Gov. Jim Douglas allowed the hemp bill to become law yesterday without his signature. His staff had sounded the alarm earlier this month that because the Legislature had left town without creating a veto session, the governor didn't have the option of letting something become law without signature.
They found a way to do it, though. By sending the bill to the Secretary of State's Office without a signature it becomes law By sending it to the Senate office without signature it's vetoed. The address on the hemp bill: the Secretary of State's Office.
Douglas spokesman Jason Gibbs said he doesn't expect any more bills to travel that route.
Douglas doesn't like the hemp bill, noting that it doesn't do anything as long as the federal government considers hemp illegal.
Advocates for the bill say it will put the state in a position to take advantage of an agriculture boon once the feds legalize it.
The purpose of allowing a bill to become law without signature thing eludes me. But now Douglas will be able to say he had nothing to do with it if it ever becomes troublesome.
- Terri Hallenbeck