Get on our mailing list and make a difference. We never share your email address with anyone.
Hemp is a plant that can be used to produce thousands of products. Hemp is of the same plant species that produces marijuana; its scientific name is Cannabis Sativa. Hemp has been used for thousands of years to produce products like paper, textiles, oil, rope, and canvas. In fact, the word canvas is derived from the word cannabis. Hemp grown for industrial use is very low in THC (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana), thus making industrial hemp useless as a drug. Although marijuana is most commonly known as a recreational drug, marijuana also has many medicinal uses.
· On an annual basis, 1 acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as 2 to 3 acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is stronger and softer than cotton, lasts twice as long as cotton, and will not mildew. Many textile products (shirts, jackets, pants, backpacks, etc.) made from 100% hemp are now available.
· Cotton grows only in moderate climates and requires more water than hemp; but hemp is frost tolerant, requires only moderate amounts of water, and grows in all 50 states. Cotton requires large quantities of pesticides and herbicides—50% of the world’s pesticides/herbicides are used on cotton. But hemp requires no pesticides, no herbicides, and only moderate amounts of fertilizer.
· On an annual basis, 1 acre of hemp will produce as much paper as 2 to 4 acres of trees. From tissue paper to cardboard, all types of paper products can be produced from hemp. Global demand for paper will double within 25 years. Unless tree-free sources of paper are developed, there is no way to meet future paper demand without causing massive deforestation and environmental damage. Cannabis Hemp is the world’s most promising source of tree-free paper.
· The quality of hemp paper is superior to tree-based paper. Hemp paper will last hundreds of years without degrading, can be recycled many more times than tree-based paper, and requires less toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process than does paper made from trees.
Cannabis Hemp can be used to produce
fiberboard that is stronger than wood, lighter than wood, and
fire retardant. Substituting hemp fiberboard for timber would
further reduce the need to cut down our forests. Hemp can also be used to
produce strong, durable and environmentally-friendly plastic substitutes.
Thousands of products made from petroleum-based plastics can be produced from
hemp-based composites. Mercedes Benz of
· It takes years for trees to grow until they can be harvested for paper or wood, but hemp is ready for harvesting only 120 days after it is planted. Hemp can grow on most land suitable for farming, but forests and tree farms require large tracts of land available in few locations. Harvesting hemp rather than trees would also eliminate erosion due to logging, thereby reducing topsoil loss and water pollution caused by soil runoff.
· Hemp seed oil contains a protein that is as nutritious and more economical to produce than soybean protein. Hemp seeds are not intoxicating. Hemp seed oil/protein can be used to produce virtually any product made from soybean: tofu, veggie burgers, butter, cheese, salad oils, ice cream, milk, etc. Hemp seed can also be ground into a nutritious flour that can be used to produce baked goods such as pasta, cookies, and breads.
· Hemp seed oil can be used to produce non-toxic diesel fuel, paint, varnish, detergent, ink and lubricating oil. Because hemp seeds account for up to half the weight of a mature hemp plant, hemp seed is a viable source for these products.
· Just as corn can be converted into clean-burning ethanol fuel, so can hemp. Because hemp produces more biomass than any plant species (including corn) that can grow in a wide range of climates and locations, hemp has great potential to become a major source of ethanol fuel.
Literally millions of wild hemp
plants currently grow throughout the
· From 1776 to 1937, hemp was a major American crop and textiles made from hemp were common. Yet, The American Textile Museum, The Smithsonian Institute, and most American history books contain no mention of hemp. The government’s War on Marijuana Smokers has created an atmosphere of self censorship—speaking of hemp in a positive manner is considered taboo.
· No other natural resource offers the potential of hemp. Cannabis Hemp is capable of producing significant quantities of paper, textiles, building materials, food, medicine, paint, detergent, varnish, oil, ink, and fuel. Unlike other crops, Cannabis Hemp can grow in most climates and on most farmland throughout the world, with moderate water and fertilizer requirements, no pesticides, and no herbicides. Cannabis Hemp (also known as Indian Hemp) has enormous potential to become a major natural resource that can benefit both the economy and the environment.
