The letter below is from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to become a sponsor for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
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March 30, 2009
Thank you so much for contacting me with your thoughts concerning industrial hemp farming. It is certainly good to hear from you.
H.R. 1009, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act," was introduced in the House of Representatives on April 20, 2007, by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and was subsequently referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Judiciary Committee. As it is written, the bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. Currently, the House of Representatives has taken no action on H.R. 1009.
I am aware that industrial hemp can be used in clothing, paper, carpeting, construction materials, auto parts, animal beddings, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food products. This could lead to a niche market for the growers of this specialized crop. However, growing hemp in the United States for any use is illegal due to the fact that no varieties of Cannabis are completely free of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) when fully grown. The Drug Enforcement Administration has concerns that legalized industrial hemp could complicate the identification and eradication of marijuana.
There has not been a companion bill offered in the Senate, but should any legislation come before the Senate regarding this matter, I will certainly be sure to keep your views in mind.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. If I can ever be of assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to let me know.
United States Senator