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April 08 2010

Liberate Marijuana

liberate_marijuana.jpg"Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country."
-Thomas Jefferson

In today's world there's less and less excuse for ignorance, due to the proliferation of information, ease of access to research and the amount of specific data freely available. So how could any elected official defend prohibiting a plant which can't be stopped, doesn't cause harm to anyone and does not create any adverse affect on society? How could anyone allow law enforcement to continue causing harm to innocent people and create an enormous burden on our society? Consider all the criminals being created by enforcement of laws that can't be upheld? The key word in this travesty is "en-force-ment" and it's the same word that makes the very idea fascist because you can't force people to stop enjoying a natural herb that causes no harm to anyone.

Perhaps one of the more important aspects to the marijuana debate is the topic of Hemp. In some ways it's unfortunate that this plant species is incriminated in the same prohibition as cannabis but possibly the fear is that farmers allowed to grow one could easily grow the other and say that they weren't aware that the seeds were mixed. Or maybe it's a conspiracy like so many people suspect. Whatever the case, it's high time to liberate marijuana and to help us do that let's put Hemp on the stand to tell her side of the story. Following is a compilation of data provided by Pat McGrowen of Kentucky, from the TPM Cafe Blog in which he published an excellent paper titled:

The Recreational and Industrial Benefits of Cannabis

With the initiative on the ballot in California regarding the legalization of marijuana. I hope that it would also include the legalization of hemp as well. There are many beneficial aspects to legalizing marijuana such as decrease in crime, increase in tax revenue, and reduction in state spending and a huge boom to tourism just to name a few. There are also enormous benefits to hemp.

Let's start with a few of the environmental benefits of hemp, keeping in mind California's pollution problem and landslide/erosion tendencies.

  • Fast and robust growth: Hemp grows extremely fast and can be grown in any climate, in any agronomic system
  • No herbicides/pesticides required: Hemp can be grown with no (or little) herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, or other biocides.
  • Suppresses weeds: Hemp is a natural weed suppressor due to the fast growth of the canopy. Actually, hemp is a weed. Because it grows so fast and densely, it blocks out sunlight to other weeds that are trying to grow.
  • Improves soil structure: Due to it's long roots, hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen and helps control erosion of topsoil. Also, once harvested, any residue can act as an eco-friendly manure.
  • Hemp produces lots of oxygen: Hemp produces the same amount of oxygen while it's growing that it would use in carbon dioxide if burned as a fuel. Also, due to it's leaf/root ratio (this can often be 10% roots vs 30% leaves), hemp can produce between 20% - 40% more oxygen than will be polluted.
  • Cleans up pollution: Hemp can actually clean up toxins from the ground. This process is called phytoremediation. A good example of this is when hemp was used to help clean up the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site to remove radioactive elements from the ground.
Here are some examples of how hemp products could benefit our environment and our health:
  • Switching to hemp paper could reduce deforestation significantly. For every 4 acres of trees that are required annually to make paper, only an acre of hemp would be required. Furthermore, because hemp paper can be recycled so many times (up to 7 or 8 times), much less is needed. In comparison, paper from wood pulp can only be recycled around 3 times. This means even more trees are required.
  • Clothing and textiles made from hemp have no residual chemicals that could affect our health (as many other fabrics do).
  • Hemp based fabrics block the sun's UV rays more effectively than other fabrics. This is true, even if it's only a 50% blend with another fabric.
  • Hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the "good" fats)

Health Benefits of Hemp Seed
Hemp seeds are high in Omega-3 GLA, ALA, and DHA, credited with brain and eyesight development and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The nutrient rich seeds of industrial hemp contain all eight essential amino acids, making them a complete protein like meat, milk, eggs, and soy but in a more digestible form and requiring fewer resources to produce.

Used worldwide to treat malnutrition, one pound of hemp seeds can sustain a human life for two weeks. One tablespoon of hemp seeds provides the recommended daily allowance of essential fatty acids. EFAs also are important for optimum brain function, improving mood, fighting depression and reducing behavior problems in children, and reversing the irritability of PMS. Essential Fatty Acids help the body's immune system fight off bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including malaria. These good fats lower cholesterol and protect heart health. Eating hemp seeds over time heals and moisturizes skin, and reduces inflammation. Most important of all to consumers, the EFAs in hemp seeds have anti-cancer properties that inhibit tumor growth. Knowing the benefits of hemp seeds makes people want to eat them. As demand grows, more widespread cultivation of industrial hemp will make them an affordable snack on every family's table!

