Although industrial hemp does not contain enough psychoactive ingredients to make a pot smoker “high,” farmers who grow it can face jail time.
Abby Martin from Russia Today takes a look at the real reason why hemp is illegal in the US, the truth might surprise you.
In 1970 the U.S. Congress classified d hemp as a “Schedule 1” drug under the Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal to grow without a license from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This was done even though industrial hemp lacks enough psychoactive ingredients to make a pot smoker “high.” Studies have shown that the sub-one percent concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in hemp produces the same effects as placebo. Regardless of the facts, hemp is viewed federally the same as Heroin, MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, PCP, LSD, Quaaludes, and Meth.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. is the only first world country that has not established hemp as an agricultural crop. Britain lifted a similar ban in 1993, and Germany in 1995 and Canada in 1998. The European Union has subsidized hemp production since the 1990’s.
Facts about Hemp
- In 1916, government studies reported that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. At the time, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940’s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need to be cut down. Source U.S. Department of Agriculture Archives.
- Hemp’s growth rate is so rapid, it is ready for harvest in only 4 months. Reaching a height of 6-12 feet and producing 3-6 tons of dry fiber per acre. Commercial tree forests for paper are planted, groomed and thinned for harvest in 20 to 35 year cycles, depending on the tree species.
- The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross’s flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp. Source U.S. Government Archives
- Rudolph Diesel designed his diesel engine to run on hemp oil.
- Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and was constructed from hemp. The car that was ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel. Source Popular Mechanics, 1941.
- Until 1883, 75-90% of all paper in the U.S. was made with hemp. Source Jack Frazier. Hemp Paper Reconsidered. 1974.
- In the U.S. during the 1700’s and 1800’s, it was against the law to refuse to grow hemp.In 1619 Jamestown Colony, Virginia enacted laws ordering farmers to grow hemp. Similar laws were enacted in Massachusetts in 1631, Connecticut in 1632 and the Chesapeake Colonies in the mid-1700’s. Source G. M. Herdon. Hemp in Colonial Virginia
- Until the introduction of the cotton gin in the 1820’s, 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, and linen were made from hemp.
- In 1938, hemp was called the ‘Billion Dollar Crop.’ It was America’s first cash crop to have a business potential to exceed a billion dollars. Source Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1938.
- From 1631 until the early 1800’s, hemp was used as legal money. U.S. citizens could buy goods, pay taxes, and pay bills with hemp. Source LA Times. Aug. 12, 1981.
- In 1942 the U.S. government strongly encouraged hemp cultivation to help with the war effort, going so far as to produce a film entitled “Hemp For Victory!”
- “Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere.” Quote George Washington
- While the U.S. destroys it heritage and economic future, China has become the largest exporter of hemp paper and textiles. Industrial uses of hemp in China date as far back as 10,000 years.
If we as a nation can be so misguided about industrial hemp so thoroughly for so long on such a massive scale, then we have to ask how misguided we are about about marijuana? In fact, we have to ask how mislead we have been about a lot of things.
A clip from the 1942 film Hemp for Victory from US Department of Agriculture.