Rep. Matthew Shea Gets Hemp Bill Passed in Washington State House

Rep. Matthew Shea Gets Hemp Bill Passed in Washington State House
Rep. Matthew Shea Gets Hemp Bill Passed in Washington State House

Olympia, Wa., February 17, 2014– State legislators in the Washington House of Representatives just voted unanimously (97:0) to approve HB1888, which effectively nullifies the federal ban on hemp within the state of Washington.

State Rep. Matthew Shea (R-Spokane Valley) is the bill’s main sponsor. “This is a phenomenal bill, expanding freedom, allowing jobs to be created – a new market here in Washington state – the potential state economic impact is in the tens of millions if not hundreds of millions,” said Shea.

From the bill:

“This act attempts to reassert this original meaning of the commerce clause over wide areas of policy and effectively nullify federal laws and regulations that violate such limitations by regulating commerce and other activities that are solely intrastate.”

Experts count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel. The U.S. currently imports hemp products, primarily from China and Canada.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed a new farm bill into law, which included a provision allowing a handful of states to begin limited research programs growing hemp. The new “hemp amendment”

…allows State Agriculture Departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes, but it applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.

Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin weighed in on the Washington state legislature’s move:

“While Pres. Obama and the federal government play games by allowing limited hemp growing for “research,” legislators in Washington State are telling the feds to butt out by moving forward with a bill to allow full scale farming and production of this essential crop,” he said. “Every state should nullify these unconstitutional federal restrictions on industrial hemp.”

Three states – Colorado, Oregon and Vermont – have already passed ssimilar measures. Farmers in SE Colorado started harvesting the plant in 2013 and have essentially ignored the limitations set forth in the new federal Farm Bill.

The Washington State Senate will now take up the bill. A vote is expected within the coming weeks.

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Michael Lotfi

CEO, Political Director at BrandFire Consulting LLC
Michael Lotfi is a Persian-American political analyst and adviser living in Nashville, Tennessee. Lotfi is the founder and CEO of BrandFire Consulting LLC. The firm specializes in public and private technology centered brand development, lead generation, data aggregation, online fundraising, social media, advertising, content generation, public relations, constituency management systems, print and more. Lotfi is the former executive state director for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center, a think-tank focused on restraining federal overreach.Lotfi graduated with top honors from Belmont University, a private Christian university located in Nashville, Tennessee.

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  • Albert Nelson

    Good, we’re gonna need a lot of rope soon.

    • tick tack

      Not just rope. Hemp can also be used to create a lot of stuff. “Experts count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel”

      Fourth paragraph, reading if fundamental.

      • Duncan20903

        My first thought was that he meant that we’re going to be lynching certain people hence the “need” for a lot of rope. You can’t lynch people without rope.

      • Albert Nelson

        “Reading if? fundamental” Reading comprehension is also fundamental. 25 people got it.

  • Ward Damon Hubbard

    Way over due, it’s about time

  • Ranee Doe

    Hemp Hemp, Hooray!!

  • Witchwindy

    If you live in WA write or call your State senator and demand s/he vote to pass this legislation in the senate. Make certain you remind him/her s/he works FOR YOU, not for DC, big oil, big timber or any other competitor with hemp. Add that you oppose any changes to how medical marijuana is handled in WA State, too.

  • Ory Browne

    Step by step on our road to logic and reason.

  • Sara Courtney

    Now if we can just do something about the 200 some odd pesticides allowed to be used to grow the hemp….

    • dylboz

      What are going to do? Eat it?

      • Fnord_Farseer

        As a matter of fact, yes. Haven’t you heard of hempseed oil and its health benefits?

        • dylboz

          Well, yes, I suppose I have, but I was thinking more along the lines of the dozens of useful industrial applications for which pesticides are not a concern.

          Anyway, I do not think we should celebrate the repeal of one set of absurd anti-freedom regulations by calling for the enactment of dozens more. Let hemp farmers farm the way they want, and let hemp consumers buy what they want, and the market will surely find a balance between organic and conventional products in every niche.

          • Sara Courtney

            Pesticides are not a concern? Who needs clean water when we have industrial hemp? Many pesticides don’t simply disappear into thin air after they have been used on crops. Where do you think all that run off goes?

    • Chris Manly

      You don’t use or NEED pesticide with hemp, look into it.

  • rhondaher

    Maybe this is the beginning of throwing off this imperialistic Government and it’s control over the peoples lives. We are supposed to be a free country for God’s sake. We have a government that wants to interfere in every area of our lives and tell us what we can do and what we can’t do and then we pay them so they can be above the laws they make and steal our money so they can buy drugs, women and political power. Something is wrong here!

  • Винямин Фичтнер

    Don’t worry, as a Washingtonian, I can guarantee that nothing will change. The same liberal warmongers who control the Federal Government control my state and the carpetbagger Governor will make sure to comply with his warmonger overseers.

    • Barney, Andy and Gomer…

      Винямин Фичтнер that name sounds like some kind of rodent…

  • Mtn. William

    De regulate the people, regulate the banks and corporations.

  • Steve

    If you do not know Matt Shea, you really should. Matt is next to Ron Paul for honesty and a firm believer in God and our constitution. Matt is NOT an Oath of Office breaker.

    • Khith

      I’m proud to have voted for him. Looks like he’s doing great so far!

    • Doug

      Amen! Matt is one of the good guys, and I rarely, if ever say that about any politician.

  • countyguard

    It was just a matter of time for this to happen… good news,
    and all other states should follow suit… would create huge revenue for any
    state, OR COUNTY…

  • P Chanterelle

    Anything that pushes back on the improper use of commerce clause in the long run is good. Decentralizing power and control is also good.

  • Michael Gerardi

    To really restore the Commerce Clause to its original meaning, the Supreme Court is going to have to overturn Wickard v Filburn, or the Congress is going to have to voluntarily renounce the illegitimate expansion of its Commerce Clause power that that case conferred on Congress.

  • whatwaysup

    its fantastic. absolutely positive news. like taking the blinders off.

  • DaveBeaulieu

    What they should do is recall the Congressional mandate that lead to the control of not only Industrial Hemp but the criminalization of Marijuana. It was a clear cut case of Fraud via conspiracy by the Hearst and DuPont families that brought about “Reefer Madness” all due to the fact that those two families were going to lose a lot of money had they not taken action through propaganda and deceit. Further, certain people in Congress had to have been paid off. Both families still benefit from those unjust laws making it an ongoing offense. We all had to pay for their shortsightedness!

  • Chuck (Smithfix) Smith

    Funny how they left it alone till Monsanto has a GMO hemp. Coincidence, I think not. Watch how narrowly this bill will be written so as to ONLY effect hemp but not truely weaken the strangle hold the Commerce Clause has become. Just say’in..