CA NORML Legislative News

Gov. Terminates Hemp Bill

SACRAMENTO, Sep. 30th, 2006. A bill to legalize cultivation of industrial hemp was vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. The bill, AB 1147 by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D SF), would have authorized farmers to grow hemp on condition they submit it to a licensed lab for potency testing.

In his veto message, the Governor objected that the bill would give legitimate growers a "false sense of security" that hemp was legal under federal law.

The hemp industry, aware of this problem, had planned to initiate a lawsuit against the federal government in the event the bill passed.

The Governor also objected that law enforcement had expressed concerns that AB 1147 could drain resources and impede eradication efforts.

Advocates had been hopeful that the Governor would sign the bill, given that it was co-sponsored by a Republican, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (Irvine).

"This is a case of politics sadly trumping science," said Leno, "There was no downside to taking this step forward."

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