County Board Members Tout The Many Uses of Hemp

County Board Members Tout The Many Uses of Hemp
Posted by CN Staff on August 04, 2004 at 11:47:51 PT
By Diane Strand, The MidWeek
Source: MidWeek
There are lots of things the average American doesn’t know about hemp. What they do know is its connection with marijuana, and for that reason, growing hemp is illegal in the United States. Hemp is getting short shrift, and that’s too bad, said Julia Fauci, environmental activist and DeKalb County Board member.She said hemp is a strong, valuable plant that saves trees by being used in their place, to make paper. It also strengthens fabric—and is much stronger than cotton. In addition, it also can be processed to produce a valuable oil.
Fauci’s isn’t a lone voice in the wilderness.Growing hemp has also been supported by a majority of the Illinois Legislature. In fact, the legislation was passed not long ago—only to be vetoed by former Gov. George Ryan.It also is supported by the Illinois Farm Bureau and by Charles Hartke, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.Fauci said the John Deere Corporation also is interested because hemp is easier to harvest, and Deere would like to produce the machinery to do the job. Fauci’s interests are primarily environmental.“In order for cotton to grow and be harvested, it must be treated constantly with chemicals and hemp is just the opposite,” Fauci said. “It takes less energy to process than tree fiber.”Fauci is a book designer and production manager with University Publications at NIU.“People in my field are concerned about the effects of producing paper on the environment,” she said. Dioxin, a highly toxic chemical in even tiny amounts, is a by-product of bleaching paper.Those close to the book manufacturing process “began to work on increasing the amount of post-consumer recycling,” Fauci said. “But we couldn’t have a complete, 100 percent recycled (product). It has to have some virgin fiber to give it strength so it will run well on a press.”Despite a one-time prediction that computers would create “a paperless” society, the average American uses 735 lbs. of paper per year. And 40 percent of the trees harvested go to make paper. In the next 20 years, that is expected to increase to 60 percent, said Fauci. “We need to look at alternatives to all the paper we use.”“Let’s look at what happens when you cut down trees—even when you replant with a tree farm,” she explained. All the habitat has changed and some habitats have very complex ecosystems. Also, many chemicals and pesticides are used in creating a tree farm.“Paper companies now are starting to look at industrial hemp,” Fauci said. “It would help the paper industry. From the manufacturing point of view, hemp is strong, has longevity and is recyclable. Consumers will want it because it will last. And you can’t just grow it everywhere,” she said. She then discussed the hemp seed. “The seed has almost all the essential fatty and amino acids required for human life and also is healthful for livestock.” Fauci said she supports permits for the University of Illinois Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp to research some of its many potential applications for the 21st century.“It has been grown for more than 10,000 years by human beings,” Fauci said. “We need to have them study it.”Fauci and fellow DeKalb County Board member Steve Faivre intend to propose new legislation on hemp to the Public Policy Committee of the board. They were also interviewed about hemp last Wednesday on NBC-TV.Sidebar: Uses of Hemp:According to Julia Fauci, environmental activist and DeKalb County Board member, hemp can be used in producing paper, clothing and the hemp seed is a source of essential fatty and amino acids.Complete Title: Two County Board Members Tout The Many Uses of HempSource: MidWeek (IL)Author: Diane Strand, The MidWeekPublished: Wednesday, August 4, 2004Copyright: 2004 The MidWeek, Inc. Contact: readit midweeknews.comWebsite: Article & Web Site:CannabisNews Hemp Links Back Plan To Legalize Hemp Hemp Archives 
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