Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Amazing Hemp Plant





The "Marihuana" Trick: A Brief History of the Federal Campaign to Destroy Hemp
by Doug Yurchey

(This article was published in the February 18, 2009 issue of the Idaho Observer, a 24-page newspaper published by Don and Ingri Harkins. I asked for and received permission from Don Harkins to repost the article in my blog. Because of the article's length (and the limit of my typing) the article will be posted in two sections.

This is an amazing history. I knew of hemp and its many benefits to the human family. I was not aware of how extensively it was grown and used, nor of the machinations of Big Government and big Business to outlaw it. It is an excellent illustration of exactly how stupid and evil are Big Government and Big Business, especially when they act in concert. HM)

Part I

And I will raise up a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land. Ezekiel 34:29.

Where did "marihuana" come from? In the mid-1930s, the M-word was created to tarnish the good image and phenomenal history of the hemp plant. The facts cited below, with references, are generally verifiable in the Encyclopedia Britannica which was printed on hemp paper for 150 years.

All schoolbooks were printed on hemp or flax paper until the 1880s; Hemp Paper Reconsidered, Jack Frazer, 1974.

It was LEGAL TO PAY TAXES WITH HEMP in the 17th and 18th centuries from 1631 until the 1800s; LA Times, August 12, 1981.

REFUSING TO GROW HEMP IN AMERICA in the 17th and 18th centuries was AGAINST THE LAW! You could be jailed in Virginia from 1763 to 1769; Hemp in Colonial Virginia, G.M. Herndon.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson GREW HEMP; Washington and Jefferson Diaries; Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America.

Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America and it processed hemp. Also, the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow's export to England; Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer.

For thousands of years, 90% of all ships' sails and ropes were made from hemp. The word "canvas" is Dutch for hemp. Webster's New World Dictionary.

80 percent of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linens, drapes, bed sheets, etc. were made from hemp until the 1820s with the introduction of the cotton gin.

The first Bibles, charts, maps, Betsey Ross's flag, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp; US Government Archives.

The first crop grown in many states was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for Kentucky's production of 40,000 tons of hemp. Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th century. State Archives.

Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5,000 years in China, although hemp industrialization probably goes back to ancient Egypt.

Rembrandt's, Gainsborough's, Van Gogh's as well as most early canvas paintings were principally painted on hemp linen.

In 1916, the US Government predicted that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees needed to be cut down. Government studies show that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs. Department of Agriculture.
Quality paints and varnishes were made from hemp seed oil until 1937; 58,000 tons of hemp seeds were used in America for paint products in 1935; Sherwin Williams Paint Co. testimony before Congress against the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.

Henry Ford's first Model-T was made to run on hemp fuel and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONSTRUCTED FROM HEMP. On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, "grown from the soil," had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel! Popular Mechanics, 1941.

Hemp was called a "Billion Dollar Crop." It was the first time a cash crop had a business potential to exceed a billion dollars; Popular Mechanics, Feb., 1938.

Mechanical Engineering magazine (Feb., 1938) published an article entitled "The Most Profitable and Desirable Crop That Can Be Grown." It stated that if hemp was grown using 20th century technology, it would be the single largest agricultural crop in the US and the entire world.

The following information comes directly from the US Department of Agriculture's 1942 14-minute film "Hemp for Victory" encouraging and instructing "patriotic American farmers" to grow 350,000 acres of hemp each year for the war effort:

"...(When) Grecian temples were new, hemp was already old in the service of mankind. For thousands of years, even then, this plant had been grown for cordage and cloth in China and elsewhere in the East. For centuries prior to about 1850, all the ships that sailed the Western seas were rigged with hempen rope and sails. For the sailor, no less than the hangman, hemp was indispensable.

"...Now with Philippine and East Indian sources of hemp in the hands of the Japanese...American hemp must meet the needs of our Navy and Army as well as of our industries.

"...the Navy's rapidly dwindling reserves. When that is gone, American hemp will go on duty again; hemp for mooring ships; hemp for tow lines; hemp for tackle and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore. Just as in the days of Old Ironsides sailed the seas victorious with her hempen shrouds and hempen sails. Hemp for Victory!"

Certified proof from the Library of Congress, found by the research of Jack Herer, refutes claims of other government agencies that the 1942 USDA film, "Hemp for Victory," did not exist.

Hemp cultivation and production do not harm the environment. The USDA Bulletin #404 concluded that hemp provides 4 times as much pulp as wood with at least four to seven times less pollution.

From Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1938: "It has a short growing season...it can be grown in any state...the long roots break and penetrate the soil leaving it in perfect condition for the next year's crop. The dense shook of leaves, 8 to 12 feet above the ground, chokes out weeds. Hemp, this new crop, can add immeasurably to American agriculture and industry."

End of Part I

(Note: This post concerns the entire hemp plant; I'm not discussing medical marijuana here, but in case you're wondering, OF COURSE medical marijuana should be legal and available. Marijuana, hemp, has been in the materia medica for thousands of years, materia medica being all plants used medicinally.

For more info on hemp, you might want to read this. I snagged the pix at the top of the post from here. Stay tuned for Part II, maybe tomorrow. HM)








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