Hemp can Save the World
by Mark Shapiro
I do not use, grow, buy, sell, or possess hemp or pot (or any other illegal substance). However, I have learned the truth about hemp.
Hemp is a strong, fast growing plant that grows naturally as nature’s best source of fiber, fuel for engines, construction materials, and food.
Hemp can also be grown with intervention from man – keeping the female plants away from the male plants, to make pot, a superior source of medicine.
Humans have benefited by growing hemp for more than 7,000 years in China and Europe. Throughout history, societies that grew and utilized hemp have consistently prospered.
History, the Internet, and countless reference books prove that the founding fathers of our country grew and used hemp. Hemp was very good for everyone on earth – until about 1920 or so, when powerful men discovered how to import oil – and hemp, the world’s most unique and useful crop, was renamed MJ, lies were invented and spread by media, and it was banned.
Our economy is stagnant. America, (and the rest of the world) is in trouble. We will run out of oil. The toxic byproducts of oil and other products are a long term disaster. The latest BP disaster alone is reason to rediscover hemp – no more drilling the oceans, no more ruining the earth, no need to buy oil from those who hate us.
The Diesel engine was designed to run on hemp oil. Henry Ford’s first cars ran on hemp oil. We must rediscover the history and incredible usefulness of hemp – and change the Federal law. Today’s technology, combined with renewable hemp, would make our country strong.
Hemp should not be part of the Drug War – there is a very big difference between a natural plant (that never hurt anyone) and “drugs”. The drug war is a horrible disaster (on every level). The only people that benefit from the drug war are gun makers, criminals, and government law enforcement/prison systems. Everyone else – even children, suffers greatly because of the drug war.
We need less violence, less pollution, less wasting of money and lives, new sources of income (a super-crop for export would be good), and the best biomass fuel source (without driving up food costs). Also, keeping drugs illegal and not growing hemp en masse means we fund terrorists and criminals.
A summary of recent American history of hemp:
1700s – Farmers are required by law to grow hemp in Virginia and other colonies.
1776 – The Declaration of Independence is drafted on hemp paper.
1797 – The U.S.S. Constitution is outfitted with 60 tons of hemp sails and rigging.
1790s – Founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, grew and used hemp, and told everyone of its benefits.
1840 – Abraham Lincoln used hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.
1916 – USDA Bulletin No. 404 shows that hemp produces four times more paper per acre than trees.
1938 – Popular Mechanics article “New Billion Dollar Crop” explains that new developments in processing technology could use hemp to manufacture over 25,000 different products, “from cellophane to dynamite.”
1942 – Henry Ford builds an experimental car body made with hemp fiber, which is ten times stronger than steel.
1942-1946 – American farmers from Kentucky to Maine to Wisconsin to Oregon harvest over 150,000 acres of hemp through the USDA’s Hemp for Victory war program.
1957 – Hemp is last grown in the U.S. due to government confusion over hemp and drug varieties of the plant, while new government incentives for industry replace natural fibers with plastics, ultimately bankrupting key hemp processors.
Keeping hemp illegal does not stop it, it just limits the wonderful plant to be primarily grown illegally as “pot”. It’s time to change laws so this plant regains its royal status in Nature, and let it help humanity again. To verify the points made in this article, may I suggest a search for “the truth about hemp” on Google.