United States Representative Earl Blumenauer has sent a letter to Oregon agriculture heads urging them to implement Oregon’s 2009 hemp law, and allow farmers to start farming the crop. Hemp is considered to be the same thing as marijuana according to the feds, and with the recently passed DOJ memo saying it would respect states that have legalized marijuana, Representative Blumenauer doesn’t see why that doesn’t apply to hemp as well.
I completely agree with Mr. Blumenauer, who has been a hero to many cannabis activists from Oregon for a long time. Below is the language of his letter. I applaud you Mr. Blumenauer!
“I write to request that you start the process of implementing Oregon’s law allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp as soon as practicable.
In 2009, the State Legislature passed a law allowing for the cultivation of hemp. I understand that implementation of this law, however, has been on hold due to conflicts with federal law.
On August 29th, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a memo indicating that as long as a state implements a rigorous regulatory and enforcement mechanism for marijuana production, distribution, and possession that protects federal government enforcement priorities, the DOJ will not interfere with state law regarding marijuana. Amanda Marshall, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, has indicated that these policies will also apply to hemp production in Oregon, telling The Oregonian in an interview published on September 15, 2013 that “hemp is cannabis. It’s marijuana, and under federal law, it’s exactly the same thing.”
American retailers sell over $300 million worth of products containing hemp seeds and fibers every year, using hemp grown in other countries. Implementing the law for the cultivation of industrial hemp would allow Oregon farmers to tap into this market. With the State of Kentucky moving ahead in this issue, I am eager to understand how Oregon is prepared to take advantage of this duly passed state law.
I look forward to hearing of your progress and stand ready to assist you in any way I can.”