Your garbage doesn’t magically disappear…
I grew up thinking marijuana was bad for health, a drug worse than alcohol, cigarettes, it was like the other illegal substances. Although I am not a smoker myself I now know that factually it’s unhealthiness was grossly over exaggerated and in fact it’s now seen as medicine through much of the world.
Add the facts that the hemp plant can be used to cheaply produce paper, plastics, textiles and provide an alternative to fossil fuels you see that it can be extremely useful.
Some say that hemp could provide 100% of the energy currently provided by fossil fuels in the USA. This can be seen as one of the main reasons why in the 1930s large business owners made it a priority to make the plant illegal.
Running on false information they set to make the plant illegal based on health and safety grounds.
Here is an excerpt from an interesting article in the Washington Free Press (http://wafreepress.org/article/090304marijuana.shtml).
When powerful businesses don’t like something, they can usually get something done about it. The 1937 criminalization of marijuana is a case where this manipulation is obvious, according to Herer. Hemp threatens certain powerful businesses today, just as it did in 1937.
As the methods for processing hemp into paper and plastics were becoming more readily available and affordable, business leaders including William Randolph Hearst and DuPont stood to lose fortunes. They did everything in their power to have it outlawed. Luckily for Hearst, he was the owner of a chain of newspapers. DuPont’s chief financial backer Andrew Mellon (also the Secretary of the Treasury during President Hoover) was responsible for appointing Harry J. Anslinger, in 1931 as the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Hearst’s papers deplorably published enhanced accounts of marijuana-crazed black men raping white women. With these sensationalist newspaper stories as his support, Anslinger testified before Congress that, “Marijuana is the most violence causing drug in the history of mankind.”
Anslinger completely contradicted himself later–before Congress again in 1948—when he testified that marijuana caused its users to become peaceful and pacifist, and that Communists would use marijuana to weaken America’s will to fight.
A very interesting piece of that history is that only two days before the 1937 marijuana hearings, the American Medical Association (AMA) had just realized that the plant that Congress intended to outlaw was known medically as cannabis, which from 1850 to 1937 had been recorded as being the prime medicine for more than 100 different types of illnesses or diseases in the US pharmacopoeia. Dr James Woodward, who besides being a physician was also an attorney, testified that there wasn’t any real evidence being used to justify the new law and that the whole reason the AMA hadn’t come out against the law sooner was that “marijuana,” the new name given to cannabis by Hearst papers, was always described as a “killer weed from Mexico.”
Dr Woodward and the AMA were quickly denounced by Anslinger and eventually, after more than 3,000 AMA doctors were prosecuted by Anslinger for illegal prescriptions, the AMA came around to “support” Anslinger’s views on marijuana.
Dec 12, 2017
Allowing and encouraging domestic hemp cultivation would be a boon for small farmers, especially organic farmers. I’m talking only about industrial hemp, not medical cannabis/marijuana, which continues to prove its merits and gain acceptance
Industrial hemp’s use should be a no-brainer. But it’s a complex boondoggle of legal and bureaucratic nonsense even without THC, the molecule that leads to “Reefer Madness”.
Industrial hemp commercial cultivation is legal in Canada. But the USA hemp industry was pushed to the side by government connected industry insiders whose monopolies were threatened when it appeared hemp may boom and compete for the very products of their monopolist concerns.
Circa 1937, the hemp industry had been given a mechanical invention gift known as the decoricator machine was invented. It was a machine that was to hemp what the 19th Century cotton gin was. It replaced hand shredding of hemp to glean its fibers, fibers that could be used for textiles, clothing, paper, and plastic.
With the advent of the decoricator, hemp would have been able to take over competing industries in paper, textiles for clothing and other applications, fuel, and plastics. Growing hemp in abundance was easy, and it’s plant to harvest time was no more than six months.
According to Popular Mechanics during that time, “10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average [forest] pulp land.” Then a small number of large businesses with competition concerns used high level government connections to push through the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
The ensuing marijuana scares hyped by movies such as “Reefer Madness” brought about more legislation that would prohibit all hemp cultivation, even hemp without THC.
Prior to this, even without the high speed decoricator, hemp was an easy cash crop for small farmers, some of whom were recruited to continue cultivating hemp during WW II to provide hemp fibers for U.S. Naval ships’ ropes as well as other military applications.
And prior to that, hemp was so important during colonial and early American times that farmers were virtually required to cultivate it along with their other crops.
