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Friday, August 5, 2011

Not Demanding Legal Domestic-Grown Industrial Hemp is Irresponsible: 42 Reasons

It's illegal because it's a Marijuana derivative; though an acre of the stuff couldn't get a squirrel high, but could produce 4 tree acres worth of paper, annually. So unless Tommy Chong was hired to roll telephone pole-sized blunts, hold back the misinformed dogmatic rhetorics and put those thoughts to rest. This crop will save the world when we take our blinders off, do a little educating, and DEMAND it. 


Product Superiority/Versatility
  • It is the world's strongest natural fiber.  Hemp is unique in that every single individual plant fiber runs from base to tip (12-18ft). Our strongest hardwoods have fibers a few feet long.
  • It has a reported 25,000 products/uses. Its biomass, which contains very high amounts of valuable cellulose can be constructed to be about anything.
  • HEMPCRETE. Three ingredients: Hemp hurds (hard outer stalk shell), lime, water. 6-10 times stronger (depending on where you read) than concrete in tension. Lighter. Watertight. Breathable. Self-insulating. Strengthens over time through petrification & traps carbon throughout its structural lifetime, aka, forever.
  • Better paper. The Library of Congress found that, “While the hemp paper in volumes 300-400 years old is still strong, 97% of the books, printed between 1900 and 1937 on tree paper, will be useable for less than 50 years.” 
  • Pressed-fiber composite boards: Lighter than timber. Stronger than timber. Infinitely renewable.
  • Better rope.
  • Better canvas.
  • Better clothing. Lighter. Stronger. More breathable than cotton. Naturally anti-fungal/mold-inhibiting without chemical treatment.
  • Superior Biofuels: renewable, volumous, energy-dense, carbon-neutral (considering growth period)
  • Stronger, renewable, plastic-like composite materials.
Volume Diamond is a superior material as the hardest substance known to man; but to say that every helmet, bullet, car body, and drill bit should be made of diamond because of its superiority is just silly. Volume must be present with superiority to support practicality.
  • Grows virtually anywhere. Wet, arid, hot, temperate. Use the best land for food, marginal land for hemp.
  • Grows with minimal care.
  • Stalks densely grow 12-18ft high.
  • ^ In 12-16 week growing seasons, allowing multiple annual harvests in warm climates.
  • Crop rotation not required because it doesn't deplete soil.
Econo-sense
  • Mass-production & renewability mean all of the superior products listed above could be made CHEAP
  • Put farmers back to work. Versatility, superiority, and renewability allow bottomless demand.
  • Reduce over-production & government subsidizing of corn, wheat, soy by allowing rotation of this additional most-useful crop.
  • Re-ignite domestic manufacturing with a whole new industry.
  • Export, export, export. We've got the arable land. Let's balance that import/export equation.
  • Michigan is depressed. We house the world's largest open-cut limestone quarry just outside Rogers City which sits on Lake Huron. Farmland, lime, water, shipping: Michigan hempcrete industry, anyone?
Enviro-sense
  • Naturally grows organic. No need for insecticides, fungicides, chemical fertalizers.
  • Anti-fungal properties allow bipassing of toxic chemical treatments in processing.
  • Can be planted directly after other crop harvests to renew soil for next growing season.
  • Carbon-negative throughout entire growth, processing, and product life cycle.
  • Hemp paper can be recycled 7 to 8 times, compared with only 3 times for wood pulp paper.
  • The USDA reported in 1916 that an acre of hemp produced as much paper as four acres of trees annually.
  • Composite materials could replace petroleum-based plastics, a major player in our crude oil useage.
  • Zero waste. Seeds for food/oils, Inner/outer stalk for everything, leaves for fertalizer/food, buds for food/medicine, additional 'waste' biomass for energy-dense ethanol fuels & natural fertalizers.
  • "Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?"-Henry Ford
Public Health
  • Seeds contain a complete amino acid profile. This is unique among plant products. Usually must be obtained from animal products or combinations of grains & legumes.
  • Oils contain ideal 3:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acid ratio, also rare among plants.
  • Incidence of cheap & nutritionless corn, soy, wheat biproducts in foods could be lowered with increased prevalence of hemp products.
  • High volume yields allow use as superior animal feed, comparable in cost to corn. This creates much healthier meat/dairy/poultry products than those from obese, corn-fed & antibiotic-pumped animals.
  • Its 'evil cousin' is a medicine. Period. Not the main point, so stopping here. (Noteable search tags: Irv Rosenfield, US Patent #6630507, Donald Tashkin MD, Leonard Grimspoon MD, Donald Abrams MD, DEA Judge Francis Young, Shafer Commission, CBD & Cancer, Endocannabinoid System, Run from the Cure, Rick Simpson) Finding is easy; looking is the hard part.
History/Heritage
  • Henry Ford made a hemp car in 1941. It ran on hemp biofuel and the body was made of cellulose fibers and a special resin, lighter than steel, and could withstand 10 times the impact force without denting. Watch it get hit with a sledge hammer, a few times(27 sec): Ford Hemp Car
  • The Declaration of Independence was written on it.
  • "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country."-Thomas Jefferson
  • In pre-colonial Jamestown it was law to grow hemp and taxes could be paid with the invaluable resource.
  • Popular Mechanics ran an article in 1938 titled, "New Billion Dollar Crop". Up until the 1930's, it was very difficult to separate the inner cellulose fibers from the hard outer shell, but the invention of the decorticator was going to change everything. Unfortunately, this came at the same time that DuPont was patenting petrol products and cotton & timber had already gained dominance in their respective markets. The stronger special interests partnered with Drug Czar Harry J. Anslinger (with family DuPont ties) and media tycoon William Randolf Hearst (who had vested interests in timber) and pinned the plant's 'evil cousin' as the target of the smear campaign, Reefer Madness, to prevent cultivation of the plant entirely with the Marijuana Stamp Act of 1937 which didn't actually outlaw hemp, but required the possession of a special tax stamp for cultivation & possession. The stamp was never printed. The law was later dubbed unconstitutional, but when the patch-law, the  Controlled Substances Act of 1971 was written, it neglected to make the pot/hemp distinction as well. 
  • In 1942, dire need trumped special interest in the war effort and the Government made the educational propaganda film, "Hemp for Victory" When the war was over, the video went away along with all mention of it until activist Jack Herer was able to finally dig it up from congressional library records in the 1970's.
  • "Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere."-George Washington