Cannabis continues to make head way on the political front as more states and provinces consider legalizing the plant. As this happens, Cannabis’ close cousin Hemp is making strides in becoming legal to grow once again.
The new farm bill passed Feb 4th 2014, makes growing hemp, in states where it is legalized, legal for Universities and Colleges to perform research. While this seems to only be a small step in the right direction, it is a step nonetheless as it illustrates the change of perception towards both hemp and cannabis that is sweeping its way across the world. The more who are educated about and exposed to the power of these plants for both industrial application and medicine, the greater the chances that further widespread legalization can occur.
Currently California, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont and Maine are able to begin growing hemp the moment Obama signs the bill in coming weeks. Another 11 states have bills pending that push to legalize hemp before their legislatures this year. It seems only a matter of time before country-wide legalization will be seen in the United States, much like it is already seen in other countries around the world.
Hemp’s Legal History
In September of 1937, hemp became illegal and prohibition began. Arguably the most useful plant known to man became illegal to grow and use both in its non THC strain and THC strain called marijuana. Hemp was declared dangerous and a threat to billion dollar enterprises of powerful people at the time. For their dynasties to remain intact, hemp had to go. To this day, the plant is still illegal to grow in the United States, until now.
Films like ‘Reefer Madness’ (1936), ‘Marihuana: Assassin of Youth’ (1935) and ‘Marihuana: The Devil’s Weed’ (1936) which were all propaganda films designed by industrialists to create an enemy out of marihuana, were the main way public opinion was shaped about Hemp, even though it has no psychoactive properties. Reefer Madness was possibly the most interesting of the films as it depicted a man going crazy from smoking marijuana and then murdering his family with an ax. With all of these films, the goal was to gain public support so that anti-marihuana laws could be passed without objection. Read more on hemp prohibition.