George Washington – “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
Thomas Jefferson – “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”
Hulled hemp seeds, their powders and cold pressed oils provide all the essential amino acids for easily digested high protein. Hemp is not only very high in omega-3, but it provides an almost perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6.
It is truly a super food that you can buy in health food stores or online. The seeds come from Canada, where industrial hemp is legal. Hemp is so nutritionally dense that one could survive on hemp seeds alone during extreme food shortages. If hemp were legal, you could easily grow your own.
Hemp plants don’t need pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, which rely mostly on the phosphate industry. A phosphate industry byproduct is the sodium fluoride that is sold to municipality water works for our poisoned tap water.
The runoff from fields of phosphate fertilizers into waterways that merge with seawater is causing all sorts of nitrogen and phosphorous excesses and imbalances, leading to algae that stifles the water’s ecological support systems.
Hemp’s thick roots ward off weeds, and growing hemp improves the soil’s nitrogen, making that soil better for other crops. They would be useful and lucrative rotation crops for organic farmers.
Hemp plants have a growth cycle of only four months. In mild climates, harvesting hemp two times in one year would create an annual cash cow for farmers. The marijuana taboo is eliminated by allowing the male plants to continually pollinate the female plants. This reduces psychotropic THC to legal levels.
There is a clump of plastic waste residue larger than the state of Texas floating in the middle of the Pacific. A lot of it is expected to decompose, creating a plastic soup in the ocean. The toxins from this plastic soup spread out into other oceanic regions and are hazardous to fish and bird wildlife. This soup could find its way into our kitchens as well!
All kinds of plastics are produced with hemp, from clear wraps for foods to automobile parts. Hemp plastics are durable and heat resistant. And they are bio-degradable. Recently the French auto industry use hemp to manufacture some of its automobile parts. Henry Ford pioneered this in 1941 when he built his “vegetable car” with hemp and flax. It was stronger and lighter than steel cars.
Ford’s hemp-mobile also used hemp bio-diesel fuel, which creates very little pollution. The petroleum industry didn’t want to see or hear that. Hemp seeds were even used to make paints and lacquers in the mid-1930s.
Petrochemical plastics for all purposes could be replaced with hemp plastics that are non-toxic and bio-degradable. Bye-bye BPA!
Amazingly, housing construction materials made from hemp fibers have been discovered to be superior to most cheap materials used in housing construction these days. Ever see a house under construction after its initial framing?
What you’ll usually see before whatever exterior coating is used are sheets of wood substitutes, either pasteboard or particle board or pressboards, some of which are processed and bound with toxic chemicals that can off-gas into interior quarters. It’s cheaper than other materials and used abundantly.
Inexpensive hemp can be made into various different building materials, hempcrete, fiberboard, carpet, stucco, cement blocks, insulation, and plastic. Those materials are stronger and much longer lasting than what’s being used currently. They are also mold and rot free and more fire resistant. And they are environmentally and ecologically friendly and non-toxic.
Pulp from trees is used to make paper. But anything wood pulp can do, hemp fibers can do better. It’s said that the original Constitution and Bill of Rights were on hemp paper.
Paper from trees can be recycled maybe three times. Hemp paper can be recycled eight times. Since hemp was effectively banned in the USA since 1937, 70% of the USA’s forests have been eliminated. It takes years for trees to grow. Hemp can be gown and harvested within six months.
It’s estimated that one acre of hemp produces more oxygen from CO2 and methane than 25 acres of forest. One idea presented by hemp advocates is to have inner city hemp plots to improve urban air quality. We wouldn’t need bogus carbon tax legislation.
Pulping trees for paper creates more waste, pollution, and consumes more energy than most enterprises. This industry consumes more water than almost all others. It is the fifth largest industry consumer of energy, and it emits a good deal of toxicity in the process.
“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” — Henry Ford
Anything the petrochemical industry can produce, hemp can do better without toxic environmental and human consequences. Deforesting could be a thing of the past if hemp became the major source of construction materials and paper. Heavily pesticide and herbicide sprayed or GMO cotton wouldn’t be necessary, nor would toxic synthetic fibers.
Amazing how such an easily cultivated plant with so many beneficial applications has been so efficiently suppressed by the one or two percent for their purposes while too many among the 98% agreed with that suppression.
Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption that harms more than most realize. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here.
