Beshear Sides with Law Enforcement Over Hemp Legalization

Feb 19, 2013

Speaking with reporters in Frankfort Tuesday, Gov. Steve Beshear said he's pushing to put the hemp legalization issue on hold until law enforcement's concerns can be addressed. According to WTVQ-TV, Beshear has concerns similar to those of Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, who's said the state should listen to the concerns of police officers since hemp leaves look like marijuana leaves.

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Despite those concerns, the state Senate passed a bill last week legalizing hemp production in the state and sending the bill to the House. But police have raised issues about making it legal to grow hemp. Their main concern is that pot growers will plant the stuff in fields of legal hemp - to obscure its location.

State Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer has been an advocate of hemp legalization - saying Kentucky farmers need another marketable crop to grow. In the 1800s, Kentucky grew large amounts of hemp for industrial use -- such as rope making -- before the crop was outlawed because of its close association with marijuana, its cousin in the plant world.