The letter below is from Rep. Wally Herger to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to become a sponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011.
Rep. Wally Herger
(R-CA 2nd District)
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May 11, 2011
Thank you for contacting me regarding the legalization of cannabis hemp. I appreciate hearing from you.
Regrettably, I am unable to support current efforts to legalize hemp in this country. Although I have been made aware of the benefits of this crop, I still have several objections to the legalization of this plant.
First, many law enforcement agencies have pointed out that it is difficult to distinguish between hemp and its close cousin, marijuana. I'm concerned that this similarity in appearance could impede efforts to eliminate the growing of marijuana in this country, particularly when law enforcement agents fly over fields searching for illegal marijuana crops.
Additionally, it is my belief that some are promoting the hemp-legalization movement in a thinly veiled attempt to legalize marijuana. I firmly believe that our society should fight drug abuse rather than legalizing 'backdoor' techniques of allowance.
Finally, there are many comparable synthetic and natural products that have long been used as a replacement to hemp. I believe our society has functioned effectively without hemp for decades. As such, I cannot justify the need for this plant now when it has the potential of increasing marijuana production.
Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. Should you have any further concerns on this or any other federal matter of importance to you, please do not hesitate to contact my office. In addition, I would like to invite you to visit my web site on the Internet at www.house.gov/herger where you can find additional information on my position on a variety of issues and sign up for occasional e-mail updates on the federal issues important to you.
Member of Congress