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Congressional Research Service’s 2007 Update on Hemp

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“The United States is the only developed nation in which the production of industrial hemp is not permitted.” That’s according to the U.S. Congress’s research arm which reported favorably on industrial hemp in a Jan. 2005 report and then issued an even more favorable updated report March 23, 2007. Click here to read the complete 2007 report.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) update concludes that the U.S. government and its Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) oppose hemp legalization based on their arguments that legalization “would increase the likelihood of covert production of high-THC marijuana, significantly complicate DEA’s surveillance and enforcement activities, and send the wrong message to the American public concerning the government’s position on drugs. DEA officials and a variety of other observers also express the concern that efforts to legalize hemp — as well as those to legalize medical marijuana — are a front for individuals and organizations whose real aim is to see marijuana decriminalized.”

The CRS report notes that the proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007 “would open the way for commercial cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States.” It goes on to point out that according to the Canadian government, which legalized hemp production in 1998: “Hemp's remarkable attributes are hard to beat: it thrives without herbicides, it reinvigorates the soil, it requires less water than cotton, it matures in three to four months, and it can yield four times as much paper per acre as trees. Hemp can be used to create building materials, textiles, clothing, inks, and paints and has potential use in other non-food products. These advantages are in tune with the environmental and health preferences of today's North American public. The growing curiosity of consumers, the interest shown by farmers and processors, and Canada's excellent growing conditions for industrial hemp allow optimistic views for its future.”

Click here to read the complete 2007 CRS report.

Click here to read the Canadian government’s 2007 report from Agriculture Canada.