Hemp Paper

Submitted By ggomez2
Words: 1948
Pages: 8

Mother Nature has blessed Earth with a plant that has 50,000 different uses, is completely self-sustainable, could completely eradicate the need for wood thereby saving the world’s forests, and has countless medical benefits. Would it surprise you to know that this plant is also illegal to cultivate in America, due to the fact that part of that plant can be used for recreational purposes that some find to be inappropriate and “dangerous”. Industrial Hemp has not only the potential to save the planet, but to create thousands of jobs for Americans in the process. For the purpose of brevity I will use “hemp” to refer to industrial hemp throughout the paper.
I will give you a brief history lesson on Hemp, I say brief because it is very extensive and confusing. The cultivation and use of hemp fibers predates written history. According to Dr. Daryl T. Ehrensing, a professor at Oregon State University, “the Chinese emperor Shen Nung taught the people of China to cultivate hemp and make cloth around 2800 B.C. . . Hemp stalks were also used for fuel and the seeds for food and oil.” (Source) Over time with trade routes developing and the migration of people it quickly made its way around the world. It was as early as 1545 that Hemp was brought to the western hemisphere by the Spaniards who first began to cultivate it in Chile. It wasn't until 1645 that hemp came to the United States up in the area of New England where it was used in homes to make clothes. According to the article written by Dr. Ehrensing, “In 1937 the U.S government passed the Marijuana Tax Act which placed all Cannabis culture under control of U.S Treasury Department Regulations. This act required the registration and licensing of all hemp growers with the federal government in an effort to restrict production of psychoactive Cannabis varieties in the United States.” The primary reason hemp has been made illegal is because of the fact that Marijuana also comes from the Cannabis Sativa L plant. Although they come from the same plant hemp in no way is the same is marijuana. Hemp is referring to the stock and the seed of the plant and marijuana is referring to the flower. Industrial Hemp only contains about 0.3% to 1.5% THC levels (Tetrahydrocannabinoids, the intoxicating material that makes you high) while marijuana contains 5% to 10% more THC. Anoth difference is the way that the plants are grown. Hemp is more like bamboo in the sense that the plant grows upwards instead of out, and can be grown rather close to one another unlike marijuana which needs space to grow and receive light. Now that the difference between the two has been established I will begin to explain why I think the American government needs to legalize the production and use of hemp. The stalk of the hemp plant has two separate parts. The fiber and the herd or the woody core. The hemp fiber is the longest lasting, strongest and most durable of any natural fibers in the world. As I stated earlier there are an estimated 50,000 different uses for this plant and the fiber it produces. The fiber can be used for textiles to produce things such as fabrics, bags, shoes and socks. There were even instances of it being used for the strengthening of aerospace technologies. The herd of the stock can be used for building materials such as fiber boards, insulation and concrete. It could be used for industrial products such as animal bedding, mulch and chemical absorbent. The stalk as whole can be used for hemp paper and also energy and environmental products such as biofuel. According to an article written by Logan Yonjavak for Forbes Magazine, it is estimated that the current market of hemp products in America is valued at around 500 million dollars annually. (Source) Although that may seem like a lot it has the potential to soar into the billions of dollars annually considering the wide magnitude of products that can be produced. The legalization of hemp literally jump start America into a “Green