Mitch McConnell, That Old Hippie, Pushes Legal Hemp


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently came out in favor of legalizing hemp cultivation, thanks to the persuasive talents of fellow Kentucky senator Rand Paul and the state's agriculture commssioner, James Comer, both Republicans. The New York Times cites McConnell's conversion as evidence that the cause, long identified with hippies and stoners, has gained respectability among conservatives. The fact that it has taken so long is testimony to the plant's powerful symbolism, because there is no logical reason to stop farmers from growing industrial hemp, a version of cannabis with negligible THC, even if you support marijuana prohibition. "The specter of people getting high on industrial hemp," former CIA Director R. James Woolsey noted at a Kentucky State Senate hearing on Monday, "is pretty much exactly like saying you can get drunk on O'Doul's." Testifying at the same hearing, Paul pointed out that other countries where marijuana is illegal (including China, for crying out loud) nevertheless manage to allow hemp cultivation. "It's a crop that's legal everywhere else in the world except the United States," he said.

CREDIT: Jeannie Herer

Seizing upon an old anti-hemp canard, Kenucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer worried that marijuana growers would hide their crop in fields of hemp. "They are identical in appearance when it comes to the naked eye," he warned. But as Woolsey observed, no marijuana grower in his right mind would want his plants anywhere near a hemp farm, since cross-pollination would ruin his crop. In Colorado, where the same ballot initiative that legalized marijuana for recreational use also calls for the legalization of hemp, the managers of indoor marijuana grows (currently serving the medical market) are worried about drifting pollen from hemp farms, which could make their plants go to seed instead of producing lots of lovely buds and resin. Yet prohibitionists like Brewer claim that pot growers will put their plants smack dab in the middle of hemp fields. "You'd think you're at a DEA hearing," Paul said in exasperation.

The same emotional impulse that explains why the U.S. has to import all the hemp fiber, seeds, and oil it uses was also at the root of the Drug Enforcement Administration's efforts to ban not only hemp farms but hemp products. The DEA, which ultimately was slapped down by the courts, simply could not tolerate an industry linked to the Weed With Roots in Hell, even though none of its products was psychoactive. But as Mitch McConnell finally realized, "the utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real," even if drug warriors prefer not to think about it. Jack Herer would be pleased.


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  1. Take that, Ashley Judd!

    1. She’s prettier than you, NutraSweet, and your bitterness about this is unseemly.

        1. You’re opening yourself up to attack from a lot of angry UK fans, you know, if they knew how to read.

          1. I am a lot of UK fans.

            We had to suffer through Boehner at our last home game. At least he only sobbed twice.

            1. Well, it has been a down year. I guess that’s why they played so poorly last night; they were still reeling from the effects.

        2. I wasn’t complimenting her. I was insulting you. Try to read between the lines, Mr. Homely.

          1. Sorry we all can’t be as pretty as a twink with a sugar daddy. Shouldn’t you be out having your asshole waxed?

            1. He lasers. It’s like a tortoise shell down there.

              1. It’s like a tortoise shell asshole down there.

            2. That’s this afternoon.

              1. Bleaching too?

                1. I bleached ages ago.

  2. “Yet prohibitionists like Brewer claim that pot growers will put their plants smack dab in the middle of hemp fields.”

    Ye cain’t turn yer back on that Demon Weed – ye never knows what it might do, hidin’ like that in a field of hemp!!!!

  3. “The specter of people getting high on industrial hemp,” former CIA Director R. James Woolsey noted at a Kentuck State Senate hearing on Monday, “is pretty much exactly like saying you can get drunk on O’Doul’s.”

    I remember as a little kid me and a friend bought some and drank it in the parking lot thinking we were all cool and stuff. I don’t think we finished it. Now one must be 21 to buy O’Doul’s. Figure that one out.

    1. Wow. Based on that story, you are the dorkiest dork to ever dork in Dorktown.


      1. I also think the Beastie Boys are rap! How dorky is that?

        1. Not as dorky as listening to They Might Be Giants…but still pretty dork-o-rific.

          1. I hope Triangle Man tears your filthy spine out, HM.

            1. He won’t be able to find me in my hideout in Istanbul (Not Constantinople).

              1. Why are your referencing a Four Lads song in the midst of a TMBG subthread?

              2. Until Ana Ng rats you out.

                1. I shouted out, “Free the Expo ’67!”
                  Till they stepped on my hair,
                  and told me I was fat

          2. You don’t like “Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth”?

            What’s wrong with you?!?

          3. Don’t lets start HM, build a little bird house in your soul.

      2. In a similar vein, HM, I remember a party I attended whilst in med school and the girls were served only O’Douls (yes, it is possible to get a beer & party supply to get this) and the results were something like this.

