The letter below is from Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY 11th District) to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking her to become a sponsor for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.
Rep. Yvette Clarke
(D-NY 11th District)
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August 28, 2009
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.
The proposed legislation would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of "marijuana." This exclusion would allow farmers to legally grow and market hemp for industrial use. Since 1970, the Federal Controlled Substances Act's inclusion of industrial hemp in the schedule one definition of marijuana has prohibited American farmers from growing hemp despite the fact that industrial hemp has a very low content of THC, the psychoactive chemical in the related marijuana plant. The level is so low that someone cannot be psychologically affected by consuming hemp.
The United States is the only industrialized nation that prohibits industrial hemp cultivation. In a March 23, 2007 report on the use of hemp as an agricultural commodity, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) noted that hemp is grown as an established agricultural commodity in over 30 nations in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act will relieve this unique restriction on American farmers and allow them to grow industrial hemp in accord with State law.
The bill has been referred to, and is being considered by, both the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on the Judiciary. Should the bill reach the floor of the House for a vote, my decision will reflect the sentiments of my constituents and be in their best interests. I am studying the issues associated with this legislation and am monitoring its progress.
Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue. I encourage you to continue to contact me about the matters that are important to you.
Please be sure to visit my website at www.clarke.house.gov to stay updated on this and other issues.
Yvette D. Clarke
Member of Congress