Yesterday came news that on Feb. 11, Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. John Yarmuth will testify before a state Senate committee in support of SB 50, which would legalize and regulate the farming of industrial hemp in Kentucky. In order to go forward, the federal government would have to grant Kentucky a waiver to allow this, and Yarmuth has said that he would directly lobby President Obama to do so.
The bill not only has the strong support of Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer — who has not been afraid to directly confront the Kentucky State Police, the main obstacle to the bill — but a growing number of Republicans in the General Assembly who were formerly opposed to legalizing industrial hemp.
One of those new supporters is Republican Sen. Damon Thayer, who just two years ago publicly opposed this measure on KET, saying that hemp was a “gateway drug.”
Thayer is now openly lobbying fellow members for support, explaining his change of heart on Twitter last night as being “educated” on the issue.
Part of that “education” going forward is convincing legislators that industrial hemp will actually destroy the potency of marijuana crops, as Comer repeatedly points out, and combating the talking points of the Kentucky State Police, who certainly wouldn’t want to give up their costly paramilitary campaign in the Drug War. (And those rad 4-wheelers)
Jumping out of helicopters sure looks fun, but a successful billion-dollar industry for rural Kentucky seems more fun to us. Godspeed, education.
***** UPDATE *****
Did we say this bill has momentum? Darth Vader himself just came out in support of it.
KSP’s starting to look really, really lonely…