Trump administration cautions against hemp expansion

The Trump administration doesn’t want to see hemp expanded nationwide in the next Farm Bill because of concerns about overproduction, an official said Wednesday.

Greg Ibach, undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said current hemp regulations are “fairly narrow” and that the Trump administration doesn’t necessarily want to see that change when the Farm Bill is rewritten this year.

The 2014 Farm Bill allowed hemp production for the first time in a generation – but only in states with authorized hemp research projects.

“Opening the door wide open nationwide, with no restrictions, may not be in the best interests of the hemp industry,” Ibach said, providing the most thorough comments yet from the Trump administration about hemp.

“One of the challenges we maybe have in the hemp industry is to make sure that demand and production coincide,” he told the media, including Marijuana Business Daily, after speaking at the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture in Denver.

Asked how the USDA and Trump administration envision hemp being regulated, Ibach said there’s danger to opening up the market to all states.

“We need to be careful so that we don’t kill the market for hemp by overburdening the market with supply before there is demand for it,” Ibach added.

He said oversight of hemp should belong to the U.S. Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration, not the USDA.

The DEA appeared in court last week to argue that CBD, a molecule derived from hemp and marijuana, is an illegal drug and not authorized by the Farm Bill.

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Why Did Cannabis Become Prohibited in the First Place?

Cannabis leaf and handcuffs
The history of cannabis prohibition is filled with bureaucratic betrayal, political scandal, corporate greed, and zero science.


Cannabis reform has been arguably the biggest public policy topic of this decade. Cannabis reform touches on law, social justice, economics, and a number of other areas in public policy.

You will be hard-pressed to find a public policy topic that is as dynamic as cannabis reform. A recent poll from April of this year found a record level of support for ending federal cannabis prohibition – 61%!

This record level of support is not surprising given cannabis’ ability to help treat a number of conditions, and the fact that cannabis is safer than many legal substances.

With so many obvious reasons to end cannabis prohibition in America, it begs the question, ‘why was cannabis ever prohibited in the first place?’

Racist origins

Harry Anslinger, the father of cannabis prohibition, was a well-known racist who built a career from outright lies.

Cannabis was legal in America for a long time. It was not uncommon for cannabis to be found in products that were in homes across America in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Cannabis was a common ingredient in medicines that were widely distributed all over the country, and it was seen as being a safe substance to use.

That changed during the 1910’s and 1920’s when America saw an influx of immigrants from Mexico and the growing popularity of genres of music that were associated with minority communities.

Authorities were looking for a way to search, and/or detain and/or deport immigrants and people of color, and they found exactly what they were looking for via cannabis prohibition.

Harry Anslinger, the driving force behind federal cannabis prohibition in the 1930’s, was quoted as saying at the time, “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”

The Hearst and DuPont theory

Even today, corporations and entire industries benefit immensely from cannabis prohibition.

In his groundbreaking book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, legendary cannabis activist Jack Herer offered up the theory that cannabis prohibition was also driven by the financial interest of William Randolph Hearst and the DuPont company.

The theory certainly has some validity, as Hearst (newspapers made from timber) and DuPont (petrochemical products) definitely had a financial Continue reading “Why Did Cannabis Become Prohibited in the First Place?”

Why Is Cannabis Illegal? The Story of Cannabis Prohibition Will Shock You

gavel with cannabis buds
Ever ask yourself why cannabis was made illegal in the first place?

The real reason why cannabis is illegal is shocking.

Humans around the globe have cultivated the plant for thousands of years, yet it is only in the last 100 that cannabis prohibition has rocketed around the globe.

But, why the sudden change?

Here’s why cannabis is illegal:

Humans and cannabis have a long history

If you really want to know why this plant is illegal, you have to familiarize yourself with the history of cannabis.

Not just when cannabis was made illegal, but its long history leading up to prohibition…

Cannabis is thought the be one of the oldest agricultural crops.

Humans have used cannabis for over 10,000 years, dating our relationship to the plant at the start of the Neolithic era.

The Neolithic era marked the very beginnings of modern agriculture. However, some experts speculate that the cannabis-human connection began earlier than that.

The herb is one of a handful of plants that has been used for millennia in a variety of different ways, including as food, fiber, medicine, and as a spiritual aid.

It’s also thought to be one of the oldest plants traded for economic value.

Cannabis seeds dated as old as 10,000 years have been found in fossilized Japanese pottery relics, along with scraps of woven cannabis fabrics.

Yet, Japan isn’t the only prehistoric location to show evidence of cannabis remains and cultivation.

The multitude of uses for the plant meant that it was likely an extremely valuable herb to have handy.

The archeological evidence thus far suggests that cultivated cannabis likely originated in Central Asia, spreading to many different regions and continents with human migration.

Access to cannabis not only gave people the means to make durable housing materials and clothing, but nutrient-rich hemp seed provided a brain-healthy dose of essential omega fatty acids. Oils from the herb were possibly even used as some of the first cooking oils.

people harvesting hemp
Our ancestors valued cannabis as a staple crop and medicine.

In medical applications, some of the earliest records of cannabis as a healing aid come from ancient China.

Emperor Shen Nung Pen Ts’ao Ching was one of the first to write about the uses of cannabis as medicine. It’s estimated that he lived sometime between 3494 and 2857 BCE. His manuscripts are dated as early as an estimated 4700 years before present time.

According to these writings, cannabis was used to treat ailments like menstruation, constipation, rheumatism, and absentmindedness.

Throughout ancient history, the herb was also frequently used as a women’s medicine in many different cultures.

Other ancient uses of the plant include pain relief, an anesthetic, an antibiotic, migraine relief, antiparasitic, sedative, and many more.

Doctors used to prescribe cannabis

Fast forward several thousand years.

Cannabis continued to be used in the form of hemp in countries all over the world. The first U.S. President, George Washington, even grew hemp on his plantation, Mount Vernon.

Washington used the hemp for industrial purposes, particularly for fishing nets and perhaps rope and cloth sails for boats.

Several countries around the world, such as India, had fully integrated the cannabis plant into medical practice.

In Western countries, cannabis tinctures and preparations were frequently used and prescribed by doctors.

Continue reading “Why Is Cannabis Illegal? The Story of Cannabis Prohibition Will Shock You”