The Vote Hemp Report
Volume V, Number V
October 14, 2010
On August 20th Vote Hemp board member Christina Volgyesi and Living Harvest CEO Hans Fastre attended a private event at Congressman Kurt Schrader’s home in Canby, OR where they had an opportunity to meet Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. They discussed the economic benefits of resuming industrial hemp farming and asked for the Secretary’s help in obtaining a meeting with the Department of Justice on behalf of American farmers and the seventeen states which have passed hemp farming legislation. The following week Secretary Vilsack personally hand delivered our briefing documents to Attorney General Eric Holder at a meeting they had scheduled. Vote Hemp is now working with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congressional staff to request a meeting with the Department of Justice. We are also trying to encourage the USDA to revise the inaccurate ten year old Economic Research Service Report: Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential.
In February we wrote to you about our goals for this year and the strategies that we were going to use to achieve them. We also asked you to make a donation to Vote Hemp on our web site and told you that Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps has generously agreed to match every dollar you donate, doubling the impact of your contributions:
While the economy has not helped us meet our fundraising goals for this year, we have exceeded what we set out to do to help return hemp farming and processing to the U.S. In addition to securing meetings with officials at the USDA, and continuing to work towards meetings with the Department of Justice, we also had a meeting with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the first week in August. Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp, and Tom Murphy, our National Outreach Coordinator, met with Kevin Sabet, ONDCP Special Advisor for Policy, and Regina LaBelle, ONDCP Senior Policy Advisor, and discussed a range of issues that surround industrial hemp policy. The follow up on this meeting has been good and we are currently discussing changes to the ONDCP web site and they are working on our request to get a copy of the ONDCP’s current policy on industrial hemp in writing. Even if the Obama Administration and the ONDCP don’t currently have a policy on industrial hemp we would like to have that in writing.
In July we wrote a letter to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary opposing the nomination of Michele Leonhart to be Administrator of DEA. Leonhart is part of the problem at DEA and has not acted reasonably regarding license applications or general policy. To date there still has not been a Committee hearing on her nomination and considering the gridlock in the Senate during this session of Congress they may not have one before the end of the 11th Congress in January of 2011.
A few weeks ago we announced The Vote Hemp Guide to Hemp Activism, A Concise Guide to Citizen Lobbying on the Hemp Issue. This eleven page guide will give you the information and tools that you need to confidently and effectively ask your elected representatives to support legislation that will lift the current ban on hemp farming in the U.S. The Vote Hemp lobbying page has more information and you can download a PDF copy of this guide.
We are also happy to tell you that we have another co-sponsor for H.R. 1866, the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.” Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s first district signed on last month. Techniques that are in The Vote Hemp Guide to Hemp Activism were used during the August recess to gain her support. H.R. 1866 now has twenty-five co-sponsors, including Rep. Ron Paul, the most number it has ever had!
Another part of of our strategy this year was the Hemp History Week postcard campaign to get the attention of Attorney General Eric Holder. Volunteers from across the country spread the cards far and wide, getting physical support for our cause and introducing thousands of new people to the issue. We collected as many signed postcards as we could, packed them in boxes, addressed them to the Department of Justice and included a cover letter. If you were not able to sign a postcard in person you may send a virtual postcard to President Obama and Attorney General Holder using our letter writing tool.
Remember that there is an election coming up in November, so register to vote.
Please remember to make a contribution to Vote Hemp today to help us continue working for hemp farming in the U.S. We need and truly appreciate your support!
In This Issue
Two New Bills Introduced in Michigan
Two new bills were introduced in Michigan late last month! HB 6480 is an industrial hemp farming bill and HB 6479 is an industrial hemp study bill. Both were introduced by Representative LaMar Lemmons and were referred to the Committee on Agriculture. Do you live in Michigan or know someone who does? If so, please read the Vote Hemp Alert: Michigan: Please Write & Call Your State Representatives!
Hemp – A War Crop for Iowa
Here is the latest addition to the Vote Hemp Download Center archives. Hemp A War Crop for Iowa, Bulletin P 49, December 1942, Agriculture Experiment Station, Agriculture Extension Service, Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa. Cover picture: Hemp harvester in operation near Waupun, Wisconsin. (Courtesy of Bur. Agr. Chern. and Engr., U. S. D. A.) Click here to download a copy (PDF file 2.8MB).
The Hemp Millers’ Exemption from Marihuana Taxes
After WWII the Bureau on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) tried to promulgate regulations that were so bad that they would have effectively banned the processing of hemp, and in effect the farming of it as well, by levying a transfer tax on any leaves that were left on stalks at the hemp mills. Senator Robert La Follette, Jr. of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, held hearings on the problem and invited a number hemp industry witnesses. According to researcher Jon Gettman the Senate and House had a conference on the adoption of the amendments and that:
“The House agreed during conference to accept the Senate Amendments and Public Law 320 was passed on March 8, 1956, adding the following provisions to the US Code: 26 USC 4742 (c), 26 USC 4751 (6), and 26 USC 4753 (b). These Millers Exemptions were retained by Congress in the Internal Revenue Act of 1954, and remained in the statutes until passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 eliminated the use of prohibitory taxes to prevent marijuana production.”
Two of these sections of the U.S. Code of 1958 are below:
Support Vote Hemp
Donate $20 and get a Vote Hemp Sticker and Hemp Oil Lip Balm
Donate $25 and get the Hemp Product Sampler
Donate $36 and get a Vote Hemp logo hemp hat
Donate $45 and get a “Standing Silent Nation” DVD
Donate $48 and get a Vote Hemp logo hemp polo shirt
Donate $100 and get 12 assorted hemp body care products
Donate $500 and get the PollockPrints Vote Hemp Poster package
Current Action Alerts
Nationwide: Click here to write your Congressional representative and ask him/her to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009. If he/she is a co-sponsor already, you will be able to thank them and ask them to help get the bill a hearing in committee.
The following states have passed hemp farming bills and/or resolutions or memorials urging Congress to allow states to regulate hemp farming. Please use the links below to write to your Congressional representative if you are from these states..
Colorado: Click here to thank Rep. Jared Polis for becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.
Maine: Click here to thank Rep. Chellie Pingree for becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866 or to write to Rep. Mike Michaud and ask him to become a co-sponsor.
Montana: Click here to thank Rep. Denny Rehberg for becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.
New Mexico: Click here to write to Your Representative and ask them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.
North Dakota: Click here to write to Rep. Earl Pomeroy and ask him to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.
Oregon: Click here to write to Your Representative and ask them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866. Rep. Earl Blumenauer is a co-sponsor. Please click here to thank him.
Vermont: Click here to write to Rep. Peter Welch and ask him to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.
Washington: Click here to thank Rep. Jim McDermott for becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 1866.
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