Hemp: The Magical Plant

Published September 17, 2014

Magical PlantIt is unbelievable that a plant which could be extremely useful in today’s world is still illegal to grow in the United States. It was not always so; in fact it wasn’t until 1937 that hemp prohibition started. Before that anyone could grow it legally and many of the nation’s forefathers grew the plant themselves.

In the 17th century hemp was grown with the blessings of the federal government for use in making sails, rope and clothing. It wasn’t until the 1930’s during the Great Depression when America saw an influx of immigrants coming from Mexico that people began to fear both the immigrants and marijuana, labeling both hemp and marijuana as the immigrants drug (although marijuana use was prevalent long before the 1930’s). Some states began to outlaw hemp and marijuana which they associated with an increase in violence and deviant behaviors, although no actual research supported this belief.

Strangely enough during World War II the U.S. federal government promoted hemp with its Hemp for Victory program. At this point, due to the actions previously taken the United States had to import the hemp it needed for parachutes, marine cording and other military needs. They offered seeds to anyone who would grow the plant and even military service deferment if they stayed home to grow it. Then immediately following the war they enacted stricter sentencing laws for drug offences. With all the contradiction it’s no wonder why children are confused as to what the truth about the drug really is.

Hemp is a multi-talented plant; we can make food, clothes and building materials from hemp. We can also produce paper, fuel and plastics; hemp has beneficial absorbing qualities and has been successfully used to clean up chemical spills and other toxic areas. There are vast swaths of land in the United States where hemp could easily take root and flourish, which are currently going to waste growing nothing. Hemp is not a drug like its cousin marijuana; smoking hemp does nothing more than give the user a very bad headache.

“Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.” President Thomas Jefferson.

“Make the most you can of the Indian hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” President George Washington.

“We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.” President John Adams

“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.” Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire

In the United States today individuals are fighting back and demanding their governments to listen. Marijuana use in the states of Colorado and Washington has been legalized and many other states are adding initiatives to their upcoming elections. Technically the addition of marijuana to the United States drug schedules is ridiculous; the definition of schedule one drugs is “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” If that is the case, why is tobacco not on that list? Tobacco is the very definition of a schedule one drug by the U.S. Department of Justice standards, yet it is not listed. As the U.S. voters are beginning to prove, money can’t buy everything.

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