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posted by chromas on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the takyon-and-chromas-hour dept.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will introduce a bill to legalize the production of hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 would remove the need for a federal permit to grow hemp. Since 2014, the federal farm bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) has allowed state agricultural departments to designate hemp projects for research purposes, with 34 states subsequently authorizing research and production occurring in 19:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced a new bill on Monday that would legalize hemp as an agricultural product.

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 would legalize hemp, removing it from the federal list of controlled substances and allowing it to be sold as an agricultural commodity, according to WKYT.

"Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky's agriculture heritage, and I believe that it can be an important part of our future," McConnell said in a statement.

See also: McConnell looks to complete hemp's comeback as crop
Hemp gains powerful ally to free it from marijuana ties


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4/20: The Mary Jane Majority 56 comments

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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out in support of federal cannabis decriminalization, just in time for 4/20:

The Minority Leader of the Senate is making it official the day before 4/20: He's down with legal weed. In an exclusive interview with VICE News, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed he is putting his name on legislation that he said is aimed at "decriminalizing" marijuana at the federal level. For Schumer, this is a shift. While he has backed medical marijuana and the rights of states to experiment with legal sales of pot, what he is proposing is a seismic shift in federal drug policy.

"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do. Freedom. If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?" Schumer said.

The legislation should be available within a week or so, and would remove cannabis (still listed as "Marihuana") from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of Schedule I substances. States would then be free to regulate or continue to prohibit the plant. Cannabis advertising would be regulated as are alcohol and tobacco advertising. (Also at NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and CNBC, as well as Reason taking a shot at Schumer for not doing it sooner.)

A majority of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, including, for the first time, a majority (51%) of Republicans, according to Gallup. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use. 29 states, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico have legalized medical use of cannabis, and another 17 states have legalized the use of cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis became available for recreational purposes in California on January 1.

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  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:52AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:52AM (#659850)

    Puts the republicans another step ahead of the democrats. Once again we'll be looking very small changes in congress

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @07:19AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @07:19AM (#659875)

      You might actually see Democrats fight against this, with the pretend reasoning (rather than blatant partisanship) being that it would ruin the medical cannabis. Already a fight in Oregon about that.
      http://www.oregonlive.com/marijuana/index.ssf/2015/02/southern_oregon_medical_mariju.html [oregonlive.com]

      • (Score: 2) by insanumingenium on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:14PM (1 child)

        by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:14PM (#660023) Journal

        There are some real potential issues here. It makes me wonder if there are any other crops where cross pollination carries such a risk, and if so how that is mitigated. The only thing close I can think of is cross pollination by roundup resistant crops, but everything I can find indicates that isn't the issue some people claim. Seems obvious there would have to be some sort of compromise.

        • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:09PM

          by captain normal (2205) on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:09PM (#660106)

          That could be a two way street. Where pollen from someone's recreational Indica patch pollinates a field of fiber and seed hemp.

          --
          “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:12AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:12AM (#659851)

    Something something broken clock.

    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Gaaark on Thursday March 29 2018, @10:27AM (1 child)

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 29 2018, @10:27AM (#659910) Journal

      Something something broke back mountain.

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @12:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @12:29PM (#659931)

        Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more, say no more.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:19AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:19AM (#659858) Journal
    When the main political obstructions propose the change, it's more likely to happen. We still have to get the House to go along with it, but it's certainly more likely than if some random outlier proposed the law.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DonkeyChan on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:34AM (6 children)

    by DonkeyChan (5551) on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:34AM (#659864)

    Industrial hemp is legally importable. As much as you want. The fact that it's legally importable but illegal to grow is the most insulting thing about all of this.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @09:58AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @09:58AM (#659900)

      Enjoy yer Freedoms that Men died fer. 'MURICA.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @09:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @09:59AM (#659902)

        Can't even hang myself with hemp rope I cri evertime

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:07PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:07PM (#660059)

        no shit motherfucker now please tell us what bastion of liberty you hale from.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @07:43PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @07:43PM (#660162)

          Certainly not the U.S., then.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @02:26PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @02:26PM (#659972)
      The further irony is that no less illustrious personages than George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had cultivated large fields of hemp in their day. Washington had in fact grown several varieties of hemp on all of his plantations, and there is some speculation that he might have even perhaps smoked "that Indian hemp" (Cannabis sativa indica) whose female plants he was keen on separating, as the female plants are much more psychoactive. It's rather sketchy though.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by captain normal on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:23PM

        by captain normal (2205) on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:23PM (#660117)

        Back in their day hemp was important for for the fiber which could make very strong rope and cloth for ship sails and clothing. Every navy depended upon it.
        Washington and others then may (or may not) have used some of their crop for it's herbal properties, but separating the female plants was more likely done for the seeds for the next years crop.

        --
        “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @02:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @02:35PM (#659974)

    I found out recently that a hemp product is very helpful with an ailment that affects half my family. Hemp, not Weed.

    What these people need is a kick up the rear.

    Banning products which have been used as medicine for centuries. Stupid.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by CZB on Thursday March 29 2018, @03:13PM (5 children)

    by CZB (6457) on Thursday March 29 2018, @03:13PM (#659993)

    As a farmer I'm all for growing hemp, it has some good soil and rotation qualities. Not sure how much of a market there will be for it. Probably will be like other third tier crops like millet or buckwheat.
    The biggest drawback is hemp needs specialty harvesting equipment, and a factory set up to process it into products.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:19PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:19PM (#660065)

      Also a farmer.

      You're right about the machinery (although I expect that will be available real quick) but I'm not too worried about the market for it. Even if all the hemp-seed-oil-sexual-lubrican-and-dietary-supplement promises fall through, hemp rope and fabrics are still in demand.

      Having said that, I'll bet you three wethers this is Mitch's way of showing some leg to the fans of Mary Jane, and opening the door to the drug trade. Not that I care - if we can make beer and whiskey, why not sweet leaf?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30 2018, @12:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30 2018, @12:07AM (#660240)

        Unfiltered hemp seed oil is better than most other products for fixing skin problems. From personal experience. It is worth looking in to.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:27PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:27PM (#660119) Journal
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @10:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @10:50PM (#660225)

      Not sure how much of a market there will be for it

      You said it right there. The market for it is pretty tiny. That could change, or not. The weed folk have been hyping it for years but they will say anything to get more weed out there. The thing is no one really knows what would/will happen. It could become huge or just be a 'so what' or somewhere in between. It should not have been scheduled in the first place. Selling weed on the other hand? That market is huge.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 30 2018, @03:08AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 30 2018, @03:08AM (#660274) Journal
      The interesting thing about it is it is an extremely versatile crop with both nutritional and industrial uses. Could be very promising, if petroleum prices rise considerably. It apparently has a decent yield for biodiesel and methanol (the latter is comparable [sciencedirect.com] to switchgrass), and can be used in bioplastics as well.
  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Hartree on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:40PM (1 child)

    by Hartree (195) on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:40PM (#660036)

    Mitch must prefer that "industrial strength" hemp. ;)

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