The letter below is from Rep. Chellie Pingree to Tom Murphy, Vote Hemp National Outreach Coordinator, in reply to his letter thanking her for becoming a sponsor for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.
Rep. Chellie Pingree
D-ME 1st District
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September 30, 2010
Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
As you may know, H.R. 1866 would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of "marijuana," and instead would categorize "industrial hemp" to mean the plant Cannabis sativa L. This bill would also grant states exclusive authority on regulating the growing and processing of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.
As someone who has made a living as an organic farmer, I am proud to cosponsor this bill. I am dedicated to keeping the delicate balance between good economic farming initiatives and promoting local, organic products. Eight states, including Maine, allow industrial hemp production or research in accord with state laws. However current federal law prevents farmers from growing this crop, and therefore hemp included in products sold in the United States must be imported. If enacted, H.R. 1866 will help famers access a low maintenance alternative crop without interfering with existing state laws discouraging the recreational use of cannabis.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced by Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) on April 2, 2009 and has been introduced to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Judiciary. As a long time advocate for Maine environmental and agricultural interests, I look forward to this bill being brought to the House floor for a vote. Again, thank you for being in touch, and I hope to see you in Maine soon.
Member of Congress
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