Hempfest is produced by a large team of over 1,000 volunteers. With four days of set-up prior to the event, and three days of tear-down and park restoration after the event, volunteers are always welcome — and needed. Prospective volunteers can visit Hempfest.org to find out more information and register online for over 80 volunteer crews that make the event a reality.
For those who can not attend Hempfest, all six stages will be streamed live online. For more information, visit hempfest.org.
And for those that are confused as to what the Washington state laws says about legal cannabis use, well the friends at SPD are helping us out. (See the image below)
Oh how I love the idea and freedom of hempfest and the city it resides in. :-) Enjoy your bag of chips and the clouds of smoke, if only for this one unique weekend.
SEATTLE, WA — For three days in August, hundreds of thousands of people will descend on Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks on Seattle’s waterfront for the 22nd annual Hempfest, traditionally the largest annual gathering of pro-cannabis supporters in the world. But following last year’s historic passage of Initiative 502, which legalized the adult possession of marijuana in the state, this year’s Hempfest promises one thing that the previous 21 did not: a victory celebration.
What started out as a “humble gathering of stoners” in 1991, conceived during a peace vigil in opposition of the first Gulf War and attracting a crowd of about 500 people, has grown to a world-renowned 3 day “protestival” celebrating human rights, equality, freedom, and of course, cannabis.
Spanning 1.3 miles, two public parks, six stages, and more than 300 vendors and being staffed by over 1,000 volunteers, Hempfest isn’t just the largest annual pro-pot rally in the world — it is also one of the largest special events in the State of Washington.
With a Special Events permit requiring a $1 million insurance policy, emergency evacuation plans, and safety and security personnel, Hempfest is not a “pot party in the park”; it is a bona-fide political rally whose organizers work closely with city officials to ensure a successful — and peaceful — annual tradition.
Past performers have included well known bands such as Potluck, the Kottonmouth Kings, Fishbone, Rehab, and countless others, with notable speakers including Jack Herer, Woody Harrelson, Rick Steves, and many local and national political figures and marijuana reform activists addressing the crowds.
This year’s event will have a distinct theme for each day of the weekend. On Friday, the festival will focus on No Federal Schedule (the End Game), followed by Harm Reduction, Youth Use & Dependency on Saturday and Voter Power: Your Vote and Democracy on Sunday.
Hundreds of arts, crafts, and political vendors stretch the expanse of both parks, and the event features a “Hemposium” replete with panel discussions and presentations, displays, and workshops.
Munchies, of course, are available from a wide variety of food vendors, but don’t expect to find any cannabis for sale; despite Washington’s relaxed marijuana laws, it is an enhanced felony to sell cannabis, cannabis food, or other drugs in a city park, with all penalties — including fines and jail time — doubled.
McPeak also points out a few important changes to this year’s event.
Most notably, handheld canister propellant torches and butane torches are no longer allowed in the park under a new city law aimed at preventing wildfires. While this may put a damper on dabbing, “we need to warn the community that those devices will be absolutely restricted by Seattle law,” McPeak says.
With the completion of the Stephen Colbert Bridge to Somewhere, accessible at 3rd Ave West and West Harrison Streets, a third entrance to Hempfest will now be open, which organizers hope will reduce some of the crowding and long lines that can sometimes form at the North and South entrances.
Because Hempfest is a free speech event in a public park, the passage of Initiative 502 will not change the event’s entrance policy to be 21+. Hempfest remains open to all ages, but organizers remind minors wishing to attend the event to discuss the matter with a parent or guardian.
In addition, Hempfest organizers would like to remind the cannabis community of the following:
Alcohol, narcotics and weapons are strictly prohibited
Dogs, with the exception of working service animals, are not allowed
Unauthorized vending is prohibited
Cannabis sales of any kind, including edible treats or medical marijuana sales, are not only prohibited at the event, but they also remain an enhanced felony in the park
No fireworks, spray paint, or handheld torches are allowed in the park
Genital nudity is prohibited at Hempfest
Overnight camping is prohibited at Hempfest, but there are several campgrounds within a short drive of Downtown Seattle
Bicycle riders must dismount and walk their bikes at all times for public safety
Please help keep the parks clean
The Seattle Police Department issued an FAQ about what people can and can’t do with their pot as a result of the passage of I-502.by MaryJanesGirl™
An overall overview:
The cut to chase answer is: the difference is in its use. The two are related through the same species of plant, both are forms of the plant Cannabis Sativa L. They are essentially weeds that will grow in a wide variety of conditions, climates, and soil types. Over the years both plants have been used for a wide variety of uses. However, they are not the same.
