INDUSTRIAL HEMP NOW
"Make the most of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere." - George Washington, 1794
2. Historical tradition, if not current federal law, favors hemp. The U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, The Gutenberg Bible, and Old Glory (our nation's first flag) were all made from hemp - as was the favorite fuel of Henry Ford, the reading lamp oil of Abraham Lincoln, the paints used by Van Gogh and Rembrandt, and the parachute webbing that saved the live of George Bush.
3. Hemp canvas covered the Westward-bound wagons, the tall sailing ships, the bi-planes and zeppelins of World War I, and provided the original Levi pants worn by California goldminers in 1849.
4. Hemp was so crucial to colonial America that its cultivation was mandated by law.
5. INDUSTRIAL USES: As an agricultural commodity, hemp is arguably the world's top renewable resource for fuel, paper, cloth, paint, plastic, protein, soap, oil and over 25,000 other products.
6. Anything made from oil or wood can be made from hemp.
7. Hemp biomass can be converted into fuels (methane, methanol, gasoline) more efficiently than fossil fuels (coal, oil) and without the sulfur or acid rain.
8. Hemp fiberboard is stronger than wood; hemp houses are as strong as cement houses and better insulated.
9. Plastic, rayon, cellophane made from hemp are biodegradable; plastic and nylon made from petrochemicals are non-biodegradable. Grocery shoppers given the choice between paper or plastic bags must decide between cutting down trees or spewing toxic chemicals. In landfills, both biodegrade slowly if at all. Visualize a third choice: biodegradable cellophane bags made from hemp. The paper industry uses nearly half the world's timber harvest. According to the USDA, hemp produces four times the paper/acre as trees, and grows in all climate zones of the contiguous 48 states.
10. Hemp paper will last up to 1,500 years; hemp cloth is stronger than cotton. Cotton requires more pesticides than any other agricultural product (39 million pounds in 1993).
11. Hemp grows without pesticides. Hemp's long taproot improves soil quality and reduces erosion.
ERADICATION CONSPIRACY: During the 1930s, machinery was developed for separating hemp fibers from the stalk, thus making widespread industrial use feasible. Popular Mechanics called hemp a "billion-dollar crop."
12. Hemp's future looked promising but this was not to be. DuPont had just obtained patents for making nylon from coal, plastic from oil, and paper from trees.
13. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon (an oil baron) was DuPont's chief financial backer. The Hearst newspaper empire owned enormous timber tracts. The oil, synthetic fiber, timber and cotton industries stood to lose billions if hemp was not outlawed.
14. Secret meetings were held. Treasury Secretary Mellon appointed his nephew-in-law to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Hearst newspapers introduced the word "marijuana" into English and inflamed the public with outrageous stories of drug-related violence.
15. Anti-marijuana films (Reefer Madness and Assassin of Youth) fanned the flames of hysteria. The strategy worked. In 1937, Congress outlawed hemp by imposing a prohibitive tax - just as DuPont's annual report predicted: "... the revenue-raising power of government may be converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization."
16. DuPont Corporation, 1937 As a model of deception and orchestrated media manipulation, the anti-hemp crusade constitutes one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetuated on the American People. Few public relations campaigns in history can match its success in eradicating competition while transforming citizens into unknowing pawns of big business. The legacy of Reefer Madness lives on today. Industrial-grade hemp is worthless as marijuana since its THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content is so low, as little as 0.06%.
17. Industrial-grade hemp varieties poses no psychoactive effects. In contrast, high-grade marijuana strains can have THC contents exceeding 10% but are worthless for industrial purposes.
18. This vital distinction is lost on those caught up in the anti-drug frenzy currently fashionable in this country - a frenzy perpetuated by vested interests. The New York Times, for example, owns a pulp mill in Canada and benefits from wood pulp paper production.
19. DuPont, Monsanto, Dow Chemical and Standard Oil are protected from competition by the marijuana laws...as are the cotton, coal, timber, chlorine, polyester, latex paint and vinyl plastic industries. The major considerations blocking hemp's utilization are not agricultural or botanical, but political.
