Oregon legalizes hemp cultivation

Oregon’s House of Representatives voted Monday night to legalize the cultivation of hemp, becoming the sixth state to do so just this year.

Oregon’s Senate voted 27 to 2 in favor of the new law last week. Monday’s 46 to 11 House vote means that the measure will become law, barring an unlikely veto by Governor Ted Kulongoski.

The move is part of a rapidly growing nationwide trend to liberalize laws relating to marijuana. Hemp is a botanical cousin of marijuana, traditionally used to make clothing, rope and other durable fiber goods.

“Hemp is a versatile, environmentally-friendly crop that has not been grown in the U.S. for over fifty years because of a misguided and politicized interpretation of the nation’s drug laws by the Drug Enforcement Administration,” Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra said in a statement.

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