My blog is dedicated to the exploration of industrial hemp in America including the rich history of all forms of cannabis, the evolving law and politics of hemp and marijuana, the many products made from cannabis and the capacity, real or imagined, of hemp to re-industrialize rural America and revitalize the American family farm.
We need your help to bring back US hemp farming in 2013 and we have some great gifts for donors plus a new eBay auction for a limited edition Jim Pollock Vote Hemp poster printed on hemp content paper.
2013 will mark our 12th anniversary, and you have been a crucial partner in our progress over those years. Once again this year, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps has generously agreed to match every dollar you donate, doubling the impact of your contribution!
We can accomplish a lot with your help and every dollar counts. During 2012 we saw the introduction of the first Senate Hemp legislation in decades and grew our support to over 40 members in Congress! Please donate today or bid on our auction today so we can continue our lobbying efforts! Please to help us keep our Legislative Liaison working on Capitol Hill. End of the year donations now will put us in an excellent position to take advantage of what looks to be a perfect storm for hemp in 2013. When the new Congress convenes, we have a lot of work to do and your support will make the difference. We are so close, please help by donating today.
With a donation of $500, receive a James Pollock Limited Edition low number (#30 or below) poster. At this donation level you can also get one of the three DVDs we offer, the "Let U.S. Farmers Grow Industrial Hemp" poster set, the "Hemp for Victory" poster set, and the free sampler case of assorted Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps.
With your donation of $100, receive a Dr. Bronner's soap sampler pack plus your donation will be matched for even more impact.
With your donation of $45, get a copy of Hemp and the Rule of Law or Standing Silent Nation.
With your donation of $15, receive a Vote Hemp/HIA "Let U.S. Farmers Grow Industrial Hemp" poster set.
With your donation of $50, receive a Vote Hemp logo embroidered hemp polo shirt made by Two Jupiters.
With your donation of $25, get a limited edition set of two promotional 11"x17" posters specially designed for Vote Hemp by Andrea R. Georgas.
With your donation of $20, receive a Vote Hemp Sticker and Merry Hempsters Hemp Oil Lip Balm.
About Vote Hemp
Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and free market for industrial hemp, low-THC oilseed and fiber varieties ofCannabis, and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to grow the crop.
A crop harvested by the Chinese 8,500 years ago has provoked contemporary debate. Legalization of industrial hemp is being touted as a economic shot in the arm for Kentucky and elsewhere in America. At the same time, industrial hemp is being criticized by law enforcement as a way to hide illegal marijuana.
Meanwhile, local lawmakers and local law enforcement officials have no desire to see Kentucky allow medical marijuana, the subject of a pre-filed bill in the Kentucky General Assembly, which begins Jan. 8, meets for four days, then comes back into session in February for a 30-day session.
On the federal level, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, is one of three co-sponsors of U.S. Senate Bill 3501, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2012, introduced by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. The bill would exempt industrial hemp as a form of marijuana in federal law, noting “ ... the term marihuana does not include industrial hemp; and ... the term ‘industrial hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Marijuana is spelled “marihuana” in all federal documents regarding legislation regulating the leafy plant.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is commonly referred to as THC. It is the chemical in marijuana that gives users a high.
The federal proposal would further amend Section 201 of the federal Controlled Substances Act to read: “Industrial Hemp Determination – If a person grows or processes Cannabis sativa L. for
purposes of making industrial hemp in accordance with State law, the Cannabis sativa L. shall be deemed to meet with concentration limitation under Section 102 (57).”
A website that tracks federal legislation, www.govtrack.us, says the federal proposal only has a 2 percent chance of reaching President Barack Obama’s desk and being enacted as law. It is only given a 12 percent chance of getting out of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and reaching the Senate floor. Paul’s father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, previously has introduced similar bills in Congress.
Rand Paul argued in favor of the economic potential for industrial hemp in a Dec. 15 column in the Lexington Herald-Leader. “My vision for the farmers and manufacturers of Kentucky is to see us start growing hemp, creating jobs and leading the nation in this industry again.” Paul wrote. “These jobs will be ripe for the taking, and I want farmers in Kentucky to be the first in line.”
Kentucky and hemp are no strangers. The crop flourished in the Bluegrass state before it was lumped into federal legislation against marijuana in 1937. Hemp production essentially died out in the 1950s. The federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 didn’t make growing hemp illegal, but it did make it illegal to grow without a permit from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, noted Renee Johnson, specialist in agriculture policy for the Congressional Research Service, in a report prepared in January for the U.S. Congress.
The report to Congress noted that the DEA issued a permit for an experimental quarter-acre plot in Hawaii in 1999, which is now expired.
“Most reports indicate that the DEA has not granted any current licenses to grow hemp, even for research purposes. To date, all commercial hemp products sold in the United States are imported or manufactured from imported hemp materials,” the January report to Congress noted.
Several bills introduced in the Kentucky General Assembly since 2001 have died, according to a report “Industrial Hemp – Legal Issues,” from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and its Crop Diversification & Biofuel Research Education Center.
