Drug Policy

A. Barton Hinkle on the Fight to Legalize Hemp


Jim Politis is a retired businessman who now sits on the Board of Supervisors in Montgomery County, Virginia, home to Virginia Tech. He wants Washington to let farmers grow industrial hemp. That should be an easy sell, writes A. Barton Hinkle. Once upon a time, hemp cultivation was not only permitted, but required: An act of Virginia's General Assembly in 1623 mandated hemp-growing. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. It remained a popular source of fiber for rope, clothing, and many other products until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which pretty much killed off domestic hemp production.