20. PATENTED HEMP At least 18 European and Asian countries now grow industrial-grade hemp. France, the world's largest producer of industrial hemp, recently patented a hybrid strain containing only 0.4% THC.
21. This ensures ongoing seed purchases from France. French hybrid hemp requires fertilizers, growth stimulators and pesticides.
22. Patents promote the cultivation of inferior seeds which adversely affect hemp's overall commercial value.
ENERGY CONVERSION Global climate change is the most threatening and intractable of all environmental problems we face. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most crucial of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Since pre-industrial times, CO2 levels have risen by almost 30% due to deforestation and fossil fuel combustion.
23. The U.S. currently burns fossil fuels for 93% of its energy needs and consumes 25% of the world's supply.
24. One tank of gasoline generates up to 400 pounds of CO2. During the 1930s, Henry Ford grew hemp on his estate to demonstrate the efficiency of methanol production. Both Henry Ford and Rudolph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) intended to power their vehicles with plant-based fuels.
25. Hemp biomass grown for fuel would reverse global warming by converting CO2
into oxygen during the growing cycle. Hemp is one of the richest biomass sources.
Each acre of hemp yields 10 tons of biomass (1,000 gallons of methanol) in 4 months.
27. If vehicle fuel efficiency were doubled, biomass energy could replace all fossil fuels now used in cars and all coal burned for electricity in the U.S. To maximize efficiency, plant-based methanol, plastic, rayon and electrical production could occur at the same facility. In 1982, U.S. nuclear power plants consumed 540 tons of nuclear fuel, and coal-fired power plants released 2,772 tons of radioactive uranium and thorium into the environment.
28. Hemp biomass farms would abate foreign oil dependency, soil erosion, acid rain, air pollution and global warming, while laying the groundwork for revitalized rural communities. Rural pasture land (7% of U.S. acreage) could produce enough biomass to end U.S. dependence on gas and oil.
29. By converting cotton, tobacco, sugar and cattle feed production into biomass, energy independence would be within reach. The least valuable hemp product is biomass fuels. Each acre of hemp grown for fiber and pulp is worth $750 - considerably more than each acre of corn or wheat.
30. In 1994, President Clinton issued an executive order naming hemp in the National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness Policy.
31. In 1995, the Hemp Production Act was introduced in Colorado, and the Governor of Kentucky appointed a hemp feasibility task force.
32. Several American companies are using imported hemp to produce clothing, paper, oil and other products. Hemp ice cream, cheese, cookie and pancake mixes are now available. In each case, demand outstrips supply. Domestically-grown hemp products would generate new job and business opportunities that benefit the environment. Innovative economic and environmental programs can benefit communities. When Oregon restricted logging in 1991, a state restraining program turned timber workers into auto mechanics, cabinet makers, health care workers, or accountants.
33. Similar programs can retrain workers now employed in the chlorine, pesticide, bleached paper, cotton, tobacco and coal industries. In the long run, every American job depends on our natural resources. Let us uphold our forefather's traditions by restoring hemp to its rightful place as this nation's top renewable resource. Let us use its bountiful harvest to heal the mistakes of generations past and ensure the quality of life for succeeding generations. The transition of our economy from petrochemical-based to plant-based will ease the conversion to a chlorine-free economy. Both conversions should be planned and coordinated simultaneously. During World War II, America's prohibitionist hemp laws were suspended to meet pending material shortages.
34. Our government asked Kentucky 4-H Club youths to help in the war effort by
growing hemp.35 Farmers were encouraged to grow hemp through the USDA film "Hemp
for Victory." Critical environmental pressures call for these laws to again
be set aside.
PROPOSED ECONOMIC REFORM
Tax fossil fuel production. Subsidize biomass fuels and worker retraining.
Tax coal-based electrical production. Subsidize biomass electricity and worker retraining.
Tax wood pulp paper production. Subsidize tree-free paper and worker retraining.
Prohibit the patenting of hemp seeds by U.S. companies.
(Excerpted from Long Life Now: Strategies For Staying Alive by Lee Hitchcox, D.C. Reprinted with permission. Contact The Connection Magazine, Santa Cruz California for references.)
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