Rand Paul says Ky. could get a federal waiver to grow industrial hemp

01/16/2013 05:40 PM

If the Kentucky General Assembly passes an industrial hemp bill in the 2013 legislative session, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said there could be a way around the federal ban on hemp.

Paul said if Kentucky acts, he’ll lobby President Barack Obama’s administration to lobby for a federal waiver or exemption to allow Kentucky farmers to grow the plant. Currently, hemp is categorized as a controlled substance alongside marijuana even though advocates say hemp does not have the same properties as the drug.

Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is leading the charge in Kentucky to legalize hemp. Comer chairs the commission which has crafted legislation for the 2013 session to lay the groundwork for the industry.

Paul said he was privately meeting with Comer on Wednesday to talk more about his strategy at the federal level as well as about concerns the Kentucky State Police have about the crop.

The main obstacle for industrial hemp to this point has been law enforcement. Kentucky State Police, in particular, are concerned marijuana plants could be hidden among hemp fields. But Paul said modern GPS technology could be a solution to that.

Along with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Paul is co-sponsoring legislation in the Senate to legalize hemp production across the United States. U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie has also co-sponsored similar legislation in the House.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Storm. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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Comments

  • Cat Balz wrote on January 16, 2013 06:37 PM :

    Well, heck yea, no problemo, ‘cause everybody knows that Rand and Barack are just that tight.

  • DragonTat2 wrote on January 17, 2013 10:26 AM :

    Not only advocates, Science says the two plants are different. (The most obvious being one has delta 9 THC, one does not.) Industrial hemp and medical cannabis are not even grown the same way, and planting cannabis in a field of industrial hemp only serves to ruin the medicinal properties of the cannabis. No GPS required.
    Get over the so-called Reefer Madness. It was all made up by those who sought to squash the competition of hemp as fuel, food, and fiber.

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