Indiana has become the 11th state to re-legalize industrial Hemp production. State Governor Mike Pence signed bill S.B. 357, the “Industrial Hemp” bill, late last week with the hope that “Hemp will potentially create thousands of new, sustainable, and green jobs for Hoosiers.”
Given Indiana’s immense farm industry (and space to farm), we hope the midwestern state becomes a hotbed for Hem production and helps stop the wheels of prohibition from running in the Midwest.
Here’s the great announcement from Indiana’s NORML Chapter:
Indiana has a long history with Hemp. The earliest report of Hemp farming in Indiana is in the early 1800’s from Union County. At one time there were over 20 rope walks along the Wabash and Ohio rivers. During World War II, Jasper County, Indiana, received an award from the United States Department of Agriculture for prolific Hemp production for the war effort.
Hemp was de facto made illegal in 1937, but it wasn’t until Hemp was lumped in with Marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 that it was actually made illegal to grow in the U.S. Possession of Hemp goods such as clothing, bags, seed oil and plastic has always been legal, but we couldn’t grow anywhere in the United States.
This law will be administered by Dr. Robert Waltz, the Indiana Seed Commissioner, working out of Perdue University. No plan has yet been unveiled.
S.B. 357 also is dependent upon approval of the federal government. Under the recent federal farm bill, the 10 states that had already relegalized industrial Hemp could proceed with test crops. Indiana will have to be added to that list before we can grow Hemp again in Indiana. [Indiana NORML]
Hemp can move everything around us–literally. And it’s a damn shame Hemp production hasn’t yet gone federally legal–because it can seriously provide America (and the world) with a valuable resource for energy and sustainability.