It was a long day yesterday. Indivisible Ventura members volunteered to run two polling stations, which was an incredible experience. It just went from 6 am to about 10 at night. So here, to celebrate and catch a breath, we present an action for a bill created by a legislator after listening to his voters…
Support Senator Mitch McConnells’s S2667 to make hemp farming legal again.
Yeah, that Mitch McConnell. In a great lesson on how legislators respond to those who actually VOTE for them, Senator Mitch McConnell has sponsored a bill, S2667, the “Hemp Farming Act of 2018“, to make hemp farming legal nationally to help out his farming constituents. Apparently, his state’s tobacco farmers are in trouble, both over water for their thirsty crop and losses as cigarettes continue to lose popularity. The crop has been on the decline since before the 2004 Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act (also known as the “tobacco buyout”) ended federal tobacco quotas and price supports.
Trading tobacco for hemp? Win, win!
There are also environmental benefits of hemp farming and the prospect that, if hemp is farmed industrially, it may at some point become cheap enough to be a viable alternative to trees as a source of paper. It also requires less water than many other crops, and tobacco farming could easily convert to hemp.
(This starts slow, but becomes really interesting.)
Actually, converted BACK to hemp. McConnell’s state of Kentucky was a big producer of hemp starting in 1776. The first wave of prohibitions against marijuana use started in 1906, by politicians very much like Mitch “I-do-not-have-any-plans-to-endorse-the-legalization-of-marijuana” McConnell. In 1936, “Reefer Madness” (link to film on youtube) was made to scare American youth away from using Cannabis. By 1958, the last hemp crop, victim by association, was harvested and processed.
Currently, farmers face several barriers to growing hemp due to federal prohibition — including restricted access to banking, water rights, and crop insurance. The bill would remove these restrictions, putting the US Department of Agriculture and state agencies in charge of regulations.
There are already limited research programs for hemp. McConnell inserted language into the 2014 Farm bill to shield state industrial hemp research programs from government interference without fully legalizing it.. And it’s actually already legal to sell hemp products — but cultivation is banned in most cases. Patagonia carries two dozen hemp products and has been active in the fight to legalize this crop.
Please tell your Senators and Representative that you, along with Mitch and Patagonia, (god, how often do you get to say that in the same sentence?) support the decriminalization of hemp farming. and ask them to vote YES on S2667/HR5485.
Has your Senator signed on to support Mitch when he’s finally doing something good? Click here. (Feinstein and Harris aren’t signers yet.)
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Minimal script for Representatives: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Representative [___] to support HR5485 – the “Hemp Farming Act of 2018”.
Where are your legislators on this? Click here. (Brownley and Carbajal also haven’t sign on yet.)
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348