While industrial-grade hemp is a rather helpful resource in the world, it lacks the stimulating power of the substance known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or for short, THC. It is this active chemical of THC that brings about the “high” associated with marijuana. The term ‘Hemp‘ commonly refers to the industrial/commercial use of the cannabis stalk and seed for textiles, foods, papers, body care products, detergents, plastics and building materials. The term ‘marijuana’ refers to the medicinal, recreational or spiritual use involving the smoking of cannabis flowers.
According to US law, hemp is the stalks, stems and sterilized seeds of cannabis sativa, and marijuana is the leaves, flowers and viable seeds of cannabis sativa. Male or female cannabis has no differentiation by law or science, beyond sex.
What Makes Marijuana a Drug?
No matter how you feel about marijuana, whether you would classify it as a medicine, a drug, a recreational tool, or a narcotic doesn’t really matter. What makes it this way is its THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)content. It takes at least 3% THC in order to get high and higher quality marijuana (used for drug consumption) will have 10-15% THC.
How Much THC Does Hemp Have?
Due to the way hemp is grown and its separation from marijuana, hemp has a much lower THC content. Industrial hemp contains only about 0.01% – 1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids, the intoxicating ingredients that make you high) while marijuana contains about 5% – 10% or more THC. The low amount of THC is what makes hemp worthless for getting high. It has been estimated by some researchers of hemp that it would take an acre of hemp to get high. In one acre of hemp there is about 10-20 tons of plant material grown. Think about that.
Do they grow together? How can you tell them apart?
Often it is argued by those who know there is a difference between hemp and marijuana that they could be grown together thereby deceiving authorities and passerby while effectively providing marijuana for those who wish to use it. This isn’t an option however. Hemp is grown in rows one to two inches apart. The plants are grown very close together and shoot up toward the sky till they are taller then full grown men. They have a woody core and are stiff and hard to walk through. Marijuana on the other hand is grown with lots of room to bush out. You want 18″ or more worth of space between the marijuana bushes. You want them to have lots of low branches (something that doesn’t happen on hemp), leaves, and soft flexible stems. These growing methods encourage THC development making it better for use as a drug.
Growing hemp and marijuana together isn’t an option. By doing that you get cross pollination which leaves both plants infertile. When they cross pollinate you loose the buds of the flowers and the seeds. With hemp these parts are very useful for a wide variety of uses (oil, food, seed for the following year). With marijuana the bud is the part of the plant that has the most THC, if this doesn’t fully develop due to cross pollination then you loose a lot of the material that can be smoked.
The difference in THC levels make hemp and marijuana a lot different. There are thousands of products that can be made from hemp, but it must be set aside that hemp and marijuana are the same thing. It must be understood that hemp can not be smoked for a high, marijuana can not be grown in place of hemp and fool authorities, and marijuana and hemp can not be grown together (or even with in a mile radius of one another).
Compared to cannabis sativa indica, cannabis sativa sativa (industrial hemp variety) has a much stronger fiber. This fiber can be used in anything from rope and blankets to paper. Marijuana fiber has a low tensile strength and will break or shred easily, making it a poor fibrous plant when compared to industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp also grows differently than THC-containing cannabis ( Marijuana). Hemp is typically grown up, not out, because the focus is not on producing buds but on producing length of stalk. In this way, hemp is a very similar crop to bamboo. The stalk contains the fiber and hard, woody core material that can be used for a variety of purposes, even carpentry. Generally, THC-producing marijuana plants are grown to an average of five feet in height. Industrial hemp on the other hand is grown to a height of ten to fifteen feet before harvest. Also, it is fairly difficult to grow concealed marijuana within industrial hemp crops as the DEA alleges. Since industrial hemp is grown so close together and is generally a very narrow, vertical growth crop, any THC-producing marijuana would stick out like a sore thumb. Its wide growth would require a large amount of space to itself in order to get adequate sunlight from beyond the tops of the competing industrial hemp plants.
