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Legalizing Idustrial Hemp

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Legalization of Industrial Hemp "Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere." (from ---George Washington, 1794. You can eat it, for it has great cooking versatility and even more nutritional value than soybean foods. Doctors use its oil to boost your immune system and fight heart problems. You can wear it, for it makes a light, long-lasting fiber that "breathes" beautifully. It even makes a wonderful shower curtain, because it is light and -- now get this -- it does NOT mildew. You can write on it too, for it makes one of the finest papers ever known. The "it" is not some new miracle compound invented in the science labs of industry, but an ancient plant that is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world: Hemp. The first known rope was made from it. The Chinese used it to make the first fish nets 6,500 years ago. The ancient Greeks wore hemp garments. Thomas Jefferson raised hemp on his Virginia farm, and he drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. Plus, this renewable resource is an environmental Godsend. It requires very little fertilizers or pesticides to raise; it uses very little water; it produces four times as much fiber per-acre as wood does, so it can drastically cut deforestation.
Hemp is simply a natural for our country and it can be a terrific cash-crop for America farmers. There is only one problem with this remarkable plant: Our government outlaws it. Hemp should be legalized for economical and environmental purposes. Industrial hemp means those parts of the Cannabis sativa plant which contain less than 1.00% tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). THC is the psychoactive chemical found in Cannabis sativa. Industrial hemp is not to be confused with marijuana. Marijuana comes from the flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant and contains more than 1.00% THC (Mississippi Potency). Industrial hemp has no psychoactive properties. Industrial hemp can be grown as a profitable, high-quality fiber crop without producing marijuana. Registered seed varieties that produce hemp containing less than 0.3% THC even in the flowers are available throughout Europe (British Farmers). Farmers in the European Community have been growing hemp for over 20 years without any problems related to marijuana (British Farmers). Industrial hemp is grown as a profitable fiber crop in many countries (Rosentha, Ed). Industrial hemp crops have been subsidized in the European Community since before 1988.5 In 1993, England began to produce hemp for fiber (British Farmers). In 1994, Canada harvested its first crop of industrial hemp after more than 50 years of prohibition (Turner, Craig). The re-emerging world hemp industry is growing steadily, and farmers are excited and enthusiastic about the potential of hemp crops. Hemp has been valued throughout this country's history as an important raw material. Until the late 1800s, almost all of our cloth was made from hemp, and virtually all of our paper was made from hemp rags (Herer, Jack). From 1631 to the early 1800s, hemp was such a valued commodity that it was considered legal tender (money) (Herer, Jack). Regions of Kentucky and Wisconsin were among the largest hemp producers (Hemp Victory). Hemp production seemed destined to increase dramatically in the 1930s, when an invention called the decorticator began getting wide attention (Popular Mechanics 240). The decorticator strips the hemp fiber from the stalk. This had been the most labor-intensive and expensive part of producing hemp (Popular Mechanics 238). The decorticator was to hemp what the cotton gin was to cotton. The invention prompted a 1937 Popular Mechanics magazine to call hemp the "New Billion Dollar Crop" (Popular Mechanics 238) and Mechanical Engineering magazine to call it "The Most Desirable Crop That Can Be Grown" (Lower 112). However, the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act dealt a fatal blow to the promising hemp fiber industry. The Act established a prohibitive tax on hemp manufacturers and distributors as well as on hemp transactions (United States Congress). It was modeled after a similar tax that was enacted to prohibit machine guns. The transfer tax of $1.00/ounce effectively ended all hemp production in the United States by making commerce in hemp prohibitively expensive. Restrictions on hemp production were eased briefly in the United States during World War II when Japan invaded the Philippines, cutting off the supply of abaca (Manila hemp) (Hesington 77). The U.S. Navy desperately needed a domestic supply of hemp to provide the lines and rigging for its fleet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to produce hemp for the war effort by distributing a film called "Hemp for Victory!" (Hemp Victory). After World War II, the hemp industry declined as the federal government again began to restrict hemp production (Brecher 419). Farmers continued to produce hemp on a limited scale until the 1950s (Miller 239). However, legislation eventually came to treat industrial hemp crops as marijuana (drug) crops, and hemp fiber production was no longer promoted.
Currently, hemp production is treated as a felony in the United States because it is assumed that all hemp crops will produce marijuana. With the advent of industrial hemp and low-THC seed varieties, this is no longer true. Hemp can now be grown as a profitable fiber crop in the United States with absolutely no danger of increasing marijuana use. Hemp consists of three principal raw materials: fiber, seeds, and hurds. Hemp is principally grown for the bast fiber it produces from its stalk. However, the seeds and hurds are also important economically. The hemp stalk is composed of 20% fiber (Lower 112). Hemp is the strongest natural fiber in the world (Lower 112). It is valued for its strength and durability when used for textiles, cordage, and paper. The fiber can be made into any type of cloth, from the finest linen to the coarsest canvas (Popular Mechanics 239). The word canvas comes from the Arabic word for hemp (Hemp Victory). Cloth made from hemp fiber is stronger, warmer, more durable, more absorbent, and softer than cotton (Herer 7). To show how many products can be produced from hemp here is a list from A to Z: agrofiber composites, awnings, bio-plastics, building blocks, candy, bio-degradable cellophane, detergents, dynamite, erasers, erosion control, fire hoses, flooring, geotextiles, glues, hammacks, harnaces, ice cream, insulation materials, jackets, jeans, lip blams, lubricants, medicines, moisturizer, natural pesticides, newsprints, oil-spill absorbants, overalls, paint, parachutes, quilts, quishe, retaining walls, roofing materials, shampoos, shoes, technical fiber paper, toys, umbrellas, upholstery, varnishes, vests, wedding gowns, weed suppression, x-ray film, xylophones, yardsticks, yarns, zippers, zithers (Roulac). Hemp rope has been valued throughout history for its superior strength and resistance to deterioration in salt or fresh water. The Chinese have been using hemp for ropes and fish nets since 4500 B.C., over 5000 thousand years and were the first to develop a paper industry for hemp scrolls (Lower 7). Paper made from hemp is known as the "archivist's perfect paper" because it lasts much longer than tree pulp paper and does not harden, crack, yellow, or crumble with age (Conrad 24). Hemp fiber can be used to make every grade of paper (Popular Mechanics 240). The hemp stalk is composed of 80% hurds (Lower 113). The hurds are the woody inner portion of the hemp stalk that are separated from the hemp fiber (Dewey, Lyster). The hurds are 50% - 77% cellulose, (Popular Mechanics 240) which makes them ideal for use in paper and plastic products. One acre of hemp hurds can make as much pulp for paper as four acres of trees (Dewey, Lyster). Hemp paper can be whitened without producing dioxins and lasts much longer than paper made from trees (Dewey, Lyster). Hemp hurds can be pressed and injected with phenolic resin to make a particle board that is resistant to fire and water (Rosentha, Craig). The board also makes a good insulation and thermal barrier (Rosentha, Craig). Plastics were first made from plant cellulose (i.e., cellophane, celluloid) (Dupont). The hemp hurd is one of the richest sources of plant cellulose, (Popular Mechanics 238) a building block of modern industry. Plastics made from hemp instead of petroleum would be biodegradable (Conrad 24). The hurds make an excellent animal bedding because they absorb more liquid and compost faster than wood shavings (Roseenthal, England 205) The hemp seed is composed of two raw ...

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Keywords: legalized industrial hemp, legalise industrial hemp, is industrial hemp legal in india

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