A Wisconsin farmer-legislator keeps trying to make industrial hemp a legal crop in the state.
Republican Eugene Hahn from Cambria has been trying to get the legislature to legalize industrial hemp farming for a decade. He's made some progress this session. His bill to form a special committee to study the pros and cons of hemp was unanimously voted out of committee. A pleasant surprise he says.
Federal law still prohibits hemp growth because the plant is a cousin to marijuana. According to Hahn, it's a distant cousin. Even if you wait to get THC from the seed, Hahn says, the amount of the illegal drug is very, very low.
Hahn says industrial hemp wasn't always illegal to grow. In fact it was encouraged during World War Two. At least ten hemp plants were built in Wisconsin to handle what was grown for the war.
Hahn says the benefits outweigh the concern. Hemp can be used to make just about anything. Fiberglass, building supplies, clothing, rope, ethanol and more.