The two also differ in the areas that they can be effectively grown. THC-producing Marijuana must be grown in generally warm and humid environments in order to produce the desired quantity and quality of THC-containing buds. However, since industrial hemp does not contain these buds, and the hardy parts of the plant are the more desired, it can be grown in a wider range of areas. Generally, industrial hemp grows best on fields that provide high yields for corn crops, which includes most of the Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast United States. Furthermore, since industrial hemp can use male plants as well as female plants (since the object is not THC production), higher crop yields can result.
Hemp also has little potential to produce high-content THC when pollinated. As long as industrial hemp plants are pollinated by members of their own crop, then the genetics will remain similar with low levels of THC. One would have to place several marijuana plants in close vicinity in over several generations order to alter the genetics substantially of the offspring.
Since there are so many differences between low-THC industrial hemp and high-THC marijuana, it seems to make sense that it would be a fostered, rather than demonized crop. Although technically hemp is not illegal to grow, it requires obtaining a special permit from the DEA. These permits are rarely given out and require that the crop be surrounded by security measures such as fences, razor wire, security guards, or dogs. Industrial hemp could transform the economy of the United States in a positive and beneficial way, and therefore should be utilized to its full potential.by MaryJanesGirl™
It’s the final day of the official Hemp History Week 2013 and a good reminder that whether you use words, images, music or performance pieces, there are many ways to involve yourself in being an active activist for the causes you believe in. It may take just a few moments or a few weeks…it can be simple or complex, small or huge, all efforts add up, what matters is that you attempt to affect change.
June 3-9, 2013 is the 4th annual Hemp History Week. Now in its forth year, Hemp History Week (www.hemphistoryweek.com) is the largest national, grassroots marketing and public education effort to renew strong support for hemp farming in the U.S. and raise awareness about the benefits of hemp products. Hemp History Week is an opportunity to have our voices heard in support of bringing hemp back to U.S. farms.
Hemp is a traditional American crop, grown by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Despite the fact that industrial hemp has no drug value, misguided federal policy criminalized the cultivation of industrial hemp in the U.S.. This outdated policy has created a missed opportunity for American farmers and consumers alike.
U.S. consumers are demanding U.S. grown hemp. Today, millions of consumers know hemp as a healthful source of plant-based protein and Omega 3s and 6s. They are purchasing hemp clothing, using hemp paper, and may even live in an energy efficient home being built with hemp. The Hemp market is rapidly growing where SPINS marketing data from 2012, showed up $156 million in retail sales of hemp-based foods, nutritional supplements, and body care products. The Hemp Industries Association has reviewed sales of clothing, auto parts, building materials and various other products, and it estimates the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2012 to be over $500 million.
Hemp is an untapped opportunity for American farmers and this is a crop that pays. Industrial hemp has been grown in Canada since 1999. Today, Canadian hemp farmers net an average $200-$400 per acre for hemp grown just north of the U.S. border. Hemp farming supports not just farms, but secondary businesses such as processing and manufacturing, creating jobs and building the health of local economies.
During Hemp History Week, our U.S. Senators need to hear from us on behalf of industrial hemp. The campaign is leading a drive to collect 100 letters to Senators in each of the 50 states in support of industrial hemp farming legislation. Write a letter at http://www.hemphistoryweek.com/takeaction
There are many compelling reasons for lawmakers to support industrial hemp. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) explains: “There are several successful businesses in my state who are manufacturing healthy and sustainable products made from hemp. Currently these companies are forced to import their raw materials from Canada and other countries. Changing federal policy to allow American farmers the right to grow hemp right here at home will help these companies thrive, while creating new economic opportunities in Oregon and across the country.”
Support for hemp is building. Hemp History Week is a diverse campaign that includes farmers; prominent natural foods and products sponsors; grassroots organizers; college students; restaurants; and as many as 800+ participating retail stores, including most Whole Foods Market locations in the U.S. By hosting events, educating communities, offering promotions, and spreading the word, together these groups are expanding the base of support for industrial hemp. Farmers play a key roll in this conversation. There are many ways that you can support this campaign. To learn more and find out how you can get involved visit http://hemphistoryweek.com/getinvolved.php and check out the Hemp History Week Farmer Toolkit for helpful resources on hemp farming. http://hemphistoryweek.com/eventkit.phpby MaryJanesGirl™
Cannabis Freedom March In Seattle, Wa where Cannabis was legalized last year. This is a good time and opportunity to share with others what you know about hemp or your chance to learn more about hempby MaryJanesGirl™
Don’t Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20 — Take Action Against Marijuana Prohibition
By Bill Piper
The movement to end cannabis prohibition is very broad, composed of people who love cannabis, people who hate cannabis, and people who don’t have strong feelings about cannabis use one way or the other. We all agree on one thing though – cannabis prohibition is doing more harm than good. It’s wasting taxpayer dollars and police resources, filling our jails and prisons with hundreds of thousands of nonviolent people, and increasing crime and violence in the same way alcohol Prohibition did. Police made more than 750,000 arrests for cannabis possession in 2008 alone. Those arrested were separated from their loved ones, branded criminals, denied jobs, and in many cases prohibited from accessing student loans, public housing and other public assistance.
