by sfnoggin, Daily Kos
Last week, Maine's Senate passed LD 1159 on a vote of 25-10. The bill would establish a licensing regime for farming industrial hemp. The State of Oregon is also on the verge of passing industrial hemp legislation. If the bills succeed, these states would join fifteen others that have passed hemp bills.
There's no doubt, it's our federalist system that is enabling this long stigmatized agricultural crop to rise from the ashes.
Follow me over the bump.
As many of you know, since 1937, this highly versatile crop (uses include food, fuel, building material, textile, and energy to name a few) has been linked - via the Marijuana Tax Act - to the recreational and medicinal strains of the same species: Cannabis sativa L. But make no mistake, they are genetically distinct and nothing like the other.
The battle has been long. The last legal hemp crop grown in the U.S. was harvested 50 years ago. In 1970, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, farming hemp in the U.S. was effectively outlawed. And since then, the courts have offered no relief claiming only Congress can change the status quo.
Nonetheless, with the hemp renaissance's onset in the 80s - and the 90s when states began introducing hemp legislation - grassroots efforts have led to a growing hemp ground swell headed straight towards D.C.