The letter below is from Sen. Bob Casey 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. Bob Casey (D-PA)
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June 29, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding domestic industrial hemp farming. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.
Roughly every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill which governs federal farm and food policy. If passed into law, the Senate's 2012 Farm Bill would reduce the deficit by approximately $23 billion dollars through the elimination of some subsidies and the consolidation of programs. I have made it a priority to keep Pennsylvania's agricultural industry and our rural economies strong to support Pennsylvanian families. I worked to improve the Farm Bill so it was more fair and equitable for Pennsylvanian agriculture. The current version of the 2012 Farm Bill includes benefits for Pennsylvania's specialty crop farmers, dairy farmers and conservation programs. It also improves the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to purchase foods for use in federal nutrition programs.
Senator Ron Paul of Texas introduced H.R. 1831, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, on May 11, 2011. This bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of "marihuana." Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced an amendment to the Senate's 2012 Farm Bill which featured text similar to that in the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. Since it was not included in the list of amendments allowed to be voted on during consideration of S. 3240, the Agriculture, Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, this amendment was not brought to a vote. Should this issue come before the full Senate for consideration, please be assured that I will keep your views in mind.
The Senate passed the 2012 Farm Bill on June 21, 2012. I voted for the bill, which passed with a vote of 64-35. The House of Representatives has not yet passed its version of the 2012 Farm Bill. Should the House pass such legislation and the Senate and House confer on these bills in order to reconcile differences between the two versions, please be assured that I will continue to keep your views in mind.
As always, I appreciate your views, thoughts, and concerns as they assist me in understanding what is important to the people of Pennsylvania. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, http://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.
United States Senator
P.S. If you would like to respond to this message, please use the contact form on my website: http://casey.senate.gov/contact/