The war on cannabis won’t end, however, if everyone who supports reform stays silent. Maybe you smoke cannabis and are tired of being considered a criminal. Maybe you work in law enforcement and are tired of ruining people’s lives by arresting them. Maybe you’re a teacher or public health advocate tired of politicians cutting money for education and health to pay for the construction of new jails and prisons Maybe you’re a civil rights activist appalled by racial disparities in cannabis law enforcement. Or maybe you just don’t want your tax dollars wasted on ineffective policies.
Regardless of your motivation, April 20th (4/20) is a good opportunity for you to make a pledge to end cannabis prohibition. The Drug Policy Alliance is asking people to use 4/20 as the time to commit to doing something in 2011 to end the war on people who use cannabis. There are many ways to help end cannabis prohibition. Donate to a drug policy reform organization. Tell your elected representatives to end cannabis prohibition. Talk to your friends and family about why people who use cannabis shouldn’t be arrested. Twitter this. Change your Facebook status to announce your support for ending the war on cannabis. Stand up today with other Americans and get the word out there. This war will end; how soon depends, in part, on you.by MaryJanesGirl™
Hemp History Week is next month (May) and now is a good time to start brainstorming and solidify how you want to contribute to HHW 2013. Taking a picture and adding your words ( or someone else’s, just remember to give credit ) to spread the message and get people talking may be one of the easiest ways to be an activist online.
Right now images speak volumes. Make it count!by MaryJanesGirl™
The hemp plant was one of humankind’s first cultivated plants and there is quite a lot to educate oneself about this greatly historical plant. With the help of the hemp plant we, as a society could eliminate smog from current fuels, create a cleaner energy source that can replace nuclear power, remove radioactive waste from the soil, and eliminate smog from our skies in more industrialized areas. The hemp plant could assist in eliminating non-biodegradable plastics and cars by reintroducing Henry Ford’s 100 year old dream of building cars made from hemp with a plastic hemp car body that can withstand a blow 10 times as great as steel without denting, weighs 1 thousand pounds less than steel, hence improving gas mileage, can run on a vegetable oil based all natural hemp fuel, and has a completely biodegradable body. Nationwide hemp production could eliminate deforestation by converting current paper to hemp paper which can be recycled up to 8 times where as our current wood pulp is only recyclable up to 3 times, and we could thrive from eating hemp seeds and feeding it to our animals and livestock.
Industrial hemp can make our future roads, highways and freeways from hemp based concrete, which lasts for centuries. Society can benefit from the hemp plant’s attributes such as oxygen production, hemp’s dense root structure, and hemp’s nutrient and nitrogen production back into the soil. Chemicals in cannabis can be used in medicines and are estimated to treat around 250 diseases and illnesses, from which studies have shown inhibits the growth of cancer cells in rats, as well as a long list of other ailments. Finally, we could make an estimated 50,000 products ranging from building composites, cellophane, dynamite to shampoo, textiles, twine and yarn. If the US grew industrial hemp it could stop wars, save the environment, boost our economy, improve general health and well being, virtually end our reliance on any foreign entity, and save humankind from itself. But wait, wait, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
Studies have shown that hemp’s biomass can be converted into energy and could replace nuclear power and our current fossil fuels.[Belle, Mika] Just by farming 6 percent of the US’s acreage this could be achieved. “Hemp grown in biomass could fuel a trillion-dollar-per-year industry, while at the same time create more jobs, clean our air, and distribute wealth to our communities and away from centralized power monopolies.” Hemp’s biomass can be converted into gasoline, methanol, and methane at a fraction of the current cost of oil, coal, or nuclear energy.
