Sen. Paul Rand called for lifting federal restrictions on industrial hemp Thursday, saying they amount to a ban on a plant that could help diversify his state's agriculture economy.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal
, the Kentucky Republican joined state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in urging that hemp be treated like any other crop and not be taken out of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's control.
Paul is cosponsoring a bill in the Senate that would do just that, and Comer is pushing a state bill as well that would treat non-hallucinogenic hemp like a normal agriculture product and less like its cousin marijuana. The reason hemp is regulated is because it's hard to tell the difference between the plant used as a drug and the one use to make rope, clothing, paper, and other commercial products
Kentucky Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth said he agrees that lifting restrictions on growing hemp should be considered. But he said it was far down the list of priorities in Washington at the moment, which would make it difficult for Paul's legislation to move through Congress.
“In today’s environment, that’s the kind of thing that is way down the priority list,” he said, after listening to Paul and Comer lay out their views at a Farm Bureau breakfast held at the state fair.
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