Mitch McConnell Moves to Legalize Hemp
The Senate Majority leader announced that he intends to introduce a bipartisan bill to legalize industrial hemp as an “agricultural commodity” and wants to set aside federal grant money for hemp farmers, reported Forbes.
"I will be introducing a bill when I go back to senate a week from today," said Senator Mitch McConnell, "to finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances."
Senator McConnell added that he was optimistic that industrial hemp could be for Kentucky what tobacco once was.
"I just had an opportunity to see some interesting and innovative products… made with Kentucky-grown hemp," McConnell said while visiting his home state of Kentucky on Monday, according to CNN.
He continued: “Imagine, instead of pink fiberglass, we could use Kentucky grown, environmentally sustainable hemp to insulate our houses.”
McConnell has a soft spot for hemp. Four years ago, he helped create new federal and state legal permissions for hemp and helped guide hemp into the 2014 farm bill.
But he’s not nearly as enamored of hemp’s “illicit cousin,” as the Senator calls cannabis.
McConnell's office said the new bill “will also give hemp researchers the chance to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – allowing them to continue their impressive work with the support of federal research dollars.”
Confusion over what counts as research as well as issues related to the interstate transportation of hemp seeds has caused confusion within the the DEA, which has treated hemp and marijuana the same.
In its endless wisdom, the DEA either cannot, or will not, make a distinction between the plants’ fundamental differences.
But, in the meantime, can we please get some federal grant money to study hemp’s “illicit cousin,” which also has numerous medical benefits?