A bill approved in June 2001 created an industrial hemp research program and provided for Kentucky adopting the federal rules and regulations regarding industrial hemp – so any changes in federal law automatically take effect in Kentucky, the UK report noted. That bill also created the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, which was recently reactivated after a decade by State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. The commission met Dec. 7 in Frankfort.
Officials say industrial hemp and pot look the same but when their chemical composition is tested, pot has a much higher concentration of THC. That troubles Tommy Loving, director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force. He expects a tough fight beginning in January to stop state legislation regarding industrial hemp growth and regulation.
A pre-filed bill in Frankfort on the legislative website about industrial hemp is sponsored by State Rep. Terry Mills, D-Lebanon.
Mills said if the federal legislation isn’t approved, his bill – even if approved by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Steve Beshear into law – is still out of compliance with federal law.
“I don’t support moving forward until we get federal legislation in place,” Mills said.
“It’s moot until the federal government makes a decision,” said state Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green.
The 24th District that Mills serves in the state House is an agrarian area and could use a shot in the arm economically, he said.
“There is too much potential for us to ignore this opportunity,” Mills said.
“I’m not opposed to it,” said state Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green. “It is a good alternative crop for the ag community.” The lawmaker said many people equate industrial hemp with marijuana.
“They are not the same,” he said. “It is going to take an education effort” to gain support for the bill’s passage in the state House.
Opposition to the state legislation comes from the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association, which met last month in Louisville and voted unanimously to oppose legalization of industrial hemp in Kentucky, said Loving, who also is the east central regional director of the National Narcotic Officers’ Association Coalition. Other law enforcement groups, including the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police and the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association, are opposed to the bill, Loving said.
“We’re concerned about the apparent rush to legalize industrial hemp in Kentucky,” said Van Ingram, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. “Passing this law violates federal law,” Ingram said. Identifying the THC content amount, the key to separating the two, puts extra work on an “already overburdened law enforcement system,” he said. The quantitative THC test can only be performed by a Kentucky State Police laboratory, he said. “What’s the impact on equipment and personnel – who’s going to pay for it?” Ingram asked.
Ingram said he’s also concerned with illicit marijuana growers trying to pass their crops off as industrial hemp. Finally, he said marijuana doesn’t cease to be psychoactive at 0.3 percent, the THC content of industrial hemp.
Concerning another legislative proposal, Loving, DeCesare, Richards and Ingram all voiced disapproval of any state legislative attempt to bring medical marijuana to Kentucky.
A pre-filed bill concerning permitting medical marijuana is sponsored by state Sen. Perry B. Clark, D-Louisville.
The medical marijuana bill calls for “compassion centers” being issued certificates from the state. Those using marijuana for medical purposes would be permitted six ounces of marijuana and 12 marijuana plants. The medical marijuana would be used to aid in treatment of debilitating medical conditions. Those named in the legislation are cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and characteristics of multiple sclerosis.
“There are physical liabilities to long-term use of marijuana,” Richards said. Ingram said the idea of bringing medical marijuana use to Kentucky is “well-intentioned,” but he’s concerned with who will actually use it. It has been documented in California that people under the age of 35 are using it to combat headaches and other minor health ailments, Richards said.
What got you interested in hemp in the first place? Hemp was introduced in my life at an early age. I have an aversion to injustice against a harmless biomass that has thousands of uses. If a plant has the ability to heal the planet the only thing criminal was to keep it illegal from being grown. There's nothing worth living for if not to fight human greed with the truth.
Why did you choose to purchase a Canadian Hemp Guitar?
I've always been an advocate for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This would include the support of like-minded businesses that encourage natural verses artificial, peace before profit, and music as true form of expression. It's hard to find, especially in desperate times, genuine people who fight for what truly matters; respect for all life.
Are you a musician and have you tried one of the guitars?
I have been a musician, artist, and romantic idealist at heart ever since I was born. I am not a paid professional, but I grew up as a stage performer and know the life of a travelling entertainer. There's simply no joy as the experience of sharing the gift of music to an audience.
I have not tried playing the Canadian Hemp Guitar yet, but I look forward to being the first person in the US to purchase a custom build hemp guitar. I didn't hesitate to purchase one as I have always wanted a guitar for this exact reason.
What was your first impression?
I felt like it was a twist of fate to come across this company and their guitars. It was if I manifested this opportunity by keeping my interests in focus with my goals in life. Synchronized perfectly.
How do they sound?
Without a doubt, they have the best sound quality due to the amount of personal attention, creativity, and ingenuity that went into developing the concept of instruments made from natural materials.
Is it obvious to a layperson that these are made from hemp?
They follow a standard electric Les Paul body, but the best features are the ones to customize. They range in all aesthetic finishes. I chose a plain natural finish with some amber highlights to show off the hemp fibers in the body. A layperson may not understand or directly tell if it's made with the hemp plant, but any trained ear would know the vibratory subtleties of Cannabis biomass.
