Did you know, it is estimated that hemp has approximately 25,000 uses? From food, paint and fuel to clothing and construction materials, hemp is used. There are even hemp fibres in your Red Rose® and Lipton® tea bags. And several cars made today contain hemp.
The oldest relic of human industry is a piece of hemp fabric (canvas) found in ancient Mesopotamia dating back to approximately 8000 B.C. The oldest surviving piece of paper was made over 2000 years ago in China and was also made from hemp fibre. In 2500 B.C. the pharaohs used hemp in the construction of the great pyramids.
Hemp was so important in England in the 16th century that King Henry VIII passed a law in 1553 which fined farmers who failed to grow at least one quarter acre of hemp for every 60 acres of arable land they owned. There was even a time in history for over 200 years when you could pay your taxes in America with hemp. In 1850 there were more than 8,300 hemp farms in the United States.
Every 3.6 seconds someone in the world dies of hunger. Hemp seeds are the most nutritious and economical solution to end world hunger. With an 80 percent concentration of “good fats” our bodies need for good health maintenance and protein with all eight amino acids plus optimum dietary fibre, hemp truly is a “perfect balance” food source.
The paintings of Rembrandt (1606- 1669), Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) and Thomas Gainsborough (1727- 1788) were painted primarily on hemp canvas, often with hemp oil based paint. Over 50 percent of all chemical pesticides sprayed are used in the cultivation of cotton. Hemp is eight times stronger than cotton and more air-permeable. Hemp can grow vigorously (up to 16 feet) in 100 days without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides… healthier for your skin and the environment.
The real reason Cannabis has been outlawed has nothing to do with its effects on the mind and body
Pot is NOT harmful to the human body or mind. Marijuana does NOT pose a threat to the general public. Marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries and a large number of chemical corporations. Various big businesses, with plenty of dollars and influence, have suppressed the truth from the people.
The truth is if marijuana was utilized for its vast array of commercial products, it would create an industrial atomic bomb! Entrepreneurs have not been educated on the product potential of pot. The super rich have conspired to spread misinformation about an extremely versatile plant that, if used properly, would ruin their companies.
Where did the word ‘marijuana’ come from? In the mid 1930s, the M-word was created to tarnish the good image and phenomenal history of the hemp plant…as you will read. The facts cited here, with references, are generally verifiable in the Encyclopedia Britannica which was printed on hemp paper for 150 years:
* All schoolbooks were made from hemp or flax paper until the 1880s; Hemp Paper Reconsidered, Jack Frazier, 1974.
* It was LEGAL TO PAY TAXES WITH HEMP in America from 1631 until the early 1800s; LA Times, Aug. 12, 1981.
* REFUSING TO GROW HEMP in America during the 17th and 18th Centuries WAS AGAINST THE LAW! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769; Hemp in Colonial Virginia, G. M. Herdon.
* George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers GREW HEMP; Washington and Jefferson Diaries. Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America.
* Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America and it processed hemp. Also, the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow’s export to England; Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer.
* For thousands of years, 90% of all ships’ sails and rope were made from hemp. The word ‘canvas’ is Dutch for cannabis; Webster’s New World Dictionary.
* 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc. were made from hemp until the 1820s with the introduction of the cotton gin.
* The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross’s flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp; U.S. Government Archives.
* The first crop grown in many states was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for Kentucky producing 40,000 tons. Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th Century; State Archives.
* Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5000 years in China, although hemp industrialization probably goes back to ancient Egypt.
* Rembrants, Gainsboroughs, Van Goghs as well as most early canvas paintings were principally painted on hemp linen.
* In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need to be cut down. Government studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs; Department of Agriculture
* Quality paints and varnishes were made from hemp seed oil until 1937. 58,000 tons of hemp seeds were used in America for paint products in 1935; Sherman Williams Paint Co. testimony before Congress against the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.
* Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONTRUCTED FROM HEMP! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel; Popular Mechanics, 1941.
* Hemp called ‘Billion Dollar Crop.’ It was the first time a cash crop had a business potential to exceed a billion dollars; Popular Mechanics, Feb., 1938.
* Mechanical Engineering Magazine (Feb. 1938) published an article entitled ‘The Most Profitable and Desirable Crop that Can be Grown.’ It stated that if hemp was cultivated using 20th Century technology, it would be the single largest agricultural crop in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
The following information comes directly from the United States Department of Agriculture’s 1942 14-minute film encouraging and instructing ‘patriotic American farmers’ to grow 350,000 acres of hemp each year for the war effort:
‘…(When) Grecian temples were new, hemp was already old in the service of mankind. For thousands of years, even then, this plant had been grown for cordage and cloth in China and elsewhere in the East. For centuries prior to about 1850, all the ships that sailed the western seas were rigged with hempen rope and sails. For the sailor, no less than the hangman, hemp was indispensable…
…Now with Philippine and East Indian sources of hemp in the hands of the Japanese…American hemp must meet the needs of our Army and Navy as well as of our industries…
…the Navy’s rapidly dwindling reserves. When that is gone, American hemp will go on duty again; hemp for mooring ships; hemp for tow lines; hemp for tackle and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore. Just as in the days when Old Ironsides sailed the seas victorious with her hempen shrouds and hempen sails. Hemp for victory!’
Certified proof from the Library of Congress; found by the research of Jack Herer, refuting claims of other government agencies that the 1942 USDA film ‘Hemp for Victory’ did not exist.
Hemp cultivation and production do not harm the environment. The USDA Bulletin #404 concluded that hemp produces 4 times as much pulp with at least 4 to 7 times less pollution. From Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1938:
‘It has a short growing season…It can be grown in any state…The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for the next year’s crop. The dense shock of leaves, 8 to 12 feet above the ground, chokes out weeds.
…hemp, this new crop can add immeasurably to American agriculture and industry.’
In the 1930s, innovations in farm machinery would have caused an industrial revolution when applied to hemp. This single resource could have created millions of new jobs generating thousands of quality products. Hemp, if not made illegal, would have brought America out of the Great Depression.
William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane) and the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division of Kimberly Clark owned vast acreage of timberlands. The Hearst Company supplied most paper products. Patty Hearst’s grandfather, a destroyer of nature for his own personal profit, stood to lose billions because of hemp.
In 1937, Dupont patented the processes to make plastics from oil and coal. Dupont’s Annual Report urged stockholders to invest in its new petrochemical division. Synthetics such as plastics, cellophane, celluloid, methanol, nylon, rayon, Dacron, etc., could now be made from oil. Natural hemp industrialization would have ruined over 80% of Dupont’s business.
A version of this article appeared on RiseEarth