In an effort to further the movement to legalize hemp and medicinal cannabis in Utah, the grassroots organization Legalize Utah has reached out to every Utah lawmaker from House Representatives, Senators and Governor Herbert’s office through e-mails and telephone calls.
The latest Utah politician to respond is the office of United States Senator Mike Lee. Senator Lee’s representative Pete Blair responded with the following:
“We received your letter to Senator Lee and wanted to thank you for taking the time to engage his office concerning S. 359, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013. Your input provides valuable insight to the Senator and enables him to thoughtfully consider a wide range of ideas and options before casting a vote in the Senate. As a staff, we compile the information provided by constituents for discussions, analysis, and when briefing Senator Lee”.
“Thank you for your concern about the direction of our country and taking part in our nation’s form of government that encourages honest public discourse and debate. Senator Lee firmly believes that his ability to act as a representative “rest(s) on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.” – Federalist No. 22, Hamilton and Madison”.
“As a reminder, Senator Lee is conducting “Let’s Talk” events online and in live town hall meetings throughout the state of Utah. These events are meant to include voices from Utah’s business leaders, community groups, and private citizens. The values of involvement, respect, and thoughtful dialogue found in Utah have been demonstrated in the “Let’s Talk” events that have already occurred. We invite your participation in future events”.
Information about upcoming townhall events may be found by visiting this link:
Office of Senator Michael S. Lee
A representative from Legalize Utah sent the following response:
“I believe most congressmen use the Congressional Research Service for accurate information. As a conservative I can’t imagine Senator Lee supporting big brother prohibiting a valuable crop that is not a drug”.
“Nobody buys law enforcement’s excuse that they can not tell the difference between marijuana and industrial hemp. Law enforcement in over 30 countries including Canada have no problem telling the difference”.
“Our president could exempt industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act with a simple signature but refuses, so we are counting on conservatives Like Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Mike Lee to lead the way. McConnell and Paul are already on board leading the charge. Is Senator Lee on board?”
A report from the Congressional Research Service was published December 18, 2012. Entitled “Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity”, the report
concludes with: “Hemp production in the United States faces a number of obstacles in the foreseeable future. The main obstacles facing this potential market are U.S. government drug policies and DEA concerns
about the ramifications of U.S. commercial hemp production”.
“These concerns are that commercial cultivation could increase the likelihood of covert production of high-THC marijuana, significantly complicating DEA’s surveillance and enforcement activities and sending the wrong message to the American public concerning the government’s position on drugs”.
“DEA officials and a variety of other observers also express the concern that efforts to legalize hemp—as well as those to legalize medical marijuana—are a front for individuals and organizations whose real aim
is to see marijuana decriminalized”.
“Hemp production in the United States also faces competition from other global suppliers. The world market for hemp products remains relatively small, and China, as the world’s largest hemp fiber and seed producer, has had and likely will continue to have major influence on market prices and thus on the year-to-year profits of producers and processors in other countries”.
“Canada’s head start in the North American market for hemp seed and oil also would likely affect the profitability of a start-up industry in the United States”.
“Nevertheless, the U.S. market for hemp-based products has a highly dedicated and growing demand base, as indicated by recent U.S. market and import data for hemp products and ingredients, as well as market trends for some natural foods and body care products”.
“Given the existence of these small-scale, but profitable, niche markets for a wide array of industrial and consumer products, commercial hemp industry in the United States could provide opportunities as an economically viable alternative crop for some U.S. growers”.
All Utah hemp and marijuana advocates are encouraged to contact Senator Lee’s office. His website can be found at this link, his phone number for his Salt Lake City office is 801-524-5933 and his local fax number is 801-524-5730. Use this link to contact your Utah representative.
Senator Lee is planning on hosting a “Lets Talk” tele-townhall on the second Wednesday of every month. The event always starts at 7:00 p.m. MST (9:00 p.m. EST). The next scheduled for July 10, 2013. For further information regarding Senator Lee’s tele-townhall, visit link.