What do you think the reaction to your guitar will be when you show it to your friends and family?
I have had many different reactions, but the most common one is "You have a guitar made from marijuana?" or "Are you gonna smoke and play at the same time?" It has been an uphill battle to clear the name of Hemp. There are so many misinformed people and it's extremely hard to have an intelligent conversation with anyone who are either unwilling to learn or can't see past a fear based slam campaign against a completely harmless and versatile plant.
How can readers get in contact with you for more information?
There is an opportunity for me to be a US Representative and help Canadian Hemp Guitars expand their market. I have the privilege to have exclusive business relations with Canadian Hemp Guitars and can easily direct anyone in the US to purchasing their very own unique and customized Hemp Guitar. I can be reached by email or phone at: firstname.lastname@example.org/ 316-990-5505.
This is an open letter from Greta Gaines to President Obama during the election. I didn’t see it during the election but felt it still needed to be posted because industrial hemp is now legal in Colorado. Then candidate Obama may or may not have given the idea much thought. But now that he is forced to face reality, maybe he’ll take a closer look!
I’ve been getting an awful lot of letters and emails from President Obama about what he sees as important, (AND ASKING FOR $13 dollars) so I thought maybe I’d write one to him, about what I think needs to be addressed.
Dear Mr. President:
I have seen the future and it is in the past. A past that included laws mandating all American farmers to grow hemp. A past where hemp was a currency and you could, in fact, as a farmer, pay your taxes in hemp. How many of you out there would be psyched to pay your 2012 taxes in hemp? Our founding fathers considered hemp to be this nation’s most valuable crop.
“Hemp is the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country” - Thomas Jefferson.
“Make the most of the hemp seed and sow it everywhere” - George Washington.
Our founding fathers knew that hemp helped win our independence from Britain for it made the ropes and sails and clothing we needed to fight for our freedom. We have always had the ability in America to farm our way to energy independence. We can grow our own fuel.
We have the ability right now to run our cars on hemp ethanol for as low as 50 cents a gallon. We can create our own economic prosperity while guaranteeing national security. We are the only industrialized country in the world does not legally grow it’s own hemp!!… Consequently we are getting left in the dust on a multi-billion dollar industry. Many of you out there today think that medical marijuana is still federally illegal in this country because it is a schedule one drug with no medicinal value. That’s a lie. Marijuana was made illegal in this country in 1937 because hemp threatened the profits of the major industrialists of the time.
Rudolph Diesel created his first diesel engine to run on hemp and that threatened Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. The superior hemp pulp threatened the Hearst lumber monopoly and their newspapers printed on wood pulp. Dupont had created Nylon and hemp threatened their interests. Throw in alcohol lobbyists, cotton cartels and special interest groups and you got the 1937 Marijuana Tax Stamp Act and your looking at the greatest heist of an essential resource in US History.
You need to understand that marijuana is unjustly still a scheduled 1 illegal drug in this country because it’s non THC carrying cousin industrial HEMP IS OIL. Think about this…why is industrial hemp still illegal to be grown in this country in the year 2012? We have a 9.6 trillion deficit in this country and with one sign of the pen we could raking in billions of dollars while cleaning up the planet and growing our own oil… SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING WE’D BE ABLE TO AGREE ON.
Re=legalizing industrial hemp in this country could be the cash crop America is looking for. It’s a billion dollar crop with 25,000 uses. It can make everything from dynamite to hempcrete for building to cellophane. Add to those dollars the 6.2 billion raised yearly if you tax marijuana like alcohol and tobacco and the 8 billion in savings revenue when you stop arresting people and the 7 billion that would be created in American pot entertainment/hospitality and you’ve got yourself a real stimulus package Mr. President.You could be the US president to take credit for this amazing crop by re-legalizing the very plant that help build America in the first place.
- Imagine no more oil wars. - Who’s getting rich off of these foreign oil wars? - Who’s paying for them with their lives? We are.
Believe me, hemp is more dangerous to the federal government than medical marijuana has ever been. Too many people in this country are staying wealthy by keeping hemp illegal but the ones suffering for are YOU my fellow Americans. If you look to history, you will understand why—even though a majority of voters are now in favor of marijuana legalization—our government is still arresting 850,000 people a year over a damn PLANT.
A plant that has been serving us as food, fiber, fuel and medicine… from the dawn of mankind.A plant that has never killed anyone. It makes me mad! Do democrats get mad? You should be getting mad enough to get involved. The American drug war has been the costliest war in America’s history with over a trillion spent. How about a war we can win Mr. President? How about a war that helps the
American people instead of harms them? How about a war on shitty schools? How about a war on poverty? And hunger?To you Mr. President I will tell you: if you lose this election it will because of frustration over the American economy. Here’s a checklist of the money that will be raised if you re-legalize the growth of industrial hemp in America and re-legalize medical marijuana, tax and regulate is like alcohol.- The government spends 8.7 billions dollars enforcing marijuana laws each year.
