5 Reasons to Legalize Hemp
Hemp is not Marijuana!
First and foremost, we’re talking about the legalization of Hemp, not Cannabis. Both hail from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa L. The term ‘hemp’ refers to the industrial and commercial use of the cannabis stalk and seed for building materials, foods, plastics, textiles, body care products and more. The term ‘marijuana’ on the other hand, refers to the recreational or medicinal act of smoking the cannabis flowers. Hemp cannot get you ‘high.’ Only 0.3%-1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant) is contained in industrial hemp, whereas marijuana has 5%-10%+ THC.
All the other countries are doing it, so we should too.
Over thirty countries have legalized the growth of industrialized hemp, including Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, India…the list continues. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not permit hemp production. Cannabis prohibition laws are still in place for Canada, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, yet, they allow their farmers to reap the benefits of industrial hemp.
We import hemp from Canada!?
The United States is currently the number one importer of hemp. So, while we’re sitting on our high horse not legalizing growth of industrialized hemp, Canada is reaping the benefits. In the past ten years, we’ve increased our hemp imports by 300%, and a whopping 35% since 2009. With these increases, Canada doubled their land allocated to the growth of industrialized hemp between 2011 and 2012.
Hemp is Green
No, not just the color. It is one of the most sustainable crops, with the ability to be grown in the same fields over several consecutive years, while needing less fertilizer than King Corn. It also is ironically a weed killer. The sustainable materials and products that can be produced from Hemp are well known, including biodegradable plastics, building materials, health products, textiles, and paper…just to name a few.
So, Where are we in the process of Legalization?
The good news, is that since February of 2014, 17 states have begun to experiment with industrial hemp. Vote Hemp president Eric Steenstra said, “This is the first time in American history that industrial hemp has been legally defined by our federal government as distinct from drug varieties of Cannabis. The market opportunities for hemp are incredibly promising–ranging from textiles and health foods to home construction and even automobile manufacturing. This is not just a boon to U.S. farmers, this is a boon to U.S. manufacturing industries as well.”
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