Why Does Uncle Sam Hate Hemp Cultivation as Biofuel?
Hemp biofuel was to be used by Henry Ford in his now legendary Model T. Automobile. In fact, Henry Ford owned hemp crops and he fully expected hemp biodiesel would be the best fuel for his brand-new automobile. The reason Mr. Ford chose hemp biodiesel was because the farmers could use hemp biodiesel in their tractors. Sure, Ford had great wisdom in making hemp the choice for fueling his groundbreaking Model T. automobile, but what he did not foresee were the politics of his time.
Politicians have made a mess of hemp and marijuana!
U.S. propaganda has historically tied hemp to marijuana attempting to demonize hemp as an agricultural commodity. The politicians of the 1900’s did not know the difference between hemp or marijuana and many times they would use the words interchangeably. Politicians are provoked by other commodities’ lobbyists such as cotton farmers and tobacco farmers who wish to tip the scale against hemp. Cotton and tobacco are much more resource intensive crops than hemp. They both require vast amounts of water and labor to produce the crops. Furthermore, the products produced by cotton and tobacco are not as useful or as durable as products made from hemp. The politicians of the last century claimed competition against hemp was unfair, so they created and pushed for The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Most parties today will agree that the aim of The Marihuana Tax Act (1937) was to reduce the size of the hemp industry, and to benefit the competitors of the hemp industry. The Tax act eventually became a law banning not only hemp, but also marijuana. Marijuana to this day is classified as a Schedule I substance which is the ranking reserved for drugs with the greatest potential for abuse and having no medicinal value.
No medicinal value?
Has the United States government not learned anything? One would think the Medical Marijuana laws created by California in 1997 would have educated them on the topic of medicinal value. Twenty years after CA Medical Marijuana laws were enacted medical marijuana is now considered main stream America with acceptance catching like wild fire. The government did not know how to spell marijuana or how to distinguish it from hemp when they created The Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. The act was to impose an occupational excise tax upon certain dealers in marijuana (actually it was hemp), to impose a transfer tax upon certain dealings in marijuana (hemp), and to safeguard the revenue through registry and recording the sale of marijuana (hemp). They did not even spell the act correctly. They were ignorant about hemp and marijuana then and they are still confused on the subject today almost 100 years later. Politicians begin to look silly when our biggest competitors like China make full use of hemp cultivation and industrial hemp products such as environmentally friendly concrete made from hemp and other hemp based building materials. Many automobile companies are interested in replacing petroleum plastic with hemp plastic for use in auto parts. China currently runs circles around us and they are poised for the future expanding global hemp market. Even our neighboring Canada makes full use of hemp cultivation and industrial hemp. The Unites States is the single largest importer of hemp but yet it is against federal law to grow hemp domestically. Only research projects such as the one in Ashville, NC can grow hemp in the United States.
Why not create American jobs for American farmers and American textile workers and American Research and Discovery Scientists?
These professionals can transform each respective industry to treat medical ailments, or to create dietary supplements or beauty supply lines, or create building materials, or create clothing lines, or invest in environmentally friendly farming with sustainability as the goal. And even with profits as a goal, there are over 25,000 different environmentally friendly products that can be made from hemp including fuel, food, fiber, plastic, building materials, paper, canvas, clothing, medicine, etc. It turns out hemp can be used as an important dietary supplement. Hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the “good” fats). Hemp also registers high on essential amino acids including gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a very rare nutrient also found in mother’s milk (is this coincidence). Hemp can also produce medicine. The non-psychoactive component of hemp is known as CBD or Cannabidiol. CBD is a prominent naturally occurring molecule. Also known as Phyto-cannabinoid (plant derived) CBD which is found in Cannabis and Hemp.
The key characteristic of CBD is being devoid of the psychoactive effect
while exhibiting a wide variety of medical applications. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis or hemp. It is a major Phyto-cannabinoid accounting for up to 40% of a hemp plant’s extract. CBD is considered to have a wide scope of potential medical applications. All of this would be just icing on the cake if we utilize hemp as a biofuel.
Why not use hemp as a fuel source for biodiesel?
Why not keep the financial resources spent on foreign oil and protecting the interests of the United States in countries that produce foreign oil? Those resources could be used to create jobs by allowing the American farmer to plant hemp as a commodity particularly for the use of biodiesel. Think of all the other products and industries that would flourish if such a law was to pass. We could build freeways and highways and roads in America instead of Iraq or Afghanistan. We would have no interest in the meddling in middle eastern affairs and as a result they would be less interested in attacking us with terrorism. The bi-products of hemp for fuel are countless environmentally friendly plastics, clothes, medicines, etc. While the bi-products of petroleum are harmful to the environment and even considered cancerous and/or deadly. Needless to say petroleum products should never be consumed by humans. Everyone understands the concept of acid rain and the negative impact petroleum has had on the environment. As far as research and implementation the time is now. We have invested already enough time and energy into the possibilities and the benefits.
Now is the time to introduce hemp as a biofuel.
As a country, we should be dedicated to the use of hemp as a fuel for cars and as a plastic to make car parts. Growing hemp is easier than many other plants such as corn, rice, or sugar. It requires less water and little or no fertilizers. It can be grown organically for almost the same cost as non-organic. Hemp as a plant is efficient, bred to improve quality, yield, and stress tolerance. All of this translates into a decreased cost per ton which is why the American farmer is very interested in growing hemp. Hemp grows quickly so the time from seed to harvest is shorter than most all other commodities.
Hemp requires less energy and fertilizer. Fertilizers from corn farming and cotton farming are creating giant dead zones in our oceans. With hemp there is little need for fertilizer and there is no need for rotation of crops. It can even help farmers by breaking the disease cycle of other crops. Most farmers, environmentalists and research scientists consider hemp the perfect crop to offset the carbon currently produced by fossil fuels because of hemp’s unique ability to be a textile commodity and a fuel.
So we all ask the same question, “Why NOT hemp?”
There is not one good reason why not to grow hemp and one million good reasons why we should… so again why not hemp? The answer is its too logical. The answer is it would make too much sense for all politicians to agree and listen to their constituency rather than the traditional puppet heads that preach from the lobby pulpit. The politicians of today run around looking for the next sound bite or social media stir. They cannot wait for that jingle from the media to put on that plastic poker face smile and tell the public they are protecting the environment and creating tons of jobs. They have short minded plans. They have tunnel vision and cannot see the forest for the trees. Hemp has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years for fiber (textiles and paper) and food. In a 1938 Popular Mechanics magazine article, hemp was described as a “New Billion Dollar Crop.” That was back when a billion was real money not bitcoins.
Hemp has been effectively prohibited in the United States since the 1950s.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. Because of its importance for sails (the word “canvass” is rooted in “cannabis”). Rope for ships was desperately needed so hemp was a required crop in the new American colonies. And still yet politicians attempt to link hemp to marijuana by stating if we allow hemp to cultivate, farmers could hide marijuana in the fields. But the opposite is the truth. If hemp pollinates its cousin plant marijuana, the result would be a very low grade marijuana because hemp contains little or no THC. If hemp is grown outdoors no marijuana will be grown close by to avoid cross pollination thereby producing low-grade marijuana. How can anyone view the cultivation of hemp as criminal? How can anyone doubt the benefit of at least trying to use hemp as a biofuel? What would it hurt by adding hemp to the list of acceptable sources of biofuel by the United States Gov’t? The time to act is now. The time for hemp is now. The time to stand up and be counted is today.
Hemp can save the humans! Hemp is Earth’s Medicine. Hemp is Nature’s Medicine. Hemp solves so many problems.