- Mr. President you yourself have said, “when I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” Today if a young African American were to get busted for pot possession—there goes the college scholarships due to your unjust and still racist laws for marijuana possession. Does anyone see the hypocrisy here?
- You would save 7.7 billions dollars that the Government is currently spending on prohibition.
- Taxation and regulation of cannabis similar to alcohol would produce combined savings and tax revenue of between 10 billion and 14 billion dollars.
- You will save the cost of prosecution (and defense!) of accused offenders + - You will save the cost of incarceration of convicted offenders + - Hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue that would be generated if drugs were legal and taxed +
Even a stoner can see that adds up to a pretty huge number.If you look to history, you should be mad.
- Mad enough to protect patient’s rights and stop penalizing dispensaries and states like Montana that passed medical marijuana laws with 81% of the vote. If you keep trumping state laws you lay the seedlings of civil strife. You endorsed gay marriage b/c you know it’s ridiculous to be legally married in Vermont and not recognized as married in Tennessee…..It’s the same with marijuana.
- Mad enough to fight for clean energy in the form of hemp ethanol.
- Mad enough to understand what a civil liberty is and that it needs protecting, what I do in the privacy of my own home to recreate, what I put in my body is none of your goddamn business. In the words of the late great MCA from the Beastie Boys, my friend Adam Yauch. You gotta get mad enough to… fight for your right to party!!
The cannabis sativa plant could once again be the key strategic and economic commodity of our time. It’s one plant. It must be freed in its entirety…. to once again serve us a fuel and medicine. Once freed it can help once again to build America economically. So Mr. President hear my plea to Free the Weed. Say it with me Free the Weed! Free the Weed!! Free the Weed!!
- Stop creating crimes in this country in order to punish them.
- Stop creating crimes in this country in order to profit from them. Yes, I have seen the future and it is in the past.
- Let us go back to grow our own fuel.
- Let us go back to growing our own medicine.
- Let us enjoy the pursuit of happiness unencumbered by your special interests.Let us be free to enjoy the weed God put here for us to enjoy.
God Bless you all and God Bless America.
Information about Greta Gaines, courtesy of NORML:
Greta Gaines is a newcomer to the movement of legalizing marijuana. Having spent the last 20 years immersed in the extreme sports and rock n roll world, however, she has been smoking and thinking about smoking pot for a very long time. As a musician, download favorites from iTunes such as the bong anthem “Wake Up Happy,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “I’m High” have all delved into Gaines’s fascination with Cannabis. In fact she likes to think of herself as being one of those consistently putting the “Her” in “Herbal.” For fun, when she can find the time, between mothering, music, touring, snowboarding and fly-fishing, Gaines spends time with her alter ego “Gigi Ganjay,” Host of America’s Premier Stoner Crafts and Low-Cal Snacks show that airs on www.CANNIBUZZ.com.
[Greta Gaines is a southern rock musician who has made four albums. She is also a television host; she hosted Free Ridewith Greta Gaines on Oxygen for three years and has been a correspondent on ESPN2. She is also an internationally recognized pro-snowboarder and fly fisherman; she was the Women's World Extreme Snowboard Champion '92.]
APPROVAL has been stalled for Tasmanian farmers who are keen to produce commercial
crops of hemp seed as a food source.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said the growers had expected the Council of Australian Governments to give its approval after Food Standards Australia and New Zealand had approved the use of low tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, hemp seeds.
``COAG instead has just referred the matter to the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Services, composed of all police ministers and a local government representative, '' Ms Davis said.
She said it seemed odd it should do this when FSANZ had already actively sought input from police in each state.
``There had been ample opportunity for police to object to hemp food and provide a basis for any objection, '' she said.
The TFGA's Phil Reader, who is also president of the Industrial Hemp Association of Tasmania, said the news was a great disappointment.
``We will not give up. We remain confident we will get this industry going, '' he said.
About 60 hectares of industrial hemp is under cultivation in Tasmania, mainly in the North and North-West, with the seed processed in Victoria for use in cosmetics.Hemp is cultivated in Australia and New Zealand under strict licensing arrangements to make fibre, textiles, paper and building materials. New Zealand already permits hemp seed oil to be sold as a food.
The TFGA considers hemp grown for food as a real diversification option for Tasmanian farmers.
Recent calls by high-ranking Kentucky officeholders to legalize industrial hemp have put the spotlight on the crop and what it might mean for Bluegrass State farmers. Both U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer say they want to see federal and state law changed to allow farmers to grow hemp legally.
WKU agriculture professor Todd Willian says legalizing hemp at the state level could create a clash with federal drug laws.
“If hemp was legalized for experimental usage in the state, it would still be under federal jurisdiction because it’s a schedule one narcotic. So that brings up all kinds of issues,” says Professor Willian.
Schedule one drugs are illegal to manufacture and sell.
WKU Public Radio is currently pursuing a feature story about the possible economic merits of legalizing hemp. We'll post that story at our website and Facebook page as soon as it's ready.