Ways hemp can change the world:
Relegalize hemp site:
Ocean plastic soup:
Comparing hemp paper to tree paper:
Hemp Plastic website:
Naming names of those behind banning hemp:
How hemp as a cash crop can help our economy:
Paper on the industries behind banning hemp:
The decoricator machine
Not only do marijuana users not have to worry about stroke risks later in life, but CBD oil can help cigarette smokers quit smoking.
Jan 15, 2017
We know it may seem counter-intuitive to what we already know about tobacco, but a steady stream of scientific research is revealing some surprising conclusions about cannabis. The latest research, published on December 27th, 2016, indicates that marijuana use does not run the same risk of stroke that tobacco does.
The study used a sampling of 49,321 Swedish men, born between 1949 and 1951 and were conscripted to military service at the age of 18 and 20. Their medical health questionnaire, completed upon conscription, served as the baseline data for the soldiers. And since Sweden’s healthcare system is nationalized, the national database was accessed to compare initial conscription data with longitudinal health data decades later.
Stroke data was analyzed from the 49,321 participants. The researchers concluded, “We found no evident association between cannabis use in young adulthood and stroke, including strokes before 45 years of age. Tobacco smoking, however, showed a clear, dose–response shaped association with stroke.” The conclusions may be a surprise to some, but probably not to cannabis users, whom many consider marijuana to be a good medicine.
In one related double-blind study, cannabidiol (CBD) was demonstrated to have helped research study participants reduce the number of cigarettes smoked daily. The study was conducted using 24 smokers. Twelve smokers were given a CBD inhaler and told to inhale the substance whenever they felt the urge to smoke. They were also not prevented from smoking. The other 12 were given a placebo inhaler and told to do the same.
Just last month, in December of 2016, the DEA made the highly controversial move to classify CBD oil as a Schedule I narcotic along with heroin, and cocaine. Good luck getting high on CBD as it does not and cannot get anyone high. The disgusting move on the part of the enforcement wing of the drug war should be immediately reversed on the grounds the DEA is heavily influenced by Big Pharma and is not making a clear headed decision and certainly not one which is best for the American people.
The aforementioned research studies show promise, not only for users of marijuana to feel more comfortable about the use of their medicine, but also for smokers of tobacco, those who are the highest risk for stroke, cancer, and emphysema. According to the American Cancer Society, “Tobacco use kills more than 6 million people annually, 30 percent of whom will die from cancer-related diseases due to smoking. If current trends continue, tobacco use will kill 8 million people annually by 2030, 83 percent of whom reside in low- and middle-income countries.”
So, we at The Free Thought Project continually ask the common sense line of questioning. Why is tobacco legal and marijuana illegal? Why isn’t tobacco on the list of schedule I narcotics? Why, if after decades and decades of research on Tobacco, is it allowed for purchase in all 50 states by those 18 and older?
Of course, no one is advocating for outlawing a substance that makes people happy — regardless of the health effects — however, the hypocrisy in this scenario is rife.
The logic that marijuana needs to be criminalized and users kidnapped, caged, and some even killed in police raids, all smacks in the face of common sense. It’s about time that the government heeds the published research on the study, ends the war on marijuana, and declassifies CBD as a narcotic. Enough is enough and we’re fighting back with information. Thanks to the latest research studies, we once again have more than enough evidence to show that marijuana is not only safe, and healthy, but has the potential to help others quit lifelong bad habits such as smoking cigarettes.
The Silk Road may have gotten a lot more interesting than history class would have us believe.
Photo Credit: Mangokeylime/Wikimedia/Creative Commons
Across the globe, from Colorado to Montevideo, the modern marijuana industry is blossoming. With it has come a wave of societal benefits—from the economic booms of Denver and Portland, to the mind-boggling advances in science and medicine being discovered as far afield as Tel Aviv and Madrid. As this happens, we’re slowly beginning to undo the many decades of self-inflicted damage of marijuana prohibition. Cannabis is changing the way we view the world, and could provide major boosts to humanity’s health, wealth and happiness.
To the casual observer, this explosion of progress appears to be the inevitable consequence of the liberalization of global drug policy, itself spurred on by the inexorable onward march of ethics and science. It’s considered, with good reason, to be a modern phenomenon (although granted, cannabis was not widely banned until less than a century ago).
But have we, as a species, been here before?
A new study from researchers at the Free University of Berlin has found evidence that could radically change our view of marijuana, and our perception of the history of European civilization.
