I used to hear that hemp was illegal because marijuana plants could be hidden within the fields, and it would undermine the "War on Drugs" because both plants are closely related. Now, I am against the War on Drugs anyways, but I just assumed that hemp would remain illegal unless marijuana became legal.
I will point out that hemp isn't technically illegal, but a federal law gives the Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA) the power to grant hemp farming permits, which is never does.
For all of the talk of marijuana being grown in hemp fields, I recently learned(and I should have thought of it earlier) that cross pollination between hemp and marijuana effectively destroys both crops, because it reduces the genetics of the plants by half. This pointed out during a press conference I watched, which featured Senator Rand Paul, the Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, and a couple of State Senators. Therefore, the marijuana argument is invalid.
Why is hemp illegal then? Powerful business interests that don't like competition. It has tons of great uses, including ethanol, clothing, plastics, and food, among others.
Is there any legitimate reason why hemp shouldn't be legal?