The letter below is from Sen. Maria Cantwell to a Vote Hemp supporter in reply to a letter asking her to become a cosponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
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May 18, 2012
Thank you for contacting me about industrial hemp. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue, and regret the delayed response.
As you may know, the 1970 Controlled Substances Act restricted the production of all varieties of Cannabis sativa, including the varieties with low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive chemical found in the drug marijuana. These varieties are often referred to as "industrial hemp." Following the listing of Cannabis sativa under the Controlled Substances Act, cultivation of hemp became illegal without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Industrial hemp producers are also subject to state law. For more information on Washington State laws that govern industrial hemp, I recommend that you contact your state representative or state senator by calling the Washington State Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000 or through the legislature's website at http://www.leg.wa.gov.
You may be aware of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 20011 (H.R.1831), which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to permit the production of industrial hemp, subject to state laws. H.R. 1831 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) on May 5, 2011. The measure was been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, where it is pending further consideration. Currently, there is no companion to this legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind if this or any other legislation regarding industrial hemp should come before the Senate.
Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may be interested in signing up for my weekly update for Washington State residents. Every Monday, I provide a brief outline about my work in the Senate and issues of importance to Washington State. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
United States Senator
For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html