The federal government has no constitutional authority to ban the production of this industrial plant, but has persisted in preventing its domestic production. Industrial hemp falls under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. It technically remains “legal” to grow industrial hemp, but farmers must obtain a permit from the DEA, a nearly impossible feat. The result? Products with hemp that are readily available at your local grocery store must be imported from another country – resulting in higher costs for you and fewer farming jobs in America.
The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Recent congressional research indicates that the hemp market consists of over 25,000 various products. The same research found that America imports over $400 million worth of hemp from other countries. At this time of economic difficulty, 13-241 would not only expand freedom and support the Constitution, it would also be a great jobs bill.
States resisting federal “laws” banning hemp production are affirming the proper view of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution – the commerce clause:
As understood at the time of the founding, the regulation of commerce was meant to empower congress to regulate the buying and selling of products made by others (and sometimes land), associated finance and financial instruments, and navigation and other carriage, across state jurisdictional lines. This interstate regulation of “commerce” did not include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, malum in se crime, or land use. Nor did it include activities that merely “substantially affected” commerce.
On August 29, 2013, the DOJ issued a letter to Colorado and Washington State effectively giving up on their failed attempt to stop the states from legalizing cannabis. Learn more here
While this is an expected, but welcome, backing off by the Federal Government, it’s still just the beginning. In order to win this issue and fully nullify, states and localities must continue the pressure in new and even more effective ways. See the action steps to the right for more.
Legend: Blue: Introduced. Yellow: Passed one or more houses. Green: Passed both houses. Red: Passed as Law. Purple: Failed Vote or Stalled in Committee