Previous studies have suggested that human beings have been cultivating cannabis for millennia, but for the first time this new research links the introduction of the crop to one of the most important events in history.
This event was the migration of the Yamnaya people, an Indo-European tribe of horse-riding metal-workers who were among the ancestral founders of both European and Asian civilizations. They began migrating from the Pontic Steppe—vast grasslands and shrublands spanning areas that now belong to Ukraine, Russia and Moldova—both westwards into Europe and eastwards into parts of Asia.
And the trigger for this momentous movement of people and ideas could, it would seem, have been cannabis.
Marijuana and a Migration That Shaped History
At some point around 5,000 years ago—according to the new evidence, obtained through “A systematic review of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental records of cannabis (fibres, pollen, achenes and imprints of achenes)”—there was an uptick in cannabis cultivation in East Asia, where the plant originated. This phenomenon can be observed in fossil records today. The uptick occurred shortly after the Yamnaya began to disperse from the steppes, forging long-distance trade routes that would eventually evolve into the fabled Silk Road.
This major migration has previously been attributed largely to the Yamnaya’s domestication of the wild horses native to the steppes, and the advent of animal husbandry. Scouts on horseback would have roamed through the Danube valley to the West, encountering new tribes of largely nomadic peoples as they passed through. The same would have been true to the East.
But the domesticated horses themselves are perhaps merely the technological advance that enabled such exploration. The reasons driving the steady migration of populations along these newly formed trade routes are less clear, despite the fact that the people undertaking the arduous journeys would eventually put down roots, morphing this makeshift trade route between nomadic populations into some of the first recognizable “civilizations” in Eurasia.
Aside from the simple human desire to broaden our horizons, what was the purpose of their travel? What were they trading?
Certainly, their newly-domesticated horses would have been one element such of trade, but cannabis could well be seen to provide a vital piece of the puzzle that was missing until now.
This may seem like a stretch. How could the cannabis plant—useful and fascinating though its properties are—have had a significant influence on an event that helped shape civilization?
The authors of the study have themselves been very clear in their opinion that more research is needed before we can answer that question for sure. As they explain, “More systematic, interdisciplinary and well-dated data, especially from South Russia and Central Asia, are necessary to address the unresolved issues in understanding the complex history of human cannabis utilisation.”
But the tantalizing possibility of a link is there. The two things happened at the same time: The Yamnaya spread out across the continent, and cannabis cultivation flourished in their wake. As the study authors make clear, “The westward migration of the Yamnaya people further spread the practice of cannabis smoking in Europe. One example for this is the record of a clay vessel with carbonised achenes and signs of cannabis burning from a tomb in Romania.”
The Extraordinary Properties That Make This Theory Plausible
Could an examination of the modern marijuana boom shed some light on how and why the very roots of civilization could have sprouted from a cannabis seed?
The recent explosion in cannabis cultivation has been about much more than simply being able to get legally high.
The economic benefits of the current Green Rush are perhaps the most talked about, and here there is a clear difference between modern humanity and some of our Bronze-Age ancestors. The Yamnaya were not, as we are today, legalizing a source of income that was previously reserved for illicit markets. Such things did not yet exist. But the crop they were suddenly able to cultivate brought about a different kind of economic boom, one that allowed early pot farmers to trade with their neighbors and to establish connections that would flourish, with time, into something far greater.
But more importantly perhaps, ancient cannabis cultivation plausibly boosted the spread of ideas, technology and medicine. Today, the discoveries that are being made about cannabis’ medical properties are close to becoming a true medical revolution. Breakthroughs have been made, for example, in the areas of pain relief and epilepsy, with exciting potential, too, for addressing Alzheimer’s. We know more now than we ever have about the endocannabinoid system, and how we can manipulate it to improve health and wellbeing.
The Yamnaya would not have had this theoretical knowledge, but it’s certainly safe to assume that in practice, they would have discovered medical uses for cannabis—easing pain, alleviating symptoms—even if they had no idea how or why it worked. This newfound (as far as we know from current evidence) and easily cultivated medicine would surely have been a huge boon for early civilizations, and could even have contributed to population growth that made further migrations both inevitable and necessary.
In order for what we think of as “civilizations” to take root, of course, farming is key. The Neolithic agricultural revolution had taken place thousands of years before the Yamnaya made their way through Europe, carrying cannabis with them. But the combination of this new, farmable, crop, and the advent of animal husbandry, would surely have played a huge part in the formation of settled societies both in Europe and the East. Cultivating cannabis and using it as a bartering tool was only part of the story, however, as we are rediscovering today.
