Farm bill has marijuana provision

Agricultural pilot programs allowed in 9 states that have legalized industrial hemp.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Feb 10, 2014

The recently-passed farm bill contains a provision that will permit universities and state agricultural departments to research and grow industrial hemp, which is derived from the cannabis plant.

This same plant is also utilized for its medicinal and therapeutic properties, albeit illegally in states such as Ohio. For the purpose of this bill, the concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis, many not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Originally inserted by U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Thomas Massie (R‐Ky.), and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) as an amendment to the larger farm bill, “Section 7606, Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research” will permit the growing of the plant without interference by the federal government. With a vote of 68-32, the U.S. Senate passed the $956.4 billion Agricultural Act of 2014 into law on Tuesday. The U.S. House similarly passed the measure by 251-166 on Jan. 29. President Barack Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 into law Friday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.

It will allow institutions of higher education and state departments to conduct "agricultural pilot programs" in the nine states that have re-legalized industrial hemp: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia.

While to date, 32 states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and 20 have passed it, Ohio is not among them.

“Ohio needs to get in the game,” said E.R. Beach, southwest regional manager and a member of the Advisory Board for the Ohio Rights Group. “Our state represents one of the most fertile grounds for the reemergence of this vibrant new industry.” He said three factors that bode well for positioning Ohio as a leader in the global hemp market: farming, manufacturing and distribution.

“Food and agriculture is Ohio’s top industry, contributing $105 billion to Ohio’s economy with actual farm gate receipts of $9.65 billion,” according to Ohio Farm Bureau officials.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2010, Ohio ranked fourth in the U.S. for the number of manufacturing plants: 14,729. Manufacturing was the state’s second largest employer. In terms of logistics, the state ranks third in the country in total value of inbound and outbound shipments at $907 billion, and first in value of outbound shipments at $244 billion. Ohio has the fourth largest rail system.

While there is no official dollar estimate of the market potential for hemp-based products in the U.S., projections from the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) place total U.S. retail value in 2012 at nearly $500 million. Included in this number are body care sales in the range of $156 million to $171 million, along with clothing and textiles at roughly $100 million annually.

“It’s a shame to see Ohio slipping further behind other industries and for us to be continually losing green jobs to Canada and China,” said Ohio Rights Group president, John Pardee. “The growing and production of this plant combined with Ohio’s manufacturing and distribution muscle could likely spur tens of thousands of new jobs and businesses in Ohio in just these three sectors alone. But while permitting long awaited research is good, for all of this to happen, these industries themselves need the rights to make industrial use of the plant. This is where the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment comes in.” Pardee went on to explain that Section 1(H) of the Amendment could spark a bright new economic future in Ohio by giving, “Residents of the State of Ohio, deemed eligible by the Ohio Department of Agriculture under Section 3(E), … the right to produce and sell non-psychoactive Cannabis, also known as hemp, for industrial use including, but not limited to, paper, fuel, foods, building materials and clothing.”

The Ohio Rights Group is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of Ohioans to make medical, therapeutic and industrial use of the Cannabis plant and supports the growing number of individuals, organizations and industries facilitating those uses. 

The organization is fielding the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment, based on Article 1: Bill of Rights in the Ohio Constitution, which reads, all Ohioans are, “by nature, free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety.”

Comments

Contango

Hemp is a great cash crop!

Potentially grows in poor soil, needs little fertilizer and is affected by few pests.

OH seriously needs to get on the ball.

rickross2

That's why it was originally called "WEED" it has the same characteristics as a weed, with MANY medical possibilities!

ben castin

hemp can save our country by helping us to get out of debt.i dont smoke it but it cant be as bad as booze and pills.

Dr. Information

Yes it can be. It is carcinogenic. Anything you smoke is not "good" for you. You are putting a foreign substance in your lungs that isn't suppose to be in there over and over and over again.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

You don't have to smoke it. Eating foods containing marijuana can be a whole new experience.

ben castin

dr.information your rite but people are going to do it anyway so why not put a tax on it.

