Let Our Farmers Grow (Pot Laws)

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/19-8

by Ralph Nader
Published on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

Congressman Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1831, the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011″ on May 11th of this year. It is a simple bill at just two pages in length, and it would legalize the growing of industrial hemp in the United States.

Currently farmers can grow industrial hemp only if they have received a permit from the DEA – a prospect that the agency has made all but impossible for decades. Otherwise, it is illegal to grow.

Although Rep. Paul has introduced several bills like this one in the past, there are several reasons that this bill should be passed now. Hemp has an amazing number of uses. Its fiber can be used in carpeting, home furnishings, construction materials, auto parts, textiles, and paper. Its seeds can be used in food, industrial oils, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. There are assertions, reported by The Guardian and in Biodiesel Magazine that using industrial hemp in biofuels instead of crops like corn and other feedstock provide greater environmental benefits. The expansion of industrial hemp as a feedstock for biofuels could also help to reduce oil imports.

Not only does hemp have a wide range of uses, but its cultivation in the United States could help to spur our lagging economy. Since the cultivation of hemp is outlawed in the United States, the U.S. market for hemp and hemp-based products is entirely dependent upon imports. A 2010 Congressional Research Service report cited an estimate that the U.S. market for hemp-based products may exceed $350 million annually.

A ban on the agricultural production of hemp simply doesn’t make sense. Farmers in places like Iowa could benefit greatly from the production of industrial hemp. In a crippling recession, unemployed Americans could receive a boost from such an emerging industry, from farm to value-added businesses. And many firms here in the United States that sell hem–based products would reap the benefits.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/19-8

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-morgan/obama-must-explain-his-br_b_1020910.html

Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon


October 20, 2011

This week’s news that support for the legalization of marijuana has reached a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama’s heavily publicized and widely praised promise to respect state medical marijuana laws has recently been shattered into more pieces than the campaign can count.

In only a few short months, the Obama administration has presided over a vicious series of political assaults on medical marijuana patients and providers across the nation, carried out by numerous federal agencies. The situation just continues to get more ugly and insane from one week to the next:

  • Federal prosecutors have threatened to arrest state employees for administering state laws, resulting in stalled programs and reduced patient access.
  • U.S. Attorneys in California recently revived the Bush era tactic of threatening to seize property from landlords who rent to medical marijuana facilities.
  • After 9 years of failing to respond, the DEA recently denied a petition to reschedule marijuana, ignoring a vast body of scientific evidence proving the drug’s medical efficacy.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-morgan/obama-must-explain-his-br_b_1020910.html

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