HEMP: What A Mistake!

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It’s time for the country to get behind industrial hemp canna tabs, a crop that could revitalize our economy and transform the American way of life.

That might sound like a pipe dream shared by the fringes of America’s political landscape, but it’s not. Industrial hemp can currently be grown all throughout Canada, including in Manitoba and Saskatchewan where it was sanctioned to be grown as early as 2012. It’s important that we don’t let this opportunity slip through our fingers.

1. What is hemp?

Hemp is a plant that is used for a variety of purposes, including the manufacture of paper and textiles. It was grown legally in the United States until the mid-1950’s when it was prohibited because of its resemblance to marijuana.

2. What are its benefits?

Growing hemp is more beneficial than growing corn or soybeans because it uses less water, generates more profit per acre and has a greater nutritional value than its competitors. It’s also an excellent source of fiber and can be used to make rope, fabrics and building materials. In fact, Henry Ford designed his Model-Ts with hemp-derived plastic!

3. Why is it so important to use more hemp?

Hemp is a cash crop that can revitalize our farming industry and provide a better life for farmers. It also has major environmental and economic benefits.

It can help save water: Hemp requires between 4,000 and 12,000 gallons of water per acre while corn requires around 250,000 gallons of water.

It can reduce pollution and smog: Hemp needs less fertilizer than soybeans and produces much less nitrous oxide or NOx , a greenhouse gas which can contribute to global warming.

It can produce more profit per acre compared to corn or soybeans: [The] U.S. Hemp Market Potential Study suggested that hemp would produce $500-$700 per acre per year in gross revenue.  The report also stated that if no barriers to production existed, “hemp offers a rare and exciting opportunity to develop a new American agricultural sector.” Sure, it will replace the current way of life for farmers all over the country, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

4. Why is it illegal?

As you might have guessed by now, hemp is related to marijuana, which currently remains illegal on a federal level because of its tendency to be abused by drug users. Of course, that doesn’t make sense at all.

5. What needs to be done?

The best way to get America on the right track towards growing hemp is to enact legalization at the state level. A handful of states have already taken steps towards allowing hemp farming, but much more needs to be done if we are going to see a resurgence in this crop.  Many legislators have looked into legislation that would allow states to grow hemp and use it in manufacturing within their borders so they’ll eventually be more likely to pass these bills and agree with the many benefits of this crop.

6. What can I do?

If you are in favor of making America’s farmers more prosperous and preserving our environment, please sign this application for a hemp farming license. Allow us to claim anew our heritage, learn from the mistakes of the past and make sure that we continue to reap the benefits from this crop for years to come.

7. What can I do locally?

If you live in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, there are local groups that are working hard to make sure that hemp is being grown there. The Manitoba Hemp Association and Saskatchewan Hemp Association have been working towards passing bills there, but until we see a federal bill in 2011, they still need the support of the people who live and work in their provinces.

8. What can I do at the federal level?

At this point, it’s difficult to tell what kind of role our government will play when it comes to ordering industrial hemp on a national scale. Many politicians feel that it’s a waste of time to pass legislation on hemp because they assume that Obama will veto anything that isn’t passed by Congress. This doesn’t make sense because technically, Obama could sign an executive order that would establish a government-operated hemp farm in an area of the United States and start growing hemp without having to wait for Congress. Until there is a bill on the table to be signed by Obama, it’s best for you to contact your local representatives and urge them to support industrial hemp farming.

As I mentioned earlier, this is an exciting time for America. It’s time for us to stop relying on cheap Chinese imports and return back to our roots as an industrial powerhouse. Hemp could be the perfect crop that we can use to develop our economy while preserving what makes America great. Now is the time to move forward with this and make sure that Canada doesn’t take all of the United States’ industrial hemp.

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