The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, a bill which is reintroduced about every five years and is considered very important to several aspects of the U.S. agricultural industry, was debated on the House of Representatives floor today with an amendment supporting states’ rights to study hemp, which passed.
The amendment allows institutions of higher education to carry out research which has already been deemed acceptable by their home state. Representative Jared Polis (D-CO), who recently spoke at the reception following SSDP’s 2013 Federal Marijuana Day, explains:
“Industrial hemp is an important agricultural commodity, not a drug. My bipartisan, common-sense amendment, which I’ve introduced with Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes in states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal.”
The amendment passed with bipartisan, albeit narrow, support in a vote of 225-200.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy is absolutely thrilled to have been able to lend its support to the Sensible Drug Policy Working Group, and eagerly awaits the news of success from colleges and universities in researching the product without the fear of federal intervention.
We couldn’t claim victory, however, without giving credit to our students across the country who work tirelessly to promote sensibility in drug laws. Rachelle Yeung, University of Colorado Law Student, had this to say upon hearing about the success of the amendment:
“As a student who was a part of making this change happen, I’m excited to see that Congress has taken the first step in allowing states to decide their own policies towards hemp.”
Another group who has worked fervently to support this and other hemp amendments is Vote Hemp. Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and free market for industrial hemp, low-THC oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the crop. We applaud them for their efforts.
View the original media release here
View a video of the debate on the amendment here