Congress Predicts Current Congress Will Legalize Hemp

I attended a forum on marijuana legalization at The Brookings Institution Monday, where Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), one of a handful of Congressional champions of marijuana law reform, was one of the speakers. Along with his general optimism for where the issue is going, Blumenauer predicted that the current Congress — #113, in office this year and next — will legalize hemp growing.

That may be a less bold prediction than in the past — with the highest-ranking Republican senator supporting hemp now, Mitch McConnell, it should be more likely — but it's still a fairly bold prediction, when one thinks about just how long Congress has refused to do anything for this utterly no-brainer of an issue. One of Blumenauer's reasons was that a House bill to legalize hemp growing, H.R. 525, also is being sponsored by a Kentucky Republican, Thomas Massie.

You heard it here first. (Unless you also watched the Brookings forum.)

– Article originally from Popular Science, used with permission.



  1. Anonymous on

    King Hemp

    By Rand Clifford


    Hemp is about life, renewal and future, power to The People…most everything America’s embedded fascist regime is not about. Government of, by and for corporations (CorpoGov) has us hogtied.

    Corporate profits rule the priorities in a globalizing plutocracy (CorpoWorld) where the bottom line is…power to the bottom line. Corporate grip just keeps increasing, squeezing the life out of the biosphere—CorpoWorld truly is making a killing!

    CorpoWorld lives by fossil energy, death and decay sucked and scoured from Earth’s burial grounds. Fossil fuels have already so poisoned the biosphere that canned tuna, healthy old protein standby, needs health warnings on the label. Banks of many rivers and lakes are sprinkled with signs reading: DO NOT EAT THE FISH! Common at others are diagrams detailing parts of fish where mercury, PCBs, dioxins, furans, lead and arsenic collect; anatomical maps posted to warn of where CorpoWorld’s toxic fingerprints are concentrating…. Mercury is the premier toxin, pervasive and potent, now piling up around the top of virtually every ocean food chain. The primary mercury dispensers are coal-fired power plants—China is building new ones as fast as they can, expecting to continue bringing another new plant on-line every few days…. And so it goes in the world of hidden costs keeping cheap imports “cheap”. So goes the biocidal foundation of “cheapness”. Nothing synthetic is cheap when all the real costs are accounted for.

    Ironically, the most imminent threat to the biosphere has been set in motion by one of fossil fuel’s few “non-toxic” components. We keep pumping carbon dioxide sequestered from ancient atmospheres into our own atmosphere, where it retards infrared radiation from escaping into space—a life-supporting phenomenon in natural moderation, life-threatening in excess. Moderation, a weaker virtue of mankind, has been obliterated by CorpoWorld’s fundamental creed: More!

    And of course, “Better”—remember DuPont’s slogan: “Better Things for Better Living…Through Chemistry”? Formerly DuPont Munitions, the world’s leading manufacturer of gunpowder and dynamite, DuPont Chemical wanted to change their image from “the powder people” to “peace-time manufacturer”. Launched in 1935, the slogan persisted until the 1980s, when “through chemistry” was dropped. Word had gotten out that many of the chemicals for better living were accumulating in the biosphere with deadly effects, such as dioxin from pulp mills. Then in 1999, DuPont’s slogan became, “The Miracles of Science”. Over the years, DuPont has gone from a company dealing explosive death and destruction…to one dealing slower death and destruction, accent on the insidious. In a different way, DuPont’s major role in robbing The People of hemp was no less insidious.

    Back to the 1930s; DuPont held the patents for making plastics and synthetic fibers from petroleum, and patents for that environmentally-infamous sulfuric acid process for making paper from wood pulp. New machinery to unleash industrial hemp’s cornucopia of superior natural products suddenly made The King a serious threat to profits of the petroleum and timber industries—real Titans in terms of economic and political dominance. William Randolph Hearst had seen the looming threat of a modernized hemp industry deflating his paper-making empire, and had already conjured cannabis hemp into “marijuana”, a Mexican slang term (or the Americanized, confusing and even slightly spookier? “marihuana”). Rattling his newspaper chains, Hearst had for years terrorized Americans with horrors of the “evil weed from Mexico”…truly a Greatest Hit in the art of propaganda (a certain “Stairway to Heaven” for the weed with roots in Hell!) Most people were familiar with the benefits of hemp, and cannabis, and were totally blindsided when DuPont and Hearst and their henchmen diddled Congress into strangling America’s hemp industry in 1937 with the illegal Marijuana Tax Act. Tax laws are for raising revenue, not for molding behavior. But….

