Benefits of Industrial Hemp
Industrial Hemp (which is not the same as medicinally and recreationally-used marijuana) was grown commercially in the US until the 1950s. Now the US is the only industrialized nation that prohibits growing industrial hemp despite the fact that it’s highly profitable; can be used to make more than 25,000 products, including paper, fiber, plastics, textiles, and rope; and does not require the use of herbicides or pesticides to grow it.
Many communities are aiming to make industrial hemp legal, which would benefit farmers, our economy, and the environment. In the last ten years more than 28 American states have introduced hemp legislation. You can learn from their experiences and join forces.
Here are some resources to learn more about the benefits of industrial hemp and get involved in the movement:
- Hemporium - a South African hemp company whose long term goal is to "promote the cultivation and use of industrial hemp as a sustainable crop in South Africa."
- Hemp Hemp Hooray! DVD – A great documentary on the growing industrial hemp market.
- North Dakota Case Study – In 1999, North Dakota passed a bill to allow the production of industrial hemp, but farmers have been unable to grow the crop because it remains illegal under federal law. This case study provides an overview of hemp and the challenges faced in North Dakota, and ultimately emphasizes the need to change Federal laws, and the classification of hemp as a drug, in order to truly be effective.
- Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011 (HR 1831, 112th Congress) – This bill was introduced to Congress by Representative Ron Paul in 2011. It could be used as a model for re-introducing Federal Legislation to make cultivation of Hemp legal in the US.
- Videos on Green Building with Hemp: