Hemp Ban Leads To Missed Opportunities 

Hemp Ban Leads To Missed Opportunities 
Posted by CN Staff on November 14, 2007 at 07:04:21 PT
By Brandon Brown
Source: Appalachian
North Carolina -- “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed.” No, that’s not a quote from a half-baked hippie at Mellow Mushroom. That’s George Washington speaking.There is a foolish misconception rampant in today’s society that hemp and marijuana are synonymous terms. While marijuana, like industrial hemp, is indeed a byproduct of the cannabis sativa plant, the latter is a nearly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-free, soil-enriching, multi-faceted resource – which the United States doesn’t grow.
It didn’t always used to be that way.Actually, during World War II, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a propaganda film titled “Hemp for Victory,” which encouraged farmers and citizens alike to plant hundreds of thousands of acres of hemp for the war effort.In 1970, lawmakers and bureaucrats started humming a different tune and passed the Controlled Substances Act, which prohibited the cultivation of hemp in the United States. How can the government go from being staunchly pro-hemp to anti-hemp in the span of 28 years?If the drug movement of the 1960s is to blame, then I suppose lawmakers forgot to read their history books because industrial hemp does not produce any of the effects of marijuana. The THC levels in industrial hemp are less than 0.05 percent, according to Basically, if you smoked industrial hemp, all you would get is a massive headache.Lawmakers are aware of this, but their concern is that THC-heavy strands would be hidden among the industrial hemp plants. However, marijuana must be grown away from industrial hemp plants because the high levels of CDC in hemp plants would counteract and taint the THC in the marijuana plants, leading to a much lower-quality drug that would have little or no street value, according to Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities by Dr. David West of the University of Minnesota.The hemp stalk is a valuable source of fiber, which is used in a plethora of products around the world. Fiber produces greater resiliency and breathability than cotton, which accounts for 25 percent of pesticides sprayed on the world’s crops, according to Mercedes-Benz uses a bio-composite of hemp to make stronger, cheaper door panels.And speaking of cars, as the price of a barrel of oil creeps over $100, hemp seeds produce oil that can be used as a biodiesel alternative. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, hemp as a biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures of all products. Hemp can also be used as an alternative to timber for the production of paper. According to the Hemp Industries Association, hemp produces more pulp per acre than timber on a sustainable basis, and can be used for every quality of paper. Thomas Jefferson actually drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. If that’s not irony, I don’t know what is.Growing hemp in the United States is technically legal, but farmers must receive a DEA permit in order to grow the plant – which is about as easy as getting permission from a cop to drive his or her car. So if we hold our forefathers in such high esteem, and I’m starting to think for multiple reasons that we don’t, how can our government not see the benefits of hemp production in the United States?With the agricultural economy in the shape that it is in, continuing a hemp ban seems like one illogical slap in the face to the farmers of America. It shouldn’t even be a debate.Early colonists and Americans were actually required to grow hemp.Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain all cultivate hemp for a variety of uses. Even our steadfast ally Great Britain lifted its hemp ban 15 years ago!  Thomas Jefferson once said, “The greatest service which can be rendered by any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”Oh, how foolish we would look to our forefather today.    Brandon Brown, a senior journalism major from Huntersville, is a lifestyles reporter. Source: Appalachian, The (NC Edu)Author: Brandon BrownPublished: November 13, 2007Copyright: 2007 Appalachian State UniversityContact: http://www.theapp.appstate.eduCannabisNews Hemp Archives
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on November 14, 2007 at 23:30:14 PT
OT: But Partly Related
Hydrogen fuel comes a step closer
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor.
Last Updated: 10:01pm GMT 12/11/2007 "Now scientists have developed a method that relies on bacteria in a specially designed reactor that can efficiently produce hydrogen fuel from any type of biodegradable organic matter, so that a glorified compost heap could protentially provide an abundant source of the clean-burning energy."&&&Pot activists hail court victory, but Crown says it's non-binding.
The Canadian Press.
November 14, 2007 Activists' Response with links:Press Release.
2007 November 14
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Comment #2 posted by greenmed on November 14, 2007 at 21:25:46 PT
I believe the author meant CBD.
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Comment #1 posted by greenmed on November 14, 2007 at 21:19:57 PT
A good informative article. More on hemp at:VoteHemp: the classic, Jack Herer's The Emperor Wears No Clothes:
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