The species in question is the single living organism that holds the greatest promise for renewable/sustainable food, fuel, clothing and shelter accessible to the widest possible range of people. Hemp is the most versatile and adaptable crop plant on earth…Why are politicians opposed to such a marvelous and valuable resource? Hemphasis.net
Species threatening genetically modified foods; the poisoning of our skies and water; the artificially constructed control mechanisms of religion, media, world food shortages; pharmacratic profit-driven healthcare systems – all are unconscionable attacks on a generally peaceful and harmless population, tightly monitored by the the iron-fisted control the uber-rich have over almost all business and government policies. But the hemp issue gets my anger raging like nothing else. This is because the purposeful derailment of the hemp industry, beginning in the 1930s, and continuing up to the present day, contains within its dark history the combined application of all of the above-named evils and more, to provide profit for the very, very few, and increased misery for the rest of mankind.
Hemp has been cultivated for millenia, providing many of the necessities of life – food and medicine, clothing and shelter. It was an integral element of the settlement of North America, being used for everything from bartering to payment for taxes, and from textile and paper production to the canvas of pioneers’ covered wagons. More than 70% of the rope, twine, and cording manufactured was made of hemp. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers and very vocal proponents of the importance of hemp to their country’s prosperous development.
In 1938, Popular Mechanics ran the article “New Billion Dollar Crop”, the first time the word billion was ever applied to any American agricultural crop. Ironically, as the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was just passed, effectively destroying the hemp industry, none of the predictions in that article came to pass. The ban on growing hemp commercially was relaxed briefly for WWII, due to the disruption of supplies of hemp and jute needed for rope, webbing and canvas production, with the growing licences promptly revoked at war’s end.
In 1999, North Dakota was the first state to pass legislation permitting hemp cultivation, yet it is still not legal to grow hemp there today as the law requires the federal American government to approve it. Currently, the United States imports over 1.9 million pounds of hemp fiber, 450,000 pounds of hemp seeds, and 331 pounds of hempseed oil per year to meet its needs since American farmers are not permitted to grow it.
Below is the video Hemp, What Are We Waiting For? combining a locally produced news report from KX News in North Dakota with further information on the amazing commercial potential of hemp.
Some of the advantages, both for the farmer and the environment, of growing hemp, from everywherealways:
- Less pollution- Cotton uses so many pesticides, due to all of it’s natural enemies. Hemp rarely needs a pesticide, because not much will bother its growth. This means hemp can help with the runoff pollution, toxins in water or soil, and contamination of wilderness areas and other crops.
- Biodegradable- Hemp biodegrades faster than other crops. Hemp is known as a “low maintenance” crop. It doesn’t require much fertilizer and acts as its own mulch, meaning it grows very tall very fast and provides its own shade to keep weeds away, eliminating the need for herbicides.
- Save Farmer’s Money- After harvest, the fields are left weed free, so no need to spray the fields down. Saving money on pesticides and other sprays help the farmers make more of a profit off of the crop.
- No Erosion- Hemp has a deep root system which means no erosion and not only does it not deplete the soil of nutrients like many other crops, but it has the ability to clean contaminants from soil.
- Less Deforestation- Hemp doesn’t need as much land to grow, because it grows tall (not wide) and has a higher yield than most crops. Unlike wood, you don’t have to chop it down, harming forests and the creatures that live in it.
Over 50,000 environmentally friendly products can be made from hemp! 150 years ago, people laughed when it was proposed that paper be made out of wood pulp. All paper was made out of rags – hemp, linen and cotton. Wood pulp is actually very low in cellulose, which is the basic material for paper making. One acre of hemp equals 4 acres of wood paper production. The following video is 64 minutes of hemp praise, mixed in with a little hemp history. It is fascinating to watch people’s enthusiasim for the fabulous and surprising products they are creating out of every part of the hemp plant, things like building materials, fabrics, fuels, personal care products and more. Hemp fibre is a cheaper and greener replacement for fibreglass and carbon fibre, strong and lightweight. Remember cellophane plastic – polyethylene plastic’s early cousin? It’s biodegrable!!! Why are we not using it? Don’t let the length of the video put you off – this video is a must-watch. It should be required viewing for all school children. It is very ire rising.
Then the medical uses of hemp must be considered. Hemp was the premier medicinal source in America for most of the 1800s. It was the only treatment available for tetanus, and massive doses of hemp extractems or hashish were given over a 9 day period to save lives.
Smoking hemp dilates your arteries, lowers your body temperature, dilates your bronchials better than anything else, lowers your stress levels. Hemp is an excellent treatment for asthma, and is also an excellent muscle relaxant. We are going to investigate medical marijuana as a way of improving our daughter’s quality of life (she has severe cerebral palsy) because muscle spasticity is the number one problem we have to deal with in her care, as it impacts every concern – feeding, clothing, elimination, mental focus, etc.. At this time, we are importing hemp products (oil, protein powder, seeds) for health purposes from a US supplier who does the processing, although the hemp itself is grown in Canada. How crazy is that? Hemp seeds are rich in protein, and a source of all eight essential amino acids, containing an oil very high in poly-unsaturates. Hemp has the highest percentage of protein (25%), by weight, of any plant-based source, except for soybeans. But unlike soy products, the majority of hemp protein is readily digestible, being composed of two proteins (edestin and albumin) normally found in human blood plasma. It has a perfect 3:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids for optimum health.
A terrific collection of quotable quotes about hemp:
To close, here is Jack Herer, the grandfather of hemp activists, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana, who spent 40+ years promoting greater awareness of this amazing plant, one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts to us. Please join the fight to regain our right to this miracle plant. Jackherer.com is an excellent resource for following the latest pushes for reform, carrying on Jack’s legacy of activism.