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3 More Reasons to Legalize Industrial Hemp

Elizabeth Renter
March 21st, 2013
Updated 05/08/2014 at 4:59 pm
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marijuanacananbishemp 258x161 3 More Reasons to Legalize Industrial HempThere are numerous undeniably beneficial reasons to legalize hemp. U.S. imports of hemp and hemp products increased more than 300% over the last decade. We are spending millions (or more) on the plant when we could be making millions instead. The problem, however, is that industrialized hemp remains banned by the federal government while hemp products do not. This means we must buy our hemp from other countries – countries who are seriously profiting from our growing demand. I gave you some reasons for hemp legalization last week. But, if that wasn’t enough, here are some more:

Hemp was Once Grown in Every Household

Did you know hemp was grown by the founding fathers of this nation? It was. In 1619, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law requiring every household to grow the crop. It’s value was undeniable and it was even used as legal tender in early colonies. As recently as World War II, the federal government subsidized the plant. This means they actually paid U.S. farmers to grow it. For fuel, textiles, rope, animal bedding and feed—hemp’s use in the United States is far from a new occurrence. While hemp remains illegal, the U.S. government is subsidizing much safer (sarcasm) GMO crops.

Not all age-old practices are acceptable, but this one is.

Hemp is Green

In addition to being historically cultivated (and prized), hemp production is measured “greener” than many other crops. It’s sustainable and can be grown in the same plot of land year after year, not depleting the soil like some other crops. It can actually be used as a rotation crop, helping to regenerate the soil normally used to grow things like soybeans. Further, the plant doesn’t need as much fertilizer as corn, nor does it need to swim in pesticides. When planted with other crops, the roots can prevent runoff and erosion while the leaves can protect paired plants from the elements.

Hemp actually removes soil contaminants. Phytoremediation removes a variety of toxins from the soil including pesticides, metals, oil, and even nuclear contaminants. Its system of roots acts as a filter, stabilizing contaminants within the soil. Hemp was even planted at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to help remove nuclear toxins.

More Jobs

Finally, with the national unemployment rate hovering somewhere near 8% (an estimate quite low in reality), legalizing industrial hemp could bring jobs back to the country. Currently, we are employing workers in other countries to supply hemp products to meet our demands—to the tune of $400 million in retail sales alone in 2010. Not only could legalizing hemp give farmers another source of viable income, it could create an hemp production, manufacturing, and distribution industry.

We aren’t talking about marijuana here, the plant that gets you high (though that should be legal too). This is hemp – the cannabis plant that doesn’t offer psychoactive effects. And while there are sufficient reasons for legalizing pot, the legalization of this particular plant offers reasons of its own, namely as a potential windfall for a beleaguered economy and a return to what the originators of this country rightfully saw as a crucial natural resource. And of course, rights and freedom.

From around the web:

  • cjuan


    “Pot is NOT harmful to the human body or mind. Marijuana does NOT pose a threat to the general public. Marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries and a large number of chemical corporations. Various big businesses, with plenty of dollars and influence, have suppressed the truth from the people.

    The truth is if marijuana was utilized for its vast array of commercial products, it would create an industrial atomic bomb! Entrepreneurs have not been educated on the product potential of pot. The super rich have conspired to spread misinformation about an extremely versatile plant that, if used properly, would ruin their companies.

    Where did the word ‘marijuana’ come from? In the mid 1930s, the M-word was created to tarnish the good image and phenomenal history of the hemp plant…as you will read. The facts cited here, with references, are generally verifiable in the Encyclopedia Britannica which was printed on hemp paper for 150 years:

    * All schoolbooks were made from hemp or flax paper until the 1880s; Hemp Paper Reconsidered, Jack Frazier, 1974.

    * It was LEGAL TO PAY TAXES WITH HEMP in America from 1631 until the early 1800s; LA Times, Aug. 12, 1981.

    * REFUSING TO GROW HEMP in America during the 17th and 18th Centuries WAS AGAINST THE LAW! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769; Hemp in Colonial Virginia, G. M. Herdon…”

    Read more here:
    The Marijuana Conspiracy: The Real Reason Hemp is Illegal

  • Marshal Legazpi

    The only thing stopping it is ignorance the the government's tendency to not actually do anything. But hopefully that is changing.

  • @PossessionLaws

    Legalizing hemp is a no-brainer. The fact that it was ever made illegal at all is nearly inexplicable, but hopefully reason will FINALLY prevail on this issue. It honestly should be completely uncontroversial. The only thing stopping it is ignorance the the government's tendency to not actually do anything. But hopefully that is changing.