U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a California company who manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap, and FlexForm Technologies, an Indiana company whose natural fiber materials are used in over two million cars on the road today. Hemp food manufacturers, such as French Meadow Bakery, Hempzels, Living Harvest, Nature’s Path and Nutiva, now make their products from Canadian hemp. Although hemp now grows wild across the U.S., a vestige of centuries of hemp farming here, the hemp for these products must be imported. Hemp clothing is made around the world by well-known brands such as Patagonia, Bono’s Edun and Giorgio Armani.
Only In D.C.: Barney Frank and Ron Paul Unite!
A key liberal figure and a key libertarian figure are joining forces on an issue to help American farmers and the economy as a whole. Although I’m not a huge fan of Ron Paul and think Barney Frank deserves all the criticism he’s receiving these days, I’m glad to see them uniting on common-sense legislation that will benefit one of America’s most important industries. From RonPaul.com:
It is unfortunate that the federal government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, from competing in the global industrial hemp market,” said Representative Ron Paul during his introduction of the bill yesterday before the U.S. House. “Indeed, the founders of our nation, some of whom grew hemp, would surely find that federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of a limited, restrained federal government. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to stand up for American farmers and co-sponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act,” concluded Paul.
Eric Steenstra, of Vote Hemp, explains the issue and the opportunities:
“Under the current national drug control policy, industrial hemp can be imported, but it can’t be grown by American farmers,” says Steenstra. “The DEA has taken the Controlled Substances Act’s antiquated definition of marijuana out of context and used it as an excuse to ban industrial hemp farming. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 will return us to more rational times when the government regulated marijuana, but allowed farmers to continue raising industrial hemp just as they always had.”
At a time when not only small American farms are struggling but millions not in the agricultural industry are losing their jobs, it only makes sense to open up the opportunities for hemp production. The over-zealous and mis-directed “War on Drugs,” led by many who have little knowledge of actual drugs, their effects, and their production (which is all for another post, but important to point out here), has blocked for too long an exciting opportunity for America’s agricultural industry. Call you Congressman and Senator and tell them to support this important legislation.
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