Republican advocates of industrial hemp in Kentucky are getting some across the aisle help. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, supports efforts to legalize the plant in Kentucky, his spokesman said. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer are the two leading advocates for the move.
They want legalization to take advantage of the many goods that hemp can produce to create jobs.
“He hasn’t had a chance to review the legislation in the House, but generally he is inclined to be supportive on that issue and he looks forward to working with Commissioner Comer,” Yarmuth spokesman Stephen George said.
That said, Yarmuth does not support legalization of marijuana, George said.
This week, the top official with the Indiana State Police said he's support legalized marijuana, so long as it was regulated and taxed. Kentucky State Police said they, however, do not support any such move.
“He is not supportive of a general legalization of marijuana. I think what we would have to do, especially going forward with industrial hemp, is be sure to work with the DEA," George said, referring to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Laws allowing the legalization of hemp have been proposed on the state and federal level, in both chambers of Congress.
Kentucky lawmakers are also likely to consider the issue.