Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) spoke on the Senate floor recently in support of industrial hemp growers’ declaration that May 17-23 be celebrated as Hemp History Week.
Paul alluded to America’s long tradition of growing hemp, saying that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson engaged in such activity and that the Federal government encouraged American farmers to grow hemp to help the war effort during World War II.
He then went on to criticize the government for having outlawed cultivation of this crop, even though "in every other industrialized country, industrial hemp, defined to contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, may be legally grown."
The congressman added that this policy makes it necessary to import all hemp products and materials resulting in "high prices, outsourced jobs, and lost opportunities for American manufacturing."
In response to Paul’s statement, the sponsors of Hemp History Week, including Vote Hemp and Hemp Industries Association member companies, issued a statement saying they were pleased by his support.
Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, said Hemp History Week supporters plan more than 100 events focusing on local hemp farming history and the sampling of hemp products, hoping to generate 50,000 signed postcards to the Department of Justice asking to allow United States farmers to grow non-drug varieties of cannabis under existing state laws.