The letter below is from Sen. Kelly Ayotte to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking her to introduce a Senate version of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
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May 4, 2011
Thank you for your comments regarding the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 (H.R. 1866). I appreciate hearing from you.
As you know, H.R. 1866 was introduced in the House of Representatives in the 111th Congress by Representative Ron Paul (R-TX). The bill was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. It was then referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. If passed, H.R. 1866 would have amended the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The bill was never considered on the floor of the House of Representatives, and it has not been reintroduced in the 112th Congress.
While I respect your thoughts about the commercial cultivation of hemp in the U.S., I believe there are valid concerns that industrialized hemp could increase the likelihood of covert marijuana production and complicate the Drug Enforcement Agency's surveillance of illegal narcotics. These concerns must be considered and addressed before legalizing industrial hemp. Please know that I will keep your comments in mind if legislation addressing this issue is reintroduced and as the 112th Congress considers our nation's agriculture policy.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding this issue. As your Senator, it is important for me to hear from you regarding the current issues affecting New Hampshire and our nation. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of any further assistance.
Kelly A. Ayotte
U. S. Senator