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Will Hemp Rise Again?


“Surely no member of the vegetable kingdom has ever been more misunderstood than hemp. For too many years, emotion-not reason-has guided our policy toward this crop. And nowhere have emotions run hotter than in the debate over the distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana.” – David P. West Ph.D, North American Industrial Hemp Council.

When discussing an issue of such political relevance one would think emotions and personal feelings would be left at the door. However, this particular topic has a long and devious history of waters being muddied by those who stand to gain the most by keeping those waters unclear.

Since the first use of the word “Marihuana” and its purposeful muddling with the idea of hemp in the late nineteen hundreds, the average American does not distinguish between the two even today. We have been conditioned since that time to see, first and foremost, that marijuana is bad for you or flat out wrong, and that hemp is the same as marijuana. That is one of history’s biggest misconceptions.

Today hemp is considered a Schedule 1 substance even though it usually possesses a useless 0.3 percent THC, (the substance that is considered illegal) whereas typical marijuana has anywhere from 3 to 20 percent. It is in the same genus or species as marijuana, however it would be like comparing two types of apples and assuming they both contain the same sugar content, when in fact some apples are very tart and not meant for individual consumption at all. There are examples all throughout nature of the same variance. It is first important to understand that hemp in itself is an altogether different animal than marijuana with much different and extremely beneficial uses to our society. So why then is it so hard for substantial men of our society to see the clear difference of which we speak?

At the time, the two being lumped together allowed specific men in power to profit on our country’s slow decline into fossil fuel dependance versus supporting our nation’s collective rise on the back of an all encompassing plant that can produce all the same necessities. This was no mistake. It was hemp, not marijuana, that stood to overcome the use of fossil fuels and marijuana and its recreational use were the perfect cover. By criminalizing marijuana, and behind the scenes connecting hemp to this criminalization, men in the right position stood to profit greatly with hemp’s demise. However, those men are gone now. We, the most powerful nation in the world, are in a different and more intelligent present time, with all our foresight and collective minds working towards a healthy, independent and sustainable future, using all possible outlets to secure our country’s green and continuous rise to the proverbial top of the mountain, right?…

We find ourselves in a time where hemp is considered illegal by default. Most are comfortable with not knowing or even caring about this topic because most don’t know what it means to their daily lives, including their health, not to mention their future, or their children's future. Change is not only needed but prayed for by those who know what to ask. It grows increasingly more difficult for actions of any nature, or lack there of, to go unseen. Slowly, people are becoming aware of the illogical prohibition of hemp and its foundation of misconception for monetary gain. However, a journey of this magnitude must begin with a single step. A step that has been attempted many times before.

As of today there have been thirty-one states that have attempted pro hemp legislation and nineteen of those states passed that legislation. Nine states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia) have passed hemp resolutions.  Nine states (Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia) have defined industrial hemp as distinct and began removing barriers to its production. Eight states (Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota and Vermont) have passed hemp sturdy bills. Three states (Hawaii, Kentucky and Maryland) have passed bills creating commissions and authorizing research. In addition to the previous steps, Kentucky recently passed yet another bill that allows a legal framework for the actual growing of Industrial hemp. Despite the authority to grow hemp given by the state, all hemp farmers still run the risk of federal raid, prison time and property and civil asset forfeiture if they chose to plant the crop. Due to the federal policy that still does not differentiate between non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of cannabis from psychoactive drug varieties. Just this past week a Colorado farmer planted the first hemp crop in the U.S. in decades.  

It’s interesting that all of these states have decided over the last sixty years that they, in one way or another, disagree with hemp being illegal. The majority of these states continue to grow or study hemp for future beneficial uses, within the laws of their given states, but because of federal restrictions no major crops are produced. It would appear that the vast majority of the United States wants the re-legalization of hemp for industrial purposes. This being a democracy, “a nation of the people for the people” where we vote for our representatives who then in turn represent our vote as the people. So why then is this majority necessity over looked. That is a question every American needs to ask themselves.

There are men and women in positions of power; who we must trust to do the right thing. We trust them to do what is right, not only for the country, but whenever possible what is good for the individual. It frightens me to think that these chosen men and women who would stand to profit, while healing the planet by allowing this archaic ban on hemp to fall away, would choose not to for fear of indirectly admitting that their preprocessors were wrong and perhaps even themselves. From time to time all men make mistakes. All men lose their way. It is the true leader of men that can rise up on his own volition, face the consequences of his actions, and continue to lead those that still choose to follow.