Hemp-Powered Car Rolls Into Town With a Message 

Hemp-Powered Car Rolls Into Town With a Message 
Posted by FoM on September 03, 2001 at 07:20:03 PT
By Joshua Molina, News-Press Staff Writer
Source: News-Press
A husband and wife passionate about educating the public of the environmental benefits of industrial hemp rolled through Santa Barbara over the weekend in a hemp-powered Mercedes-Benz.Grayson and Kelli Sigler are traveling across North America in a donated white, 1983 diesel wagon. They started in Washington, D.C., on July 4 and will return Oct. 2. In the end, they will have traveled 10,000 miles -- every one of those on hemp oil instead of diesel.
They stopped in De la Guerra Plaza for two hours Sunday afternoon and then headed to Isla Vista to spread their message.The environmental activists are trying to make a statement, saying that hemp oil, extracted from the hemp seed, can be used as an alternative to petroleum products."The main thing we are doing is showing people that hemp can make a car go," said Kelli Sigler, 23. "A diesel engine can run on any vegetable oil."Hemp products have gained in popularity and acceptance in recent years. But hemp draws criticism from some because of its association with marijuana. Industrial hemp contains only a fraction of tetrahydrocannabinol -- the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana -- commonly called THC.Though hemp is legally grown in other parts of the world, it is illegal to cultivate in the United States.The Canadian government allowed farmers to begin growing thousands of acres of hemp in the late 1990s and Canadian farmers ship the raw fiber to the United States where it is fashioned into a wide range of products.The Siglers would like to see hemp accepted and eventually legalized for cultivation here. Cultivation of hemp in the U.S. could lessen the need for oil drilling, cutting down of trees for paper and reduce environmental pollution, they say.They have paid for the travels with the help of sponsors, whose names and Web sites decorate the doors of the Mercedes-Benz.The green oil, which sells for $40 a gallon, is shipped ahead of time and is waiting for the Siglers when they arrive in various cities.Steve Levine, owner of the Santa Barbara Hemp Company, delivered about 6 gallons of the oil to the couple on Sunday."Anything that you can do with nuclear energy, you can do with hemp," Mr. Levine said. "You have to continue to educate people. You're just going against a lot of misinformation."Before Santa Barbara, the Siglers were in Santa Cruz and next they are headed to Los Angeles.Mr. Sigler, 33, says he has drawn all positive responses from people in the cities he has visited and feels that progress is being made."Americans can still have the luxury and comfort they are accustomed to, but they can be environmental about it," he said.Source: Santa Barbara News-Press (CA)Author: Joshua Molina, News-Press Staff WriterPublished: September 3, 2001Copyright: 2001 Santa Barbara News-Press Contact: jlankford newspress.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Hemp Car's Hemp Links Barbara Hemp Company Madness - Village Voice Car To Make 10,000 Mile Trip 
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