First published in the 1991 Wellness Directory of Minnesota™.
Since then, many things have shown up that can replace trees, such as coconut husk waste. Albeit, hemp is one of the most versatile plants in the world, so read on!
In problem solving, we learn that looking at the problem from a different angle will oftentimes result in solutions. As Americans, we are constantly bombarded by the problems of our nation on every evening newscast; from unemployment, to rising medical costs, to air pollution, to the ever increasing debt. No one solution will appear for all of these, however solutions are not that hard to find for many of them, if we can look at the problems differently.
There is a wonderful weed that has no natural insect enemies in the US, grows in every state, requires little care, and has over 50,000 uses, from clothing and paper, to oil (replacing fossil fuels) and plastics, and even makes TNT.
The plant was outlawed in 1937. It is this writer’s opinion that the plant was outlawed solely for economic reasons; it was cutting into the profits of certain industries, the lumber and textile industries being foremost.
The plant is Hemp. When it was outlawed, every farmer in America wore a pair of Levi’s® jeans made from hemp.
It was a stroke of genius that created the movement to outlaw this wonderful weed; the people heading up the movement called the plant by its Mexican name, marijuana. Next, they used a bucketful of racism.
Cannabis is not just a drug. It is a plant — a plant with an amazing history. The word canvas comes from cannabis. I’m sure many of you have all heard about the research on marijuana use: brain damage, lesions in the lungs, a stepping stone to more dangerous drugs, and chromosome damage, but we recommend you do some reading; lots of reading, because for every assertion there is a counter assertion. There is a book out called The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer which documents the history of cannabis. The book is well documented, but find a magnifying glass; some of the documents supplied are photocopied to fit on the smaller pages.
A lot of the research conducted on smoking marijuana has proven to be unscientific and invalid. The most significant damage to the body of a marijuana smoker is bronchitis, which goes away if the smoker quits. Even though the researchers and the government have admitted that their studies were wrong, the results of these studies are still being promulgated by teachers and political leaders. Organizations still continue to produce papers on the dangers of smoking marijuana, and though no objective, scientific study has ever shown marijuana to be dangerous, you will continue to hear the old story that it leads to more dangerous drugs (like milk leads to alcohol abuse, because every alcoholic once drank milk), and that marijuana is addictive.
THC, the drug in cannabis, is like any drug; it affects every person differently. To an addictive personality, chocolate is addictive. We know nicotine is addictive, don’t we? But is marijuana use dangerous to the user? Let’s look at the figures (from 1991).
[Get the Most Recent Statistics @ DrugWarFacts.org]
That’s right, nobody had ever died from a marijuana overdose in 1991 and that is true even in 2019, in fact, research shows that it would take 10,000 times the amount needed to affect a human being, to kill a mouse.
Dangerous drug? In 1943, because our supply of hemp products from Japan had been cut off, President Roosevelt repealed the prohibition against hemp, and produced the movie Hemp for Victory urging farmers to grow hemp for the war effort. Hemp was so important that the farmers and their families were excused from the draft. Even the members of the 4 H clubs of America were asked to grow at least a third of an acre of it, and if possible, two acres; this plant called just 5 years earlier “The Assassin of Youth.”
Some Interesting Facts: Ben Franklin started one of the first American paper mills using hemp. The Gutenberg Bible and the first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper. Old Glory, our flag, was made from hemp fibers. With prohibition, bird lovers of America pressed congress to put back hemp seeds in their bird seed because the birds had quit singing (research shows that birds will pick hemp seeds out of bird seed: that they live longer and breed more with hemp seed in their diet). Queen Victoria used cannabis resins for menstrual cramps and PMS. Hemp seed produces omega-3 essential fatty acids that clear arteries of cholesterol and plaque and boost the immune system. An acre of cannabis produces more protein (from the seeds) than an acre of soy beans. When President George Herbert Walker Bush bailed out of his aircraft in WWII, his parachute webbing was made from hemp.
Energy independence and over 50,000 useful products (including building materials that replace trees) would come from repealing the ban on hemp, but what’s the answer when you confront the bureaucracy? “It’s illegal.”
“Growing” energy would put a good portion of the American economy into the pockets of the American farmer (because cannabis has no natural insect enemies, all hemp is grown without the need for pesticides), but because the farmers presently haven’t got the resources of the oil companies, the drug industry, the tobacco industry, the textile industry, and the lumber and paper industries, you can bet the prohibition will continue. Those with the money will do anything to keep it.
If you want to stop the violence, the insanity, and the cruelty, you know who to write. Do it today.
In states where a form of marijuana has been legalized, whether medicinal or recreational, opioid addiction is down. There are still those old farts who believe marijuana to be a gateway drug, and you can bet they’re running for office, but as more and more studies are approved and people start studying CBD oil, the non “high” oil from hemp and marijuana, we will be reporting the facts.
When we strip away our preconceived notions and prejudices, we’re facing this beautiful concept called the truth. And the truth will out.
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