Two bills have been introduced in California to nullify unconstitutional federal laws by legalizing hemp, the industrial companion to the conscious-altering plant marijuana. Thomas Jefferson would be proud that his pastime of hemp farming, criminalized by the federal government since 1970, is being revived by 16 state legislatures this year.
California’s Assembly Bill 1137 from Asm. Allan Mansoor and Senate Bill 566 from Sen. Mark Leno make an exception for industrial hemp under the legal definition of “marijuana.” They stipulate a .03% THC potency limit, about 1/50 of the amount found in medical marijuana. Both bills cite these economic facts surrounding the issue:
(d) According to a study commissioned by the Hemp Industries Association, sales of industrial hemp products in the United States have grown steadily since 1990 to more than two hundred fifty million dollars ($250,000,000) in 2005, increasing at a rate of approximately twenty‑six million dollars ($26,000,000) per year.
(e) California manufacturers of hemp products currently import from around the world tens of thousands of acres’ worth of hemp seed, oil, and fiber products that could be produced by California farmers at a more competitive price, and the intermediate processing of hemp seed, oil, and fiber could create jobs in close proximity to the fields of cultivation.
Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill in October 2011 citing federal supremacy. SB 566 acquiesces to Brown’s constitutional ignorance making it unenforceable ”unless authorized under federal law.” AB 1137 is not self-limiting in that way.Details