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by
Bridget Johnson

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March 27, 2013 - 9:43 am

Spoken like a true Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator threw his support behind a controversial hemp bill that passed the state legislature yesterday.

The bill regulates the state’s hemp industry, if the federal government ever removes the ban placed on the once-lucrative cash crop.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has pledged to seek a waiver from the administration when a regulatory framework is in place.

“I commend the Kentucky General Assembly for final passage of Senate Bill 50. I want to thank Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Paul Hornback and the members of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission for their leadership and hard work in passing this legislation,” Paul said.

“Senate Bill 50 is an important step forward in the reintroduction of industrial hemp in Kentucky. I have pledged, along with Rep. John Yarmuth, to seek a waiver when a regulatory framework is in place. I will follow through on that pledge and I hope that Kentucky will soon start growing hemp, creating jobs and leading the nation in this industry again.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also jumped on the bandwagon in support of the bill.

“I applaud Commissioner James Comer for his leadership on the issue and the Kentucky General Assembly for passing the legislation which has the potential to provide an economic boost to Kentucky, create jobs and allow Kentucky farmers to harness the economic potential that industrial hemp can provide,” McConnell said. “I will continue to work with Senator Paul on a federal approach that would enable Kentucky farmers to cultivate and profit from industrial hemp in a way that does not compromise Kentucky law enforcement’s marijuana eradication efforts or in any way promote illegal drug use.”

Paul and McConnell are co-sponsors on Democrat Ron Wyden’s (D-Ore.) Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, along with Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which would exclude the crop from the definition of marijuana.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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