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By Dries Van Thielen
In a press release published on Friday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reassure industrial hemp farmers that he would “uphold the law.”Paul’s fellow Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Al Franken (D-MN), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) backed the statement.
The Senators state that “the 2014 Farm Bill [SEC. 7606. LEGITIMACY OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH]” allowed state agriculture departments and universities to conduct industrial hemp research pilot programs in states that have authorized the growing and production of industrial hemp, including Kentucky, Oregon, Colorado, and Minnesota, we noted that some program participants have either had their personal and business accounts closed at financial institutions or are facing the possibility of losing them. This situation is evidently due to the uncertainty of the continued legal status of the industrial hemp industry, and because the funds contained in the accounts are associated with industrial hemp.”
It is indeed not uncommon for the hemp industry to face difficulties regarding their banking and financial situation. Some marijuana dispensaries have to address their financial transactions entirely in the form of cash. Also, these uncertain situations have driven some hemp producers to use bitcoins as their primary mode of payment.
Marijuana Works (Just Not According to the Government)
Furthermore, Senator Paul stated that the hemp industry is beneficial on many levels. ““Industrial hemp research and farming have opened up doors for students, farmers, and small businesses in our states. In fact, American-grown hemp is already being used in a number of products, including fibers in automobile panels, fuels, food, animal bedding, and soaps, lotions and oils.”
For example, many veterans have testified on behalf of marijuana regulation. It reliefs them of their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and marijuana oils are more effective than traditional medicine.
However, the Minnesotan and federal disinterest in marijuana regulation became painfully clear on Saturday when the Star Tribune Minnesota published a story on Medical Marijuana and PTSD amongst veterans. Marine Corps veteran Ed Erdos testified he’s been treated by experimental cannabis oils to relieve his pains. What he found out, is that it also frees his mind. “It has improved my quality of life to the point where I can function on a daily basis”, said Erdos.
Not according to the VA. Larry Shellito, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, told Star Tribune Minnesota: “We believe more research is needed to fully determine the safety or effectiveness of medical cannabis for PTSD”.
As of yet, the Attorney General hasn’t responded to Sen. Paul.