hemp

Chatting with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY)

Thomas Massie

“[T]he House and the Senate control the purse strings. It’s the only check that we have besides some oversight on the Executive Branch. And so I’m going to be part of that group that goes into this August recess and goes back home and says, ‘I will not vote for a continuing resolution that funds ObamaCare.’” - Rep. Thomas Massie

The last couple of election cycles have led to several interesting, liberty-minded Republicans being sent to Congress. On Tuesday, United Liberty had a chance to chat with one of those Republicans, Rep. Thomas Massie, who represents Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District.

Elected last year with strong supports from grassroots groups, Massie quickly established his libertarian tendencies by taking strong stands for civil liberties and economic freedom. He’s an approachable guy and very down to Earth.

Along with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Massie fought hard to get a vote last week on an amendment to the defense appropriations bill to defund the National Security Agency’s broad surveillance of American citizens.

Massie offered an inside baseball account of how a vote on the amendment, which was offered by Amash, came to pass in the face of fierce opposition from President Barack Obama, congressional leaders from both parties and the nation’s security apparatus.

Today in Liberty: House GOP ready to give up on debt ceiling, minimum wage and jobs, fis-cons come out against Farm Bill

“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.” — F.A. Hayek

— Yet another Republican surrender, debt ceiling edition: Remember when House Republicans were talking tough about the debt ceiling in mid-December after they completely surrendered on spending cuts. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), for example, said that they “don’t want ‘nothing’ out of the debt limit” debate. Yeah, they’re about to surrender on that issue, too. Via Politico: “The most senior figures in the House Republican Conference are privately acknowledging that they will almost certainly have to pass what’s called a clean debt ceiling increase in the next few months, abandoning the central fight that has defined their three-year majority.”

The Real Reason to Legalize Hemp

hemp

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.

A President’s Agenda for the First 100 Days

It is natural, in an age of bailouts and government intervention, to denounce the actions being taken “for our own good” by the President and Congress, and write at length about what we shouldn’t be doing. It is my view that people look entirely too much to the government in general and the President in particular to solve problems and fix things. However, with the prevelance of that mindset, I would like to submit some ideas, for a change of pace, about what positive things a new President of the United States could and should do, given how little power under the Constitution the President has to make bold changes in policy. We can call this “what I would do if I were the new President”.


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