“Surely no member of the vegetable kingdom has ever been more misunderstood than hemp. For too many years, emotion, not reason, has guided our policy toward this crop. And nowhere have emotions run hotter than in the debate over the distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana.” – David P. West Ph.D, North American Industrial Hemp Council.
When discussing an issue of such political relevance, one would think emotions and personal feelings would be left at the door. However, this particular topic has a long and devious history of waters being
muddied by those who stand to gain the most by keeping those waters unclear.
Since the first use of the word “Marihuana” and its purposeful muddling with the idea of hemp in the early nineteen hundreds, the average American is only recently beginning to distinguish between the two, even today. Americans have been conditioned since that time to see, first and foremost, that marijuana is bad for you or flat-out wrong, and that hemp is the same as marijuana. That is one of history’s biggest misconceptions.
Today it is considered a Schedule 1 substance even though it usually possesses a useless 0.3 percent THC, (the substance that is considered illegal) whereas typical marijuana has anywhere from 3 to 20 percent. It is in the same genus or species as marijuana, however it would be like comparing two types of apples and assuming they both contain the same sugar content, when in fact some apples are very tart and not meant for individual consumption at all. There are examples all throughout nature of the same variance. It is first important to understand that hemp in itself is an altogether different animal than marijuana with many different, and extremely beneficial uses to society.
At the time, the two being lumped together allowed specific men in power to profit on the country’s slow decline into fossil fuel dependence versus the nation’s collective rise on the back of an all-encompassing plant that can produce all the same necessities. This was no mistake. It was hemp, not marijuana, that stood to overcome the use of fossil fuels. Marijuana and its recreational use were the perfect cover. By criminalizing marijuana, and behind the scenes connecting hemp to this criminalization, men in the right position stood to profit greatly with hemp’s demise.
However, those men are gone, and this country is in a different and more intelligent time with all minds working towards a healthy, independent and sustainable future, using all possible outlets to secure the country’s green and continuous rise to the proverbial top of the mountain, right?…
Americans find themselves in a time where hemp is considered illegal by default. Most are comfortable with not knowing or even caring about this topic because most don’t know what it means to their daily lives, not to mention their future, and that of the planet. Yet, it has grown increasingly more difficult for actions of any nature, or lack there of, to go unseen. In other words, the people are beginning to awaken to the stark reality of current circumstances and the lack of action by those in power. Slowly, people are becoming aware of this illogical illegalization of hemp and its foundation of misconception for monetary gain. However, a journey of this magnitude must begin with a single step. A step that has been attempted many times before.
As of today there have been thirty-one states that have attempted pro hemp legislation and 19 of those states have passed that legislation. Despite the authority to grow hemp given by the state, all hemp farmers still run the risk of federal raid, prison time, and property and civil assets forfeiture if they chose to plant the crop. Due to the federal policy that still does not differentiate between non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of cannabis from psychoactive drug varieties.
It’s interesting that all of these states have decided over the last eighty years that they, in one way or another, disagree with hemp being illegal. The majority of these states continue to grow or study hemp for future beneficial uses, within the laws of their given states, despite the federal law. It would appear that the vast majority of the United States wants the re-legalization of hemp for industrial purposes. This being a democracy, “a nation of the people for the people…” where one votes for a chosen representative who then in turn represents the majority’s collective vote. So why then is this majority necessity over looked in this case. That is a question every American needs to ask themselves.
There are men in positions of power; men Americans trust with their very lives. They are trusted to do what is right, not only for the country, but whenever possible what is good for the individual. It is frightening to think that these men would choose not to allow for the healing of the planet by allowing this archaic ban on hemp to fall away, for fear of indirectly admitting that their preprocessors where wrong and perhaps even themselves. From time to time all make mistakes. All lose their way. It is the true leader that can rise up on their own volition, face the consequences of their actions, and continue to lead those who still choose to follow.