    1937…a year of remarkable infamy—in its annual report to stockholders, the DuPont company gloated over “radical changes” regarding the federal government’s conversion of taxation authority into a tool for forcing acceptance of “sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization”. Whoa!…quite a malignancy here—the voice of CorpoWorld proclaiming that after massive farm foreclosures of the depression, farmers were inhibiting America’s industrial progress. They should move to industrial cities so farmland could be consolidated into huge agribusinesses controlled by corporations—along with all other means of industrial production. Farming should be primarily for food…. These biocidal design were taken further when DuPont’s president, Lammont DuPont, proclaimed: “Synthetic plastics find application in fabricating a wide variety of articles, many of which in the past were made from natural products. The chemist has aided in conserving natural resources by developing synthetic products to supplement or wholly replace natural products.” You got it, Lammont, a world of synthetics…mother lode patents, petroleum alchemy, pollution, extinction, poverty and disease, deforestation, global warming; fascism, globalization, perpetual wars for dwindling resources; corporate centralization of all means of production—even global food supply. Concentration of money, of power, of control—power to the corporations, slavery to The People. Conversion of largely rural, agricultural America into an urban, industrial nation. Landfills brimming with immortal waste leaching death into our living systems, forever…. Amen.

    Such is CorpoWorld’s bleak picture for living beings dependent upon a healthy biosphere—bleakest for those whose ultimate champion has been the same for over 6,000 years. Cannabis Hemp, The King. Consider globalization—unfettered corporations preying upon cheap labor, cashing in the biosphere’s life-support systems, spreading poverty and environmental disaster in the grossest pageant of greed in history, all powered by enormous consumption of fossil energy and armed with any necessary coercion, including war. Hemp is the ultimate antidote for the biocidal plague of globalization.

    Whereas globalization is powered by the toxic waste of ancient life, hemp is powered by the sun. Hemp is the premier solar energy machine, something we sure would like to invent if nature hadn’t beat us to it (if hemp could be patented!) Few plants grow faster, are easier to grow, are better for the soil, and none are more useful. Land that has produced hemp exclusively for twenty years is in no way degraded. And no plant even comes close to turning sunlight, carbon dioxide, nutrients and water into so many products. No other plant can actually empower entire regional economies, the antithesis of globalization. Farmers could return to the status they deserve, growing the world’s most valuable crop and selling it to local markets that sell it to local processors that sell their products to locally-owned businesses that sell to local citizens that work in the hemp industry. All the wealth stays where it belongs—with the people that produce it. This could all be happening across America right now, if not for CorpGov.

    Nothing is more environmentally-friendly than hemp. Any region with a hemp economy would remain a healthy place with clean air and wells, and waters with edible fish…any region not already smudged with the fingerprints of CorpoWorld. Plus, one of the few realistic ways we might mitigate global warming is to start pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Current CorpoWorld strategies are kind of like raiding the bar on the Titanic; lots of talk about reducing emissions, talks to make us feel better, temporarily, but such damage has been done. Rising temperatures have already sent many systems into positive feedback, as in Siberia, where melting permafrost is releasing greenhouse gases including methane in quantities that dwarf global releases of carbon from fossil fuels. Oceans are peaking out in their ability to absorb carbon. Forests, the planet’s lungs, are huge absorbers of carbon. But actual forests are getting rare fast, soon to disappear if we don’t shut down globalization. And proposed reductions in emissions translate directly into CorpoWorld profit reductions…let’s not hold our breath on that. Anyway, just this month, China actually passed the U.S. in carbon emissions to become the world’s leader. China doesn’t even want to talk about reductions in carbon emissions.

    Vast fields of hemp could replace lung capacity lost to deforestation—the possibilities are limited only by our vision. Hemp gulps carbon dioxide like no other sink, and though biomass hemp fuels and other utilizations would return carbon to the atmosphere, it would be carbon taken from our atmosphere, not carbon from atmospheres of millions of years ago as is stored in fossil fuels.

    Hemp will never be donated to The People, only seized. Anything that spreads wealth from the top, down through The People, will never be imposed from the top, only forced from below. So the question is not how good hemp is—one of hemp’s problems is that it sounds too good to be true. Well it is true, and until married to modern American technology we’ll never know the genuine potential of hemp. As is in more ways every day, our biggest problem is CorpoGov. Will We The People find the wisdom, coordination and motivation to take back what CorpoGov stole from us through lies and manipulation seventy years ago…lies and manipulation still robust today?

  2. Anonymous on

    Your figures are wrong on the gun statistics, like most libbys you post false and misleading numbers. There are already all the laws we need on the books, they must enforce them, do you know what the word outlaw means? It is someone who lives outside the law, get it. Now you want to pass more laws to keep the guns out of wacko’s hands? Do you think wacko’s follow the laws?

