Hemp legalization gains more allies: top Senate Democrat, American Farm Bureau

A Senate bill to take hemp out of the Controlled Substances Act is racking up allies.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, and the American Farm Bureau are backing the measure introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Schumer’s endorsement comes about two weeks after he announced his support for legalizing marijuana.

“Why are we buying hemp from other countries when we have hundreds of acres already growing here in our backyard and we could grow a whole lot more,” Schumer said in Hurleyville, New York.

His remarks focused on how beneficial hemp could be for rural New York state, according to MidHudson News.

Meanwhile, the American Farm Bureau Federation announced its support of McConnell’s proposal, giving hemp a seal of approval from the oldest general farm organization in the United States.

“The tide is turning,” Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall wrote to McConnell. “Once again, policymakers in Washington DC and state houses across the country recognize the tremendous potential that industrial hemp can offer farmers.”

McConnell has said he wants to fold his hemp legislation into the 2018 Farm Bill. That bill is up in the House later this month – with no hemp provisions as of yet – and could be in the Senate this summer.

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