It’s long past time to end the insanity of making industrial hemp cultivation illegal in the US. It’s hurting our already faltering economy. Making industrial hemp a legal crop could rapidly create millions of well paying jobs.
There has never been a practical reason for making industrial hemp illegal. It’s been cultivated by many civilizations for more than 12,000 years. Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants. Industrial hemp is Cannabis sativa L. subspecies sativa, variation sativa. It’s the variety grown for industrial use. Industrial hemp has only minute amounts of the psychoactive drug (THC). It is not marijuana.
The US was the first country to introduce laws to destroy hemp plants, regardless of their intended use. That law was due to political pressure exerted by the forestry industry and the Dupont corporation, which had just patented oil and coal-based plastics production. This benefited wealthy families including the Rockefellers, Duponts, Whitneys and the Hearsts. They were heavily invested in the petrochemical, cotton and timber industries.
One of their tactics was to equate marijuana with industrial hemp so they could classify hemp as a drug.
More than 25,000 products could be made from industrial hemp.
These include construction materials such as fiberboard, insulation, paint and plaster.
European companies, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, use hemp for car interiors, including door panels and dashboards. US auto industry suppliers are following the European example and have started to use hemp to make stronger, lighter and relatively less-expensive composite panels.
Millions of trees would not have to be cut down for fiberboard and paper. A far superior, longer lasting paper can be made from hemp.
The US Constitution was written on hemp paper. Hemp grows far more rapidly than trees and is much less expensive to harvest.
Equally important is the fact that plastic could be made from hemp rather than petro chemicals. Imagine if cell phones, computers, packaging medical equipment and all the other plastic products we use daily were made from industrial hemp based plastic rather than petrochemical-based plastic.
The list of products that could be made from hemp also includes purses, eyeglass pouches, backpacks, hiking shoes, shirts, wallets, futons, mattresses, shower curtains, bath towels, surfboards, coffee filters, tea bags, pot holders, rugs and carpeting. In the US, sails and rope used to be made from hemp and could be today. US hemp clothing companies must import most hemp fiber from China where almost two million acres of hemp are cultivated.
More than 100 Canadian farmers take advantage of the market for hemp and are growing the crop. The provinces of Alberta, Manitoba. They’ve licensed the most acreage for hemp production.
According to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, Canadian farmers planted nearly 39,000 acres (15.720 hectares) of hemp in 2011. Canadian farmers are reporting net profits of $200 to $250 per acre. Industrial hemp cultivation should be immediately legalized in the US. This would revitalize many US industries and give our economy a huge boost. It could help save our forests and dramatically lower the carbon footprint of our country. It’s far more sustainable than using petroleum for plastic products.
To learn more about the wonders of industrial hemp, visit www.hemptech.com. To learn about the corporate interests behind hemp prohibition, read Hemp, Lifeline To The Future by Chris Conrad.
Mendocino County, which derives much economic benefit from growing illegal marijuana, would heavily benefit from the legalization of industrial hemp. Hemp could be as easily grown here as marijuana. It would create far more jobs than marijuana cultivation without the threat of federal intervention.