CA State Assembly Approves Hemp Farming Bill

California lawmakers are trying again to legalize hemp farming in the state.

The state Assembly passed a bill today that would let farmers grow the crop, which is a biological relative of marijuana. Supporters say California farmers should be allowed to cash in on the 300 million dollar a year hemp business.

Manufacturers currently import processed hemp to make items such
as paper, soap, cosmetics, food and clothing because it is against federal law to grow the plant in the United States.

Lawmakers passed the bill 41-29, but it's unclear whether the governor will approve it. He vetoed similar legislation last year.

Critics say legalizing hemp farming would send the wrong message to anti-drug efforts because the plant contains the same drug found in marijuana. They also say only the federal government can set federal drug laws.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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