The legal marijuana industry received support from the United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and former President Bill Clinton. Vilsack said that cannabis has become one of the most valuable commodities in American agriculture.
At the event, Vilsack called attention to the lack of things that can be planted in urban areas. The former governor of Iowa recounted a trip to Milwaukee where he met with a farmer who showed him some specialty commodities he was growing for local restaurants and grocery stores. The farmer said that an acre of this crop could sell for a million dollars.
Vilsack then said, “With the exception of the state of Colorado and a few other states that have legalized another product, there are not very many commodities that you can plant, Mr. President, and then grow up to get a million bucks.”
Clinton responded, “Dear Lord, that’s all I need is one more story.” He then added, “If only the marijuana growers would invite me to give a speech.”
Industry continues to move forward
Vilsack is working with the Justice Department to allow for the importation of hemp seeds for industrial production. Recently, the Republican controlled United States House of Representatives approved legislation which prevents the federal government from blocking state laws pertaining to legal medical marijuana.
Last year, the House of Representatives approved a similar provision as part of a Justice Department funding bill by a margin of 219-189. The bill approved yesterday saw a larger margin of victory, 242-186.
Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance said, “There’s unprecedented support on both sides of the aisle for ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states set their own drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights.”
Currently, 27 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, decriminalized marijuana, or both. Also, 4 states have legalized recreational marijuana and 14 states have legalized a limited form of marijuana by allowing patients access to cannabidiol (CBD).
Democratic Representative Earl Blumenauer recently said that the medical marijuana train has left the station and he could not be more accurate. The cannabis industry has moved too far forward to try and halt its progression. It is no longer a matter of if, but when!