Hemp supporters will rally in Washington D.C. Monday.
Members of Vote Hemp and other groups are descending on the nation’s capital for Hemp Lobby Day to convince Congress to lift a federal ban on the plant for industrial use.
Earlier this year Kentucky lawmakers approved the research and cultivation of hemp, but it has yet to be implemented because the federal government still considers the crop a controlled substance.
The dilemma has pitted two potential gubernatorial candidates against one another: Hemp supporter and state Agricultural Commissioner James Comer, and Attorney General Jack Conway. Conway issued an opinion in September stating that under the federal ban, hemp remains illegal in the state.
“Sometimes it’s my job to say what the law is, not what I want the law to be," said the Attorney General. "I support industrial hemp, I think we can make it work. If it can create jobs, great. Now, is it the panacea for all of Kentucky’s agricultural woes? I don’t know.”
Kentucky's Attorney General continues to say he's strongly considering a run for governor.
Democrat Jack Conway was in south-central Kentucky Wednesday, addressing students and civic groups about issues including the state's prescription drug abuse problems.
After a speech to the Noon Rotary Club in Bowling Green, Conway told reporters there are other races that deserve the spotlight ahead of the 2015 gubernatorial election.
"With the Alison Lundergan Grimes campaign underway, they deserve a few quarters under their belt before a governor's race lands on top of them," Conway said. "But I would think that by the spring of next year, whoever's running for governor ought to be starting a fundraising operation to put together the resources necessary."
Grimes is challenging Republican Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's much-talked-about Kentucky Senate race. Conway told his Bowling Green audience that coal will continue to be an important source of energy for the region, and that the state must continue to step up its fight against prescription pill abuse.
Attorney General Jack Conway is advising Kentucky leaders that industrial hemp farming remains illegal in the commonwealth.
Conway issued an advisory letter on Wednesday to Gov. Steve Beshear, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and others to clarify current law related to hemp. The letter appears to deflate hopes of hemp farming proponents who have said they'd like to begin planting next year.
Kentucky lawmakers have passed legislation that would allow farmers to grow the crop if the federal government ever lifts a longstanding ban. But Attorney General Conway said that ban remains firmly in place.
The state agriculture department recently issued a news release saying it was instructed by the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to begin drawing up regulations for hemp farming in the commonwealth. That came on the heels of comments by Justice Department officials that the federal government had no intention of prosecuting hemp farmers.
Calling it a "cynical effort" to profit from people who have died from drug abuse, top officials in three states have asked a boutique fashion company to cease selling T-shirts that feature the names of well-known prescription drugs.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi along with the attorneys general of Kentucky and Maine this week sent a letter to Kitson Inc. criticizing the company for selling sport jersey type shirts with the drug names Vicodin, Xanax and Adderall written on the back.
An email to the company — which sells items online and at stores in California — was not immediately returned.
But in a statement posted on the company's Facebook page following a discussion about the shirts on NBC, Kitson contends that the T-shirts are helping create a dialogue about drug abuse.