A resolution urging Congress and the President to clarify that “the congressional intent of the federal Controlled Substances Act is not to prohibit the production of industrial hemp” was passed today by the state House of Representatives.
HR6 was introduced by Speaker Joseph Souki, Representative Cynthia Thielen, Representative Angus McKelvey, Representative Tom Brower, Representative Faye Hanohano, Representative Chris Lee, Representative Scott Nishimoto, Representative Roy Takumi, and Representative Jessica Wooley.
HR6 now goes to Congress and President Obama.
“Thousands of consumer products are made with hemp, yet it is illegal to grow it in the United States,” Rep. Thielen said. “There is simply no logical reason why Hawaii farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers should not be able to benefit from the cultivation of such a versatile crop.”
The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 was aimed at marijuana, but its cousin hemp was caught up in the language of the law, which targets all Cannabis plant species. While hemp and marijuana are both Cannabis, hemp lacks the psychoactive properties of marijuana, and is not a drug, Thielen said.
HR6 seeks to make that clarification.
“You won’t get high from smoking hemp,” Rep. Thielen said, “although you might get diarrhea and a headache.”
Similar legislation has been introduced at the federal level. HR525, the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013,” was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 6; a companion bill is expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate later this month.