Illinois: Lawmakers Continue Reefer Madness, Punish Farmers

Over the past several years, sixteen states have passed pro-hemp farming legislation, so why are Illinois lawmakers working against the farmer?

By Michael, Hemp News Correspondent

Illinois Lawmakers Continue Reefer Madness, Punish Farmers Last month, because of years of festering propagandist lies, the Illinois House of Representatives voted against mid-west farmers and their right to grow a viable rotation crop (HB1383 - Illinois Industrial Hemp Act). The bill, which passed a House Agriculture and Conservation Committee by a vote of 11-2 earlier in the same week, would have licensed: individuals desiring to grow, process, cultivate, harvest, possess, sell, or purchase industrial hemp or industrial hemp related products. In many cases, an alternative rotation crop, such as hemp, could possibly save the multi-generational farms from foreclosure.

"The fiber from industrial hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers known, and it is present in bundles that surround the main stem. Industrial hemp fiber applications include uses in textiles, cordage, construction materials, paper products, and bio-composite plastics," according to Donald P. Briskin, Professor of Plant Biochemistry/Physiology, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Advocacy groups, including The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) have stated, "We support revisions to the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp."

Notably, in 2009, The National Grange voted to support hemp, stating that it "supports research, production, processing and marketing of industrial hemp as a viable agricultural activity."

Earlier this year, The National Farmers Union came out in favor of industrial hemp, which was adopted by delegates of the National Farmers Union (NFU) at its 108th annual convention in Rapid City, South Dakota. At the conclusion of their convention, the NFU issued the following statement on its new policy: "We urge the President, Attorney General, and Congress to direct the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to differentiate between industrial hemp and marijuana and adopt policy to allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp under state law without requiring DEA licenses."

Linked, is a summary of how the Illinois House voted this past March 31st on HB1383. If a no vote was cast by the representative of your district, please re-consider voting for them in the future.

Illinois: Lawmakers' Continue Reefer Madness, Punish Farmers