The letter below is from Rep. David Wu (D-OR 1st District) to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to become a sponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.
Rep. David Wu
(D-OR 1st District)
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July 13, 2009
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for the H.R. 1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009. I appreciate hearing from you about this important issue.
H.R. 1866 would amend Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) to specify that the term "marijuana" does not include industrial hemp. Such a change would mean that state law would determine whether producers could grow and process industrial hemp within state borders, under state regulations. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) determines whether any industrial hemp production authorized under a state statute will be permitted, and it enforces standards governing the security conditions under which the crop must be grown.
The terms "hemp" and "industrial hemp" refer to varieties of Cannabis sativa characterized by low levels of the primary psychoactive chemical (tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC) in their leaves and flowers. Because of the psychoactive properties of some varieties of Cannabis, production of all varieties of Cannabis, regardless of THC content and intended use, became tightly regulated under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. w w 802 et seq.).
Many states have passed laws calling for economic or production studies of hemp. The DEA has been unwilling to grant licenses for growing small plots of hemp for research purposes. DEA officials express the concern that commercial cultivation would increase the likelihood of covert production of high-THC marijuana, which would complicate the DEA's surveillance and enforcement activities.
Should H.R. 1866 be brought to the House floor for a vote, I will remember your support and give the bill serious consideration.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Should you have further questions or comments, please call me at 503-326-2901 or 800-422-4003. If you would like to receive my email newsletter, please visit www.house.gov/wu to sign up.
With warm regards,
Member of Congress