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Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:16 PM

The Politics of Hemp in Kentucky

The Farm Bill included a provision for state-controlled hemp production for 10 states.

This link is a GREAT read about the way politics and patronage and power impact the legislative decisions of this nation.

Apropos to nothing...Kentucky got a big damn project financed (the Olmsted Dam) as part of the deal brokered by Republicans when they were threatening to shut down the govt. - and when their partial shut down took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent.

McConnell is facing a challenge from both the Democrats and the teabaggers.


When President Obama signed the Farm Bill in Michigan on Friday afternoon, the "McConnell Hemp Provision" became the first Congressional action to roll back the prohibition on marijuana since World War II. That's right. Mitch McConnell might have accidentally taken the first step toward ending the Drug War.

How did Sen. McConnell become eponymous with language that permits pilot plots of the plant that until 2:45 eastern time on Friday were considered by the federal government to be indistinguishable from marijuana, a drug that remains classified by the Obama administration as Schedule I? It has left more than a few people scratching their heads.

The vacuum of democratic leadership on this issue (with the exception of Yarmuth) is what led to the opening that allowed McConnell to seize upon a popular issue that democrats had not claimed as their own. But the question remains for a national audience trying to make sense of Kentucky politics from the outside: If hemp is so popular, why are Kentucky democrats so afraid of it?

Hemp's original sin was to be born to a parent of the wrong party because James Comer, Kentucky's agricultural commissioner, is a republican. Last year, Comer shepherded a hemp bill through the Kentucky legislature by overcoming every obstacle thrown at him by the speaker of the general assembly, the governor, and the attorney general -- all democrats.

The McConnell Hemp Provision added to the existing bill included hemp growing for James Comer's Kentucky (and the other ten states) agricultural depts.

The magazine contacted the DEA to find out if farmers are going to be allowed to sell hemp they grow. The DEA referred the magazine to the DOJ.

Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, so, as far as growing it, or selling it, it's not going to be useful as an intoxicant. HOWEVER, it has been included in the drug schedule since it was created by Nixon in order to avoid any legal cannabis plant, no matter the use.

So, does Congress or the AG's office have to deschedule hemp in order to allow the law to be implemented?

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Reply The Politics of Hemp in Kentucky (Original post)
RainDog Feb 2014 OP
dem in texas Feb 2014 #1
RainDog Feb 2014 #2

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:34 PM

1. Hemp was grown in Kentucky during WWII

The climate in Western Kentucky is perfect for hemp growing. During the war, farmers got permits to grow hemp for the government, but they were not supposed to say what they were growing.

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Response to dem in texas (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:53 PM

2. Did you read the Esquire link?

in the box of highlighted text - it's a really interesting look at how politics gets played out via legislation.

...but the big question in this is - how will the federal legal entities deal with the reality that hemp is still a schedule one substance - and entirely illegal to grow?

The DEA defined "legal" hemp - legal hemp products, really, since it has not been legal to grow hemp for decades... anyway, a legal hemp product is anything that does not enter the body.

But HEMP, the plant, is still illegal in the U.S. because it is cannabis.

I don't know if this has been amended since it was initially put in place, but in Oct. 2001, the DEA clarified what constituted a legal hemp product.


DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson stated that “many Americans do not know that hemp and marijuana are both parts of the same plant and that hemp cannot be produced without producing marijuana.”

(btw, this is a BALD-FACED LIE that was told with impunity since hemp production is geared toward seeds with low THC and has been for decades.)

While most of the THC in cannabis plants is concentrated in the marijuana, all parts of the plant, including hemp, have been found to contain THC. The existence of THC in hemp is significant because THC, like marijuana, is a schedule I controlled substance. Federal law prohibits human consumption and possession of schedule I controlled substances. In addition, they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use.

The rules that DEA is publishing today explain which hemp products are legal and which are not. This will depend on whether the product causes THC to enter the human body. If the product does cause THC to enter the human body, it is an illegal substance that may not be manufactured, sold, or consumed in the United States. Such products include “hemp” foods and beverages that contain THC.

The DEA makes no distinction between recreational marijuana and hemp. So, Kentucky's law cannot go it effect unless the status of hemp changes as an illegal product.

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