Hemp Farming Still Illegal, Obama Provides Convenient Scapegoat

If and when Tea Party hero Sen. Rand Paul visits San Francisco and goes shopping, he'll find friendly faces in the aisles of Rainbow Grocery more quickly than he will any Safeway (especially the Castro location). In addition to the destruction of all government, the Kentucky Republican has legislated in favor of crunchy lifestyle staples raw milk and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, the latter made from hemp, the only commodity legal in the United States to import, sell, and possess, but not grow.

Rand is lending bipartisan support to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), who last week introduced an amendment to the titanic Farm Bill that would remove industrial hemp from the federal government's definition of “marijuana.” That would officially turn over regulation of hemp-farming to the states, supporters say. But it won't plant any seeds: The Office of National Drug Control Policy in April reaffirmed that hemp, like marijuana, contains prohibited THC. Opposition from the DEA has thwarted farmers in North Dakota, where hemp farming was approved in 2007, and helped convince Gov. Jerry Brown last fall not to sign into law a California hemp-farming pilot program.

Drug laws are why David Bronner, current CEO of Dr. Bronner's, was hauled off to jail for marijuana possession after setting up hemp plants in front of the White House on Monday. Bronner, whose company is part of an estimated $400 million domestic hemp market, says Wyden and Paul are “commendable,” but the real blame lies with “regressive drug warriors entrenched” in the Obama Administration, which shot down nascent hemp hopes with the pro-enforcement statement.

The Choomer In Chief himself is to blame yet again. Never mind Congress's contentment to let every hemp farming bill die before a committee hearing.

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