I implore all those in favor of arguing against the legalization of marijuana to verify these statements with true and honest fact finding. Cannabis hemp has been grown for it's multitude of sustainable byproducts throughout history, until the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, when big business, their lobbyists and media control demonized it. Thank you Hearst, Annslinger (Director of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, now the DEA), DuPont, Mellon, and others for keeping with American capitalism at all costs. Remember GM, Standard Oil, Firestone Tire Company and others putting the Red Car out of business; sound familiar?
This plant, which holds significant properties should be what we are discussing, so let's identify some of its uses:
- 90 percent of all ships' sails, rope, nets, flags, sailors clothing. lubricating oil and as a watertight sealant
- Textiles and fabrics - tents, bed sheets, rugs, diapers, Levis and even "Old Glory"
- Fiber and pulp paper - money, maps, books, Bibles, etc
- Rope, twine, cordage art canvas
- Paints and varnishes - lost to DuPont petro-chemicals
- Lighting oil - the most consumed lighting oil and was the brightest lamp oil
- Biomass energy - more sustainable than corn, sugarcane and trees. Henry Ford recognized biomass as necessary replacement to oil, coal and natural gas
- Medicine - used to treat fatigue, arthritis, migraine headaches, cramps, depression, glaucoma, nausea, etc
- Food oils and protein - the hemp seed contains the highest amount of essential fatty acids (protein) in the plant kingdom
- Building materials and housing - inexpensive, fire resistant, thermal and sound-insulating, particle board, paneling, etc
- Economic stability, profit and free trade - currently illegal to grow in the U.S., so it is imported from China, Poland, Russia, etc.
In rural America, federal agents assaulted farmers and all who grew the plant regardless of use. Until the Tax Act, hemp gardens were commonplace as for the sources mentioned: durable clothing for the family, rope, canvas, oils, food, biomass kept farmers in business. These very citizens did draw arms up against the government in defense of their very existence and way of life. During WWII the U.S. government supplied farmers with hemp seeds to produce the plant for: biomass, oil, cloth production as seen on the old news reels supporting the war efforts. In 1938, "Popular Mechanics" and "Mechanical Engineering" magazines reported hemp to be the new billion-dollar crop. Cotton, our largest subsidized crop, requires the most fertilizer and pest control and is a nitrogen soil depleting plant, which is inverse to the hemp plant that has a short growth cycle, natural pest resiliency, nitrogen soil enriching and produces a soft and far more durable fabric. These are just a few details of this prolific and topical plant.
If we are to demonize the hemp plant and it' byproduct of THC as the "gateway drug," let's consider the high percentage of violent crime, murder, rape and vehicular accidents that fall to the influence of Alcohol. Perhaps a repeal back to prohibition is in order? Interviews with Ozzy Osbourne relating to his consumption of licit and illicit drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, guess which he stated was the hard habit to quit? Cigarettes for those wondering, and how easy are these to purchase. They also bring heart risks for both consumer and second-hand bystanders? I digress!
It's hard to detail a complete list of the hemp plant's diversity and potential for global economic stability, a clean renewable fuel source, and a green economy.
~ Kevin Marble,