Hemp Products

Hemp may be the most useful plant known to man kind. In fact, cannabis sativa means useful(sativa) hemp(cannabis). It is used to make over 25,000 different products, most of which are superior alternatives to less environmentally friendly products. Some of the products made are: clothing, shoes, diapers, rope, canvas, cellophane, paints, bio-diesel fuels, chain lubricants, biodegradable plastics, paper, fibreboard, cement blocks, food, cosmetics, and soap. The high fiber content of hemp makes it a natural resource for building materials, papermaking, and even biodegradable plastics. Hemp is a presently viable environmentally sound energy source.

The heating and compressing of hemp fibers can create building materials superior to wood in strength, quality and cost. Hemp is heat, mildew, pest, light, and rot resistant.
Hemp fabric is softer, warmer, more water resistant and more durable than cotton. Hemp fabric also uses less chemicals to produce.

Quick Facts

  • Until 1883, 75-90% of all paper in the U.S. was made with hemp.
  • Hemp seed was the # 1-selling bird feed; 4 million pounds were sold in the U.S. in 1937.
  • In the mid-to-late 1800's the 2nd & 3rd most commonly used medications were concentrated cannabis extracts and resins (a.k.a. hashish).
  • A bridge in the south of France dated at 500-700 A.D. was built with a mixture of hemp.
  • In 1941 Henry Ford built a car with a plastic made from hemp and wheat straw.
  • Until 1937 70-90% of all rope and twine was made with hemp.
  • Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp on their plantations.
  • In 1850 the U.S. Census reported 8,327 hemp plantation of at least 2000 acres in size. Not counted were thousands of smaller crops.
  • The original Levi Strauss jeans were made from hemp.
  • In 1942 the U.S. government strongly encouraged hemp cultivation to help with the war effort, going so far as to produce a film entitled "Hemp For Victory".
  • The version of the Declaration of Independence released on July 4, 1776 was written on hemp. The Constitution was also written on hemp.
  • The first American flag was made of hemp.
Hemp as a Profitable Crop
  • Hemp is cold hardy, able to withstand even NH winters.
  • Hemp is pest resistant ( except from the 2-legged kind)
  • Hemp is drought resistant
  • It is estimated that if 6% of the continental U.S. planted with hemp it would provide for all national energy needs.
  • Hemp has a production rate of up to 10 tons per acre, every 4 months.
  • 1 acre of usable hemp fiber is equal to the usable fiber of 4 acres of trees or 2 acres of cotton.
  • Trees mature in 50-100 years; hemp matures in as little as 100 days.
  • The University of Missouri estimates that an average-size metropolitan area production of 100 million gallons of biodiesel fuel could generate $8.34million in personal income and 6000 temporary and permanent jobs. (Ref: National Biodiesel Board)
We are all familiar with the saying that as goes California, goes the rest of the country. We also know the financial turmoil the state is facing. I think the pairing of recreational marijuana with industrial hemp can turn California back into the economic beacon of the country. Politicians need not distance themselves from the debate, they should embrace it. And hemp gives them a sturdy platform to stand on. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it is economically necessary by being a huge jobs producer. Reasonable, responsible adults should be allowed to recreationaly use marijuana, which is safer than alcohol in my opinion. And citizens should be allowed to reap the thousands of benefits from industrial hemp. If you agree help to get out the vote, and put pressure on our representatives. We need green energy, a green economy, and a green revolution.

By: Pat McGrowen

Source: The Recreational and Industrial Benefits of Cannabis

Tags: Pot hemp

January 10 2010

Hemp Con

hempcon.jpgCheryl and Fred from Beverly Hills NORML 90210 are working with a team of canna-business marketing pros and two media companies, LA Weekly and LA Jemm, plus they've enlisted the sponsorship of the DailyBuds community to promote two major expo/conferences in California. The first annual "Hemp Con- Los Angeles" from February 19 - 21 at the LA Convention Center and then "Hemp Con San Francisco" running August 6 - 8 at the San Mateo Event Center.

3 Full Days of seminars & exhibitions by industry leaders and advocates

Marijuana Dispensaries - Marijuana Collectives - Marijuana Delivery Services - Marijuana Evaluation Doctors - Hydroponics - Equipment / Accessories - Fertilizer / Chemical - Novelty / Paraphernalia - Legal Services - Educational Institutes - Clubs / Associations - Publications - Apparel

These are exciting times for the pro-marijuana movement, get on the wave and attend Hemp Con.

November 16 2009

Modern Uses for the Cannabis Plant

hemp_uses.jpg

Note: Click to enlarge

Tags: Pot cannabis hemp
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