With support from Sen. Rand Paul, hemp bill clears Kentucky Senate committee unanimouslySubmitted by Tio Rio on Mon, 02/11/2013 - 22:26
FRANKFORT, KY. — A bill that would legalize growing hemp for industrial use cleared a state legislative committee Monday with a unanimous vote after three members of Kentucky’s federal delegation — including U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. — testified for it.
The testimony by Paul and U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, and Thomas Massie, R-4th District, marked a rare, if not unprecedented, occurrence for the Kentucky General Assembly.
All three said they would work at the federal level either to pass legislation legalizing industrial hemp or seeking a waiver of federal drug laws that currently classify the plant as a prohibited substance along with marijuana, a fellow member of the cannabis family.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who campaigned on the issue two years ago, and other supporters argue that hemp could provide Kentucky with a huge influx of jobs if the state is among the first to legalize it. An economic impact study is under way at the University of Kentucky to gauge the claim.
“There’s a desperate need to create jobs in Kentucky and this is one way to do it,” Comer said after the vote, thanking supporters.
Paul, who testified he was wearing a shirt made with hemp that he bought in Canada, said passing the Kentucky bill could help keep money currently being paid for hemp products in Kentucky.
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It must really bother some people that God made plants they don't like!