Hemp Legalization Would Help U.S. Economy

April 16, 2010 – It’s hard to be a consistent political conservative in 2010. New information and Picture 18biting criticism from the left are exacerbating a great clash between the principles of free-market capitalism and the social conservatism that wins votes from the “moral majority,” played out on the battlefields of countless proxy issues.

Potential constituents are faced with the same choice policy makers are: should we prioritize economic gain, or hold true to our social values? This question is especially relevant to the debate over legalization of industrial hemp growing in the United States, because its main dissenting argument asserts causal ties to marijuana consumption.

Hemp prohibition dates back to the 1950s, but the American tradition of hemp usage goes back even further. Washington and Jefferson both grew hemp, Ben Franklin owned a hemp paper mill and the Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper. Those same hemp fibers are stronger, more absorbent and more mildew-resistent than their cotton counterparts. Those same inferior cotton crops are grown using 50 percent of the world’s pesticides.

Legalization of hemp could provide a significant boost to our ailing economy. Rather than investing in a new, unreliable technology, or a service agency running on artificial, middle-person demand, the United States should go back to its roots. Hemp crops flourished in the post-Revolutionary U.S. because they’re a hardy, durable crop with myriad uses; from car bodies to T-shirts, alternative fuel to carpeting. Hemp production would increase our international competitiveness for the highest quality products.

Hemp biofuels could also ease our demand for fossil fuel resources in volatile parts of the world, freeing our economy of the burden of ever-rising fuel prices. It’s a well-known industry fact that Henry Ford’s first automobiles were constructed from, and fueled by, hemp materials or by-products. That same hemp fuel is biodegradable, meaning spills would serve as fertilizer rather than ecological degradation. It also reduces unsustainable land-use that saps the nutrients from the soil, and is a good plant to add to crop rotations.

These benefits ought to outweigh the possible increase in marijuana consumption, but they really don’t need to. That’s because the tie between industrial hemp crops and marijuana usage is dubious at best.

Over 30 “industrialized” countries, including Canada, have legalized hemp production without significant increases in marijuana use. The plants, while genetically very similar, have been bred to grow at different heights and in different ways — that breeding has made it relatively simple to detect a THC-containing plant among the hemp. Cross-pollination would dramatically reduce the THC content of marijuana, meaning that hiding it among the hemp crops would produce an un-sellable product. The THC content in hemp itself is so low that smoking enough to feel its effect is likely impossible.

People have serious questions to answer in terms of our trajectory for the future. One of the answers we must consider is legalizing industrial hemp farming. The arguments against it are outdated and flawed, and the benefits to the environment and the economy are numerous. Conservatives especially can emphasize the economic boon legalization would provide, while liberals can also appreciate the environmental benefits. The key is to communicate to policy makers that hemp legalization will win votes, only then can we overcome the Congressional deadlock that makes our little problems into big ones. By Beth Mendenhall. Source.

Please Read and/or Share these Links:

Why can’t we grow hemp in America?

BioFuel / Plastics:

Scientists Bio-engineer Plastic Without Fossil Fuels:

Car Parts Made from Hemp:

The Versatility of the Incredible Hemp Plant and How It Can Help Create a More Sustainable Future:

Help Save the Earth, Time to Substitute Hemp for Oil

Hemp – a green solution for improving the health of people and the environment

Can Hemp Products Save the World?


Solution Found for Failing Economy:

Can Hemp Save the Economy?

The Case for Hemp-America has Handed this Profitable Market to Other Nations

Time to put Hemp to Use

Hemp Facts:

Why can’t we grow hemp in America?

The Case For Hemp in America

Hemp Facts

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