It does make a very good clothing fiber, and paper that's much finer than woodpulp or cotton. There are some really strange beliefs among US hemp advocates, though, that make it out as the greatest wonder-crop known to mankind (produces more biofuel than any other crop known to man, will have phenomenal yields on completely nutrient-depleted soils and will enrich the soil even when completed harvested, etc.)--things that never get borne out in the many countries where it's completely legal to grow it. A lot of them trace back to Jack Herer. It'll be interested to see which myths survive once people here get some experience with actually growing it.
Wheww, I thought you had beat me to the video link but it's only a screen-shot.
I've got a major problem with the federal government on this point. The thing is that we taxpayers - the people who elect and fund the federal government - have a right to expect that the DEA and ONDCP utilize the best minds available when creating the policies that they violently enforce on us.
But, as any school kid could tell you, a hemp field is the very LAST place that a marijuana grower would want to use to hide his crop. The hemp plants would pollinate the marijuana plants thus creating low-potency weed that's full of seeds - this is NOT what the market wants. The result for the grower would be unhappy customers and very little profit.
It's disheartening then to see the federal government ban hemp farming for more than half a century due to an assumption that marijuana plants would be hidden inside hemp fields - an assumption, obviously, that the DEA and ONDCP have never once questioned in more than fifty years of enforcement. We, the American People, deserve far better than this from our elected officials.
Hemp was also banned because southern cotton growers wanted to squash the northern competition. Dope you smoke had very little to do with it.
It makes a great fiber. I had a rucksack that my grandfather brought from Hungary in 1899 and it finally met its demise last year when one of our dogs ate it.
Oh come on, who are we fooling? Nobody gives a damn about hemp except stoners. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap? Couldn't find a quote from the CEO of Proctor & Gamble, I guess.
At one time, hemp was considered so important that farmers could be jailed for NOT growing it.
Of course, it was mostly important because it was used for sails and rope... that relevancy has probably faded with time. I have heard that it's much better for making paper than trees, though I haven't looked into it.
I dunno man. Maybe there should be some regulation about where you can grow hemp, lest you contaminate some nearby bud farmers' fields of sinsemilla with your dirty pollen.
:trollface: < Oh come on, who are we fooling? Nobody gives a damn about NSA spying except terrorists. Electronic Frontier Foundation? Couldn't find a quote from the CEO of AT&T I guess.
I would greatly prefer that my paper towels, toilet paper, products packaged in cardboard, and compressed fiberboard IKEA furniture were made from a crop that can be grown yearly by american farmers rather than by destroying a forest or by wasting decades raising a grove of trees specifically grown to be "harvested" (on land that used to be a forest that was destroyed to make toilet paper.)
I haven't smoked any weed in over a year, haven't been a regular smoker since the early 2000s. I give a damn.
I was under the impression marijuana crops are basically the same as hemp plants with a different focus in terms of breeding, but primarily different in that to grow marijuana you have to only grow the female plant and not grow any male plants (or was it vice versa?).
Also a great food product, apparently!
I worked in the UT Libraries for quite a while and you could easily see when hemp fiber stopped being used to make paper simply by going through the old bound magazines. Ones up to, say. the 1930's still looked fine but sometime after that, the pages of the mags are practically crumbling. Hemp makes for fine acid-free paper.
Hemp was not made illegal because people could hide marijuana plants in the fields. They are the same plant.
It was made illegal because powerful and influential people such as Treasury Secretary, oil baron, and DuPont's primary financial backer Andrew Mellon, were heavily invested in DuPont didn't want the competition for their new patents making nylon from coal, plastic from oil, and paper from trees.
So, Mellon made his nephew by marriage the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and introduced the world to the evil drug Marijuana and a new prohibition began.
On a lighter note, http://youtu.be/ryO2JLzFPTY
Don't forget William Randolph Hearst! He had a major financial interest in tree-based paper production AND the media empire to use as his own personal propaganda machine.
Let's also not forget that the law criminalizing the stuff, namely The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was an unconstitutional law that was not challenged until 1969 in the landmark Leary v. United States where the Supreme Court in a rare unanimous decision found the law to be unconstitutional. It was repealed in 1970 by Congress who then passed the Controlled Substances Act.
It seems putting people in jail was very important to Nixon and the 1970 Congress.
"It seems putting people in jail was very important to Nixon and the 1970 Congress."
Considering as how it hasn't yet been repealed it is also very important to every President and Congress since then.