Bill to legalize hemp advances in Kentucky

Feb. 12, 2013 at 4:41 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and former CIA Director James Woolsey testified in favor of a bill that would legalize growing industrial hemp in Kentucky.

The state Senate Agriculture Committee approved the measure unanimously Monday, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal reported.

Growing hemp is banned in the United States under federal law because the seeds contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The plant cultivated for industrial hemp -- used in cloth, rope, paper and other products -- has been bred to produce large quantities of fiber with low quantities of THC.

Paul wore a shirt he said was made from hemp produced in Canada.

"If I thought this was going to allow marijuana to take off in our state, I wouldn't be for it," he said.

Kentucky State Police Superintendent Rodney Brewer testified it is possible to get high from the seeds of industrial hemp. But Woolsey compared it to low-alcohol beer.

Woolsey said Brewer's statement "is pretty much exactly like saying you can get drunk on O'Douls. It's very difficult."

A number of states have already legalized hemp production. But they have not been granted waivers by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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