Industrial Hemp Should be Legal

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Just the mention of the word Cannabis in today’s society brings about all types of negative connotations. This is understandable due to the major propaganda campaign that has been waged by the U.S. government on the plant. Most citizens have no idea what a mature Cannabis plant looks like, and close to none recognize the thousands of uses it has. This is paper will not discuss whether drug-type Cannabis should be legalized for recreational or medicinal purposes, what it will discuss is the many environmentally friendly products that can be made from non-psychoactive hemp.

The Columbia History of the World states that the first archaeological record of human industry is a piece of hemp fabric. This is testament to the fact that the Cannabis plant has been used since the dawn of mankind for all types of purposes, and only lately has fallen out of use due to it’s prohibition by capitalists. Earlier cultures used it for fabric, rope, oil for lighting lamps, medicine, and paper, to name the most important ones. With the rise of technology we have alternative resources to use for those products, but are they superior? Cotton accounts for half of the agricultural chemicals used in America today. Now, forests are cut down to make paper that is inferior to hemp paper in every way. We have all types of petrochemical oils that are used today, but studies have shown that hemp oil can accomplish all of the major tasks that modern synthetic oils achieve. Medicine will not be discussed, but it will be said that Cannabis is listed in the oldest surviving medical text, and for thousands of years was used to treat almost every symptom that a human can acquire.

Non-Psychoactive Cannabis has been popularly known as Industrial Hemp. There are three main varieties of the plant; ones with good fiber, ones with good oils, and one with good psychoactive properties. Industrial Hemp is very easy to grow and harvest. It does not require an abundance of fertilizers to grow. Nor does it require pesticides/herbicides/fungicides because insects never pose a serious threat due to its alarmingly fast growth rate and natural defense system.

Hemp fiber is the strongest natural fiber in the world, the reason why it was used for all ship rigging up to the modern age. Hemp fabric has an excellent texture that gets softer with each use, yet keeps it durability. Despite it’s ...

... middle of paper ... be the staple of Kentucky's economy, too. Willard R. Jillson, in 1942, wrote a speech about the hemp industry in Kentucky and stated, “Born with the Commonwealth, the story of the hemp industry in Kentucky is, in effect, a history of the state itself.” (1) In a strange dichotomy of policy, even after the government’s war on the plant and its illegalization, during WWII the USDA requested that children’s 4-H clubs in Kentucky grow hemp for the war! The University of Kentucky still has this flier in their archives.

The case has been made for why Industrial Hemp should be allowed to be grown by U.S. farmers. It has also been shown that the major reasons against its use are completely unconvincing, for they are based in selfishness, corruption, and misinformation. Industrial Hemp is an environmentally friendly alternative to many of the most used and most polluting resources in the U.S. today. With all the damage being done to the Earth’s environment by modern industry, the time to use Hemp again is more important than ever. So, as one can see, the issue is complex, yet the answer is clear. Unfortunately the antagonist is one of man’s oldest and strongest enemies, greed.
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