In a recent response to a White House petition, President Barack Obama’s drug czar warned of danger in the domestic production of industrial hemp, drawing a stunned reaction from the petition’s author, who told Raw Story on Wednesday that it was “like getting hit in the head with a hammer.”
The claim by former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, his second response to a marijuana-related White House petition, is not surprising as it reflects current U.S. policy toward marijuana. It is, however, simply not true that THC in hemp poses any sort of potential for abuse, as it is impossible to become “high” from ingesting the plant.
“America’s farmers deserve our Nation’s help and support to ensure rural America’s prosperity and vitality,” he wrote. “Federal law prohibits human consumption, distribution, and possession of Schedule I controlled substances. Hemp and marijuana are part of the same species of cannabis plant. While most of the THC in cannabis plants is concentrated in the marijuana, all parts of the plant, including hemp, can contain THC, a Schedule I controlled substance. The Administration will continue looking for innovative ways to support farmers across the country while balancing the need to protect public health and safety.”