Can hemp save the planet

Monse Rodriguez

Hemp is one of the most amazing plants on this planet, and it has remained illegal in the United States for more than 70 years.

Banned in 1937, the production of hemp became illegal due to oil companies and businesses trying to compete with the plant. They knew that by banning hemp, they would take over the market and their inferior products could become mainstream.

      It is completely ridiculous that hemp is illegal today. Hemp can be used to make textiles, fabrics, paper, rope, canvas, paints, oil, energy, food, and even building materials for housing.

        There are many products containing hemp that can be found at your local supermarket. Although growing hemp is not allowed in the United States, having the sterile seeds in your food, or oils in your shampoo is still allowed.

       From 1619 to the mid 1700’s, it was illegal not to grow the Indian hempseed, and it could be used as money in certain colonies. This was to encourage crop production.
In 2001 the DEA tried banning hemp altogether. That would have meant possessing a soap or shampoo containing any form of hemp would have had the same mandatory minimum sentence as possessing marijuana. Millions of Americans would suddenly become criminals.

            Three men might be responsible for the illegality of hemp.  DuPont, Mellon, and Hearst had a lot invested in petroleum and timber resources.  They saw hemp as a major threat to their investments. They deliberately confused hemp and marijuana, making it possible to pass a marijuana prohibition bill.

            If we were to ban fossil fuels including trees for paper and construction, hemp would be the only renewable natural resource that would be capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meeting all the worlds transportation, industrial and home energy needs, all while reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning up our atmosphere.

 Hemp fibers cannot be smoked, and cannot get you high. There is no THC (the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana) in hemp.

There are many chemicals used to grow plants on today’s farms. 50% of all chemicals used in American agriculture today, is used for cotton growing.  These chemicals cause harm to the environment.

Hemp needs no chemicals, and has very few weed or insect enemies. On the other hand cotton has many enemies and a heavy chemical dependence.

            Henry Ford, inventor of the Model-T, made a car out of hemp called the plastic hemp car.

            The plastic hemp car was made of hardened hemp fibers, sizzle and wheat straw.  The car was lighter then steel. Amazingly it could withstand 10 times the impact without denting.

            An incrediblyrare thing hemp does rather quickly is it will petrify, becoming stronger than cement while maintaining one-sixth the weight. This can be used to build houses and make other building materials.

            In 1937 it was illegal to have hempseeds in your possession. Hemp was banned.  Five years later in 1942, the movie “Hemp for Victory” was produced by the U.S. department of agriculture, trying to encourage farmers to grow more hemp. It was then banned again by the Federal Government.

            The hemp seed has many nutritional benefits. They are excellent sources of amino acids and can be used in many foods. The hempseed can also be used for its highly nutritious vegetable oil. This vegetable oil contains the highest amount of essential fatty acids that can be found in the plant kingdom. That is to say that out of the over 3-million plus edible plants that grow on Earth, that no other single plant source can compare with the nutritional value of the hempseeds.

            Before 1937 paper was all made out of hemp. Usually it was made out of recycled sails and clothing.  Hemp is a much better quality paper. Every book, every piece of paper was printed using hemp. Even the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

            Our country is globalizing, and the world is changing. Hemp can help save the world. It can help stop deforestation, the greenhouse effect, and even save our economy. Why does this amazing plant remain illegal today?

 

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