Lawmakers push for legalization of hemp

By Phil Pendleton  | 

The big roadblock to it becoming law is the federal government failing to make a distinction between hemp and marijuana but lawmakers from both sides came together in the capitol rotunda Thursday saying a lot of jobs could be created and lives improved if it becomes law.

“More and more are asking why don’t we grow hemp in Kentucky,” said Agriculture Commissioner James Comer during a rally in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort late Thursday afternoon.

The roadblock may deal with marijuana, but many say it’s not a good argument.

“This has less than 1% of THC,” said Rep. Keith Hall.

Lawmakers want farmers to be given the green light to grow hemp because they say it can create so much good.

“University of Louisville did a study several years ago and said it would create 17,000 jobs immediately,” said Sen. Joe Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville.

And many believe there’s no shortage of goods it can create.

“Construction products can be made from hemp, studs, beams, and posts. And you know what the greatest thing about them is? They are durable and lightweight,” said Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville.

“At a time when we do business with governments that don’t like our Christianity or our way of life or what we stand for in America, it’s time we make a product using our goods, our services and our good people of Kentucky,” said Rep. Hall, D-Phelps.

The bill is subject to federal authorization but some believe there is a movement to change the national laws.

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