Today, the Washington State House voted unanimously to approve HB1888, the Hemp Freedom Act. The vote was 97-0.
Sponsored by Representative Matt Shea (R), along with Christopher Hurst (D), Cary Condotta (R), Jeff Holy (R), David Taylor (R) and Jason Overstreet (R), the Hemp Freedom Act would “permit the development in Washington of an industrial hemp industry,” effectively nullifying the de facto federal prohibition on the farming and production of hemp crops within the United States.
Introduced in February 2013, HB1888 was first passed by a House committee nearly a year ago.
Reintroduced by resolution for the short 2014 regular legislative session, it was sent to the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government & Information Technology for additional approval, where it passed 9-0 earlier this month.
Since the enactment of the unconstitutional federal controlled-substances act in 1970, the Drug Enforcement Agency has prevented the production of hemp within the United States. Many hemp supporters feel that the DEA has been used as an “attack dog” of sorts to prevent competition with major industries where American-grown hemp products would create serious market competition: Cotton, Paper/Lumber, Oil, and others.
Experts count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel. The U.S. is currently the world’s #1 importer of hemp fiber for various products, with China and Canada acting as the top two exporters in the world.