The National Farmers Union is urging farmers to call their representatives to urge Congress to enact a new farm bill to expand access to medical marijuana.
The letter was signed by the National Farmers Coalition, the United Farm Workers, the National Pork Producers Council, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Rural Electrification Association.
The farm bill passed the House earlier this year, but it has stalled in the Senate.
The NRU has sent the letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The NRU says the farm bill would be an “important piece of legislation that would allow consumers to access safe, legal access to a substance that can benefit the nation’s farmers.”
It said a new crop insurance program is also needed.
In a statement, the NRU said that Congress should pass a farm bill that provides a way for farmers to purchase and administer medical marijuana, not a program that forces them to pay high premiums.
“While we support the current crop insurance system, we also understand that there is a need for new programs that will allow for access to medicine for farmers, the poor and seniors,” the statement said.
Congress needs to act immediately to pass a new program to expand medical marijuana access, the letter said.
“While the bill passed in the House is a positive step in the right direction, we hope that the Senate will move quickly to pass the bill.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with state and local governments to develop a new state-by-state plan for cannabis-related applications.
The program, known as Medical Marijuana Pilot Program (MMP), has been created by the federal government in partnership with state governments and medical marijuana advocates.