On his final day to act on bills, California's Governor Brown shamelessly vetoed SB 676 (Leno) - Industrial Hemp Farming Act. Even though the bill was specifically designed to withstand federal preemption and intervention, Brown hid behind the fear of federal prosecution of farmers as his justification for his weak-kneed veto. This despite Vote Hemp's, co-sponsor of the bill, commitment to haul the feds into court to ensure there could be no federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act over California farmers growing hemp under SB 676.
Yet another spineless move by a moderate Dem.
On the one hand Brown stated in his veto message:
"Federal law clearly establishes that all cannabis plants, including industrial hemp, are marijuana, which is a federally regulated controlled substance. Failure to obtain a permit from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration prior to growing such plants will subject a California farmer to federal prosecution."
And yet on the other he said:
"Although I am not signing this measure, I do support a change in federal law. Products made from hemp - clothes, food, and bath products - are legally sold in California every day. It is absurd that hemp is being imported into the state, but our farmers cannot grow it."
Vote Hemp responded:
"After four vetoes in ten years in California, it is clear we lack a Governor willing to lead on this important ecological, agricultural and economic issue. We will regroup, strategize and use this veto to our advantage at the federal level," notes Vote Hemp Director and co-counsel Patrick Goggin.
So let's get this straight Mr. Brown, you think the policy is absurd but are unwilling to give farmers and the hemp industry their day in court to challenge it? Utterly shameless!