The letter below is from Sen. Michael Bennet to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to introduce a Senate version of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
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February 11, 2011
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R.1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, introduced by Representative Ron Paul in the 111th Congress. I appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. As you are well aware, several business groups, farmers and non-profit organizations have been supportive of the reintroduction of industrial hemp in domestic agriculture and several states have passed laws that allow for the production, research and study of the crop.
While I certainly understand that industrial hemp is a good source of paper and cloth, its physical resemblance to marijuana has been a source of concern for many in the law enforcement community. You may be interested to learn that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has researched other crops that have the same qualities and uses as hemp, but do not closely resemble marijuana. My view is that the federal government should approach the use of new resources for important economic initiatives with an open mind.
H.R.1866 was referred to the House Energy and Commerce, and Judiciary Committees. The full House never considered this legislation prior to the adjournment of the 111th Congress. While I am not a member of the House of Representatives, I certainly thank you for sharing your views that industrialized hemp is a viable resource, and I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate proceeds in the 112th Congress.
Again, thank you for contacting me.
United States Senator