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THE FUTURE IS HEMP

As we welcome the new millenium, there are certain global changes, which we do not welcome. Deforestation, global warming, over population, loss of diversity, and the poisoning of seemingly every ecosystem alive.

We need to act now! Analyzing these problems and creating solutions should be our PRIORITY. Alternative crops such as hemp offer a wide range of benefits, not only to the environment but to local and world economies alike. Hemp is as valuable to the small farm communities as it is to the big industry (a balance not often found these days). The overall benefits include: bio-safe alternatives to the products depended upon now, and a sustainable fiber source to meet the worlds extreme demand. The benefits to the world would be phenomenal. Farmers worldwide could utilize this amazing universal plant. The key word here is adaptability. Hemp can thrive virtually anywhere in the world, due to the fact that it is essentially a weed.

Agriculturally, hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a superb rotational crop. It also has the ability to resist drought as well as insects and fungus. Requiring little to no fertilizer it would greatly improve water quality by potentially reducing cancer causing agents in well water and runoff into rivers, lakes, and streams.

Economically, opportunity is knocking! The amount of jobs that would be created by the major upsurge in hemp production, would be a welcome blessing to small rural communities where jobs are scarce. Why are we sending millions of dollars each year to foreign economies when there are plenty of farmers as well as manufacturers and consumers right here in America? Prior to 1890 the world depended on hemp fiber so much it was the universal standard. In colonial times it was required by law to grow the hemp plant, for the survival of the colonies. You could pay your taxes with hemp. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew, and strongly advocated the hemp plant to stabilize our new country. Washington himself once said, "Make the most of the hemp plant - sow it everywhere."

The pros most definitely outweigh the cons (if there are any). Hemp is not in production today because of laws written in 1937 by politicians involved in big industry. Cultivation of hemp posed a direct threat to the petrochemical industry, as well as cotton growers, and paper producers with large timber holdings. Therefore laws were designed to create so much red tape it would hinder and eventually stop production of the plant. Big industry does not want hemp relegalized, and they are the ones with the money and the lobbying power to maintain this red tape. By avoiding natural solutions, Industry continues to deplete our earth's resources.

Propaganda was published nationwide in the Hearst Newspaper, the largest paper in the country, during the 1930's. Enough people read or heard these lies that it has become incorporated into our culture to think of hemp as marijuana the "killer weed". This is entirely untrue, and only through proper education can we counteract the effects of the "campaign of lies".

Cannabis sativa L., otherwise known as hemp, contains less than one- percent (.2%) tetrahydracannabinol (THC), the active ingredient, which causes the "high" effect when smoking pot. This TRACE of THC would only be present in the leaves, and would be of no pharmaceutical value. Even if one were to try to smoke hemp they would only get a headache or become nauseous. You CANNOT get high on hemp! Hemp products DO NOT contain THC. It is perfectly legal to possess hemp products as well as sterilized seeds. You cannot cultivate it because law enforcement officials claim they could not distinguish between hemp and marijuana. This is also untrue. The two varieties of cannabis grow completely different. A field of hemp is planted in rows four inches apart, and is grown for its fibrous stalks. Hemp grows to a mature height of 10 to 12 feet; marijuana is a short, bushy plant, which grows to an average height of four to six feet. Additionally, smoking grade marijuana is planted two feet apart and grown for its potent flowers.

By using hemp products you are saying, "It's time to make a change." Bio-safe products need to become an everyday thing, not a trend. The earth is our life support system, and the only one we have. Let's fix what has already been done. Please support Industrial Hemp, and pass on the truth to anyone who laughs, jokes, or just doesn't know. Written by: Travis Elble


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