Senate says hemp farming is important to the United States, but won't legalize it

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For years hemp farming was an important part of the United States economy, but that ended in the 1930's when Congress outlawed marijuana and other related plants. And while Congress is now acknowledging how important hemp is, they still won't do anything about its status, writes Joseph Misulonas.

The United States Senate unanimously approved a bill that acknowledges the economic potential of hemp farming as well as its historical importance to the American economy. However, the bill does not actually legalize hemp farming, even though they're saying how great and important it is. The measure even points out that the United States is the largest consumer of hemp products in the world, but is the only major industrialized country to restrict farming it.

Hemp, while related to cannabis, does not contain THC and cannot get users high. In the past, Americans used hemp for several different functions including clothing, paper, fabrics and much more.

This is a little confusing considering the Senate is in charge of making laws. So if everyone in the Senate thinks it's stupid that the United States bans hemp farming, why don't they just remove those restrictions?

To be fair, it does seem like there's a pretty good possibility that hemp farming will become legal in the near future. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently introduced a bill to do so, and it's already attracted co-sponsors from around one-third of senators. McConnell says he plans to attach his bill to an upcoming Farm Bill that will be debated in Congress in the near future.

But still, this is the third straight year the Senate has publicly acknowledged the benefits and importance of hemp farming without doing anything about it. Why do they even waste their time with this symbolic nonsense?

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