Why Local Matters

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce again presented a plan earlier this year that attempted to liberate grocers in the state to sell wine and liquor. Soon after, they presented a bill to the legislature, hoping to liberalize the state’s regulation of alcoholic beverages. This is a regular occurrence, although it’s entirely unnecessary, given the recent history of alcohol legislation in the state of Kansas. If all of this seems strange to you, allow me to provide a little context.

Kansas has a storied history of alcohol prohibition; it was the first state to enact such a government program. Voters first moved to prohibit alcohol in 1881, and such restrictions continued until 1948 when again, a majority of Kansans voted to lift some prohibitions. Of course the 21st Amendment was adopted fifteen years prior, but that was of no concern to the legislature, who never considered the amendment, and to this day has not ratified it.

Carrie Nation made a name for herself in Kansas, helping to start a chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement. She began with harassing saloon owners and consumers of alcohol and within a short period was destroying their property. Wielding a hatchet, she would march into a saloon and attack the bar, before smashing as much of the stock as she could, to prevent the consumption of alcohol. Nation claimed to have been called to do this, and during her career of “hatchetations,” as they came to be known, was arrested dozens of times.

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Colorado Legislature Nullifies the Federal Ban on Hemp

Colorado’s Industrial Hemp Bill (SB13-241) passed the last legislative hurdle as the State Senate concurred with the State House’s minor Amendments. The bill now moves to the Governor Hickenlooper’s desk for his signature.

If the bill becomes law, Colorado will nullify unconstitutional federal laws and regulations which ban farmers from growing this remarkable product. Currently, the United States is the world’s largest importer of Hemp (with China and Canada the top two exporters in the world), and the Colorado legislature wants their citizens to be allowed to participate and profit in this market.

The federal government has no constitutional authority to ban the production of this industrial plant, but has persisted in preventing its domestic production.  The result?  Products with hemp that are readily available at your local grocery store must be imported from another country – resulting in higher costs for you and fewer farming jobs in America.

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service.  Recent congressional research indicates that the hemp market consists of over 25,000 various products. The same research found that America imports over $400 million worth of hemp from other countries.  At this time of economic difficulty, 13-241 would not only expand freedom and support the Constitution, it would also be a great jobs bill.

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