U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — the nation’s second most powerful Republican — and California’s Democratic state legislators completely agree on one thing: Marijuana’s cousin hemp should be fully legalized.
As the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said: “All politics is local.”
In McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, tobacco farming is dying out. Farmers are desperate for a replacement crop. And hemp is their choice for the future.
In California, farmers also need a new crop that doesn’t use much water. That’s hemp.
“It’s going to be incredibly important for California agriculture,” says state Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), who represents the Antelope Valley. “A lot of farmers are going to quit what they’re doing and grow hemp.”
But first two bills will need to pass the Legislature and be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. It’s a good bet they will. One bill — Wilk’s — deals with cultivation. The other legalizes hemp’s medicinal products.
Hemp had a “good guy” image for 8,000 years — used starting in ancient Mesopotamia in the making of rope, clothes, paper and in food.
“The sails of the Pinta, the Nina and the Santa Maria were made from hemp, as were the boats’ caulking,” Wilk says, referring to Columbus’ maiden voyage to America. [Read More @ LA Times]