Lots of companies use imported hemp, of course, including food, soap and clothing manufacturers, the hemp advocates say.

And they wouldn’t have to import it but for federal law and regulations that don’t distinguish between “non-drug” varieties of cannabis and the kind that gets you high, Vote Hemp president Eric Steenstra said in a news release last week.

The hemp folks — and their Hill supporters — are also jumping on the central issue of the 2012 campaign, jobs, by saying that allowing hemp farming would mean a $400 million industry and “instant job creation,” right here in America.

Most unlikely the legislation is going anywhere this year. But it sure has attracted a motley crew of backers, from senators like Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) as well as Rand’s dad, Ron (R-Tex.).

And who knew that Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, “a California company that manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap in the U.S.,” Vote Hemp says, sells ”products made with hemp.”

So that’s what makes the soap magical?