Hemp Legal in Oregon, Held Up By U.S. Law

Industrial hemp is legal in Oregon but growers say they can’t get on with their business until the federal government change its policies.

The Oregon Legislature this year legalized industrial hemp, but Washington still classifies it as an illegal drug in the same category as marijuana, leading to little progress for the state’s nascent industry, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Sunday.

“It’s rolled into the definition of marijuana at the federal level,” state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, a Eugene, Ore., Democrat, who co-sponsored the bill with Republican Sen. David Nelson of Pendleton, Ore., told the newspaper.

Would-be hemp growers say they’re pinning some of their hopes on the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and would remove industrial hemp — which is low in the active ingredient that give smokers a high — from the federal definition of marijuana.

The Oregonian reported that others, however, want to persuade the Obama administration to institute a policy change allowing hemp production if Congress won’t act. Prozanski contends it may be better for the White House to order the Drug Enforcement Administration to treat industrial hemp as it does medical marijuana — avoiding the prosecution of legitimate growers and producers.

– Article from the United Press International on October 4, 2009.



  1. Anonymous on

    I should have phrased that differently. After three generations the THC begins to increase. Canadian hemp farmers are not allowed to use any of their own seeds from a previous crop to grow the next year’s; they have to buy it from the government every year. A hemp farmer explained the process to me. ANd no, it wasn’t genetically modified as much as it was selectively bread,I agree.

  2. PF6 on

    I think it’s “high time” that states stood up to the Fed and just did what they thought was right.

    I’m an Oregonian and I was really proud that my state took a stand on something this important. The bill passed with over 90% support in both the state house and senate.

    Our country was designed to allow for slow and methodical change and to allow for diversity among the many states. Why else have state governments?

    If we want change, we need to pressure our state representatives to not only enact good legislation, but to step up and protect the citizens against persecution.

    Just imagine, the DEA comes out to burn down an Oregon hemp farm and they are faced down by the Oregon National Guard. That would be a grand day indeed!

  3. PF6 on

    While you are correct that all “hemp” is actually cannabis, you are wrong about hemp eventually turning into high THC marijuana-type strain.

    First off, lets be clear: Cannabis is the genus under which many varieties are grouped. Then,cannabis just a kind of plant of which there are many different strains.

    Second, your inference that hemp is not a naturally occurring low THC plant is simply wrong.

    FACT: Hemp is a strain of the sativa variety. It has been around for a REALLY LONG TIME (thousands of years) and is different from any strain of cannabis that one would use medicinally.

    Now, maybe many thousands of years ago, ancient man did breed hemp for certain industrial qualities and that bred out the medicinal qualities, but I don’t know of that as a fact. Either way, a few thousand years of anything being around is good enough for me.

    And if you’re interested, there are actually many places you can find wild growing hemp. If you really believe what you say, then I would recommend finding some, stuff any part of it into a pipe and try to smoke it. I doubt your experience would be pleasant.

    As far as the use of the term “hemp” it’s been around a long time too. It’s what people are familiar with when it comes to the agro-industrial product, again, as opposed to the pharma-product. So, nobody is trying to do any slight of hand here, it’s just tradition to call the stuff hemp.

  4. Anonymous on

    It is the same as cannabis. We shouldn’t be hiding that fact. After three generations the hemp plant becomes THC potent again. Everybody accepts that hemp seeds are very valuable as nutrition, no one will accept those being illegal. Enough with the genetically modified hemp seeds, I want cannabis seeds as nutrition.