Rep. Thomas Massie ate a bar made with hemp seeds during a television appearance to make the point that hemp is safe and should be legal.
The Kentucky Republican consumed the hemp product while appearing on Fox Business Network's "The Independents" Monday night to discuss a situation in which Kentucky's agricultural commissioner had hemp seeds confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, even though growing hemp is legal in the Blue Grass State and President Barack Obama approved hemp for some uses in the farm bill.
Kentucky's Department of Agriculture is now suing the federal government to get the hemp seeds back.
Massie said that he was eating the hemp bar to make the point that it is not a dangerous product.
"Look, I'm going to eat some hemp seeds right here in my hemp bar," Massie said before taking a bite. "I'm going to be fine. I'm going to be able to complete the segment. This is rope, not dope. It's food. It's oil."
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Hemp is a relative of the marijuana plant, but it does not have the psychoactive effects that marijuana does. It is a popular source for a variety of uses including food, oil, fabric, and paper.
An amendment was added to the massive farm bill
that was passed in February blocking federal authorities from cracking down on hemp growers in states where growing industrial hemp is legal. This applies to Colorado, Oregon, California, Kentucky, Vermont, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota and Maine.
"Maybe someone didn't get the memo at the DEA, because [Obama] is not enforcing the marijuana laws in other states?" Massie asked. "Why is he enforcing another law that no longer applies after the farm bill was passed? What gives the DEA the authority to enforce that in Kentucky?"
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