The web interns have had The Nation‘s activism portfolio moved into our remit. The first cause I’ve decided to throw The Nation behind is legislation that I first supported in my high school public speaking class.
Hemp, one of the world’s most versatile crops, has been used for centuries as a foodstuff, fabric, and fiber. This crop was grown in colonial New England and Virginia and is today cultivated in every industrialized nation in the world other than America. While hemp seeds and oils can be safely consumed and hemp clothes can be bought and worn across the US, all of the hemp used to create these products must be imported from abroad. Struggling American farmers have missed out on this growing market because, for over sixty years now, the Drug Enforcement Administration has grouped all varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant together in spite of the fact that industrial hemp possess vastly different fiber qualities and only trace amounts of psychotropic THC–a fraction of those present in marijuana.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 would help to undo this economically harmful misclassification.