Hemp for those who don’t know is the male of the cannabis plant. The female plant is what contains THC, the substance that gets one high. Hemp is just an amazing industrial product.
If one has ever had a shirt or a piece of rope made from hemp one is struck by its durability. Much more durable than cotton for instance. It is tough but also soft. It has a million uses, from paper to building material. However for years the drug war (not to say cotton producers and producers of chemical based products such as Nylon) have gotten in the way of the legal cultivation of this very useful plant.
Perhaps no longer.
There was a time when this country was filled with hemp fields. In fact at one point in early colonial America it was actually against the law NOT to grow hemp because it was so useful.
Republican Congressman Thomas Massie is a man on a mission, and that mission is to get farmers in his home state of Kentucky and across the nation growing hemp again. Massie is a staunch libertarian with a disdain for intrusive federal regulation, and his Industrial Hemp Farming Act would chip off a bit of federal power by allowing cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States.
While Massie himself is something of an outsider in the Republican Party, having voted twice against John Boehner for Speaker of the House, this particular cause is moving further into the mainstream. His new bill boasts 47 co-sponsors*, forming a surprising coalition of lawmakers from both parties and suggesting there could be a groundswell of support for allowing marijuana’s strait-laced cousin back into American fields.