Dr. Information

I have no problem using MJ for medical uses whatsoever. That being said, there are ways to put MJ in a pill form (without having the high) that can help those who actually do benefit from it. However, no matter, its another pill that people can get addicted to.

I think its dumb how Americans are ridding this country of cigarettes, yet want to legalize another form of smoking. It simply doesn't add up. This county is so far in debt that legalizing all drugs will not bring it out of the whole, not even close. Ive known quite a few stoners in my day due to my older generation being labeled as such. I'd say 75% are lazy and 25% are avg workers.

While legalizing MJ sounds like a great thing, it in fact causes a lethargic attitude when smoked. Its burning the candle at both ends.

My solution. Keep it illegal and just fine the heck out of those who get caught. If they can't pay, then severe community service.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Making mj legal would free up prison space and LE could go after harder drugs like heroin and cocaine.

No one is forcing you to smoke it. So why do you care what effects it has on others?

propman

Really?
Lets wait for more serious problems before dealing with them?
When punishment is delayed or not enforced then the ones who commit the infractions WILL continue on and push the boundaries further and further.
I ha d two roommates when still in school who were both alcoholic and pot smokers. Believe me the pot had worse effects because they never believed it effected them in any other way then making them feel better. At least with the alcohol they knew it had certain effects that could cause trouble when they drank.

Dr. Information

@sck. Easy to say that it doesn't affect others when in reality it does and it will. You do not think emphysema, COPD, cancer, asthma or any other related illness's do not effect others? How many welfare people smoke, have related issues and get treated for free via Medicaid. The answer, more than enough. How many "stoned while driving" accidents will we see if any and everyone can buy weed? Plenty, and it will cost families, tax payers, towns money.

Pill form for terminal cases if it relieves the pain, Im all for. However, making something legal is not the answer.

propman

We taxpayers have been roped into paying for illegal drugs.
Thanks Congress, once again you have shown your incompetence.

doNOTlistenHEAR

Yeah read deeper it will be grown and sold to ""lab rat" states"" look at colorado selling "hi'gh'" grade marijuana. What happens when you cant afford it. Steal sht to pay for it..... o my im going to jump on the band wagon and open a pawnshop in colorado.. good thinkin slim w

Contango

Two topics are being unnecessarily conflated:

Legalizing ganja and industrial hemp.

Two totally different topics.

Hemp was last legally grown during WWII when the War in the Pacific cut off imports of Asian jute.

It was mostly used for making rope.

But industrial hemp has numerous uses: biodiesel, medicine, paper products, clothing, et. al.

Hemp was called "ditch weed." Smoking it mostly gets one a headache. Ya might as well smoke corn silk.

H*ll, Geo. Washington grew hemp. You think that he sat around and got high?

Dr. Information

Finally. Someone with some actual facts.

Contango, real question here. We have "mostly liberals" who say fighting MJ is a billion dollar war that cannot be won. Then on the other hand these same people want to fight the trillion dollar war to save a degree over the next 100 years with their non fact backed global warming rants. Ironic isn't it.

Contango

IMO, the 'crux' of the MJ issue is that according to fed law it remains illegal.

We have an AG & a Prez. who chooses which laws to enforce and which to ignore.

Who knows what the next AG & Prez will say?

Our nation was built as a 'nation of laws,' in contrast to Europe, which were 'nations of men.'

Business especially (nor a nation) can long survive with the understanding that the game is '21' and then the govt. comes along on a whim and says, "Oh no. The 'game' is 25."

I'm essentially a free-market guy. Far too much corporatism (fascism) in our socio-economic environment.

kURTje

Yeah Dr..Agri-bussines/ PAC groups hate hemp. Especially Monsanto. That product is too easy to grow & has too many diverse uses. Stinkin conservatives. They hated R.Diesel also.