The DEA is back to pushing against the bill to legalize hemp farming with a set of talking points, which mostly boils down to, as we’ve said here before, that law enforcement is too stupid to figure out the difference.
Ryan Grim reports: DEA Wages Hemp War Behind The Scenes In House
The Drug Enforcement Administration has kicked its lobbying against legalizing industrial hemp into high gear, hoping to block an amendment in the House that would decriminalize the crop for research purposes.[...]
The Huffington Post has obtained a copy of talking points the DEA is circulating among members of Congress to press them to oppose the amendment — raising the seemingly incongruous specter of the government using its resources to lobby itself.
The talking points, paradoxically, represent a step forward in the debate. In the Senate, hemp advocates were left only to counter vague “law enforcement concerns” that senators told HuffPost were a factor in their willingness to support reform. By laying out those specific reforms, hemp backers will attempt to rebut them point by point.
Broadly, the DEA’s case focuses on the supposed inability to easily distinguish between hemp and its cousin, marijuana. The similarity, the DEA argues, would allow pot growers to shield their plants behind rows of hemp plants. But the DEA appears not to have gotten the talk about the birds and the bees. [...]
The DEA also says that there’s already a system in place for growing industrial hemp…
The CSA permits the cultivation of cannabis for industrial purposes, provided the grower has obtained a DEA registration to do so.
Yeah, good luck getting one of those.
Update: Amendment #37 passed the House 225 to 200!
Further update: However, the farm bill itself didn’t pass. Good news is that when it does, better odds that this amendment will be able to ride with it.
By the way, in response to several commenters, my understanding is that this amendment actually bypasses the DEA approval process for university research purposes (someone correct me if I’m wrong).