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Thursday, February 07, 2008

House Hemp Vote

The Vermont House of Representatives took a vote Thursday on a bill that would allow Vermont farmers to apply to the state for licenses to grow hemp.

Hemp Hemp, which the House Agriculture Committee was told is basically a strain of marijuana that doesn't pack the punch of the stuff that gets a smoker "high," still drew the strong opposition of Vermont State Police.

Nonetheless, that strong opposition carried absolutely no weight. The committee voted 11-0 in favor of H.267.

And today, the Hemp Bill hit the floor in the Vermont House for a vote on "second reading."

The envelope, please!

Yeas: 127
Neas:   9

H.267, the Hemp Bill now heads for "third reading" and obvious strong House approval.

Rural Vermont, a big promoter of the legislation, said in a press release issued late Thursday afternoon:

The debate on the floor centered around the issue of federal policy. Representative Will Stevens (I-Shoreham), who reported the bill for the Agriculture Committee, explained that technically, it's possible to grow hemp under federal law. However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) refuses to give licenses to growers who have applied for them. Representative Patti Komline argued that it didn't make sense to pass a bill if Vermont farmers would not be allowed to grow hemp anyway.

Rural Vermont director Amy Shollenberger explained after the vote, "We want our farmers to have the first chance to take advantage of the market when DEA changes its position. Also, this bill will add to the growing pressure on DEA to issue permits to U.S. farmers who want to grow hemp." Rural Vermont backed the bill, and hopes to take it all the way to the governor's desk by Town Meeting Day in early March.

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Comments

Dr Bob Melamede

Yeah! Vermont is waking up regarding the federal bull about hemp and medical marijuana. Let freedom ring. Jobs and health instead of fascist nonsense,

Dr Bob Melamede

In November, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute reported that the administration of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol limits the activity of the breast cancer metastasis gene Id-1, stating, "[Cannabidiol] offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could [treat aggressive forms of cancer] without any of the painful side effects [of chemotherapy.]"

Cannabidiol is abundant in some strains of hemp. Vermont can grow its own medicine with passage on the hemp bill.

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