Thursday, September 10, 2015

Support H.R. 525 aka the Industrial Hemp Farming Act

From Campaign For Liberty:

A new agricultural commodity appears on the verge of a breakout.

Well, actually, it’s not really “new” and all I can say is, it’s about time!

I’m speaking, of course, about industrial hemp’s recent reemergence as a viable agricultural commodity.

You see, since the war on drugs began, an innocent bystander was caught up in all the hysteria, and industrial hemp (marijuana’s botanical cousin with near-zero THC) was outlawed.

This was despite its use in the war effort during WWII, remembered today through a government film called “Hemp for Victory,” still widely available for viewing on the Internet.

During my years in Congress, I introduced multiple bills to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of “marihuana” under the Controlled Substances Act.

Unfortunately, while I was able to get bipartisan support for this legislation, it never went very far while I was there.

But now, prevailing attitudes toward hemp are beginning to change across America, and that is (at times, very) slowly changing the opinions of politicians in Washington.

That’s why I’m glad my good friend, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY-4) has again reintroduced my old legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, as H.R. 525.

In 2013, Rep. Massie teamed up with Rep. Jared Polis and, along with some help from allies on the issue in the Senate, they were able to include an amendment to the Farm Bill allowing for “research” projects to be conducted on industrial hemp.

I’m happy to tell you that despite delays, and initially, harassment from the DEA, Kentucky’s pilot programs with industrial hemp were quite successful in 2014.

In fact, the programs were so successful that at a news conference this spring, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced it will expand from the 33 acres planted in 2014 to 1,742 acres across Kentucky in 2015!

The momentum behind industrial hemp’s research programs in Kentucky has attracted millions of dollars in capital investment.

"With their investment, jobs have been created, jobs are going to be created, and they've signed contracts with family farmers," Comer said. "Hemp equals jobs and true economic growth, which is what we predicted when we launched Senate Bill 50 two years ago."

Kentucky’s Senate Bill 50 allowed farmers in the state to cultivate industrial hemp -- IF the federal government creates a legal framework for them to operate under.

That’s why I hope you’ll agree passing H.R. 525 this Congress has never been more important.

Not just for Kentucky, but to allow farmers all across the country who are capable, to begin experimenting and planting this viable cash crop!

Hemp is such a versatile plant, we may not even understand its full economic potential in this day and age.

It’s a shame America’s entrepreneurs have been limited in their ability to profit and experiment with hemp because of misguided policies put in place during our country’s ill-fated attempt to outlaw plants.

Unfortunately, too many drug warriors on Capitol Hill are still afraid to voice their support for H.R. 525.

They’re afraid if they vote to remove hemp from the list of controlled substances, they’ll be seen as “going soft” on crime.

To counter this misconception, Rep. Massie has taken to telling people, “Industrial hemp: think rope, not dope.”

I can hardly think of a more concise message to tell Congress.

That’s why it’s vital you take action today in support of H.R. 525 by signing your “Think Rope, Not Dope” petition today!

My goal is to bury Congress in these petitions, explaining briefly, and clearly, that industrial hemp is not marijuana.

As I said repeatedly on the campaign trail throughout 2011 and 2012, you’d have to smoke a joint the size of a telephone poll to get “high” from hemp.

And even then, you’d probably just get lightheaded from the lack of oxygen . . . rather than feel any impact from the trace amounts of THC in the plant.

Now I know many of you wonder if signing a petition actually does anything . . .

Let me tell you, your signed petitions absolutely have an impact on how your Congressman looks at an issue.

>>> First, it tells them there are angry people in their district. Though it’s always a sure bet more constituents share those feelings than signed a petition; and

>>> Second, it conveniently tells them what they are angry about. Phone calls over time are very important, but unless you have diligent front office staff, sometimes the purpose of your call might get lost in the mix and the politician never hears about it; and

>>> Third, it concludes by telling them the action they need to take so their constituents aren’t angry anymore (at least about that issue).

That’s why I’m counting on you to sign your “Think Rope, Not Dope” petition today!

It’s about time Congress begin to legalize freedom again in this country, and I’m glad we have friends like Rep. Thomas Massie up there to introduce important legislation like this.

But you and I need to provide the outside support necessary to make sure this effort is successful in the 114th Congress.

Can I count on you to sign your “Think Rope, Not Dope” petition today and then make a generous contribution to Campaign for Liberty today?

Your petition will be delivered to your representative either way, but Campaign for Liberty relies solely on the voluntary contributions of our generous supporters to operate.

Every day, my staff is working hard, tracking legislation, working the phones, email, delivering petitions, and representing you and three quarters of a million C4L Members across the country on Capitol Hill.

Unfortunately even modern technology hasn’t made the tools of our trade free, and every aspect of a program like this costs money -- even this email you’re reading now.

And the bigger we get, the more every aspect of the operation costs.

The good news is, passing H.R. 525 may eventually lead to cheaper paper production, as using hemp to create paper is much more efficient than trees.

That would mean the cost of printing your petitions we deliver to your representative would go down, saving Campaign for Liberty money in the long run.

So if you think about it, chipping in $10 to Campaign for Liberty today will have a much bigger economic impact in the long run than you might realize.

I’m confident that with your support, we can deliver a huge victory for hemp this Congress.

For Liberty,
Ron Paul
Chairman

P.S. My good friend, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY-4) has reintroduced H.R. 525. Currently the bill has 60 bipartisan cosponsors, but with your support, I’m sure we can not only get more, but pass this legislation.

Sadly, misguided drug warriors continue to spread propaganda against this versatile and viable cash crop.

That’s why it’s vital you sign your “Think Rope, Not Dope” petition today and chip in $10 to help C4L pass H.R. 525.

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