When President Trump signed legislation legalizing industrial hemp into law, it was a huge win for liberty. And it happened because state’s acted first.

Make no mistake; hemp isn’t federally legal now because Congress suddenly embraced the Constitution. Politicians in Washington D.C. didn’t drink some magic elixir that turned them into liberty-lovers. Congressional leadership didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I think we need to let go of some of our unconstitutional power.”

Nope. Hemp is legal now because states nullified federal prohibition years ago.

Up until 2014, it was pretty much impossible to legally grow hemp in the U.S. Farmers had to get a permit from the DEA, a nearly impossible feat. In 2014, provisions in the farm bill signed by President Obama opened the door for hemp. It allowed hemp production, but for research purposes only. Commercial production was still illegal.

Even before the 2014 farm bill, a number of states ignored the DEA and licensed hemp production within their borders. As a result, hemp markets began to develop despite the feds. After the passage of the 2014 farm bill, more states legalized hemp. But they didn’t just limit their programs to research. By the time president Trump signed the 2018 farm bill, 17 states were expressly licensing commercial hemp production, even though the feds maintained it was illegal. And virtually all the states running “federally compliant” hemp research weren’t actually following the letter of the law. There were commercial hemp markets developing in those states too.

The fact that CBD is everywhere shows just how big hemp markets grew despite federal prohibition.

Congress completely legalized hemp production in 2018 because the politicians realized there was no way to maintain federal prohibition without state cooperation. States had already nullified hemp laws in practice and effect. Congress finally caught up with reality.

Don’t miss this key point:

Congress would have never legalized hemp if the states hadn’t acted first.

We won this victory from the bottom up. It wasn’t because of a petition, or a federal lawsuit, or because we finally voted in the right people to go to Washington D.C. We won this victory because states just said, “NO!” to the feds. Without state cooperation, the feds lack the personnel and recourses to enforce their federal laws and implement their unconstitutional programs.

This was a nullification victory – pure and simple!

Make no mistake; there is still work to do on the hemp issue. Listen to my latest podcast for a rundown of exactly the farm bill did and didn’t do, and the next steps states need to take. You can listen HERE.

Mike Maharrey

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