Most of the attention given to hemp’s economic potential centers around ways hemp fibers can be used to make clothing and rope. But Professor Willian says hemp seeds could also be used to produce food for humans and animals, as well as cosmetics, paints, and inks.
The growing of hemp is legal in many parts of the world, including Canada, Europe, and parts of Asia.
Roger Ford, CEO of Patriot Bioenergy Group, David Hadland, President of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, and Craig Lee, a member of Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission.
An alternative energy company looking to build multiple energy beet-to-biofuel plants in Kentucky recently became the first corporation to join the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association. Although federal rules currently prohibit the growth of hemp in the U.S., Patriot Bioenergy Corp. sees value in industrial hemp for biomass blending with bituminous coal for power generation as well as a possible cellulosic feedstock for biofuels.
Patriot Bioenergy plans to first build a 4 MMgy energy beet and waste sugar biofuel plant in Williamsburg, Ky., followed by a 4 MMgy plant in Columbia, Ky., and a 2 MMgy facility in Pikeville, Ky. The company is considering ethanol or possibly butanol production, CEO Roger Ford told Ethanol Producer Magazine.
On Dec. 10 the company announced it would undertake a preliminary research study on blending hemp pellets with coal. The company would also explore the possibility of growing the plant on post-mining reclamation and marginal land in Kentucky. The goal is to complete laboratory testing and issue a report by February 2013. "While Patriot is an alternative energy company, part of our goal is to create synergies with coal, natural gas, and bioamss to increase competitiveness and more opportunities in an increasingly challenging market,” Ford said. “In addition, the potential for farm-based power generation, through gasification of used horse bedding, is also a potential facet to be explored, which will reduce a waste disposal issues for the horse industry.”
Hemp has been classified incorrectly as a narcotic, Ford said, adding that it has no value as a drug. Industrial hemp has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. Kentucky has a long history of growing hemp, particularly during WWII, and Ford would like to see Kentucky and Patriot Bioenergy became modern leaders in growing the crop.
The company’s interest in hemp is multifaceted, as the plant can be used to create multiple products, ranging from biodiesel from hemp seed oil to clothing or rope from the fibers. The vision is that hemp could help the company generate revenue from multiple sources as part of its energy park concept. Hemp has a high yield per acre, meaning it can produce large amounts of biomass on a smaller footprint. “That’s the most attractive thing about this,” Ford said.
Although a few states, such as North Dakota, have registered farmers to grow industrial hemp, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration could still hold U.S. farmers criminally liable under the Controlled Substance Act. Equipment or land used to grow hemp could be seized under civil forfeiture laws, said Tom Murphy, national outreach coordinator for Vote Hemp, a nonprofit organization working toward acceptance of low THC oilseed and fiber varieties of cannabis.
In a few states, such as North Dakota, farmers are registered to grow hemp, but federal hurdles remain and tractors or land used to grow hemp could be seized under civil forfeiture. “Nobody is willing to literally bet the farm to find out [what would happen if they planted hemp,]” Murphy told EPM. In 2011, bills were introduced in the U.S. House and Senate, in an effort to legalize the growth of hemp, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Efforts to reintroduce similar bills in 2013 are ongoing.
In other news, Patriot Bioenergy is planning to establish a nonprofit energy/sugar beet growers cooperative in the Cumberland Valley Area Development District region of Kentucky. The beets are Roundup Ready and are part of trials being conducted with Betaseed Corp. The company wants to see farmers immediately begin producing the beets, which can be utilized as a livestock feed supplement for local cattle ranchers and, eventually, as a feedstock for the proposed biofuel plants. "Our hope is that we can bring farmers to the table, show them the viability of the crop, and lay the groundwork for future growth," said Terry Saylor, director of agriculture operations for Patriot Bioenergy.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding recreational and medical cannabis legalization efforts across the country. Hopefully legalizing industrial hemp gets more discussion as a result. I know the two are scientifically different, but their reform efforts have a lot of overlap.
Below is a video created by Vote Hemp supporting Hemp History Week 2013:
Hemp is a low THC variety of the plant Cannabis sativa, which is also known as marijuana. While marijuana is psychoactive and imparts a high, hemp does not do so. You cannot get high using hemp in any manner, regardless of the quantity.
Hemp is a crop that has been grown since antiquity, and the fiber made from hemp cloth is a major component of the U.S. Constitution, the original United States flags, and virtually all sail cloth up until the last fifty years or so. Henry Ford once built a car, the body of which was made largely of hemp plastic, which was as strong as steel.
During World War II, the United States had a nationwide program and government-sponsored black and white film entitled “Hemp for Victory,” which implored all American farmers to grow hemp as a crop to supply the U.S. military with badly needed rope, cordage and cloth. To an extent, hemp made a great contribution to the Allied war effort in World War II.
Hemp provides high quality fiber for the purposes of cord and cloth, and makes an excellent source of biomass for ethanol production. Hemp clothing is almost impossible to wear out, and hemp paper is remarkably strong and durable. Hemp does not require pesticides to thrive, making it an excellent crop from an environmental standpoint. Though the plant’s cultivation is not allowed in the U.S., it is cultivated in China, Canada, Chile and North Korea on a commercial scale, and so hemp products are available on the world market.
