Imaginary Lines Prohibit Commercial Growth of Industrial Hemp

What is a border after all? says:

Border (noun):
1. the part or edge of a surface or area that forms its outer boundary.
2. the line that separates one country, state, province, etc., from another; frontier line
3. the district or region that lies along the boundary line of another.
4. the frontier of civilization.
While all true definitions of a border, it is missing a key component. Borders are imaginary lines that define separation. But if the lines are imaginary, then why does the human race hold borders to such high importance? Perhaps in fear of the legal ramifications?
4 cornersSince I was a little girl I loved the idea of the 4-corners of the U.S.– the point at which Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico ‘magically’ connect. Recently,  I finally took a cross country trip and made sure to drive by that magical point. After 25 years of excitement… honestly, it was kind of a let down.
4 corners

When I shot this photo, the raw material of this shirt was legally grown in Colorado. In 2014 Utah legalized in accordance with the Farm Bill.

However, laying with my left hand in Colorado my right in Utah and my left leg in New Mexico and my right in Arizona, I began to think about cannabis. Technically, I could have stood two steps from the borders of New Mexico, Utah and Arizona and legally possessed cannabis in either industrial hemp or marijuana forms. But, if I tripped and fell into Arizona or New Mexico holding raw industrial hemp or fell into any of those three states holding marijuana, I could have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony. All because of an imaginary line.

What is more ridiculous is the border control of industrial hemp. Under current regulation, industrial hemp cannot be transported across borders. So even though Kentucky and Tennessee have legislation in place to grow and process industrial hemp, the raw material of the plant cannot cross the border… even for

Baled Hemp Stalk

Baled Hemp

the fiber! So while Kentucky has the government support and the farmers willing to grow hemp and Tennessee might have optimal processing facilities for hemp, the states cannot legally transport the raw material across the borders. Something as simple as baled hemp straw (similar to hay) cannot legally cross an imaginary line!

Think about how much this regulation on interstate commerce is prohibiting growth and commercialization of the industrial hemp industry.
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