The letter below is from Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA 1st District) to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to become a sponsor for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011.
Rep. Jay Inslee
(D-WA 1st District)
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May 25, 2011
Thank you for contacting me in support of industrial hemp farming. I appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, in the last Congress, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007, H.R. 1866, would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. This bill would also grant states the exclusive authority to regulate the growing and processing of industrial hemp, including determining whether plants meet the concentration limit. I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should Congress consider similar legislation in the 112th Congress.
I am aware of the historical use of hemp since it was widely grown as an agricultural crop from colonial times through the mid-1800's for fabrics, twine, and paper. As you know, it is currently legal to possess imported sterilized hemp seeds, hemp products (such as fabrics and hemp oil cosmetics) and raw hemp fiber, because these products are not included in the most restrictive category of controlled substances. However, under the current policy of the Office of the National Drug Control Policy and the DEA, such products must meet a zero-tolerance standard for tetrahydrocannabinol content (THC) in order to be cleared through U.S. Customs.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me about such an important issue. For news on current federal legislative issues, please visit my website at www.house.gov/inslee, where you can also sign up to receive my e-newsletter. My office is here to serve you, so please feel free to contact us in Shoreline at 206-361-0233 or in Washington, D.C. at 202-225-6311 for assistance.
Very truly yours,
Member of Congress