Tags: Marijuana Legalization | US State Facts | legalizing weed | Utah | industrial hemp farming

Legalizing Weed: Key Players in Utah's Legalization of Industrial Hemp Farming

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 04:38 PM

For decades, it was illegal to grow hemp in the United States because of the plant's relationship to the marijuana drug. However, hemp is not itself a drug, and many states, including Utah, have begun legalizing hemp production because of the benefits offered to farmers, manufacturers, and the economy.

The federal government removed some of the restrictions on industrial hemp farming with the 2014 Farm Bill. Before that several states had already legalized it, either with immediate plans to begin production, or to be ready when the government lifted its ban.

The following people participated in the effort to legalize hemp in Utah.

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

1. State Rep. Gage Froerer
State Rep. Gage Froerer was the chief sponsor of House Bill 105, which made several changes to how the state treats hemp and cannabis. The bill makes it lawful for the state's Department of Agriculture and for colleges and universities to grow hemp for the purposes of research or as an agricultural crop. It also removes the penalties for possessing cannabis if a person is using the extract to treat epilepsy. It also established several guidelines that individuals must follow.

Speaking to the Standard Examiner, Froerer noted
the difference between hemp and marijuana and emphasized the benefits of using the extract, saying "It's not a drug and not psychoactive. All this does is give parents and families the ability to have an opportunity to improve their kids' lives."

2. Sen. Steve Urquhart (R-St. George)
Sen. Steve Urquhart was the sponsor for HB 105 in the state Senate. Speaking about the legalization of cannabis oil included in the bill, Urquhart emphasized that the bill was important because of the state's right to decide what's best for its citizens. As quoted by The Salt Lake Tribune, he said: "this is one of those states' rights bills, where we have parents who are suffering, we have children who are suffering, we think the federal laws are blind to their plight, so as a state we're going to authorize certain things."

3. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert
Shortly after the bill passed the state Senate, Gov. Gary Herbert voiced his support for easing restrictions, saying: "The concept of having cannabis oil as a medication to help with the treatment of seizures and other health issues is one that I support," the Deseret News reported.

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For decades, it was illegal to grow hemp in the United States because of the plant's relationship to the marijuana drug. However, hemp is not itself a drug, and many states, including Utah, have begun legalizing hemp production.
legalizing weed, Utah, industrial hemp farming
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2015-38-22
Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 04:38 PM
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