The letter below is from Rep. Joe Donnelly to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to become a cosponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011.
Rep. Joe Donnelly
(D-IN 2nd District)
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June 24, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about The Industrial Hemp Farming Act. I value your views, and your input helps me to better represent the people of Indiana's Second District in Congress.
As you know, industrial hemp refers to specific varieties of the Cannabis sativa L . plant species containing very low levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in higher levels of marijuana. Many countries, including Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Australia, and Canada have all legalized industrial hemp production, leading many to take interest in the potential market for industrial hemp goods here in the United States.
In response, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas introduced H.R. 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act. If enacted into law, this bill would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of "marijuana" under the Controlled Substances Act and would redefine industrial hemp as any Cannabis sativa L. plant with a THC concentration not exceeding 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. H.R. 1831 would also give state governments exclusive authority in determining whether plants meet such a limit.
H.R. 1831 is currently pending before the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on the Judiciary. Should this legislation reach the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.
Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to write, call or email me again if I can ever be of assistance. Also, if you would like to receive regular updates on my actions on your behalf in Congress, sign up for my e-newsletter, The Donnelly Dispatch, at http://donnelly.house.gov.
Member of Congress