Industrial Hemp: Eat it, Wear it, Burn it, Buy it, Sell it, Import it, BUT DON’T Grow it.

By Rachel Rimm

With America’s sudden concern to become more “green” and “eco-friendly”, one may have heard of a material called Hemp. Hemp comes from a plant called Cannabis Sativa. It is a green leafy plant that grows to be roughly ten feet tall and is very thin. In its most common form, Hemp is a twine-like piece of string that comes in spools, and is used to make jewelry and cloth. However, Hemp can be used for many other things. It can be used in different kinds of plastics, auto parts, carpeting, foods, animal feed, building supplies, and many other things. But Americans face a huge problem. Due to the fact that Marijuana also comes from the Cannabis family, officials feel that it would be difficult to tell the difference between the two plants, and therefore prohibit the growth of this plant in the United States. In reality, however, the plants are strikingly dissimilar. Marijuana generally only grows to about five feet tall versus Hemp’s ten to fifteen. Furthermore, Marijuana needs several feet between each plant due to its bud’s need for extra sunlight, whereas hemp plants can grow only inches apart from each other. Finally, the THC levels in Hemp are generally less than 1% and in Marijuana, the THC levels are usually between 5 and 15%. Even if someone was to attempt to smoke hemp, it would result in a headache rather that a high. There are more than thirty other countries that currently grow industrial hemp, and none of them have reported having any trouble enforcing their drug laws. With an estimated 50,000 different uses, America is doing itself a great disservice by not growing it.

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