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Governor Again Turns Down Limited Hemp Farming Bill


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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a hemp farming bill for the second time.

The Republican governor announced Thursday that he had turned down a measure by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, that would have authorized a five-year program under which farmers in four counties Imperial, Kings, Mendocino and Yolo could grow hemp in plots of up to five acres.

Hemp is a distant cousin of marijuana but contains only traces of THC, the drug that gives marijuana its intoxicating effect.

It's legal to grow hemp in more than 30 countries, and the plant can be imported into the United States and used in a wide variety of products, including food and clothing.

But it can't be grown legally in the U.S. without a nearly impossible-to-obtain permit from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Leno attempted to avoid federal restrictions by requiring farmers to sell the hemp only to California processors. That way, they could avoid interstate commerce that could bring federal intervention.

Leno came back with a narrower measure after Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill last year that would have allowed any California farmer to grow hemp. But the governor still cited the federal restrictions in his veto message.

"Under federal law, all cannabis plants, regardless of variety or THC content, are simply considered to be 'marijuana,' which is a federally regulated controlled substance," he said, adding that failure to get a permit to grow it could lead to criminal charges

News Moderator: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, CA)
Author: Associated Press
Contact: actionline@mercurynews.com
Copyright: 2007 San Jose Mercury News
Website: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_7152349
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