        The power of the placebo effect cannot be denied. A few gals actually threw up and felt and acted like they were totally shit-faced.

        THAT’S DORK!-D

        1. I don’t think a placebo effect is needed to throw up from drinking a bunch of O’Douls.

          1. I dunno, never tried the stuff. You can puke from drinking too much water (it can even kill you! Shocker!), but generally, one associates drinking too much booze with tossing your cookies.

            1. You can throw up because you have too much alcohol in your system or if you have too much fizzy piss water in your stomach. O’Douls can certainly do the later.

              1. Well, Brandon downthread indicates the same, and SOD knows the worst hangovers I had involved 3.2 Okie pisswater, so I’ll buy it.-)

        2. Geez…did you go to med school at a Tribal university or something?

          And I thought I was dork by having my first college beers at marching band parties.

          1. Marching band? HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

            Dork calling the dorkle dork much?

          2. OKLAHOMA STATE IS NOT TRIBAL! (well, ok, it technically is.-)

            No, it was actually an experiment, and the selected girls were not told ahead of time (there were other gals there who had a designated real beer keg used as a control group). They were told the keg was specially ordered for them, RSVP’d even, and some of the guys drank from it to alleviate any concerns that it was a Keg o’ Roofies.-)

            My first college beers were at Goth raves.-)))

          3. And I thought I was dork by having my first college beers at marching band parties.

            Hey the only guys I knew who were scoring on a regular basis were on and associated with the marching band.

            Had I to do it all over again I would have put away childish things (football) and gotten laid!

        3. Yeah, I felt like throwing up the only time I drank O’Douls.

          1. I wonder if this thread has anything to with the governor of Colorado drinking fracking fluid….which I assume is what all the kids are calling O’Douls these days!

      3. Says the proud Eagle Scout.

        “Well, if it isn’t the captain of the Wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons.”

        1. I tease because I love…

        2. Hey! Wiener dogs are a lot more feisty than they look, ok. Though they can’t compare to the awesomeness that is the Tree Frogs. Ribbit!

    2. Can’t have kids fooling a cop into an underage drinking boner and blue ball him with fake beer.

      I had a friend in high school who rolled his own cigarettes mostly for the enjoyment of a cop grimacing in disappointment when he got close enough to smell it wasn’t weed.

      1. Soon it will be the tobacco that gets you busted.

        1. Since he was under 18, a kid doing this know would be busted for possession in KY.

  4. Legal hemp means a lot of junior high school kids are going to get robbed.

    1. Life lesson learned, junior.

    2. Clearly what we need is regulation and state ownership of the junior high drug market.

      1. I knew a lot of kids who smoked Oregano.

        1. My little brother was always using up all the oregano to cut the pot he was reselling back to his nitwit peers. It totally degraded the quality of my breakfast potatoes.

        2. I knew a kid who someone sold some fake acid to (just some little pieces of paper). He convinced himself that he was tripping to the extent that he ended up shooting the ceiling of his bedroom with a rifle and doing some other weird shit.

          Then he died of cancer a few years later and got his own page in the yearbook. The End.

  5. It’s asinine that there’s no hemp production in the commonwealth of Kentucky seeing as how well it grows naturally in our climate (SLD: regular pot too, but baby steps). But one should never underestimate the boner KY lawmakers and LEOs get from the WOD (except tobacco). This is why I can no longer buy my OTC allergy medicine without a prescription, in a state that is rife with allergens. We still have dry counties, fer cryin out loud.

    1. My grandfather grew hemp for the government during WW2. As you said, it grows well in KY.

      1. Parts of Wisconsin are positively overrun with feral hemp from the WWII days. I had a couple of acres of the stuff when I lived there.

    2. What makes it especially asinine is that (as pointed out in the article), legal hemp farms would make growing pot a whole lot more difficult. And from what I gather, a whole lot of pot is grown outdoors in KY. If the drug-war assholes didn’t have their heads completely up their own asses, they would be promoting as much hemp farming as possible in all areas where they know pot is being grown.

      1. I know nothing of marijuana or farming, but if hemp farming were to become widespread and also in the event of legal marijuana cultivation, the latter might not be profitable?

        Or would a two tier market develop of higher quality imported marijuana versus a low quality domestic brand?

        1. Basically any marijuana grown down wind of a hemp field would be ruined by being pollinated. You’d have to grow indoors in areas where hemp farming was happening.

  6. Yeah, yeah. So the main crop that the Father of our country, George Washington, planted is currently illegal. But you know what Washington used to plant and pick that hemp? Slaves.

    Why do you want to bring back slavery, Reason?

    1. It’s for a greater good.-)

    2. He also made his own distilled spirits. Try doing that at home.

      1. You can still buy Washington’s ‘shine.

        They say the smoothness comes from the addition of Native American tears.

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