Cannabis and hemp, when manipulated in certain ways, possess some incredible properties. Five thousand years ago, the first cannabis growers would have surely prized hemp fibers for their toughness, durability and versatility. Today we are slowly but surely moving out of the fog created by the prohibition of these plants, and rediscovering those properties. The results have been dramatic. We can now use hemp to make almost anything—from plastics, to building materials, to supercapacitors that out-perform the industry gold-standard, graphene.
Solid-Gold Bongs and Our Eternal Desire to Get High
Having said all that, the psychoactive properties of cannabis should not be ignored. Throughout human history, people have always wanted to get high (and of course, we still do). Evidence of the use of psychoactive plants by our earliest ancestors has been discovered all over the planet, from South America to Russia—where archaeologists recently discovered solid-gold “bongs,” used for smoking opium and cannabis.
Our knowledge of human proclivities leaves little doubt that cannabis was indeed being consumed for its psychoactive properties in the time of the Yamnaya—whether recreationally or spiritually, as part of the kind of traditional rituals similar to those which have been documented in indigenous peoples all over the world. It’s entirely plausible that cannabis used for this purpose would have been greatly prized, and could even have been seen as a luxury or status symbol, reserved perhaps for the higher echelons of early societies.
Those bongs found in Russia belonged to an ancient people known as the Scythians, thought to have been direct descendants of the Yamnaya. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus famously described their cannabis use, so we can presume it was fairly widespread:
“…the Scythians then take the seed of this κάνναβις (kannabis) and, crawling into the tents, throw it on the red-hot stones, where it smoulders and sends forth such fumes that no Greek vapor-bath (πυρία) could surpass it. The Scythians howl in their joy at the vapor-bath.”
Whether or not these psychoactive properties were as important to the original cannabis farmers is unknown. But at the very least, they were exploited by their presumed descendants.
Looking through the lens of the current cannabis revolution, it is easy to imagine the impact the introduction marijuana cultivation could have had on the Yamnaya people and the societies with which they came into contact.
Even today, this remarkable ancient plant is still revealing technological and medical secrets. It is not difficult to make the case that 5,000 years ago, it could have had a transformative impact on the ancient world. Of course, we may never know for sure exactly how important a role cannabis played in ancient history, but it’s hard to deny that it must have been, if not the tipping point, than at least an important factor in broadening Bronze-Age horizons and laying the foundations for European civilization.
So if the modern-day explosion of interest in cannabis ever feels overwhelming, just remember: We’ve been here before—history is merely repeating itself!
Abby Martin takes a look at the real reason why hemp is illegal in the US, the truth might surprise you.
Brilliant! Watch the 3 min video, if you don’t feel like reading.
Tiny hemp homes are being made in Washington as a way to promote more sustainable building materials.
Though she has never built a home before, Pam Bosch claims that “Anybody can do this. Grandma can do this. Grandma’s doing it.”
She’s referring to building tiny homes made of hemp, the plant that grows cannabis, which is a Schedule I drug and considered a felony to possess or grow.
The 62-year-old artist became determined to build homes made of hemp after learning of its sustainability and the positive effect it has on the environment compared to other building materials.
“We should have as many buildings as we can that are built out of a renewable resource that sequesters carbon, that is healthy and if it were legal would be very affordable. It’s an agricultural waste product we’re using.”
Hemp can be used by farmers for soil remediation, plastic composites, organic body care, biofuels, and health foods. Washington just legalized the use of hemp for livestock feed, but are limited to this use until other uses are legalized and regulated. Until then, farmers need permission from the DEA. Bosch and others are hoping that this new livestock feed law can be expanded and that hemp can become a more widely-used product.
As for the actual building of a tiny hemp home, Bosch says that it’s easy to create the plaster, as long as weather conditions are right. “You want conditions like we’re starting to see now – overcast, high humidity, because you don’t want it to dry out too fast,” she explains as she mixes the hemp with lime to create the plaster.
She acknowledges that hemp is still a mostly illegal substance but notes that hemp doesn’t affect the mind and has extremely low THC levels.
Since permits for hemp houses don’t exist, Bosch must stay within 120 square feet. She calls it a tiny house with big potential.
Bosch said, “I’m investing in this because I believe in it and believe someone’s got to do it to make it legal.”
Watch below to see Bosch talk about the home: