Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marijuana Fatalities

I have read the following statistics in many news articles and documentaries about marijuana but this set of stats is sourced from the US government.


TOBACCO ........................ 400,000
ALCOHOL ........................ 100,000
ALL LEGAL DRUGS .......... 20,000
ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS ....... 15,000
CAFFEINE ............................ 2,000
ASPIRIN .................................. 500
MARIJUANA ............................... 0

Source: United States government,
National Institute on Drug Abuse,
Bureau of Mortality Statistics.
Marijuana And Hemp The Untold Story
Author: Thomas J. Bouril 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Test for Stupidity, Ignorance and Greed, Not for Drugs

Going Green?

Letters to the Editor

By Pope Smith

I find it humorous how lately most of what you read about is the green movement. Everyone has been looking for materials that are environmentally friendly and renewable. Well humans had a crop that was friendly to the environment and can be used to benefit most if not all industries we currently have. It has been one of the most widely cultivated crops and we can date it back to 8000BC. It wasn't until 70 years ago that there were laws that prohibited it. This crop is hemp. It can be used for food, textiles, environmentally friendly plastics, paper, concrete (carbon negative, which is what they are looking for in the market now but can't find), insulation, fuel, medicine and the list goes on. It is less harmful than any resource we have and is stronger than most materials we are already using. It can be used to make a car body lighter than steel but yet can withstand 10 times the impact force before denting. The negative health affects if any are less than most products we are already using. It can produce any quality of paper and grows faster than trees, and 1 acre of hemp is equal to 4 acres of trees. It can put jobs back in the hands of farmers. In 1938 it was called the first crop with potential to be the first billion dollar crop. It is far less harmful for ones health than alcohol or tobacco products, and is less addictive than coffee. The damage we have done in the past 70 years since its been illegal is outstanding, and we need a change. If cars ran off hemp fuel it could create a closed cycle of emissions which means the CO2 produced from operating the car would be counteracted by the CO2 that the growing of the hemp plant would remove from the air. The question now is how long will the government wait until we can start using this crop? Will we have to use up most of our resources first? And how much more damage will occur to our environment in the mean time? There are many sites with information all over the internet if you don't believe me. Inform yourself. “No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” P. J. O'Rourke. 

Published online in The Expositor, Brantford, Ontario, Canada, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hemp Business Class Starts December 07, 2010

Check out this business class opportunity linked below. Based on what I can learn about Paul Benhaim it looks like a great chance to learn from one of Hemp's contemporary pioneers.

growing hemp for profit by Paul Benhaim

Hemp Comment Governor?

Jerry Brown: One very prominent environmental law is the federal law of public nuisance that affects the relationship of one state to another. There is currently a lawsuit by five attorneys general against certain Midwestern electric utilities that burn coal and emit greenhouse gases. The lawsuit aims to cap the greenhouse gases and require a phased reduction in their emission of greenhouse gases. The theory of this particular case is that the burning of coal is affecting the environments of several states, including California.

This is a very unique, difficult lawsuit to win, but it is an example of how the statutory and the case law of both federal and state courts can be used to protect the environment if we all work together and this could be done with air quality, water quality, toxics, habitat preservation, forests, the load of chemicals that human beings are now assuming because of all the chemicals in the stream of commerce.

Julie: Would this be a priority?

Jerry Brown: A top priority for me will be the use of existing law to advance a much higher level of environmental protection.

Julie: How do you feel about the legalization of the cultivation of hemp for the manufacture of products such as hemp oil or clothing? 

Jerry Brown: I certainly think there’s a lot of value there in hemp. As far as my understanding goes, it's available in Canada, and I'd like to see how well it's doing there.

Julie: Studies are showing that the hemp manufacturing dollars would benefit California in an unprecedented way.

Jerry Brown: I believe there’s a federal set of rules that limit the cultivation of hemp products and I think it would take a change from congress.

Julie: Do you think there will be a point in time soon, where a substantial number of people would consider the environment more important than short term economic gain?

Jerry Brown: Already a lot of people say the environment should take precedence, polls show that. Now, whether or not someone would say that if his own job or livelihood would be affected is another question, but it does raise the very important point that the economy is contained within the environment. The economy has to subordinate itself to the ecological rules that govern the natural world. When you offend these rules, you can generate all sorts of very negative consequences, whether it is the collapse of fisheries or the build-up of chemicals in the environment, in the body, in the soils. 

Building Houses with Hemp

There is a company called Hemp Technologies that is doing some great work in the Asheville, NC area with residential construction using hemp hurds mixed with lime to create "hempcrete" that is proving to be a fantastic construction material. You can check out their website here: Hemp Technologies

Hemp is one of mankind's oldest building materials with amazing thermal and carbon-sequestering properties and finished structures made of hemp and lime can last hundreds of years and then be used as fertilizer at the end of the buildings useful life rather than end up as useless landfill. Hemp houses have no termite problems and the hempcrete structure actually gains additional structural integrity over time as the hempcrete ages into a rock-like substance.

