‘We the People’ – Your Voice in the White House is an online petition platform which citizens can start petitions on. People have started petitions for all types of causes. The process starts with citizens posting their petition on the site, and then getting as many people to add their signatures to the petition as possible. If the petition receives 100,000 signatures within 30 days, the White House has to issue a response within 60 days.
To be clear, that is not the same thing as having to do whatever the petition may call on. The White House is only required to issue a response, and not even a favorable one at that. But it’s a great tool for forcing the White House’s hand on issues that the White House may not otherwise want to talk about, such as hemp reform. On January 20, 2017 a citizen posted the petition that is copied and pasted below:
Industrial hemp was once a dominant crop on the American landscape. This hardy and renewable resource was refined for various industrial applications, including paper, textiles, and cordage. Unfortunately hemp was conflated with marijuana but hemp can't be used as a drug.
Over time, the use of industrial hemp has evolved into an even greater variety of products, including health foods, body care, clothing, auto parts, construction materials, biofuels, plastic composites and more.
Farmers in Europe, Canada and China all grow hemp and over $600 million in imported hemp products were sold in the USA in 2016. Congress has 2 bipartisan bills which would bring back hemp farming and create rural jobs. We request that President Trump work with Congress to pass hemp legislation in 2017.
The petition has received 102,371 signatures to date. According to the Tom Angell Daily Report, the initiative had surpassed the 100,000 goal prior to the 30 day time frame expiring. The Trump administration now has to issue a response within 60 days. It’s anyone’s guess what President Trump and his team will say. Hemp is a crop that is growing in popularity among farmers that live in states that allow hemp cultivation.
Hemp is still illegal at the federal level, but due to a provision in a farming bill signed by former President Obama hemp is allowed to be grown in states that have legalized hemp cultivation. According to Vote Hemp, 31 states have passed legislation creating a situation in which farmers can grow hemp and not be prosecuted by the feds. Colorado produces the most hemp in America, but states like Kentucky are increasing production. Many farmers have been struggling for years, and could benefit greatly from being able to cultivate hemp legally, and not just as part of a pilot program.
It will be interesting to see if the Trump administration listens to rural American farmers that want to cultivate hemp, as well as members from companies that use hemp for their products. It is not possible for a human to get ‘high’ from hemp, as industrial hemp does not have enough THC in it to create euphoria. There’s no reason why the Trump administration should support hemp prohibition. I’m looking forward to seeing what the official response is, although I’m not holding my breath that it’s favorable because, after all, it’s the Trump administration we are talking about.
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