When mature, hemp yields an abundance of seeds. In India, I have seen sacks of these seeds in the markets, where people purchase them to cook into vegetables to boost the taste and nutritional value of a wide variety of dishes. In parts of Siberia and far northwestern China, I have driven past vast tracts of hemp that stretch on for hundreds of miles at a time. Today in the U.S., hemp seed products – such as so-called “hemp nuts,” hemp seed butters, hemp seed energy bars, hemp seed meal, hemp oil and even hemp seed milks – are widely available in natural food stores.
Hemp seed has a pleasing flavor, not dissimilar from many other nuts. Rich in complete protein and an excellent source of healthy oils – including vegetarian omega-3 fatty acids – hemp provides superior nutrition with very good taste. Hemp protein is high in globulins, types of proteins that enhance the immune system. Hemp seed butters, much like peanut or almond butters, can be used liberally on toast or employed in baked goods. The primary difference with hemp butter is its rich green color.
Hemp oil is also available today and makes a very good addition to salad dressings or in cooking. The oil has a pleasant, nutty flavor and is a versatile food. Hemp seed milks are beneficial to those who are lactose intolerant but still enjoy a “milk” of some type in cereal or coffee. Hemp seed milk is good as a base in a smoothie.
Many websites provide recipes for incorporating hemp seed products into the daily diet. You can find recipes for baked goods, desserts and other foods through a quick search.
Hemp seed is low in sodium, contains absolutely no cholesterol, is a good source of the mineral zinc, and provides a total of about 175 calories in 30 grams of shelled nuts. You will find many good hemp seed products on the market. Incorporating hemp in your diet can boost your nutrition and make a valuable contribution to your health.
Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer In Residence. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide. His field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France.
by Bud Fairy Source: ozarkia.net
Sula Io > Q: What is hemp? Just another word for marijuana?
Yeah, and that's one of the things that happened in 1937. Cannabis Hemp was one of history's most widely used plants. Tincture of Cannabis was the basis for almost every patent medicine prior to the discovery of aspirin. Hemp was used for rope, twine, and cloth. Sailing ships were loaded with hemp. The word "canvas" is derived from "cannabis", because that's what canvas was. Sails were made of hemp because salt water deteriorated cotton. Old sails were made into wagon covers and ultimately original Levi's Jeans. And the pressed oil from hemp seeds was used for paints and varnishes. Everyone knew what hemp was. But nobody knew what marijuana was.
Basically, it came down to this. America in the 1900's saw two powerful rivals, agriculture and industry, faced off over several multi-billion dollar markets. When Rudolph Diesel produced his engine in 1896, he'd assumed it would run off of vegetable and seed oils, especially hemp, which is superior to petroleum. Just think about that for a second. A fuel that can be grown by our farmers that is superior to foreign oil. What a lot of history would have been rewritten!
Ok. So we have an elite group of special interests dominated by Du Pont petrochemical company and it's major financial backer and key political ally, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. Mellon was a banker who took over Gulf Oil Corporation. In 1913, Henry Ford opened his first auto assembly line, and Gulf Oil opened its first drive-in gas station. In 1919, with ethanol fuel poised to compete with gasoline, Alcohol Prohibition descended on the nation. Lucky Mellon. When President Harding made him Secretary of the Treasury, he was considered the richest man in America. In the 1920's, Mellon arranged for his bank to loan his buddies as Du Pont money to take over General Motors. Du Pont had developed new gasoline additives and the sulfate and sulfite process that made trees into paper.
In the 1930's, Ford Motor Company operated a successful biomass fuel conversion plant using cellulose at Iron Mountain, Michigan. Ford engineers extracted methanol, charcoal fuel, tar, pitch ethyl-acetate and creosote from hemp. The same fundamental ingredients for industry were also being made from fossil fuels.
During the same period, Du Pont was developing cellophane, nylon, and dacron from from fossil fuels. Du Pont held the patents on many synthetics and became a leader in the development of paint, rayon, synthetic rubber, plastics, chemicals, photographic film, insecticides and agricultural chemicals.
From the Du Pont 1937 Annual Report we find a clue to what started to happen next: "The revenue raising power of government may be converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reoganization".
Ok, enter William Randolph Hearst. Hearst's company was a major consumer of the cheap tree-pulp paper that had replaced hemp paper in the late 19th century. The Hearst Corporation was also a major logging company, and produced Du Pont's chemical-drenched tree pulp paper, which yellowed and fell apart after a short time. Fueled by the advertising sold to the petrochemical industries, Hearst Newspapers were also known for their sensationalist stories. Hearst despised poor people, black people, chinese, hindus, and all other minorities. Most of all he hated Mexicans. Pancho Villa's cannabis-smoking troops had reclaimed some 800,000 acres of prime timberland from Hearst in the name of the mexican peasants. And all of the low-quality paper the company planned to make by deforesting it's vast timber holdings were in danger of being replaced by low-cost, high quality paper made from hemp.
