by Ron Paul: Congress
Freezes Its Own Pay
House of Representatives, Statement on Hemp History Week, May 6,
I rise to speak about Hemp History Week. To celebrate the American
heritage of growing industrial hemp, the Hemp Industries Association,
Vote Hemp, several American manufacturers, and allied companies
and organizations have declared May 17 to May 23 to be Hemp History
Week. Throughout the week, people will recognize America’s
legacy of industrial hemp farming and call for reinstating respect
for farmers’ basic right to grow industrial hemp.
hemp was legally grown throughout our country for many years. In
fact, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew industrial hemp
and used it to make cloth. During World War II, the federal government
encouraged American farmers to grow hemp to help the war effort.
hemp farming being an important part of American history, the federal
government has banned cultivation of this crop. In every other industrialized
country, industrial hemp, defined to contain less than 0.3 percent
THC — the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana — may
be legally grown. Nobody can be psychologically affected by consuming
industrial hemp. Unfortunately, because of a federal policy that
does not distinguish between growing industrial hemp and growing
marijuana, all hemp products and materials must be imported. The
result is high prices, outsourced jobs, and lost opportunities for
industrial hemp farming in the United States would bring jobs to
communities struggling in today’s economy, provide American
farmers with another crop alternative, and encourage the development
of hemp processing factories near American hemp farming.
hemp is used in many products. For example, industrial hemp is used
in protein supplements, non-dairy milk, and frozen desserts. Hemp
flour is in breads, crackers, chips, dips, and dressings. Hemp seeds
may be eaten plain or added to prepared foods. Additionally, hemp
oil is used in a number of cosmetic and body care products, and
hemp fiber is used in cloths. Industrial hemp is also present in
bio-composite materials used in buildings and automobiles.
I first introduced
the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (HR 1866) five years ago to end
the federal government’s ban on American farmers growing industrial
hemp. In this time, the industrial hemp industry has grown much
larger. Despite its American history, industrial hemp is the only
crop that we can buy and sell but not farm in the United States.
The federal government should change the law to allow American farmers
grow this profitable crop as American farmers have through most
of our nation’s history. Please cosponsor the Industrial Hemp
Farming Act and join me in celebrating Hemp History Week.
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.