The letter below is from Sen. Patrick Leahy to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to support Sen. Ron Wyden's industrial hemp amendment to the Farm Bill.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
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June 26, 2012
Thank you for contacting me about the 2012 Farm Bill and Senator Wyden's amendment on industrial hemp. I appreciate hearing from you on this cornerstone piece of agricultural legislation that is so important to Vermont.
On June 7, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced an amendment to the 2012 Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act — the 2012 Farm Bill — that would have excluded industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana and allowed hemp farming to be regulated by states. This amendment would have changed federal law to permit farmers to produce hemp for U.S. products. With over 300 amendments offered to the Farm Bill, a bipartisan agreement was reached for the Senate to vote on 73 of those amendments. In the end, Senator Wyden's amendment was not among those considered.
While the 2012 Farm Bill is not a perfect bill, it is a strong piece of legislation that will go a long way to promoting our rural economies, protecting the environment and our working landscapes, and supporting Vermont's farmers. As the most senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I have worked closely with the Committee Chairwoman and Ranking Member to ensure that this bipartisan bill recognizes the needs of all Americans — from the west coast to the east coast - and works to support our farmers, both large and small.
Thank you once again for contacting me. Please keep in touch.
United States Senator