An article from Montana State University states, “When burned in a diesel engine, bio-diesel replaces the exhaust odor of petroleum diesel with a smell something akin to french-fries. Bio-diesel is 11 percent oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur, so instead of creating sulfur-based smog and acid rain as by-products, it produces 11 percent oxygen instead. Bio-diesel can be made from domestically produced, renewable oilseed crops such as hemp.” The hemp grown through government farming and regulation is called “industrialized hemp” and contains no more than 0.03 percent THC content, which is not a high enough percentage for drug use. Canada, China, and England are examples of countries who have never prohibited, but instead have responsibly grown, produced, and thrived off of industrialized hemp [Hemp].
Imagine being able to dump our nuclear waste somewhere that wouldn’t have any adverse effects on the surrounding environment. The hemp plant can help with that as well. A nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Russia had a meltdown April 1986 and experiments have shown that the hemp plant can help remove the toxicity in the soil. “There is an estimated 30,000 sites in the United States are estimated to be needing hazardous waste treatment” and the hemp plant is the answer to this terrible environmental issue.[The McGraw Hill Companies].
Henry Ford had a dream of “cars made from the soil” and created the first bio-fueled car and also, a car made from hemp. The body of the car was made out of veggie-plastics made from flax, wheat, hemp, and spruce pulp.[Davis, Richard M] As an experiment, Ford struck the door with an ax in the dead of winter and it didn’t leave a dent. The material was “ten times” stronger than steel and yet one-third the weight, hence saving on gas mileage. “Popular Mechanics Magazine, Vol. 76, No. 6, December,1941. Title: Auto Body Made of Plastics Resists Denting Under Hard Blows.“[Carver, George Washington] Henry Ford’s dream was saving American lives, human lives. The car was completely bio-degradable and so with that Henry Ford achieved his dream of “a car made from the soil.”[Malmo-Levine, David] Fords cars were in my definition: the poor person’s car. A car you could sustain on your own, distilling your own alcohol, or hemp and creating your own fuel in your own backyard while saving your family thousands of dollars per year. Hemp oil was even used, as grease to lubricate parts within the car’s engine. [Malmo-Levine, David]
Ford’s dream materialized before me, as I learned how he made a car grown from the soil, a car made out of and run off of hemp, and a plastic that is scientifically documented to be ten times stronger than steel and one thousand pounds less in weight. If this were our implemented into current day driving would be like bumper cars and getting into a crash might no longer be such an intensive insurance matter. If all the cars on the road were made with hemp the injuries and deaths would become considerably less. Industrial Hemp must again become our main crop producer and be used in the making of every single car produced in America. The hemp plant could saves millions of American lives. “Car accidents involving other moving vehicles accounted for the large majority of accident deaths in California in 2004 with 1,336 deaths due to collisions with other vehicles. This accounts for about 35% of all fatal car wrecks throughout the state. Telephone poles, palm trees, street signs and other stationary objects accounted for another 1,072 auto accident deaths in 2004.” [Resource 4 Accidents]
Despite Industrial Hemp having 50,000 uses, Dupont, Rockefeller, Hearst, Mellon and their constituents cornered the industrial and medicinal market with political propaganda. Dupont created Nylon, owned General Motors and was “one of the top ten U.S. based petroleum and natural gas producers and refiners.”[DuPont] Rockefeller owned Standard Oil and was soon known as the “richest man in modern history.”[Rockefeller] This is a political science paper and can be viewed at one of my Blogs here at http://marijuana-tax-act-1937.blogspot.com/. But lets not get off topic, so big business and capitalistic politics thrived and outlawed the hemp plant that had sustained the United States of America, since the days of our founding fathers and all for someone else’s selfish monopolistic goals.[Malmo-Levine, David] Henry Ford achieved his dream, but he was denied any true public recognition and any further industrial hemp progression. Every citizen of America was denied Henry Ford’s hemp dream of a car made from the soil.
In 100 BC, hemp paper was invented in China using hemp and mulberry. Since 100 AD, when the Romans wrote a guide to farming hemp it has since been farmed all over the known world. From the Germans, Franks, Vikings, Chinese (who have never prohibited the use of hemp all-throughout history), English, Canadians, Egyptians, and even Americans all grew, produced, and thrived off of hemp. In 1150 AD, Muslims created the first paper mill and for the next 700 years hemp paper was what most civilizations wrote upon.[Schaffer, C.] Civilizations around the world and for example; during the Napaleonic Era, ship’s sails, ropes, and sailor’s clothing were made from hemp.
