The letter below is from Rep. Dan Lungren 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. Dan Lungren
(R-CA 3rd District)
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June 20, 2011
Thank you for contacting me regarding legalization of commercial hemp production. I appreciate the opportunity to learn of your views on this subject.
The authority derived from Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate controlled substances and to determine the purposes for which they can lawfully be used. Congress declared that illegal possession of controlled substances impacts interstate commerce when it passed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (section 801 of Title 21, United States Code).
Furthermore, Article VI of the Constitution states that the Constitution, Federal laws and all treaties are to be considered the supreme law of the land. State law exists alongside federal law, since both have jurisdiction on this area. But Federal law is controlling when in conflict with state law because of the Supremacy Clause.
For the time being, government policy on this issue is reflected in the DEA's arguments against commercial hemp production. They contend that commercial cultivation would increase the likelihood of covert production of high-THC marijuana, significantly complicate DEA's surveillance and enforcement activities, and send the wrong message to the American public concerning the government's position on drugs. For many drug users, marijuana is the beginning of a destructive cycle of drug addiction. For these reasons and more, I cannot support the legalization of commercial hemp production.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.
If you would like to stay informed about federal legislation introduced in the 112th Congress, as well as local issues that may interest you, please take a moment to subscribe to my weekly e-newsletter at www.lungren.house.gov.
I look forward to discussing this or any other issue affecting our 3rd Congressional District with you in the future. For upcoming Town Hall meetings, or for information on issues or legislation pending before Congress, please visit my website at www.lungren.house.gov. If you need assistance with a federal agency, please call my Gold River office at (916) 859-9906. My staff and I are always available to address your concerns, answer your questions, and listen to your ideas.
Daniel E. Lungren
Member of Congress