New Hampshire Hemp LegalState’s rights advocates at the Tenth Amendment Center are reporting that New Hampshire legislators have now lifted the ban on growing and selling industrial hemp.

Hemp (from Old English hænep) is a term for fast growing varieties of the Cannabis plant and products that have nearly zero THC in them but can be used exceptionally well to produce useful items. Hemp items often include: hemp oil, hemp seed foods, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and combustable clean burning fuels.

Many novices mistake hemp for its botanical cousins that include Sativa and Indica variants of the Cannabis plant which are known as marijuana and are utilized recreationally to get high, or medicinally to alleviate symptoms. Unlike hemp, Sativa and Indica are low-growing and have a much higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. THC is the psychoactive ingredient that causes a “high” feeling. So, to put things in simple terms, you could smoke 1000 pounds of hemp rope and never feel “high” because while it is made from a similar plant, it does not have a high enough THC content to impact your senses. Still, for poorly considered reasons, federal legislators have outlawed many aspects of hemp farming and hemp products by paying the entire cannabis family of plants with far too broad a brush.

Now, this new Act by New Hampshire state legislators puts the state at odds with some of those federal laws and relies heavily on the US Constitutional 10th Amendment which states with a surprising degree of clarity “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

As Stewart Tongue of points out, “What many people fail to comprehend is that the ‘default setting’ of the US Constitution is that ALL power belongs to the states and to the people unless specifically otherwise granted to the federal government. For whatever reason, in modern history, most Americans seem to accept the false notion that the Federal Government can do whatever it wants until someone stops them. However, in reality, from a pure Constitutional point of view, the fact is that the federal government cant do anything legally unless the Constitution, States and Citizens specifically allocate power over something to them. At no point did New Hampshire or the people of New Hampshire ever cede power over the production or sale of hemp to any federal regulatory agency.”

Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center appears to be in full agreement with Mr. Tongue, adding “What this gets down to is the power of the people” said Maharrey. “When enough people tell the feds to pound sand, there’s not much D.C. can do to continue their unconstitutional prohibition on this productive plant.”

The new legislative act, labeled New Hampshire Bill HB494 is an essential first step forward for hemp in the country. The movement will continue and the hope is that citizens and state legislators across the nation will wake up and take back their rights like the people have already done in Colorado, Oregon and Vermont where courageous farmers are growing industrial hemp during an unfortunate period of federalist uncertainty. It is time for the federal government to withdraw its attempt to overstep its authority with regard to hemp and allow the free market to dictate the future of what appears to be an exceptionally useful natural resource.

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