This I Believe

Paul - Detroit, Michigan
Entered on May 2, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: environment

As the price of gas continues to climb and the President touts alternative fuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel and lists off a number of plants these can be derived from he fails to mention the one plant that truly has the potential to set America free from our oil addiction. That plant is hemp but because it is the cousin of cannabis, aka marijuana and even though it contains a miniscule amount of THC which is the active ingredient of marijuana it was made illegal by the same law that criminalized pot.

I believe the time has come to end one of the greatest travesties in American history and make industrial hemp a legal crop to provide the country with new industries and jobs for Americans that will lead to energy independence.

The issue of hemp’s true potential has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media but if one does a search on the internet on the subject an abundance of information on the truth can be found. One site claims that if just 6% of the land in America was dedicated to growing hemp, we could produce enough bio-diesel to cover our fuel needs.

During World War II, the Department of Agriculture mounted a campaign urging farmers to grow hemp for the war effort and produced a short film entitled “Hemp for Victory.” Yet after the war hemp was once again banned as a legal crop.

Many countries around the world are growing hemp for numerous resources including fuel, textiles, paper & plastics yet the White House maintains that legalizing hemp would send the wrong message to America’s youth.

In 1937 the year marijuana & hemp were banned an article and a paper were written that would appear in magazines in February of the next year. Popular Mechanics ran an article entitled “New Billion Dollar Crop” touting a number of the uses of hemp. Thanks to a machine invented that greatly reduced the labor required to separate the fibers from the plant stalk, thousands of jobs for Americans would be created across the country. It goes on to explain that the fibers can be used to produce over 5,000 textile products and the remaining woody “hurds” of the plant can produce over 25,000 products but neglects to mention hemp’s potential for fuel.

In Mechanical Engineering hemp was given billing as “The Most Profitable and Desirable Crop That Can Be Grown.” Today experts on the potential revenue of a full-blown American hemp industry, give a conservative estimate of $500 billion to a trillion dollars a year.

While one auto company proclaims that going yellow as in corn for ethanol fuel, as one of the solutions, we really need to go green and sow the seeds of “Hemp for Victory.”

Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas introduced a bill last year to make industrial hemp a legal crop so I urge my fellow citizens to contact your legislators in the House and Senate to get behind this bill.

The President’s Chief of Staff recently made the statement that rising gas prices will not be solved in the short run by some silver bullet, well there is a green bullet that can kill our dependence on oil, the return of hemp is long over due.