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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
CONTACT: Ryan Fletcher 202-641-0277
Tom Murphy 207-542-4998
All Twenty-Five Co-Sponsors of Industrial Hemp Farming Act H.R. 1866 Rewarded with Re-election
Vote Hemp: "Support for Hemp Farming is Not a Political Liability"
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation's leading industrial hemp education and advocacy organization, Vote Hemp, is proud to report that every member of Congress who co-sponsored H.R. 1866, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act (IHFA), was re-elected on November 2. Vote Hemp believes that the majority of lawmakers who are sitting on the sidelines of this issue are tacitly supporting millions of dollars per year in imports of hemp seed, oil and fiber to meet the needs of American businesses and consumers, effectively excluding American farmers and businesses from a great economic opportunity.
"These 'fence-sitting' lawmakers should realize that supporting hemp farming cannot be considered a political liability, based on this year's election results," says Vote Hemp President, Eric Steenstra. He adds, "If anything, supporting hemp farming is a sure sign that a member of Congress is going to be re-elected. Of the twenty-five co-sponsors of the IHFA, all were sent back to Washington, D.C. for another term." The growing momentum highlights hemp farming as a piece of the larger puzzle to renew our economy while simultaneously reducing net carbon emissions and benefitting the environment.
Demand for products made from industrial hemp has increased significantly over the last ten years, in part due to hemp's high nutritional profile, as well as its agricultural and environmental benefits. 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. Despite a growing demand for hemp products and national support for hemp farming, the United States still remains the only developed nation to ban growing this sustainable and versatile crop.
The IHFA is a very different bill than most, sponsored by Republican Congressman and liberty movement leader Ron Paul and veteran Democrat Barney Frank. Members from across the political spectrum have signed on, from Blue Dog to liberal to libertarian. Standing up for facts over myths, every single member of Congress who signed on has been rewarded with another term. An issue with a unique brand of bipartisanship, hemp farming will surely be a story to follow in the 112th Congress.
Co-sponsors of H.R. 1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, in alphabetical order:
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Earl Blumenaeur (D-OR), John Campbell (R-CA), William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Peter Defazio (D-OR), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Michael Honda (D-CA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), George Miller (D-CA), James Moran (D-VA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ron Paul (R-TX), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Denny Rehberg (D-MT), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
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Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org.