Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

Puzzling Prohibition

In the 1940s, hemp farmers were considered “patriotic supporters” of the war effort. But in 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal to grow industrial hemp. 

Thanks to that law—which mistakenly lumps industrial hemp in with marijuana—U.S. consumers can buy hemp seeds at our health food stores, or hemp building materials from building suppliers, or clothes made from hemp. But U.S. farmers face a jail sentence for growing the type of hemp used to make those products.

Americans bought more than $600 million worth of hemp products in 2016. Almost all those products were imported from Europe, China or Canada. Because what was once a dominant, lucrative and largely sustainably grown crop here in the U.S., is now outlawed.

Congress has two bipartisan bills which would bring back hemp farming and create rural jobs. A White House petition asking the Trump Administration to pass these laws is nearing the critical 100,000 signatures mark. We need just north of 12,000 more signatures by February 19 to force the White House to respond. Can you help?

TAKE ACTION: Sign the White House petition to let American farmers grow hemp 

Learn more 

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