Hemp is from the genus, Cannabis, and is an environmentally friendly crop. It uses no pesticides or herbicides. Maybe all the animals and bugs that would normally eat it, try to eat it, but end up unbelievably mellow and go off instead looking for a hot fudge sundae plant. Actually, that wouldn’t be possible, as there is not enough of the chemical in hemp that makes people high, to get high.
This crop is also one of the fastest growing biomasses around; a biomass being a plant that can be used in the production of fibers or chemicals. The US imports more hemp than any other country, but it does not consistently distinguish between the psychoactive strain, and the industrial strain of Cannabis. Despite its usefulness, and it is one of the most diverse plants on the planet, it is still illegal to grow in the US. We are so backwards in so many ways.
Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both grew hemp; Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Hemp has been grown for use in textiles and food for 12,000 years. It has been of supreme importance in sailing for canvas and rope, and therefore was a required crop in the American colonies. The products that can be made from hemp number over 25,000, and in fact, Henry Ford experimented with hemp. He wanted to build cars from farm products.
The following are some legal facts I copied from NAIHC.org:
*The US State Department must certify each year that a foreign nation is cooperating in the war on drugs. The European Union subsidizes its farmers to grow industrial hemp. Those nations are not on this list, because the State Department can tell the difference between hemp and marijuana.
*Hemp was grown commercially (with increasing governmental interference) in the United States until the 1950s. It was doomed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which placed an extremely high tax on marijuana and made it effectively impossible to grow industrial hemp. While Congress expressly expected the continued production of industrial hemp, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana, as it’s successor the US Drug Enforcement Administration, does to this day.
Here we go with the Alice in Wonderland scenario. Usually, you can just look for the money when you want to figure something out. I’ll bet you can with hemp, also. Whose profits would the growing of hemp be cutting into? The website goes on to say that growing hemp doesn’t have to do with growing marijuana because marijuana needs space to grow, while hemp needs to grow in tightly packed rows.
Here are some ecologically logical facts about hemp: the paper that hemp is made into can be recycled more often because the fibers are longer; it uses fewer chemicals than wood, and its natural brightness eliminates the need for chlorine bleach. It grows well in a variety of soil and climates, and it can replace cotton which is grown with huge amounts of pesticides. Is that where the money is?
This is not to mention the good fats that can be ingested from hemp products. Hemp seed oil is used in skin care and hair products and can help clear up psoriasis; it has the perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and does not go rancid as quickly as flaxseed oil. It should be used raw in smoothies and salads. Hemp is Eco-Logical!