Effort Introduces National Hemp Legalization Bill
While it may look suspiciously similar to its stonifying cousin, getting you high is pretty much the only thing hemp can't be used for. That's why three US senators believe that the American people deserve the opportunity to grow the crop, despite its unfortunate appearance. Last Thursday, Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced S. 3501 that would amend the Controlled Substances Act to state that hemp is not a drug. This would make its cultivation as legal as corn and potentially jump start a new industrial hemp market here.
"I firmly believe that American farmers should not be denied an opportunity to grow and sell a legitimate crop simply because it resembles an illegal one," Wyden said. "Raising this issue has sparked a growing awareness of exactly how ridiculous the U.S.'s ban on industrial hemp is. I'm confident that if grassroots support continues to grow and Members of Congress continue to hear from voters then common sense hemp legislation can move through Congress in the near future." [The Hill via Hemp Image: CreativeNature.nl / Shutterstock]
Feds Find Fewer Flower Fields
For reasons still unexplained, federal authorities have found and destroyed progressively fewer live marijuana plants in the last three years while the amount of processed weed seized has exploded. California, the largest producing state, saw a 46.5-percent drop between 2010 and 2011, while most every other state saw more modest reductions. "You can't attribute it to one factor," Casey Rettig, spokeswoman for Drug Enforcement Administration in San Francisco, told the AP.
Colorado Really Wants Its Weed
60 to 1. That's how wide a fundraising margin Colorado's Amendment 64—one that would regulate marijuana sales as alcohol is—enjoys over its opposition. The amendment's backers have raised over $1.3 million for the cause, although $1.1 million of that came from a DC lobbying group called Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). The proposed legislation is also enjoying a wide lead in the polls and is expected to pass the November ballots. If passed it would ammend the Colorado constitution as such:
An amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning marijuana, and, in connection therewith, providing for the regulation of marijuana; permitting a person twenty-one years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana; providing for the licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores; permitting local governments to regulate or prohibit such facilities; requiring the general assembly to enact an excise tax to be levied upon wholesale sales of marijuana; requiring that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually by such tax be credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund; and requiring the general assembly to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp.