The letter below is from Rep. Ben Chandler to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to become a sponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.
Rep. Ben Chandler
(D-KY 6th District)
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October 29, 2010
Thank you for contacting me about the legalization of industrial hemp. As Central Kentucky's advocate in Washington, D.C., your views are extremely important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share them.
Although the U.S. government permitted hemp to be grown for fiber and oil during World War II, the crop has been illegal in the United States since 1937 because of the psychoactive properties of some varieties and the difficulties it presents to law enforcement officials combating marijuana. There is a resurgence of interest in the United States in growing hemp for use in a wide range of products—from clothing to paper, carpeting, construction materials, auto parts, animal bedding, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food products.
As you may know, H.R. 1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. In addition, this bill would grant exclusive authority in any criminal or civil action or administrative proceeding to states which regulate the growing and processing of industrial hemp. It is currently before the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary where it must be considered before reaching the House floor. As Kentucky's attorney general, I implemented and enforced a vigorous anti-drug abuse program. Please rest assured I will closely monitor this issue and keep your thoughts in mind.
Again, I value your input on industrial hemp. I hope you will stay in touch, and please feel free to visit http://chandler.house.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter keeping you up to date on issues affecting Central Kentucky in the 111th Congress.
Member of Congress