Hearst had always supported any kind of prohibition, and now he wanted cannabis included in every anti-narcotics bill. Never mind that cannabis wasn't a narcotic. Facts weren't important. The important thing was to have it completely removed from society, doctors, and industry.
Around 1920 or so, a new word arose - "Marihuana". Through screaming headlines and horror stories,"marihuana" was blamed for murderous rampages by blacks and mexicans. Hearst continued to use his power of the press to impress on his readers the dangers of the "marihuana" plant.
When the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was formed in 1932, Mellon's nephew Harry Anslinger was appointed its head, a job in Mellon's treasury department that was created just for him. Treasury agents were beginning to operate on their own agenda. Deep in the throes of the depression, congress began to reexamine all federal agencies. Anslinger began to fear that his department was in danger of emasculation. Although worldwide, hemp was still big business, in 1935 the Treasury Department began secretly drafting a bill called The Marihuana Tax Act. The Treasury Department's general counsul Herman Oliphant was put in charge of writing something that could get past both Congress and the Court disguised as a tax revenue bill.
Congress wasn't all that interested in the matter, seeing as all the information they had to work with was what was provided to them by Anslinger. They deliberately collected horror stories on the evils of marihuana pulled primarily from the Hearst newspapers, called Anslinger's Gore Files. Crimes that had never happened at all were being attributed to marihuana.
So, in 1937, Anslinger went before a poorly attended committee hearing and called for a total ban on marihuana. He stated under oath "This drug is entirely the monster Hyde, the harmful effects of which cannot be measured". Bureaucrats planned the hearings to avoid the discussion of the full House and presented the measure in the guise of a tax revenue bill brought to the six member House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Du Pont ally Robert Doughton of North Carolina. This bypassed the House without further hearings and passed it over to the Senate Finance Committee, controlled by another ally, Prentiss Brown of Michigan, where it was rubber stamped into law. Once on the books, Anslinger would "administer" the licensing process to make sure that no more commercial hemp was ever grown in the United States. Clinton Hesterm assistant general counsel for the Department of the Treasury, explained to the House Committee " The leading newspapers of the United States have recognized the seriousness of this problem and have advocated federal legislation to control.. marihuana...The marijuana cigarette is one of the most insidious of all forms of dope, largely because of the failure of the public to understand its fatal qualities."
Young Jamaican girls enjoying a toke.
At the last minute, a few pro-hemp witnesses showed up. Most of the confusion came from the using of the word "marihuana". Most people had no idea that "marihuana", merely a slang word taken from a drinking song celebrating Pancho Villa's victory, "La Cucaracha", was the same thing as cannabis hemp, a plant which had been an important crop since the founding of the country. Ralph Loziers of the National Oil Seed Institute showed up representing paint manufacturers and lubrication oil processors, and stated that hempseed was an essential commodity. Dr. William C. Woodward of the American Medical Association spoke in defense of cannabis medicines and in protest of the way the bill was handled. Woodward complained that there was no certain data that marihuana use had increased, and stated that if it had, the "newspaper exploitation of the habit had done more to increase it than anything else". Asked point blank if he thought federal legislation was necessary, he replied "I do not .. it is not a medical addiction that is involved." Woodward went on to criticize the way the word "marihuana" had been used to deliberately confuse the medical and industrial hemp communities. "In all you have heard here thus far, no mention has been made of any excessive use of the drug or its excessive distribution by any pharmacist. And yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the doctors and pharmacists of the country, and may I say very heavily - most heavily, possibly of all - on the farmers of this country... We can not understand yet ... why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any initiative, even to the profession, that it was being prepared ... no medical man would identify this bill with a medicine until he read it through, because marijuana is not a drug, ... simply a name given cannabis."
A few days later, Representative Fred Vinson of Kentucky was asked to summarize the AMA's position. He lied to the effect that the medical group's legislative counsul (Woodward) "Not only gave this measure full support, but also the approval from the AMA."
The act passed without a roll call vote. Now we can see why it was prepared in secret - passage of the Act put all hemp industries firmly under the control of the very special interests that most benefited from its repression over the years - prohibition police and bureaucrats working in collusion with the petrochemical companies, the timber companies, the alcohol and tobacco industries, the pharmaceutical drug companies, and today, the urine testing, property seizure, police and prison industries.
In that same year, 1937, Du Pont filed its patent on Nylon, a synthetic fiber that took over many of the textile and cordage markets that would have gone to hemp. More than half the American cars on the road were built by GM, which guaranteed Du Pont a captive market for paints, varnishes, plastics, and rubber, all which could have been made from hemp. Furthermore, all GM cars would subsequently be designed to use tetra-ethyl leaded fuel exclusively, which contained additives that Du Pont manufactured. All competition from hemp had been outlawed. The historical essay above was written by Bud Fairy and originally published on SF Net, the coffee house network. The HTML version - with emphasis, pictures and minor editing - was done by Hogeye Bill.
