Uh-Oh ...I Said Hemp

I'm going to be walking on a shaky ground bringing up this subject, especially since there may be members of my own community reading this, but freedom of speech is a right...so here I go.

Recently I've gotten involved in helping to organize an energy fair in my community. It would be on renewable energy, and conservation. Now the only reason I got pulled into this is because I was approached and asked if I knew anyone who would be interested. Considering I know a lot of people in the community, I said I could send out a few emails.....and right then and there it all started!

"Energy" has never been a subject I've felt comfortable in discussing. Education, special education, disability rights, domestic violence and sexual assault...those have been the issues I have knowledge on and have advocated on behalf of.

So there was a part of me that felt a little intimidated by being involved in something I was basically clueless on. The more I thought about it, I decided that I needed to be educated on the subject, stop being afraid to learn about it because I might fear it's over my head, and dive into taking part of organizing this fair. I learn best by hands on experience...so, in I dove.

Quite innocently one day I responded to someone's input on who we wouldn't want as vendors at the fair, and their comment about "hemp" and not wanting that there. Now, I know pot is illegal but I also know that owning products made from industrial hemp (the one you don't smoke) is legal as I have a couch that is made of hemp material...bought it from Jennifer Convertibles a very long time ago.

What I didn't know about was the movement that out there to legalize hemp cultivation as a form of renewable energy. I admit, I was very ignorant on that topic and thought all legalization movements dealt with legalizing pot (the kind you smoke).

I did some research on the net and found site after site, study after study talking about hemp and it's value as a renewable energy. I shared one article I found with the group citing hemp as a fuel source for energy efficient autos -------- UH OH!!!!!!!

Mind you I live in a very...highly...conservative area, with very politically conservative views and I respect people's rights to their views - but I always felt that even though there may be things we disagree on, there are probably more that we do agree on...we just need to be open to listening to one another. Maybe I am idealistic....oops.

Anyway....a cold air blew in once I shared that article, and rather than discussing it, a message was sent that "we not get involved in potentially illegal enterprises such as the advocation of Hemp"

Red flags were raised!!!

Now when I read that the first thing I thought to myself was..."hmmmm, it's not illegal to advocate for a change in the law.......why such fear?"

When you think about it most great changes in our country started with someone speaking out against something that was illegal...or legal at the time.

Slavery... Women's Right to Vote....Disability Rights...including allowing those with epilepsy the right to marry, and bear children (yeah, one day I will write about those dark times when that was illegal)

Now I have yet to respond to that last comment made about "hemp" ...I don't want this fair to turn into a "the line in the sand has be drawn" plus the fair has far more to offer than just one subject and one form of renewable energy. I also want to make sure I have all my facts before I do respond, I don't want to sound ignorant....additionally I am not sure where I stand on the issue yet...

However, it did cause me to want to look into the subject more....anytime there's a knee jerk reaction like the one I heard, I want to know - "why?" So I did more research. I read more articles on the benefits of industrial hemp and truly tried to find information on why it wouldn't be good, and couldn't other than those advocating to keep pot (the kind you smoke) illegal.

Now from what I understand industrial hemp (renewable energy source) and the marijuana plant (THC and the kind you smoke) are two different plants. Additionally I learned that the USA is the largest importer of industrial hemp products.

So I am putting this subject out to my readers. Educate me!!! If the information I have is wrong, then let me know..PLEASE!!!!????!!!!! What are your views on this topic?????? What are the arguments against industrial hemp?????

I tried to find youtube videos presenting both sides on hemp as a renewable energy source, but could only find one side presented ...although many videos sharing that view. If you know of some showing the other side, please let me know or leave a link in the comments....

Now by sharing this video I am only looking for comments on it, or against it...I am still in the process of making up my mind on the subject!! I am not endorsing it!!


I found a more indepth look into the history on the following video...

Again, if someone has the other side of the viewpoint, please share it with me...I am seriously trying to see both sides of the issue:


Anonymous said…
Not sure I like the idea of naked children-or did you mean "bear children?"

Hemp IS the same plant as marijuana. Just like Queen Anne's Lace is the same plant as carrots. In each case, traits have been selectively bred for. "Marijuana" is hemp with a higher THC content.

I am not sure that hemp is the panacea it is being portrayed as, but I am JUST as sure that de-crinimalizing pot would have many socially redeeming values. But unless you specifically ask, I will assume you have heard all the arguments.

Maybe privately, you could name names....

Eva Marie said…
HEY!!!! Sunday morning and first cup of coffee..you get what you get..typos and all!!!! LOL...

Right, I know they are the same plant..but it's like you said ...being selectively bred wherein lies the difference...I am finding out that people don't understand that...one you smoke, and the other you don't..I mean you could try I suppose...

Ken...name names? are you trying to rock that boat? LOL.

BTW...what the heck is Queen Anne's Lace? I must have been living in a closet.

my question is ..what is the argument against legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp...???????
Eva Marie said…
ok...I now know what Queen Anne's Lace is..

