This is one of the most conflicting/confusing topics on earth! The political correctness of this topic has limited “We the People” access to THE most important plant that exists on this planet. This plant – hemp – the ‘male’ part is completely different than the ‘female’ – cannabis/marijuana. Industrial hemp IS NOT a drug! You would get sick smoking hemp trying to get high – there is virtually no THC (the ingredient that will get you high) in hemp.
Here are some facts about industrial hemp:
- Industrial uses of hemp in China date far back as 10,000 years
- There are over 25,000 known uses of hemp.
- Hemp fibers can create building materials superior to wood.
- Hemp is heat, mildew, pest, light and rot resistant.
- In 1941 Henry Ford built a car with a plastic made from hemp and wheat straw.
- Ford’s intention was to run his cars on hemp biofuel.
- The original Levi Strauss jeans were made from hemp.
- In 1850 the US Census reported 8,327 hemp plantations greater than 2,000 acres.
- Until 1937, 70 – 90 percent of all rope and twine was made from hemp.
- In 1942 the US Government strongly encouraged hemp farming to help with the war effort, going so far as to produce a film entitled “Hemp for Victory”
- Hemp is cold hardy, able to withstand even NE winters.
- Hemp is pest resistant.
- Hemp is drought resistant.
- Hemp has a production rate of up to 10 tons per acre, every 4 months!
- 1 acre of usable hemp fiber is equal to the usable fiber of 4 acres of trees or 2 acres of cotton.
- Hemp paper can be recycled up to 7 times – wood pulp paper 4 times.
- Hemp fuels do not destroy the ozone layer or contribute to global warming.
- Hemp fuel burn clean; they do not cause acid rain.
- Hemp fuel is 10 times less toxic than salt and as biodegradable as sugar.
- Trees mature in 50 – 100 years; hemp matures in as little as 100 days.
- It is estimated that if 6% of the continental U.S. planted with hemp we could provide for ALL national energy needs.
- Hemp oil is the highest source of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
- The raw hemp seed is the only seed on earth that we could live on.
- Hemp protein is easily assimilated with a high concentration of protein.
Why is growing hemp now illegal? At one time hemp was used as legal money. Foreigners were awarded citizenship if they grew cannabis; those who refused were fined. Hawaii is the first state since the 1950’s to legally plant a hemp crop.
What happened to shut down hemp growing and the enactment of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act? During the years 1916 – 1937, William Randolph Hearst created a yellow journalism campaign to associate hemp with marijuana. Even though smoking hemp, like most fibers, will just make you sick. Hearst along with his friend Pierre DuPont and their political cronies, succeeded in getting hemp outlawed in America. They actually robbed the world of the finest environmental cash crop.
Why did they do such a thing? They did NOT want hemp to be used for paper, clothing, fuel, resins, medicines and many other uses. We now use trees and synthetic petrochemicals. Hearst owned huge forests and lumber mills, while DuPont made synthetic fuels and fibers (nylon, rayon, plastics) from petroleum. Sound familiar? Greed!
The United States of America is an island of Denial in a sea of acceptance. Industrial hemp is easily distinguished visually from Marijuana. Industrial hemp cannot be abused as a drug! We need the agriculture might of this plant!
Industrial Hemp as a cash crop would revitalize many states agriculture economies and make a significant contribution toward cleaning up the environmental mess in this earth! Educate yourself about this topic. Here is a closing thought: industrial hemp is not a drug; cannabis/marijuana is classified as a drug. There are 14 States that have medical marijuana laws on the books; while Federal law (1937) makes it illegal to grow/possess. There about 14 additional States that has medical marijuana laws being voted on in 2010. In November 2010 California will vote in the general election for the legalization of marijuana for other than medical purposes. Industrial hemp growing should NOT be a part of this movement since industrial hemp is NOT a drug!
BTW: Just a side note! The EPA states that there is NO medicinal value of cannabis; In 2003 the NIH (National Institute of Health) of the US Government was issued a US Patent #6630507 for Cannabinoids – see the patent for all of the therapeutics medical claims in the patent!
See “About Hank” for FDA & FTC disclosure…