Hemp oil can be extracted from the seed of the hemp plant, which contains between 30-35% oil by weight, which is high in essential fatty acids. The plant can also be pressed for oil. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is light green, with a nutty, grassy flavour.
Refined hemp oil is clear with little flavor. It is widely used in body care products, lubricants, paints and industrial uses. Antimicrobial properties make it a useful ingredient for soaps, shampoos and detergents. The oil is of high nutritional value because its 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids matches the balance required by the human body. It has also received attention in recent years as a possible source of biodiesel. There are a number of organisations that promote the production and use of hemp oil.
Hemp seed oil reduces inflammation of skin and joints contains pain killing and anti nausea properties contains anti oxidants vitamin E helps heal skin lesions and dry skin. It contains pain-killing and anti-nausea properties. Hempseed oil is high in levels of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids but low in levels of saturated fats and also contains the natural anti-oxidant vitamin E and sterols which blocks cholesterol absorption.
30-35% of the weight of hempseed is oil. The proportions of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in hempseed oil meet human requirements for EFAs. Unlike flax oil and others, hempseed oil can be used continuously without developing a deficiency or other imbalance of EFAs. Unfortunately the unsaturated fat makes the oil rancid quickly, unless it is stored in dark coloured bottles or mixed with chemical preservatives.
This makes hemp oil difficult to transport or store. Cold-pressed hempseed oil is nutritionally superior to olive or flax oil, and so, makes a great alternative in salads, smoothies, and other non-frying uses.
Hemp seed oil can be used for cooking, making soaps and aromatherapy products.
Hemp is illegal to freely grow in the US and several other countries because the plant is related to marijuana. In such countries, hemp is imported from China and the Philippines. The US is the only industrialized country where hemp is illegal to grow.
Hempseed oil helps heal skin lesions and dry skin Reduces inflammation of skin and joints Contains pain-killing and anti-nausea properties. Hempseed oil is high in levels of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids but low in levels of saturated fats and also contains the natural anti-oxidant vitamin E and sterols which blocks cholesterol absorption. Hempseed oil can be used for cooking,making soaps and aromatherapy products. Hempseed Oil is a ingredient in anti-inflammatory skin care products because it has a low amount of saturated fatty acids and a high amount of the polyunsaturated essential fatty acids Hempseed is a tiny nut, that contains about 20 to 35 percent protein, 20 to 30 percent carbohydrates and 10 to 15 percent insoluble fiber. Phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium and other minerals are also found in hempseed oil.
Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 734,000 individuals per year.
Synergy: the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.; synergism.
Word Origin & History synergy 1660, "cooperation," from Mod.L. synergia, from Gk. synergia "joint work, assistance, help," from synergos "working together," related to synergein "work together, help another in work," from syn- "together" + ergon "work" (see urge (v.)). Meaning "combined activities of a group" is from 1847.
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."-- Einstein
Industrial hemp lacks the THC content found in the medicinal variety. But it possesses other virtues which make it useful-- particularly in light of our problem with fuel, carbon and climate and biodiversity.
One step toward systematic carbon sequestration would be large-scale planting of hemp. It grows on marginal land which is unsuitable for crops. It sequesters carbon.
But it also provides a fiber which replaces wood pulp in paper and petroleum in synthetics. Instead of cutting down forests which sequester carbon, hemp is a constructive alternative. Presently, the Koch brothers are enriching themselves and backing the GOP by cutting down our forests for toilet paper-- which is worse, it's hard to say.
Biodiversity would also be enhanced from reducing clear cutting, and hemp doesn't need herbicides or pesticides widely used on other crops which injure and limit biodiversity-- it grows like a weed.
In addition, hemp oil is a ready-made diesel fuel. Farmers could grow their own fuel instead of buying it from despots, extortionists, sponsors of terrorism, or corporations. I realize that's redundant.
Thus the quotes above. Large-scale hemp cultivation offers a synergistic solution to the conflict between climate change and petroleum-based fuel so critical to present-day transportation. It saves the forests presently being harvested for paper, and helps preserve biodiversity critical to our own existence.
It sequesters carbon and puts it in the ground as used paper, soaking up some of the CO2 contributing to warming the planet and creating extreme weather events.
It replaces carcinogenic petro-diesel with non-carcinogenic fuel. It helps reduce dependence on oil companies and foreign sources.
It doesn't require pesticides and herbicides which are also made from petroleum.
Now that it's legal in two states, cultivation could help solve climate change, which the Dept. of Defense has cited as the number one threat to US security.
Legalizing and cultivating hemp is a synergy devoutly to be wished, win-win, greater than the sum of its parts.
And finally, it breaks out of the paternalistic and puritanic nanny-state thinking that ties us all to obsolete technologies and domination of government by oil companies, drug cartels, military deployment and banks which seek to prevent constructive solutions-- and makes something criminal which is not a crime. George Washington grew it, so can we.