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Proposed Resolution: Resolution of the National Libertarian Party in Support of Industrial Hemp

Posted on June 15, 2000

By National Libertarian Party

WHEREAS, Industrial Hemp was first domesticated 10,000 years ago; provided the ropes and sails for Christopher Columbus’ ships; was required in 1619 to be grown by all farmers in Jamestown, Virginia; was legal tender in America from 1631 to the early 1800’s; was a cash crop grown on the plantations of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; produced the paper on which the Declaration of Independence was first drafted; was grown in America and regulated by the Department of Agriculture until 1937; and was the domestic source of maritime rope during the 1942-45 World War II “Hemp for Victory” campaign; and

WHEREAS, Industrial Hemp is legally cultivated and harvested in thirty other nations including Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Romania, Australia, and China, none of which are classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as drug-producing countries; and the importation of Industrial Hemp is permitted by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and all Industrial Hemp raw materials must be imported to manufacture products that are distributed by, and sold in, hundreds of specialty shops and thousands of general stores with national sales and exports exceeding $100 million per year; and

WHEREAS, North Dakota has legalized Industrial Hemp for commercial farming; Hawaii and Minnesota have authorized test crops; and the State Legislatures of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin are considering the legalization of Industrial Hemp; and

WHEREAS, Industrial Hemp is a nonintoxicating, benign form of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while marijuana contains 5 to 20 percent THC; and Industrial Hemp can be easily distinguished from marijuana by appearance, cultivation methods, and chemical analysis because Industrial Hemp seeds are planted to yield more than 1,000 stalks per two square yards, while only one marijuana plant can be grown in the same size plot; and Industrial Hemp matures in 70 to 120 days and is harvested before it flowers while marijuana is cultivated for its flowertops and takes 120-180 days to mature; and, when grown together, Industrial Hemp will pollinate marijuana, reducing its THC content to a non-intoxicating level; and

WHEREAS, Industrial Hemp has been used to produce more than 25,000 products including four times as much paper per acre as trees, building materials that are twice as strong as wood and concrete, textile fiber that is up to eight times as strong as cotton, better oil and paint than petroleum, biodegradable plastics, and more digestible protein per acre than any other food source; and Industrial hemp thrives without herbicides, reinvigorates the soil, requires less water than cotton, matures in three to four months, and can be planted and harvested several times per year grossing $200 to $600 per acre per harvest at current market prices;

WHEREAS, Industrial Hemp is a renewable resource that can be used to produce clean-burning diesel fuel that will reduce the demand for fossil fuels, eliminate the need for foreign oil, decrease the cost of gasoline, dramatically improve the environment, help balance the national trade deficit, terminate corporate welfare for oil companies, and turn the American Farmer into the 21st century’s OPEC; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the National Libertarian Party, that industrial hemp is a vital, sustainable, renewable resource for building materials, cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, industrial chemicals, oil, paint, paper, plastics, seed, yarn, and many other useful products; and be it further Resolved, That the Libertarian Party of America finds and declares that the domestic production of industrial hemp can help grow the economy and help protect the environment; and be it further Resolved, That the Libertarian Party of America finds and declares that Congress, and the President of the United States, should take action to revise the legal status of industrial hemp to allow for its growth throughout the nation as an agricultural and industrial crop.

Copyright © 2000, National Libertarian Party. All rights reserved.