Hemp paper can be recycled up to eight times while the current pulp wood fiber can only be recycled three times. By farming hemp throughout the United States and even the world it could assist in reducing deforestation by 50 percent, or more.[Hemphasis] George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were two examples of historical spokespersons for growing hemp and in 1619 the Virginia Company made hemp cultivation mandatory, which increased commerce with England and helped the American economy thrive. Our Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper and our first American Flag was made out of hemp. [Schaffer, C.] These historical economical and industrial concepts and examples can easily be applied to present day.
“Hemp seeds contain beneficial omega fatty acids and amino acids, more than any other source.” The seeds can be used in a number of food dishes in baking, prepared as tea, any type of food like ice cream, and milk. Cultures all over the world have consumed hemp seeds in times of famine to prevent starvation which has saved millions of lives.[Saunders, Clare] The nutritional facts astounding, for example; hemp seeds contains 20 percent complete and highly digest-able protein.[Earth Friendly Network] Canadian Hemp seed exports surged 300 percent a few years back and China, and other eastern countries have to this day never prohibited hemps cultivation and use it extensively. [Hemp]
“Only 1 acre of hemp is said to produce more oxygen than 25 acres of current forest.” [Bryon, Alan D.] Theoretically, if our cities had greenhouses on top of all the office buildings, like in Los Angeles, filled with hemp then the massive output of oxygen would be a massive intake of carbon dioxide. This in turn should make our cities skies once again blue, healthy and smog free. Methane is one of the main producers of green house gases and one of the many major causes for dramatic global climate change. [Hopwood, Nick, and Jordan Cohen] Therefore, our farmers can grow hemp in our cow pastures, so the hemp plants can have first hand absorption of methane gases via cow farts, and burps. The cows can also eat directly from the hemp plants around them, which would eliminate the need to use hormones and steroids, due to hemp’s nutritional facts.[Earth Friendly Network]
Hemp has a superior connection with the earth compared to other plants. When you plant hemp in an area that is infested with Canadian Thwack Grass, or Canadian Thistle Grass, the hemp plant’s dense root structure will smother out these invasive weeds and make that land again arable.[West, D.P.] Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Congress back when the colonies were first founded that requested that the government grow hemp instead of tobacco.[Hemp] Tobacco drains all nitrogen and nutrients from the soil, which leaves the land less arable, or harder to farm upon. Hemp restores nutrients and nitrogen back into the soil. [Davis, Richard M.] Another attribute is that hemp is drought and disease resistance, which gives hemp the added advantage of being able to be grown in even the most dry to wet climates and has little-to-no need for pesticides, because the hemp plant is highly resistant to plant diseases, illnesses, and pests. Hemp’s dense root structure helps prevent mudslides, erosion, and natural catastrophes. The hemp plant is one of the only plants that can be harvested year-around in states like California, or Florida for example, due to the harsh climates in those regions.[Davis, Richard M.]
In France there are bridges centuries old made out of a mixture of hemp and lime. This process is called Iso’Chanvre and is another great example of possible industrial innovations regarding the hemp plant.[Rawganique] Society could build roads and bridges that wouldn’t require continuous repairs and wouldn’t require endless tax payer dollars each year. Clothes, pottery, shoes, jewelry, shampoos, pies and so much more can be made from hemp and no part of the plant would go unused. From hemp’s roots, stems, leaves, and even what might be considered waste from the hemp plant can be produced into any of the estimated 50,000 products.
Our current education doesn’t teach us that Columbus sailed across the Atlantic with the rope on his ships, the caulking and rigging, and yes the sails, all were made from hemp.[Schaffer, C.] There was also no mention in our history books of the endless crates of hemp seeds Columbus and the other ships brought with them. Not only did they survive by eating the hemp seeds, but they planted the seeds in America and overtime, hemp now creates an estimated 50,000 products.[Carver, George Washington] The hemp plant’s most common product is it’s fiber, especially the bast fibers which are extremely strong and durable.
