Hemp Is the Far Bigger Economic Issue Hiding Behind Legal Marijuana

Hemp is the far bigger economic issue hiding behind legal marijuana. If the upcoming pot legalization ballot in California were decided by hemp farmers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, it would be no contest. For purely economic reasons, if you told the Constitutional Convention in 1787 that the nation they were founding would someday make hemp illegal, they would have laughed you out of the room. If California legalizes pot, it will save the state millions in avoided legal and imprisonment costs, while raising it millions in taxes. But with legal marijuana will come legal hemp. That will open up the Golden State to a multi-billion-dollar crop that has been a staple of human agriculture for thousands of years, and that could save the farms of thousands of American families.

Hemp is currently legal in Canada, Germany, Holland, Rumania, Japan and China, among many other countries. It is illegal here largely because of marijuana prohibition. Ask any sane person why HEMP is illegal and you will get a blank stare.

For paper, clothing, textiles, rope, sails, fuel and food, hemp has been a core crop since the founding of ancient China, India and Arabia. Easy to plant, grow and harvest, farmers—including Washington and Jefferson—have sung its praises throughout history. It was the number one or two cash crop on virtually all American family farms from the colonial era on.

If the American Farm Bureaus and Farmers Unions were truly serving their constituents, they would be pushing hard for legal pot so that its far more profitable (but essentially unsmokable) cousin could again bring prosperity to American farmers.

Hemp may be the real reason marijuana is illegal. In the 1930s, the Hearst family set out to protect their vast timber holdings, much of which were being used to make paper.

But hemp produces five times as much paper per acre as do trees. Hemp paper is stronger and easier to make. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, and one of Benjamin Franklin’s primary paper mills ran on it.

But the Hearsts used their newspapers to incite enough reefer madness to get marijuana banned in 1937. With that ban came complex laws that killed off the growing of hemp. The ecological devastation that’s followed with continued use of trees for paper has been epic.

As canvass, hemp has long been essential for shoes, clothing, rope, sails, textiles, building materials and much more. It’s far more durable than cotton and ecologically benign compared to virtually any other industrial crop. Hemp needs no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers, and can grow well without much water.

Hemp’s use for rope was so critical to the US war effort that in the 1940s, the US military the bans and blanketed virtually the entire state of Kansas with it.The War Department’s “Hemp for Victory” is the core film on how to grow it.

Henry Ford produced an entire automobile made from hemp fiber stiffened with resin. Like the original diesel engine, it was designed to run on hemp fuel.

Read full article on link:

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/148560/hemp_is_the_far_bigger_economic_issue_hiding_behind_legal_marijuana/

I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>