Senator Rand Paul and Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner James Comer are teaming up to fight a battle over industrial hemp. Since the plant, which is great for making all sorts of products, is a cousin to marijuana, it remains banned in the United States.
Hemp is one of the great examples of the failure of the War on Drugs. An attempt to control citizens’ behavior has eliminated the use of a crop good for making a number of useful products. Seriously, go look at that list.
Senator Paul is making the argument that federal regulations are impeding his state’s agriculture industry. And while he’s absolutely right – there’s a lot of money to be made from growing hemp – it’s important to realize that isn’t the primary reason we should be fighting for the legalization of hemp.
We should be fighting for the legalization of hemp because prohibition is wrong.
The fact that it can be used to make quality clothing doesn’t matter. The fact that it can be used to make strong ropes doesn’t matter. The fact that it can be used for anything doesn’t matter.
If somebody wants to grow hemp just for the sake of growing it – with no useful intent whatsoever – it should be legal. That’s called freedom, and freedom for the sake of freedom something we should be pressing toward more often.
Though Senator Paul has a valid argument in calling for legalizing hemp to aid in growing Kentucky’s agricultural business and creating jobs, we should remember that fighting for freedom to grow hemp – simply for the freedom to do it – is all the reason we really need.