Hemp can also be used in building composite material such as beams, studs, fire resistant building materials, fiberboard and even such things as paint, varnish, ink and carpet. There seems to be a consensus that hemp building composite materials are stronger, more durable and flexible than our currently used wood pulp composite building material. “In 1935, two years before being outlawed, 116 million pounds of hemp seed were used in the United States to produce paint and varnish.”[Robbins Pet Care] Is there anything hemp can’t be made out of? Hemp wood composite is fire durable, which would benefit those who lived in fire sensitive areas.
Regarding marijuana: You can avoid the whole problem of growing hemps psychoactive counterpart cannabis aka marijuana by growing the plants in a controlled environment and exposing the female plants to male plants. When the female plants are pollinated by the male plants their (THC) or Tetra-hydra-cannibanol level begins to drop. The longer the plants are held in these pollinating and harsh conditions, the THC level will continue to drop and you can maintain the THC percentage to stay below 0.03 percent making it impossible to use the plant as a drug.[Innvista] If other countries can responsibly produce and cultivate hemp for industrial uses then there is no reason why America cannot responsibly produce and cultivate the hemp plant too. Unless we aren’t a responsible nation?
Archaeologists have found evidence linking hemp and its psychoactive counterpart marijuana back to 8,000 BC when agriculture and hemp textile industries began in Europe and Asia [Medical Cannabis]. By 3725 BC, Shen Nung Pen Ts’ao of China wrote of cannabis in the world’s first medical text and Ts’ao declared cannabis as “a superior herb.”[Schaffer, C.] Cannabis sativa have been used for medicinal purposes for 4,800 years and has been prescribed for over 250 illnesses and diseases, for example: Asthma, insomnia, often used to treat pain in childbirth, migraines, used for AIDS and Cancer patients allowing them to have an appetite, glaucoma, relieves anorexia in Alzheimer’s patients, mental health, it can be used as suppositories for relieving the pain of hemorrhoids, and depression are just a few examples of the many conditions that cannabis alleviates.[Medical Cannabis] Recent studies in Italy have shown that a chemical found in marijuana, inhibits the growth of cancer cells in rats. THC pills, or Marinol, synthetic THC, are made with the ingredients necessary for the specific treatment of those disease, or illness, but some patients cannot swallow these pills, due to their condition and that is when smoking the plant is applied. There are countless other examples of marijuana’s beneficial medicinal properties, but here are two final and thought provoking examples to contemplate over: Medicinal marijuana is used to treat alcohol addiction and other drugs such as heroin and is used to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in war veterans.
With the facts and knowledge acquired, it is apparent that hemp is humankind’s savior and that hemp must be re-implemented into our countries way of life. General George Washington stated, “Grow it everywhere, hemp is greatly viable for winning the war and sustaining a future fantastic for America.”
Are we at war with nature, or perhaps is nature at war with us? Hemp is grown by almost every civilized country and hemp benefits those countries economies and their countries citizen’s health. To not take the scientific approach in making the decision to legalize and produce industrial hemp is dooming humankind to more needless sufferings and perhaps even another Ice Age. Our current dramatic, devastatingly, unpredictable weather breaks records each year and these violent weather patterns are the first signs of nature’s end means. If the icebergs of the world melt, the sea level will raise by 20 feet, or more and force extinction upon millions of animal and plant species, and kill and displace millions of human beings worldwide. The Philippines, Hawaii, Florida and countless other countries, cities and homes will all be underwater if this were to occur.[Climatecrisis.net] Can you imagine watching the sunset with your child and as the low tide rolls out it reveals the rooftops of houses now underwater.
Only by the legalization of Industrial Hemp and its removal from Schedule 1 of The Controlled Substance Act, can we start working immediately towards the one thing that can save humankind from itself.[110th Congress] America would have a cleaner fuel and energy source, we would dispose of nuclear waste more efficiently, we’d create cars that could reduce traffic fatalities and are completely biodegradable, we’d have a paper product that can be recycled up to 8 times, instead of just 3 times, we’d reduce deforestation by 50 percent nationwide and eventually, worldwide, we’d have an endless supply of food products, livestock bedding, livestock feed and the benefits of the endless nutritional facts backing hemp. imagine roads, freeways and highways that wouldn’t require monthly repairs and endless taxpayer dollars, preventing landslides and improving our farming industry by using hem, as a crop rotator, having an estimated 50,000 industrial bio-degradable products, and regarding medicinal marijuana, having over 250 medicinal uses that could ease the suffering of so many people who simply can’t afford the proper care, or treatment.
