Hempstead Thoughts

HEMP: A GIFT IT’S TIME TO RECEIVE

The time for solutions is now; our future depends on it.

Today’s world is undoubtedly complex.  Even if one chooses to try and live a life of inner and outer peace, one’s life isn’t without violence to others-especially if one defines violence along a continuum of negatively impacting other beings to actually physically harming them.

This reality of violence to other beings and the planet is especially true when one looks into how and what we eat and the depletion of the planet this results in; it’s true when we look into our clothes and what it takes to grow their materials and the way in which many of them are manufactured; and it’s certainly true when one looks into the energy that powers our homes, cars and industry and how it is extracted and turned into electricity, gas, and other fuel sources.

There is no silver bullet to solve any one of these basic requirements that humans have for our ongoing survival.  In fact, the issues that need to be addressed for just one of these demands (food, clothing, energy) are massively complex, and made even more so given the population pressure, the geo-political realities, and the economic interests at play.

But there are some solutions that can help service humanity’s needs which are readily available to be deployed in a non-violent manner, without threat to our planet’s eco-systems, and which have been used in the past and are there today to be used again.

Hemp is one of these solutions. One of the most ancient and useful plants grown by Man, the absence of Hemp in contemporary American agriculture is remarkable. We should recognize the industrial Hemp plant for what it is: a true gift of Nature. Indeed, one shouldn’t forget that Hemp was seen as the “Tree of Life” in Biblical times. This reverence is not surprising, as Hemp can provide many of the key necessities of life: clothing, construction materials, food and energy.  Hemp, in fact, was grown by our Founding Fathers, helped sailors navigate the globe in the form of rope and canvas for sails, and aided the U.S. in World War II in the form of parachute harnesses and rope.

Hemp was dismissed, abandoned and outlawed for a variety of reasons, but mainly because of economic alternatives that were more lucrative, coupled with a significant public campaign to convince the American people and their government that all Hemp was evil. Thus the useful industrial Cannabis Hemp was outlawed along with its intoxicating cousin, commonly known as Marijuana.  Various strains of cannabis can produce intoxicating effects, but not Hemp.  Hemp simply does not contain enough of the active compound needed to alter consciousness.

Consequently industrial Hemp is not a drug. Full stop.  There is no intoxicant present in any quantity to alter consciousness whether it be smoked, distilled, or otherwise used. Many countries raise industrial Hemp without compromising their policies regarding intoxicating strains of Cannabis, and the proposition that growing Hemp gives Marijuana growers a cover under which to operate is simply not true.  The plants look different (one is small and bushy and the other tall) and to grow Marijuana in and amongst Hemp would negatively impact the intoxicating effects of Marijuana. As such, there is no sound reason why America cannot likewise benefit from Hemp’s cultivation.

So, what is hemp?

It is a tall fibrous plant that can used for:

·      Fiber-it can help preserve our forests and forgo the toxicity of cotton as an alternate source of fiber for paper and clothes….

·      Food-its seeds contain a complete protein and a balanced source of EFA’s….

·      Fuel-it can very easily be turned into a form of bio-diesel…

And it can be grown without pesticides or herbicides…..

In a country where our farmers are struggling to stay on the land, in a country where we seek energy independence, in a world in which preserving our forests is necessary to help mitigate global warming, and in a world that needs alternate protein sources to animal products as we can’t afford the land and water required to “grow” them, Hemp can and should be part of the solution.

The time for a sane and coherent discussion regarding Hemp is now. It is time for America to make use of the abundant natural resource that is Hemp. In doing so, we as a Nation will further one of our primary goals: to reduce our dependence on foreign resources, particularly oil. Thus it is strongly in our national interest, both economically and environmentally, to follow the lead of other industrial Hemp producing countries, such as Canada, France, Australia, China and others.  We as humans are already using 33% more resources than our planet can produce.  If we were farmers-we’d be eating our seed instead of planting it. If we were a bank, we’d be spending our principal.

Hemp won’t solve all our problems, but it can be part of the solution: the time for a sane and coherent discussion regarding Hemp is now.

May it happen and be moved back into full scale production.  It’s in America’s roots, and it’s time to have it as part of future. This is a time when we can ill-afford to turn our back on so valuable a resource.

the youngers

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