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Is Hemp Legal in the United States?

History of Hemp


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Is Hemp Legal in the United States? That is a little bit of a story. I will try and make it as short as possible. Hemp plant, is incredibly useful in the daily live of everyone. (clothing, rope, plastics paper food medicine building materials and more).  In 1619 it was such a important crop in the United States that is was made a legal requirement for farms to grow the crop. Hemp was on its way to becoming a billion dollar industry in the early 1900 but the paper, pharmacy, and petrochemical industries found this a threat to the companies and a plot was started against the continuance growth of the hemp industry.  In 1970 congress passed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which put hemp in the same group of marijuana. That declare hemp as a Schedule 1 drug and a high abuse risk and safety concerns. When congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 which heavily tax the sale of hemp products, that start the decline of hemp industry. Some people say that the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 put the final nail in the hemp industry.


Back in the early 1900s hemp productions was one the biggest industries if not the biggest. Which was really interfering with other industries (paper, pharmacy and petrochemical) and a plot was started against the hemp industry. Harry J. Anslinger, William Randolph Hearst, and Irenee DuPont were the three main conspirators.

After the Mexican Revolution there was a large influx of Mexican immigrants and a lot of racial injustice against African-American, Mexicans, Chinese, and others. And they used that in there conspiracy.

The Conspirators

DuPont was very invested in synthetic fiber and responsible for the development of petrochemical patent and was trying to usher in a new new ara in America.

Hearst was the owner of the largest newspaper company, and several paper mills. He also had timberlands in the Mexico. He stated us “marihuana” (a Mexican slang word) to start fake stories. He used “marihuana “to create stories of the dangers of the drug. Saying that because of the “marihuana” that was the reason for why the African-Americans and Mexicans acted so insane and committed foul crimes against white women or even the loved ones. When the movie “Reefer Madness” came out, it portrayed cannabis as the most dangers drug in the world. As a propaganda movie it was very effective.

Anslinger also created fake stories. One being about people killing there families. He was the first Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics-today it is known at the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). He was the one to propose the Marijuana Tax Act to Congress which passed on August 2, 1937 even though it was opposed by doctors. Even though the act did not criminalize the possession or use of hemp, cannabis, or marijuana it did include enforcement and penalty’s. Which the handlers of marijuana, hemp, and cannabis where subject to.

It took a few decades but in 1970 Hemp farming was officially banned with the passing of the Controlled Substances Act.  With the passing, hemp was put on the list of Schedule 1 drug list. It was declared as a high potential for abuse and a gate way drug.

Legalization of Hemp

In 1998 businesses were allowed to start importing hemp into the United States, but were not allowed to fully start growing hemp. The government was really moving slowly even with all the information on how beneficial hemp was. In 2012 Colorado legalized the growing of industrial hemp even though it was still illegal on the federal level.  President Obama in February  2014 signed the Farm Bill.  In the bill there was section called Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research (Section 7606). Since over the last 80 years the United States had lost all its research knowledge about hemp. It allowed states that had legalized hemp cultivation to conduct research. In 2018 The Agriculture Improvement Act (2018 Farm Bill) was signed. It authorized the production of hemp. I also removed hemp and hemp seed from the Drug Enforcement Administration list of Controlled Substances. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was instructed in come up with regulation and guidelines to create a program for the production of hemp. That opened the door for farms to plant small crops of hemp so that research can be conducted on the benefits of hemp. Even though it is illegal on the federal level 37 states have legalized it some for or another while 13 state has ban it entirely. Not just the growth of hemp but marijuana as well. Colorado being the first. Though it is illegal on the federal level the government seems not willing to enforce the law and letting the states handle it.

On Friday, April 1, 2021 a bill was voted on and passed 220-204 in the U.S. House of Representatives (The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act). It would end the federal ban on marijuana.  Even though the bill passes the U.S. House of Representatives in is unlikely to pass the Senate. More then likely it won’t even be brought up for a vote.


As you can see hemp has had a long history. It started out as one (if not the most important) business back in the 1600s. As the United States industry started to grown and people though ingenuity began develop other was to make the products that the country need hemp was interfering with other industries. Though I don’t agree with the way it was done hemp was pushed out of business in the early 1900 century. The people of the United States again has started to recognize hemp as a valuable product that has many benefits. A lot of state has started taken steps to get hemp legalized on the federal level, but as usual the federal government is moving slowly. My self personally, I thing it should be legalized but with restrictions. Hemp has been around for thousands of years and has been used though out history. It has many uses and can be very beneficial to people and the country.

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