The facts and history of hemp show boldly how important it is to humankind that we should all support hemps production and usage for our countries economical and health related benefits. With the debate of global warming over and as I like to call it, “dramatic global climate change” fast approaching we need someone, or something to save us from humankind’s destination. There are many facts and products that haven’t been discussed here and there is so much more relating to the history and benefits of the hemp plant for humankind. Only with relentless and patient education and constant communication can society overcome the propaganda and misperception surrounding the hemp plant. These fallacies have masked the history and extraordinary uses and benefits of the hemp plant. We, as a society, must continue learning and teaching others about the hemp plant and we must always network what we learn to others. If you’ve learned something from reading this article that you hadn’t known before you can help by spreading this knowledge of hemp to anyone and everyone. Can you imagine the gold mine waiting in everyone’s backyards, or empty fields, or, those thousands of acres of unused land nationwide, or along the sides of our freeways and highways?
The hemp plant is humankind’s savior and the more society knows, the sooner we can put into action what we have learned and the better off our future generations will be. There are an estimated 50,000 industrial uses that can benefit every aspect of our daily lives from this one humble and misunderstood plant, and the facts can’t be denied any longer. I think I see a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.
So remember to Seek the facts, Confront the truth, and Pass it on.by MaryJanesGirl™
An explosion at a nuclear reactor on April 26th, 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine created the world’s worst nuclear disaster – so far.
The blast heavily contaminated agricultural lands in a 30 km radius around the reactor. The few people still living there must monitor their food and water for radiation. However the combination of a new technology (phytoremediation) and an old crop (industrial hemp) may offer the Ukraine a way to decontaminate it’s radioactive soil.
In 1998, Consolidated Growers and Processors (CGP), PHYTOTECH, and the Ukraine’s Institute of Bast Crops began what may be one of the most important projects in history – the planting of industrial hemp for the removal of contaminants in the soil near Chernobyl.
CGP is an ecologically-minded multinational corporation which finances the growing and processing of sustainable industrial crops such as flax, kenaf, and industrial hemp. CGP operates in North America, Europe and the Ukraine.
PHYTOTECH (see webpage: www.phytotech.com ) specializes in phytoremediation, the general term for using phyto (plants) to remediate (clean up) polluted sites. Phytoremediation can be used to remove radioactive elements from soil and water at former weapons producing facilaties. It can also be used to clean up metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and toxins leaching from landfills.
Plants break down or degrade organic pollutants and stabilize metal contaminants by acting as filters or traps. PHYTOTECH is conducting feild trials to improve the phytoextraction of lead, uranium, cesium-137, and strontium-90 from soils and also from water.
Founded in 1931, the Institute of Bast Crops is now the leading research institution in the Ukraine working on seed-breeding, seed-growing, cultivating, harvesting and processing hemp and flax.
The Bast Institute has a genetic bank including 400 varieties of hemp from various regions of the world.
“Hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants we have been able to find,” said Slavik Dushenkov, a research scienst with PHYTOTECH. Test results have been promising and CGP, PHYOTECH and the Bast Institute plan full scale trials in the Chernobyl region in the spring of 1999.
Industrial hemp is not a drug. Unlike its cousin marijuana, industrial hemp has only trace amounts of THC – the chemical that produces the high. In 1973, the Department of the Interior and Department of Health and Agriculture of the former USSR issued an ultimatim to the Institute of Bast Crops – either create non-psycoactive varities of hemp or stop cultivating hemp. So, scientists at the institute created an industrial hemp plant containing only minute traces of THC. Modern testing in Canada confirmed the low THC content of the Bast Institute’s hemp.
New technologies in hemp harvesting and processing are also being developed at the Institute whose library contains more than 55,000 volumes mainly on hemp-growing and flax-growing.
Chernobyl may seem distant, but the EPA estimates that there are more than 30,000 sites requiring hazardous waste treatment throughout the U.S. including Hanford and Three Mile Island.
Phytoremediation with industrial hemp could be used at many of these sites. Unfortunantly, the U.S. government refuses to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp and clings to the obsolete myth that it is a drug.
© Central Oregon Green Pages
by Elaine Charkowski
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 and The Berne Convention on Literary and Artistic Works, Article 10, news clippings are made available without profit for research and educational purposes.by MaryJanesGirl™