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Press Release

Rep. Ron Paul Introduces H.R. 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, on Heels of Successful Second Annual Hemp History Week

PR Newswire

Senate  Bill  In  Support  of  Industrial  Hemp  Farming  Expected  to  Follow

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For  the  fourth  time  since  the  federal  government  outlawed  hemp  farming  in  the  United  States  over  50  years  ago,  a  federal  bill  was  introduced  on  May  11,  which  if  passed,  will  remove  restrictions  on  the  cultivation  of  industrial  hemp,  the  non-drug  oilseed  and  fiber  varieties  of  Cannabis.  The  chief  sponsor,  Rep.  Ron  Paul  (R-TX)  circulated  a  "Dear  Colleague"  letter  last  week  seeking  support  for  H.R.  1831,  The  Industrial  Hemp  Farming  Act  of  2011.  H.R.  1831  is  almost  identical  to  H.R.  1866,  which  was  introduced  in  the  111th  Congress  in  2009.  

"We  are  pleased  to  see  the  re-introduction  of  the  Industrial  Hemp  Farming  Act  in  Congress.  Vote  Hemp  is  currently  working  with  a  Democratic  Senator  who  is  preparing  to  introduce  companion  legislation  in  the  Senate  in  support  of  industrial  hemp  farming,"  says  Vote  Hemp  President,  Eric  Steenstra.  "It  is  due  time  for  the  Senate  as  well  as  President  Obama  and  the  Attorney  General  to  prioritize  the  crop's  benefits  to  farmers  and  to  take  action  like  Rep.  Paul  and  the  cosponsors  of  H.R.  1831  have  done.  With  the  U.S.  hemp  industry  valued  at  over  $400  million  in  annual  retail  sales  and  growing,  a  change  in  federal  policy  to  allow  hemp  farming  would  mean  instant  job  creation,  among  many  other  economic  and  environmental  benefits,"  adds  Steenstra.  

U.S.  companies  that  manufacture  or  sell  products  made  with  hemp  include  Dr.  Bronner's  Magic  Soaps,  a  California  company  that  manufactures  the  number-one-selling  natural  soap  in  the  U.S.  as  well  as  best-selling  hemp  food  manufacturers,  such  as  French  Meadow  Bakery,  Living  Harvest,  Manitoba  Harvest,  Nature's  Path,  Nutiva  and  Sequel  Naturals  who  make  their  products  from  hemp  grown  in  Canada.  Sustainable  hemp  seed,  fiber  and  oil  are  also  used  by  major  companies  such  as  Ford  Motors,  Patagonia  and  The  Body  Shop.  

"Public  support  for  industrial  hemp  farming  is  growing  in  leaps  and  bounds  in  the  U.S.,"  explains  Steenstra.  "The  second  annual  Hemp  History  Week,  celebrated  from  May  2-8,  2011  featured  over  550  events  in  all  50  states.  The  campaign  mobilized  the  support  of  tens  of  thousands  of  consumers,  grass-roots  activists  and  many  high-profile  celebrities  from  health  and  wellness  experts  to  TV  and  entertainment  personalities,  professional  athletes  and  renowned  musicians."  

H.R.  1831  was  introduced  by  chief  sponsor  Rep.  Ron  Paul  (R-TX)  with  21  original  cosponsors,  including  Rep.  Baldwin  (D-WI),  Rep.  Blumenauer  (D-OR),  Rep.  Clay  (D-MO),  Rep.  Cohen  (D-TN),  Rep.  DeFazio  (D-OR),  Rep.  Ellison  (D-MN),  Rep.  Farr  (D-CA),  Rep.  Frank  (D-MA),  Rep.  Grijalva  (D-AZ),  Rep.  Hinchey  (D-NY),  Rep.  McClintock  (R-CA),  Rep.  McDermott  (D-WA),  Rep.  Miller  (D-CA),  Rep. Moran  (D-VA),  Rep.  Nadler  (D-NY),  Rep.  Pingree  (D-ME),  Rep.  Polis  (D-CO),  Rep.  Rohrabacher  (R-CA),  Rep.  Schakowsky  (D-IL),  Rep.  Stark  (D-CA)  and  Rep.  Woolsey  (D-CA).  

To  date,  seventeen  states  have  passed  pro-hemp  legislation,  and  six  states  (Maine,  Montana,  North  Dakota,  Oregon,  Vermont  and  West  Virginia)  have  already  authorized  the  licensing  of  farmers  to  grow  the  crop.  However,  despite  state  authorization  to  grow  hemp,  farmers  in  these  states  risk  raids  by  federal  agents,  prison  time  and  land  forfeiture  if  they  plant  the  crop,  due  to  the  failure  of  federal  policy  to  distinguish  oilseed  and  fiber  varieties  of  Cannabis  (i.e.,  industrial  hemp)  from  psychoactive  varieties.  

More  information  about  industrial  hemp  legislation  and  the  crop's  many  uses  can  be  found  at

SOURCE Vote Hemp

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