More GOP support for hemp legalization

More GOP support for hemp legalization
© Greg Nash

Legislation that would effectively legalize industrial hemp is growing in popularity with Senate Republicans.

Hemp should not be lumped together with marijuana on a federal list of banned drugs, Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBusinesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill Senate GOP campaign arm asking Trump to endorse McSally in Arizona: report When it comes to drone tech, wildfire officials need the rights tools for the job MORE (R-Colo.) said Thursday.

“Industrial hemp is a safe substance with many practical commercial applications,” Gardner said. “Removing it from the Controlled Substances Act is a commonsense move, which would create jobs and get the government out of the way of farmers and our agricultural industry.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Hemp is grown from the same plant as marijuana, but is believed to be less potent. It is popular with farmers in other countries where it is not banned and can be used to produce paper, plastic, rope, fuel and even organic foods.

Gardner announced Thursday he will co-sponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, which would exclude hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of banned drugs.

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act is already backed by top Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Ky.) and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Trump escalates feud with intel critics | Tesla shares fall after troubling Musk interview | House panel considers subpoena for Twitter's Jack Dorsey | Why Turkish citizens are breaking their iPhones Overnight Defense: Trump cancels military parade, blames DC for cost | DC mayor hits back | Pentagon warns China 'likely' training for strikes against US | Turkey refuses to release US pastor On Russia we need diplomacy, not just sanctions MORE (Ky.), as well as Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenGroup files lawsuit to force Georgia to adopt paper ballots Treasury releases proposed rules on major part of Trump tax law Rubio slams Google over plans to unveil censored Chinese search engine MORE (D-Ore.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyBipartisanship alive and well, protecting critical infrastructure Overnight Defense: Senate sends 7B annual defense bill to Trump's desk | US sanctions Turkish officials over detained pastor | Korean War remains headed to Hawaii | Senators reassure allies on NATO support Dem strategist: It's 'far-left thinking' to call for Nielsen's resignation MORE (D-Ore.).

“Hemp has the potential to be a major boon to Colorado agriculture, giving farmers another viable and profitable option for their fields,” Gardner said.