ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 54

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 6, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  CONNIE WAGNER

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Johnson

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges President and Congress to enact “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011” and each NJ member of Congress to sponsor the legislation and work for its enactment.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Assembly Resolution urging the President and Congress of the United States to enact the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011” and each member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to sponsor the legislation and work for its enactment.

 

Whereas,  Industrial hemp has been an important resource in the history and economy of this nation from pre-colonial times through World War II; and

Whereas,  The sails and ropes on Christopher Columbus’ ships and the paper on which the Declaration of Independence was drafted were made from industrial hemp; and

Whereas,  Farmers in the nation’s first settlement in Jamestown, Virginia were required to grow hemp in 1619 and it was legal tender accepted as payment for taxes from 1631 through the early 1800s; and

Whereas,  Industrial hemp was a cash crop grown by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on their plantations, a domestic source for maritime rope during the World War II “Hemp for Victory” campaign from 1942 to 1945, and was regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture until 1937; and

Whereas,  Industrial hemp is produced by 30 nations, including Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Romania, Australia, and China, and the importation of industrial hemp is permitted by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement, without classification as a controlled substance or drug; and

Whereas, Industrial hemp can be distinguished from marijuana by appearance, cultivation methods, and chemical analysis as a non-intoxicating form of the Cannabis sativa plant containing less than one percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical associated with the intoxicating effects of marijuana; and

Whereas, Industrial hemp is a renewable resource for building materials, cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, industrial chemicals, oil, paint, paper, plastics, seed, yarn, and many other useful products; and

Whereas, Industrial hemp has great potential for bolstering agriculture and the environment in this time of economic crisis and global warming, requires less water to grow than cotton while yielding textile fibers that are eight times as strong, can be cultivated without the expense of herbicides, can potentially yield four times as much paper per acre as trees, and provides clean-burning diesel fuel, biodegradable plastics, building materials twice as strong as wood and concrete, and better oil and paint than petroleum; and

Whereas, As a result of federal laws and regulations, industrial hemp raw materials that could be grown domestically for the benefit of American businesses are currently, and must be, entirely imported, with national purchases and imports exceeding $100 million annually; and

Whereas,  The “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011” was introduced in the  112th United States Congress as H.R.1831; and

Whereas, Enactment of this legislation would redefine industrial hemp as the plant Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinal concentration of 0.3 percent or less on a dry weight basis, would remove industrial hemp from regulation as a controlled substance, and would allow its cultivation, processing and distribution for the many non-drug related uses of hemp, the economic benefits of which are currently lost to countries that export hemp into the United States; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The President and Congress of the United States are urged to enact the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011” for the economic and environmental vitality of the nation.

 

     2.    Each member of the Congressional delegation from the State of New Jersey is urged to sponsor this legislation and to work for its passage and enactment.

 

     3.    Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, and attested to by the Clerk thereof, shall be forwarded to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, and each member of the United States Congress elected from the State of New Jersey.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges the President and Congress of the United States to enact the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011” for the economic and environmental vitality of the nation, and urges each member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to sign on as a sponsor and to work for its passage and enactment.

     The “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011” would:

     1) redefine industrial hemp as the plant Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of 0.3 percent or less on a dry weight basis;

     2) remove industrial hemp from regulation as a controlled substance; and

     3) allow its cultivation, processing and distribution for the many non-drug related uses of hemp.

     It is currently estimated that the United States loses about $100 million annually to countries that export hemp into the United States.