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Hemp could help farmers, environment

Posted on October 4, 2000

Letter to the Editor

Nashville, Tennessee — Finally the crisis of a finite resource, oil, is coming to the forefront in the presidental campaign. However, why is it neither presidental candidate recognize what Henry ford did over 60 years ago?

In 1940 Henry Ford introduced an automobile whose body was constructed of a combination of agricultural hemp, soy and other natural products. Unfortunately “marijuana fever” produced laws that outlawed hemp, although during WWII, farmers were encouraged to grow hemp for the war effort. Ford’s car was also powered by fuel that came from agricultural hemp.

We could make ourselves independent of foreign oil and give out farmers an alternative crop at the same time.

Agriculture hemp is grown all over the world but America is hemmed in with the archaic notion that agricultural hemp is marijuana.

The part of hemp that gives one a high is so minute that you would have to smoke a joint as big as a telephone pole to get the same result as marijuana in a cigarette size smoke.

Hemp is also a product that would save our forests. One acre of hemp would produce as much fiber for paper as four acres of trees.

The draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. It is pest resistant and could replace much of the cotton grown here. Cotton uses 50% of the pesticides used in America. The fiber is also superior to cotton.

We have the ideal product to replace tobacco for our farmers in Tennessee and elsewhere. Let’s do it and do it now. Its is past time to get our heads out of the sand.

Copyright © 2000, The Tennessean. All rights reserved.