Hemp Makes for Strange Bedfellows…

Best comment on this photo -- from the Courier-Journal's Joe Gerth: "You look awfully pasty, Jonathan"

Best comment on this photo — from the Courier-Journal’s Joe Gerth: “You look awfully pasty, Jonathan”


Day 2 of my great hemp adventures in Washington with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has just begun.

But as we trek around Capitol Hill and up Pennsylvania Avenue, I wanted to share with you the picture at left — the highlight of yesterday’s marathon visits with Members of Congress and senior Obama Administration officials.

It’s funny, but I did not share with the Speaker my political party affiliation.  Although I did mention my daughter is his constituent at Miami University in Ohio.

And sorry to disappoint my fellow progressives who feel comfort in demonizing our political opponents as “enemies” or rotten people:  Speaker John Boehner was engaging, extremely generous with his time, and very serious about the hemp legalization issue.  He asked dozens of penetrating questions, digging deep into the agricultural and economic development potential of the crop; and fortunately Commissioner Comer was around to to provide substantive answers.

I'm the old man with Congressman Massie and Commissioner Comer

I’m the old man with Congressman Massie and Commissioner Comer

I also really enjoyed meeting Tea Party favorite, Congressman Thomas Massie.  Massie is wicked smaht (a good description of an MIT grad), very warm, and was really eager to find common ground with me, discussing his involvement on issues such as hemp legalization, drone oversight, and providing flexibility on mandatory minimum sentences.

Of course, I did get to turn the tables on Commissioner Comer with several meetings with my fellow Democrats, including Obama Administration officials at several agencies, as well as my favorite Congressman, Louisville’s John Yarmuth (SPOILER ALERT: an hilarious photo is forthcoming.)

The feedback was consistent — those who were already educated on the issue were very supportive.  Our critical task in Washington — as it was in Frankfort — is to simply share the facts and dispel the myths.  Once that task is complete, hemp will be legalized.  I’m confident.

As always, we strongly encourage to get involved — NOW. Here are three very simple things that you can do — right now, at your computer — to register your support for legalized industrial hemp and pressure Washington to fulfill the people’s will:

  1. Contact your Senators to urge them to co-sponsor and support S. 359, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013. introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) that would exclude hemp from the definition of marijuana and allow states to legalize and regulate the product.  Here is a great link to contact them from Vote Hemp.
  2. Contact your Congressman and urge him or her to co-sponsor the companion bill in the House, H.R. 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, introduced by Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY).  Here is a great link to contact them from Vote Hemp.
  3. Sign the following petition to President Obama, urging his Administration to lift the barriers to legalized hemp:

President Obama: Legalize Hemp!


263 signatures

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Latest Signatures
263Mike VondraPlover, WisconsinFeb 14, 2015
262jacquelyn BishopWhite Plains, NYJul 19, 2014
261George PillingOrmond Beach, FloridaNov 11, 2013
260Robert SasickBellvue, ColoradoJul 24, 2013
259Charles KellyLexington, KYJul 10, 2013
258Jacqueline CavenderSyracuse, New YorkJun 17, 2013
257Diana FuentesWashington, DCJun 01, 2013
256Richard OzarkSaginaw, MichiganMay 26, 2013
255William BrammellLexington, KYMay 25, 2013
254Eric OstertagLexington, KentuckyMay 22, 2013
253william rosenbergbaltimore, marylandMay 18, 2013
252russell newtonroseville, MinnesotaMay 18, 2013
251Josie FischerSpring Hill, FlMay 18, 2013
250Denise HoustonMay 18, 2013
249megan guppyseattle, WashingtonMay 15, 2013
248Angie TidwellMcdonough, GAMay 15, 2013
247Pam GrayJacksonville, FLMay 15, 2013
246Laurie RotichRochester , New YorkMay 15, 2013
245Yogi RaoCumming, GAMay 15, 2013
244David WilliamsCamarillo, CaliforniaMay 13, 2013
243Ariana BranchDetroit, MichiganMay 13, 2013
242JIm StammSan Jose , Ca. May 13, 2013
241JAMES STRIEGELWeed, CaliforniaMay 13, 2013
240Aracely CoronadoPhiladelphia, PAMay 13, 2013
239joel gilbertson-whitepittsburgh, PennsylvaniaMay 12, 2013
238Lori FaffColorado Springs, COMay 11, 2013
237Vance Grossieca.May 11, 2013
236LeeAnn SchappeSaratoga Springs, New YorkMay 11, 2013
235Nick LoseMay 11, 2013
234David LandskovArlington, MassachusettsMay 11, 2013
233Allan AlsipFrankfort, KYMay 10, 2013
232Rosie SmickVancouver, WashingtonMay 10, 2013
231Michael GuillaumTucson, ArizonaMay 10, 2013
230Nalia NicholsMay 10, 2013
229Ivan Bumgarnerrochester, NYMay 10, 2013
228Dean HarrimanAtwater, OhioMay 10, 2013
227Stephanie Lana RamapriyanMalibu, CAMay 10, 2013
226Marilyn CluteBothell, WAMay 10, 2013
225PHILIP ILCZYSZYNArvada, ColoradoMay 10, 2013
224Curtis CupplesNaples, FLMay 10, 2013
223Norman MillerCosta Mesa, CAMay 10, 2013
222Daniel BruenNyack, New YorkMay 10, 2013
221Kathy HarpFrankfort, KYMay 10, 2013
220Richard DeCampLexington, KentuckyMay 09, 2013
219Holly Harris VonLuehrteLexington, KYMay 09, 2013
218Sally O'BoyleLexington, KYMay 09, 2013
217Shauna HareOttumwa, IowaMay 09, 2013
216Amber KiddRichmond, KYMay 09, 2013
215Hemp HurdPine Bluff, AR.May 08, 2013
214rich givanlou, kyMay 08, 2013



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