As some states have chosen to legalize the use of marijuana – medical or otherwise – there has been a growing push in the federal government to ease restrictions on the substance. That includes not holding those states where pot is now legal to the long-held federal guidelines regarding the drug being considered an illegal substance.
As a shoot-off from that, Sen. Rand Paul is putting his support behind a bill that would allow his home state of Kentucky to capitalize on the looser restrictions – but not with the marijuana business.
As reported by the Courier-Journal:
“U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday endorsed Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer’s efforts to begin hemp production in the state based on a recent U.S. Justice Department decision relaxing marijuana enforcement. The department announced recently that it will not challenge state laws in Colorado and Washington that allow marijuana use.
‘This fight has always been about jobs and providing another opportunity for Kentucky’s farmers, and I expect the Obama administration to treat all states equally in this process,’ Paul, R-Ky., said in the statement. ‘I will continue to fight at the federal level to enact legislation to secure this new industry for Kentucky.’”
The possibility opened up just recently, after the Justice Department said individual states could allow the growing, selling, and use of marijuana (as long as the state prevents it from hitting the black market, and also protects children). Since U.S. law has classified hemp the same as marijuana, the Courier-Journal writes, that now opens the door for hemp production as well.
Kentucky’s Senate Bill 50 would help regulate hemp production in the state, if the federal government allowed it.
“Comer said the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission will meet Sept. 12 where he will urge commission members to move forward on the administrative framework established under SB 50.”
They’ll discuss it with a big business hurrah from Paul.
Photograph Courtesy of Wikipedia
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