There are companies building houses from hemp in several countries around the world including England, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Finally the USA has joined the club.

The more I learn about hemp the more impressed I become with this miracle plant, cannabis. And the more astounded I am that hemp is still illegal to grow in the USA. Cui bono ("To whose benefit?", literally "as a benefit to whom?") Who benefits from the fact that hemp is illegal to grow in the USA? Opinions vary greatly on this topic and I should do an entire post on this, but I suspect the biggest beneficiary is law enforcement. The federal government and law enforcement does not recognize any distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana (the male and female plants of cannabis) even though industrial hemp contains less than a fraction of a percent of THC compared with marijuana that can contain up to 20% THC, so keeping hemp illegal is part of law enforcement's strategy to keep marijuana, in all its forms, illegal so that they can maintain their budgets around the absurd and failed 'war on drugs.' Sort of a Full Employment Act for police and prison guards.

But that is only part of the story. With hemp a viable competitor to cotton, wood pulp paper, oil and many of its derivatives, and thousands of other consumer and industrial products, all these industries benefit from the lack of competition from hemp.

And of course we can't rule out plain old sloth and inertia. Hemp is illegal because it has been illegal since 1937 (with a temporary wartime reprieve during the 1940s) and until very recently, no politician had anything to gain standing up for hemp because his opponents would accuse him of being 'soft on crime'.

But now that the baby boomers are learning the truth about hemp and the distinction between hemp and marijuana, and now that most every other industrialized country around the world is growing hemp with no problems and lots of new jobs and revenue, America is finally waking up.

The rumor mill around the VoteHemp organization (VoteHemp) is that with a new governor in California we may see some new legislation in 2011 in favor of industrial hemp that may force the feds to finally act on this issue. Many states have already passed laws legalizing industrial hemp but no farmer will plant a crop yet because the feds will not stand down on the issue. They still consider any industrial hemp crop as a marijuana grow and will arrest and prosecute anyone who plants a single seed. North Dakota has been suing the feds for action on industrial hemp with no luck for years. It is time to legalize hemp.

(google won't let me post an image file here)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hemp Plastics

Is there anything this plant can't do? I was just browsing around online and found the following information from Paul Benhaim's hemphasis.net website. I have not found much information about hemp plastics so as an overview I am copying Paul's summary below. His hemphasis.net website is here: Hemphasis.net

Hemp Plastics & Biocomposites
Henry Ford used hemp-and-sisal cellulose plastic to build car doors and fenders in 1941. On video Henry Ford demonstrated that his hemp cars were more resistant to blows from a sledgehammer than steel-bodied cars were.

The basic building block of plastics is cellulose taken from petroleum, but toxic petrochemical compositions are not the only way to derive plastics.

Plastics can be derived from plant cellulose, and since hemp is the greatest cellulose producer on Earth (hemp hurds can be 85% cellulose), it only makes sense to make non-toxic, biodegradable plastic from hemp and other organics, instead of letting our dumps fill up with refuse.

A recent technological advance with biodegradable plastics made from cornstarch has led to a new material based on hemp. Hemp Plastics (Australia) have sourced partners who have been able to produce a new 100% biodegradable material made entirely from hemp and corn. This new material has unique strength and technical qualities which have yet to be seen before, and this new material can be injection or blow-molded into virtually any shape using existing moulds, including cosmetic containers, Frisbee golf discs, etc.
Hemp hurds may be processed into cellophane packing material, which was common until the 1930s, or they may be manufactured into a low-cost, compostable replacement for Styrofoam.

Zellform (Austrian) has created a hemp-plastic resin called Hempstone, for use in musical instruments, loudspeakers, and furniture. This material can be carved into any desired form.

Hemp can also be made into compressed door panel and dashboards. Carmakers such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, Saturn, BMW, Honda, and Mercedes are currently using hemp composite door panels, trunks, head liners, etc.

These composites are less expensive than dangerous fiberglass counterparts. Hemp fiberglass replacements would only cost 50 to 70 cents a pound. These hemp composites could replace carbon and glass fibers, which have environmental and weight problems, and run from 60 cents to 5 dollars a pound.

The reason why virtually all European car makers are switching to hemp based door panels, columns, seat backs, boot linings, floor consoles, instrument panels, and other external components is because the organic hemp based products are lighter, safer in accidents, recyclable, and more durable.

The possibilities are endless with hemp plastics and resins, and Biocomposites. Virtually any shape and purpose can be fulfilled by biocomposite plastics. Just think of the possibilities and realize that biodegradable non-toxic products are always the wisest choice for the future. Buy smart. Buy Hemp.