The letter below is from Rep. Mike Ross to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking him to become an original cosponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011.
Rep. Mike Ross
(D-AR 4th District)
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May 17, 2011
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009. I appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, H.R. 1866 was introduced on April 2, 2009, as legislation that would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. It would also grant states the regulating authority to determine concentration limits.
There have been continuous debates in the U.S. House of Representatives regarding industrial hemp, and attempts to specify that the term "marijuana" does not include industrial hemp. Such a change would mean that state law would determine whether producers could grow and process industrial hemp within state borders, under state regulations. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) determines whether any industrial hemp production authorized under a state statute will be permitted, and it enforces standards governing the security conditions under which the crop must be grown.
Please know that I understand your concerns and that your input on this issue is important to me. Please be assured that I will continue to monitor the status of this legislation and will keep your views in mind if I am asked to vote on this or any related legislation initiatives.
Thank you again for contacting me. If I can ever be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me in my Washington, D.C. office, or district office most convenient to you.