· “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
—President George Washington, 1794
Fibers needed to make
rope, textiles and other materials were in such short supply during World War
II, the U.S. government temporarily re-legalized hemp cultivation so American
farmers could grow it for the war effort. Although the government allowed
more than 350,000 acres (550 square miles) of hemp to be cultivated during World
War II, the
The surrounding images
are from the 1942 U.S.
Many prohibitionists discredit the need for a hemp industry because they fear hemp is being used as a vehicle to re-legalize marijuana. The facts must be judged on their own merit. The economic and environmental benefits of hemp are very real. There are literally thousands of American farmers who want to grow industrial hemp. The repeal of Hemp Prohibition is also advocated by numerous major farm organizations, including the conservative 4.5-million-member American Farm Bureau. Many businesses are now producing hemp-based products and some large American corporations (International Paper, Inc.) are beginning to advocate the repeal of Hemp Prohibition.
It is entirely possible
to repeal Hemp Prohibition without re-legalizing marijuana because Cannabis Hemp
grown for industrial use has no drug properties.
in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of
relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with
safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable,
arbitrary and capricious for the
its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances
known. In strict medical terms, marijuana is safer than many
foods we commonly consume." Judge Young recommended that
Although the federal
government claims marijuana has no appropriate medicinal use, the federal
government contradicts itself by supplying government-grown, F
For the first 162 years
marijuana was banned by The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, new technologies were
developed that made hemp a potential competitor with the newly-founded synthetic
fiber and plastics industries. Hemp’s potential for producing paper also
posed a threat to the timber industry (see New Billion-
Prohibition ended in 1933, funding for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the
Before the government began promoting reefer madness hysteria during the 1930s, the word marijuana was a Mexican word that was totally absent from the American vocabulary. In the 1930s, Americans knew that hemp was a common, useful, and harmless crop. It is extremely unlikely anyone would have believed hemp was dangerous, or would have believed stories of hemp madness. Thus, the words marijuana and reefer were substituted for the word hemp in order to frighten the public into supporting Hemp Prohibition. Very few people realized that marijuana and hemp came from the same plant species; thus, virtually nobody knew that Marijuana Prohibition would destroy the hemp industry.
Bolstering the theory
that marijuana was banned to destroy the hemp industry, two articles were
written on the eve of Marijuana Prohibition that claim hemp was on the verge of
becoming a super crop. These articles appeared in two well-respected
magazines that are still published today. The articles are: Flax
and Hemp: From the Seed to the Loom (Mechanical Engineering,
Feb. 1937) and New Billion-
This was the first time that billion dollar was used to describe the value of a crop. These articles praise the usefulness and potential of hemp by stating “hemp can be used to produce more than 25,000 products” and “hemp will prove, for both farmer and public, the most profitable and desirable crop that can be grown.” Hemp Prohibition took effect within one year after both these articles were written.
American farmers are promised a new cash crop with an annual value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has been invented that solves a problem more than 6,000 years old.
It is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by underpaid coolie and peasant labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers throughout the land.
The machine that makes this possible is designed for removing the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without prohibitive amounts of human labor.
Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than 77 percent cellulose, which can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.
Machines now in service
From the farmer's point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from three to six tons per acre on any land that will grow corn, wheat, or oats. It can be grown in any state of the Union. It has a short growing season, so that it can be planted after other crops are in. The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for next year's crop. The dense shock of leaves, eight to twelve feet above the ground, chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land that has been abandoned because of Canadian thistles or quack grass.
From this point on, almost anything can happen. The raw fiber can be used to produce strong twine or rope, woven into burlap, used for carpet warp or linoleum backing, or it may be bleached and refined, with resinous by-products of high commercial value. It can, in fact, be used to replace foreign fibers which now flood our markets.
Thousands of tons of
hemp hurds are used every year by one large powder company for the manufacture
of dynamite and TNT. A large paper company, which has been paying more
than a million dollars a year in duties on foreign-made cigarette papers, now is
manufacturing these papers from American hemp grown in
It is generally believed
that all linen is produced from flax. Actually, the majority comes from
hemp--authorities estimate that more than half of our imported linen fabrics are
manufactured from hemp fiber. Another misconception is that burlap is made
from hemp. Actually, its source is usually jute, and practically all of
the burlap we use is woven from laborers in
All of these products, now imported, can be produced from home-grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen, and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on American farms. Our imports of foreign fabrics and fibers average about $200 million per year; in raw fibers alone we imported over $50 million in the first six months of 1937. All of this income can be made available for Americans.