A pretty plant which feeds many insects that help to promote the eco-system? Or an invasive weed?

you decide, right?

btw...any typos now, I blame on the time of day I am responding ..... ;)
Peter said…
Yes, they are the same plant, and therin lies the problem. Hemp was made illegal in the US BECAUSE it was the best source of plant fibres; superior to cotton [hardier and longer lasting, and needing no chemical inputs unlike cotton], and about the time the law changed, hemp was grown extensively and machinery was being developed to manufacture the fibres [you say fibers!] into a wide range of cloth from coarse [canvas] to very fine [clothing]. Then fossil fuel plastics were invented and by a series of dirty tricks, hemp was villified as leading to teenage degeneration, being brought into the US by Mexicans and other non white people. The campaign was racist ad hysterical and succeeded in getting hemp growing banned. The nascent hemp industry fell apart and plastics [non bio-degradeable] from fossil fuels took over. The rest is history. So the attack on hemp, while promoted because of its industrial use, was aimed at the pharmaceutical uses.
There are not only no arguments against its cultivation, there is a very strong argument for it; hemp grows on marginal land and needs no fertiliser or pesticides, it sequesters carbon and locks it away in fibres which are then made into long-lasting cloth, rope, string, building materials and a lot of other things. So it is a net carbon remover and does the job better than the fastest growing trees - 6-10 feet in a year.
The problem you've come up against is the near fascistic attitude towards marijuana which has been hysterically promoted for so long now that many people actually think the plant is evil without the slightest idea of what it is or what it does. The fact that it is also extremely effective in the treatment for a range of illness and diseases as well as its fibre uses, still doesn't get through the hysteria over 'pot' which should have been laid to rest long ago.
America, of course, exported this silly attitude to the rest of the world, forced through anti-cannabis legislation at the UN and got it banned in most countries. Lately, some countries have legalised it again, or at the least decriminalised it [ie. Holland, Portugal, Spain, and there are others]. Hemp growing for fibre is now spreading, and even the UK, pathetically forever following the US in everything it does including attacking innocent countries, is now growing hemp, although you have to get a licence from the Home Office. Very slow progress indeed. So while the reason for the campaign to make the plant illegal originated in the industrial competition with plastics [which are filling landfill sites across the world with non-biodegradable stuff], the method of doing so was to attack the recreational drug, since they could hardly claim the plant should be banned because it was better as a raw material than oil-derived plastics. And we are left with a realisation that hemp can substantially contribute to the fight to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, whilst half the world reacts with ignorant prejudice which is what you encountered. Education is the only way, most politicians, wrongly thinking it would lose them votes and therefore their lucrative jobs, won't go out on a limb and advocate a change, or even discuss it.
Hemp seed can have the oil extracted, although I shouldn't think it viable to make fuel with it since it's a superior oil which can replace fossil-fuel oil as an engine lubricant, a much more efficient use of it, especially since fossil fuels are running out and we have already reached 'peak oil'.
Other products which can be made from this plant are: fibre board for building, varnishes, a range of oils, bedding, clothing, upholstery ... I'm wearing a hemp T-shirt as I write; warm, comfortable and it will outlive me! Bedsheets, duvet covers, pillow cases, shirts, jeans and a lot of other things are already available.
In medieval times in England, farmers were fined if they did not grow hemp for ropes and sales for the British Navy which at that time was arguably the most powerful in the world. Abraham Lincoln grew fields of hemp as did most farmers in the 'new world' and it was grown across the world for centuries. If its pharmaceutical use had any long term consequences, I think it would have become apparent during the tens of thousands of years humans have used hemp - hemp seeds have been found in neolithic camp sites and it has been part of our evolution, stimulating brains to be more creative and invent new ways of doing things, then came the sixties...
Sorry to go on a bit, but I have still only scratched the surface, it is a subject which needs to be aired, and congratulations for your open-minded approach, good luck to you in getting people to think outside the 'just say no' box, but we can't, and shouldn't, separate the two - industrial and recreational - same plant, same ignorance.
Eva Marie said…
WOW!! Thank you for taking the time in writing that all out.

I found the following information from industrialhemp.net -

I know it may seem like splitting hairs to some people - but it tells the difference of the two varieties.


".......1. Q: What is Industrial Hemp?
A: Industrial Hemp is a number of varieties of Cannabis sativa L. that are intended for agricultural and industrial purposes. They are grown for their seed and fiber content as well as the resulting byproducts such as oil, seed cake, hurds, etc. Industrial Hemp is characterized by being low in THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and high in CBD (cannabidiol). THC is less than 1% and in Canada and Europe the current legal level for cultivation is 0.3%. The ratio of CBD to THC is greater than one.

2. Q: What is marijuana?
A: Marijuana is a preparation made from varieties of Cannabis sativa L. that are intended for medical and recreational drug use. They are grown for their THC content, primarily in the flowering tops and to a lesser extent in the leaves. Cannabis sativa L. grown for marijuana is characterized by being high in THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and low in CBD (cannabidiol). The THC content is greater than 1%, usually 3% to 20%. The ratio of CBD to THC is less than one.

3. Q: Is Industrial Hemp marijuana?
A: No. Even though they both come from Cannabis sativa L., the varieties that are used to make Industrial Hemp products (seed, fiber, etc.) and those that are used to make marijuana (flowering tops and leaves) are distinctly different. They are scientifically different and are cultivated in very different ways......"

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