    No badguy or wacko is ever going to obey the law, if they want a gun or a bomb they will get it no matter what the laws are, the only thing that more laws do is restrict the freedoms of law biding citizens, we are the only ones that will follow those laws and as such we are not the ones commiting the crimes.

    So your theory is that the badguys will start to obey the law and not do anymore killing because we have passed more laws, or that more laws will make it so guns will be harder to get, really? Over 300 million guns in circulation in the USA, do you think they will be hard to find?

    All that will happen is the black market will grow bigger and more guns will be available for the badguys. It’s like what happened to Marijuana, they banned it and made it illegal they tried to completely remove it from our society, what happened? Black market, innocent law biding citizens smoking it in their own homes getting busted, regulation does not stop people from doing what they want, all they will do is find other ways to get it and this is a capitalistic society so if there is a market for something then it will happen.

    So more laws will not stop people from killing one another, remember the past, when there were only swords and spears, millions were killed over the centuries with those crude weapons, people will always kill people, I know it sucks but our government can’t fix that problem with laws, look at how full are prisons are. Unless mans heart changes the troubles we face will not change, so forget more laws, they don’t work.

    Or do you feel the war on drugs is working?


  3. Mrs. Ratsrectum on

    This particular Congress will do nothing but F it up. They just had the change to pass background checks in the aftermath of Newtown, and no sooner than they screw that up you see the Boston Marathon bombings and the perpetrators there using weapons they got WITHOUT any kind of a check. Hey, Congress, way to keep whackjobs from getting guns. Way to go keeping straw men from getting guns then selling them to whackjobs.

    This current bunch in Congress who are outright obstructionists are going to continue to be uncooperative. A majority of Americans–something like 90%–wanted tightening of the gun laws somehow to prevent psychos from getting weapons so easily. A slim majority of Americans–something like 52%–want cannabis legalized.

    Most of them are beholden to corporations whose only interest is the almighty dollar and damned be everything else. Damned be reducing greenhouse gases and other pollution from combustion to prevent the Earth from surpassing the point of no return to avoid human extinction. They have no regard for the lives lost, that will be lost or any of the other problems created by cannabis prohibition. They only care about the dollar losses incurred in prison industries, dollar losses in drug testing, losses in the legal system and law enforcement.

    Klaatu, please remind these bipedal primates that the Earth is NOT their planet. If they can’t terraform and create functional strands of DNA to produce organisms that are beneficial to an ecosystem, they can’t correct their own ecological mistakes. They can’t restore extinctions they’re responsible for. The least they can do is not cause any more extinctions, including their own.

  4. Anonymous on

    If that is what you are worried about then get a life dumbass. there will be no problem unless you are directly next to a hemp field. read about hemp being grown in other countries.

  5. gstlab3 on

    scary thought about pollen crossing into drug strain crops grown outdoors and making those resulting seeds more hemp like than drug type.

    after a few bad crosses you could end up with some ditch weed full of seeds!!!!

    Wow this is messed up.

  6. Dirty Harry on

    You will not be able to keep hemp pollen off of Marijuana plants if outdoors. Pollen can travel miles on winds and the insects that help with pollination. Legal hemp crops are a way to dilute the strength of outdoor MJ crops.
    Even indoor grows can be at risk, as hemp pollen can get indoors. If you have hay fever, you know that staying indoors does not help much. You need heppa air filters to filter the outdoor air as it enters your space, and that is not 100% as I still suffer from allergies in my home with a filter.

  7. Anonymous on


  8. Anonymous UK on

    If some one can produce a strain of cannabis (feminised) that grows like hemp but produces one or two ounces of bud per plant it will be very hard to police. I suppose they could test that the crop is seeded or something and check what happens to the plant after harvest. If it becomes popular to grow hemp there will be too many farms to check and a small bribe may get a cannabis crop overlooked. It will no longer look unusual to see cannabis growing (epsecially) if it looks like hemp and if small grows are allowed then outdoor growing of cannabis will effectively become legal.

  9. efk on

    So I seriously doubt the hearsts and DuPonts will have much to do with it. Not really in their wheelhouse. Monsanto,Cargill etc maybe. Or…it will just be treated like any other commodity and there will be big and small players. But yeah, fuck the hearsts and DuPonts anyway. Peace.

  10. efk on

    So I seriously doubt the hearsts and DuPonts will have much to do with it. Not really in their wheelhouse. Monsanto,Cargill etc maybe. Or…it will just be treated like any other commodity and there will be big and small players. But yeah, fuck the hearats and DuPonts anyway. Peace.

  11. gutrod on

    American big business families such as the DuPont and Hearst families will no doubt be given a monopoly to supply hemp. A sweetheart deal has likely been in the works for a very long time.