The paper industry offers even greater possibilities. As an industry it amounts to over $1 billion a year, and of that, 80 percent is imported. But hemp will produce every grade of paper and government figures estimate that 10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average pulp land.
One obstacle in the onward march of hemp is the reluctance of farmers to try new crops. The problem is complicated by the need for proper equipment a reasonable distance from the farm. The machine cannot be operated profitably unless there is enough acreage within driving range and farmers cannot find a profitable market unless there is machinery to handle the crop.
Another obstacle is that the blossom of the female hemp plant contains marijuana, a narcotic, and it is impossible to grow hemp without producing the blossom. Federal regulations now being drawn up require registration of hemp growers, and tentative proposals for preventing narcotic production are rather stringent.
“…the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems to be exaggerated.”
However, the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems to be exaggerated. The drug is usually produced from wild hemp or locoweed, which can be found on vacant lots and along railroad tracks in every state. If federal regulations can be drawn to protect the public without preventing the legitimate culture of hemp, this vast new crop can add immeasurably to American agriculture and industry.
Myth: Today’s marijuana is more potent—therefore more harmful—than it was many years ago.
Fact: There is no medical evidence that shows high-potency marijuana is more harmful than low-potency marijuana. Marijuana is literally one of the least toxic substances known. High-potency marijuana may actually be preferable to low-potency marijuana because less marijuana is consumed to obtain the desired effect; thereby reducing the amount of smoke that enters the lungs and lowering the risk of any respiratory health hazards. Claiming that high-potency marijuana is more harmful than low-potency marijuana is like claiming wine is more harmful than beer.
Myth: Smoking marijuana can cause cancer and serious lung damage.
Fact: The chance of contracting cancer from marijuana smoke is minuscule. Tobacco smokers typically smoke 20+ cigarettes every day for decades, but virtually nobody smokes marijuana in the quantity and frequency required to cause cancer. A 1997 UCLA study (see page 12) concluded that even prolonged and heavy marijuana smoking causes no serious lung damage. Cancer risks from common foods (meat, salt, dairy products) far exceed any cancer risk posed by smoking marijuana. Respiratory health hazards and cancer risks can be totally eliminated by ingesting marijuana via baked foods or tincture.
Myth: Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, thus proving that marijuana is dangerous.
Fact: Coffee contains 1,500 chemicals. Rat poison contains only 30 chemicals. Many vegetables contain cancer-causing chemicals. There is no correlation between the number of chemicals a substance contains and its toxicity. Prohibitionists often cite this misleading statistic to make marijuana appear dangerous.
Myth: Marijuana is a gateway drug—it leads to harder drugs.
Myth: Marijuana is addicting.
Fact: Marijuana is not physically addicting. Medical studies rank marijuana as less habit forming than caffeine. The legal drugs of tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine, but marijuana is one of the least habit forming substances known.
Myth: Marijuana use impairs learning ability.
Myth: Marijuana is a significant cause of emergency room admissions.
officers raided the house of a suspected marijuana dealer in
Prohibition is the
number one cause of
Reducing drug abuse is a desirable goal, but law enforcement methods used to obtain that goal are counterproductive. Prohibition costs billions to enforce, creates a black market that generates violence and corruption, and makes criminals out of millions of productive and harmless adults. Adult use of alcohol and tobacco is accepted, but adult use of marijuana is considered criminal behavior. Why?
rationalization for Prohibition is to keep marijuana away from children. That
rationalization does not reflect reality. Several surveys reveal that
teenagers can obtain marijuana easier than they can obtain the legal
drugs of beer or wine. In
In 1937 (the last year that marijuana was legal) only 100,000 Americans used marijuana. Now that marijuana is illegal, 30 million Americans use marijuana, and marijuana is easily available to anybody who wants it—including children and prison inmates. 600,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana violations every year and thousands of them are sent to jail or prison, where many of them can still obtain drugs. The government can’t even keep drugs out of its own prisons, yet the politicians keep telling us they can rid the entire nation of marijuana by spending more tax dollars. The government now spends $15 billion every year (a 1,500% increase since 1980) waging a war on marijuana smokers—a war that has lasted 60 years and is impossible to win. Another $5 billion per year is lost in tax revenue that could be generated if marijuana was regulated and taxed like wine.
