Over the past several years, there has been an increased push by federal politicians to fight for the legalization of industrial hemp. S.134, introduced for 2015, is the most recent example of this phenomenon. While these pieces of legislation may be well-written, they will accomplish little other than to send well-meaning activists down a dead end.
Although public officials like Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) deserve a lot of credit for pushing sensible hemp reforms, their federal-centric approach is bound to fail. Congress isn't exactly a place where things readily get done, after all. A bill cutting at the heart of federal and corporate power like industrial hemp legalization would likely sit on Sen. Harry Reid's desk collecting dust regardless of the public outcry.
But the public can have a profound effect though if they are smart and work from the bottom up.
We have seen the federal government, at least rhetorically, back off from marijuana prohibition. They didn't do it because of a Grinch-esque change of heart. They did it because they were forced to. If they hadn't, they would have shown themselves to be inferior to the states and the marketplace. They would have had to stomp out democracy in a futile effort that would have exposed their weakness. It would have been a PR nightmare - so they backed off.
This process is already beginning to work with hemp policy as well.
Obama has already made one capitulation in our favor. He signed a bill with an amendment allowing for state agricultural departments, universities and colleges to conduct research into the viability of industrial hemp. This measure, while a small step in the right direction and shows that pro-hemp pressure is already building in D.C. But really, what's the practical point? History has already proven the viability of hemp. It has been used for thousands of years, and is currently being used all over the world in a variety of incredible ways.
The bottom line is that federal government can never be counted on to take action that will strip away its own power. Even if a hemp bill somehow passed, it would likely contain provisions that keeps unlawful federal and corporate power protected in some way. But reforms at the state level can allow for the widespread cultivation of industrial hemp, and put the feds in a tough spot. They can either send in a goon squad, arrest a farmer, cripple an industry, and actively work to undermine American prosperity and economic strength, or they can back down. With enough disobedience, they have shown that they WILL back down. That must be our goal.
With our Hemp Freedom Act, you can lay the foundation for reform in your state. 'Hemp means jobs' is a powerful political message that is difficult to refute. Progress has already been made in many states such as Colorado where industrial hemp is already beginning to be cultivated. There is no reason why this success cannot be duplicated in every state across the nation. There is no need to focus on a gridlocked Congress or the political class swimming in the Washington D.C. cesspool. Just look at the thousands of legal pot smokers as evidence for that.
'Peace on our Streets' requires the courage to stand up and say NO the federal government's obscene, ridiculous policies. If enough of us adopt this approach, it is an effective check against excessive power. It is completely legal, and advocated by the Founding Fathers. If we stimulate enough resistance, we can build a lasting peace and prosperity with industrial hemp as the centerpiece. Help us out in this endeavor, and create a better Republic by doing so.