Bill Wohlsifer drafted the two proposed industrial hemp bills and a proposed industrial hemp resolution with the intent that these drafts would find legislative sponsorship in the 2014 legislative session. The three drafts work together or each can implement new law standing alone. Please read and comment on these draft proposals. If one or more meet your approval, please ask your State Representatives and State Senators to consider filing these drafts or language of similar import in the upcoming 2014 legislative session.
This proposed draft is a Resolution asking the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, to remove hemp containing low levels of THC from its Controlled Substances List, or grant Florida a waiver for industrial hemp growth to allow our state to self-regulate industrial hemp agribusiness under strict state regulatory guidelines.
This proposed bill is an unsponsored draft prepared by William R. Wohlsifer, Esq., Region 3 Representative for the Libertarian Party of Florida. This draft has not been approved by or endorsed by any committee or party as of the date of last revision shown below.
Last revised on October 10, 2013.
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RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE RECOGNITION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP AS A VALUABLE AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY
A RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE RECOGNITION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP AS A VALUABLE AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, URGING THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE U.S. CONGRESS TO CLARIFY THE FEDERAL DEFINITION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP, FACILITATE DOMESTIC PRODUCTION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP, AND REMOVE BARRIERS TO STATE REGULATION OF THE PRODUCTION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, industrial hemp refers to varieties of Cannabis that contain less than 0.3% delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), genetically distinct from drug varieties of Cannabis (marijuana), cultivated exclusively for fiber, stalk, oil, and seed; and
WHEREAS, Industrial hemp should not be confused with varieties of Cannabis that contain high concentrations of THC and that are commonly referred to as marijuana; and
WHEREAS, Congress never intended to prohibit the production of industrial hemp when restricting the production, possession, and use of marijuana; and
WHEREAS, the legislative history of the “Marijuana Tax Act of 1937,” in which the current federal definition of marijuana first appeared, indicates that the act posed no threat to industrial hemp farmers and manufacturers; and
WHEREAS, The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in Hemp Industries v. Drug Enforcement Administration, 357 F.3d 1012, 9th Cir. 2004, that the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 801, enacted in 1970, 21 U.S.C. sec. 812(b), explicitly excludes non-psychoactive industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana, and the federal government declined to appeal that decision; and
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WHEREAS, the Controlled Substances Act, enacted in 1970, specifies the criteria for classifying a substance as a Schedule I drug, which include a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted safety for use, none of which apply to industrial hemp; and
WHEREAS, section 2 of article 28 of the United Nations’ Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, states, “This Convention shall not apply to the cultivation of the cannabis plant exclusively for industrial purposes (fiber and seed) or horticultural purposes”; and
WHEREAS, United States Attorney General Eric Holder has stated, with regard to medical marijuana, that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not have the authority to interfere with growers in states where medical marijuana is legal, as long as they comply with state law; and
WHEREAS, industrial hemp is commercially produced in more than 30 nations, including Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Romania, Australia, and China; and
WHEREAS, at least ten states (California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia) have redefined hemp and removed barriers to its production; three states (Hawaii, Kentucky, and Maryland) have passed bills creating commissions or authorizing research on hemp cultivation and use; nine states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia) have passed hemp resolutions; and eight states (Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Vermont) have passed hemp study bills; and
WHEREAS, industrial hemp is a versatile and valuable agricultural commodity. Some estimate that the global market for hemp consists of more than 25,000 products, that will have long-term economic benefits to both the farmers who grow hemp and the persons who utilize hemp in the production of yarns and raw or processed spun fibers, twine, rope, fabrics, textiles, paper products, animal bedding, automobile parts, plastics, cosmetics, food, nutritional supplements, body care products, fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol, and butanol, building materials including plywood, concrete, composites, roofing and insulation, carpeting, home furnishings, auto parts, and consumable foods; and
WHEREAS, the production of industrial hemp would provide new jobs and promote new industries in Florida, increase support to agriculture and agricultural communities, and increase
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the sustainability of various manufacturers and producers, and improve nutritional content in foods and feed; and
WHEREAS, industrial hemp is a high-value, low-input crop that is not genetically modified, requires no pesticides, can be dry land-farmed, and uses less fertilizer than wheat and corn; and
WHEREAS, industrial hemp lessens environmental impact by providing nitrogen to the soil, sequestering carbon, and growing without the use of toxic chemicals; and
WHEREAS, industrial hemp provides a practical transition to sustainable agricultural practices and the conservation of precious groundwater resources in this state,
Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Florida that this legislative body compels the United States Congress to:
(1) Recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity;
(2) Define industrial hemp in federal law as a non-psychoactive and genetically identifiable species of the genus Cannabis;
(3) Acknowledge that allowing and encouraging farmers to produce industrial hemp will improve the balance of trade by promoting domestic sources of industrial hemp and lessen this state’s demand on foreign imports thereto; and
(4) Assist U.S. producers by removing barriers to state regulation of the commercial production of industrial hemp.
Be It Further Resolved: That copies of this Resolution be sent to President Barack Obama; Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Representative Frank D. Lucas, Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture; and to each member of Florida’s Congressional Delegation
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