Proposed hemp regulations continue the racist legacy of the US war on drugs

By Jenni Avins

Until recently, hemp—the name for a cannabis plant bred to have little to no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)—has been far less exciting in the popular imagination than its psychotropic sister, marijuana. But CBD (cannabidiol), the naturally occurring chemical compound found in both cannabis and hemp, has caught fire (so to speak) in the wellness world.

This has made hemp a hot commodity. Industry analysts at the Brightfield Group estimate that the US market for hemp-derived CBD in the form of tinctures, capsules, vaporizers, pet treats, and more will be worth $591 million in 2018.

But advocates for racial justice say some provisions of the bill will reinforce the problematic legacy of the war on drugs, which saw the criminal justice system disproportionately target and punish people of color. The current version of the bill bans people with drug-related felony convictions on their records from participating in the hemp industry—for life.

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1) Prejudiced language (ban for LIFE)
2) Manipulation of the definition of hemp
3) Research must be run by science NOT politics!

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