For all practical purposes, Prohibition is a $15-billion-per-year government subsidy to keep violent drug cartels, mobsters, and street dealers in business. These violence-generating criminal enterprises prosper and flourish because the government refuses to regulate and control drugs like marijuana. Just as Alcohol Prohibition escalated violence and corruption during the 1920s, Marijuana Prohibition does the same today. Who would you rather have control the beer, wine, and liquor trade?… Al Capone and the Mafia, or well-regulated liquor stores? Who would you rather have control the marijuana trade?… Violent drug cartels, mobsters, and street gangs, or well-regulated liquor stores? Prohibitionists prefer violent drug cartels, mobsters, and street gangs.
Once all the facts are
known, it becomes clear that
For detailed information on the health effects of marijuana, medical marijuana, industrial hemp, activist
organizations, businesses that sell hemp products, the history of marijuana and hemp, and the government’s War on Marijuana Smokers, visit the following Web sites.
http://www.hempbc.com (All things marijuana/hemp related.)
http://www.cannabis.com (Cannabis/Hemp information source.)
http://www.rxmarijuana.com (Medical marijuana information archive.)
http://www.ecolution.com/links.html (Links to dozens of marijuana/hemp Web sites.)
http://www.naihc.org (North American Industrial Hemp Council)
http://www.ecolution.com (100% hemp clothing and other hemp products.)
http://www.hempys.com (100% hemp backpacks, travel bags, clothing.)
http://www.hemptech.com (Information on industrial hemp.)
of information on
The Hemp Revolution An excellent videotape documenting the past, present, and future of
marijuana and hemp ($20.00). Call: 1-800-649-4421
Marijuana Facts Authors:
Hemp, Lifeline to the Future Author: Chris Conrad (ISBN: 0963975412)
The Great Book of Hemp Author: Rowan Robinson (ISBN: 0892815418)
Phone: (202) 483-5500 Phone: (202) 462-5747
Internet: http://www.norml.org Internet: http://www.mpp.org
Phone: (604) 669-9069 Phone: (707) 887-7508
Internet: http://www.hempbc.com Internet: http://www.hempworld.com
Phone: (703) 207-9001 Phone: (619) 233-HEMP
Internet: http://www.ecolution.com Internet: http://www.hempys.com
Products: 100% hemp clothing (jeans, jackets, Products: 100% hemp backpacks,
shirts, shoes, hats, shorts) and more. travel bags, clothing, etc.
Like any substance, marijuana can be abused. Frequent marijuana use can impede motivation, but will not cause serious health problems. Marijuana can cause short-term memory loss, but only while under the influence. Marijuana does not impair long-term memory. Marijuana does not lead to harder drugs. Marijuana does not cause cancer, brain damage, genetic damage, nor damage the immune system. Unlike alcohol, marijuana does not kill brain cells or induce aggressive behavior. Long-term and heavy marijuana smoking can cause bronchitis, but the chance of contracting bronchitis from casual marijuana smoking is minuscule. Respiratory-related health risks can be totally eliminated by consuming marijuana via non-smoking methods (ingesting marijuana via baked foods, tincture, or vaporizer).
A 1997 UCLA School of Medicine study (Volume 155 of the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine) conducted on 243 marijuana smokers over an 8-year period reported the following: "Findings from the long-term study of heavy, habitual marijuana smokers argue against the concept that continuing heavy use of marijuana is a significant risk factor for the development of chronic lung disease." "Neither the continuing nor the intermittent marijuana smokers exhibited any significantly different rates of decline in lung function as compared with those individuals who never smoked marijuana.” The long-term findings of this study clearly refute the prohibitionist argument that marijuana smoking poses a significant danger to lung function.
not cause serious health problems like those caused by tobacco or alcohol
(i.e., strong addiction, cancer, heart problems, birth defects, emphysema, liver
Get on our mailing list and make a difference. We never share your email address with anyone.