I’ve have been on a search to learn about our environment and the creatures that use it as a habitat. Throughout my research, I have discovered that our whales (among other animals) are in danger of being killed for research and I have also learned many ways that our environment is facing destruction. Each article that I read on the horrible acts that are taking place all across the word have made me eager to learn more on what I can do to help.
I wanted to learn about opportunities to help stop these wrongdoings. In the process, I found out about hemp. Hemp is a plant that can be used for medicine, clothes, paper, textiles, and more. However; hemp is outlawed in many parts of the world.
With over 25,000 environmentally friendly products that can be made from hemp, why is it outlawed in so many areas?
With the United States importing over 1.9 million pounds of hemp fiber, 450,000 pounds of hemp seeds, and 331 pounds of hempseed oil per year, it is certainly a question that we need an answer to. Why do we import so much; however not let our farmers grow it? Hemp is legal in just over 30 nations, such as Canada, Japan and the European Union, which are many of the areas that we import it from. However; there are still many more nations that do now allow its growth.
Many states in the U.S. have been trying to pass the legalization of growing hemp. Currently, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia all have laws allowing the growing of hemp. With laws allowing the cultivation of hemp, it can be used for research, farming, or industrial. However; though these states have laws allowing it, each farmer must have approval from the DEA. The DEA has continued to turn down the majority of requests, even though their states have a law legalizing it.
The main argument from the government is that farmers could easily grow marijuana alongside the hemp. Hemp and marijuana are hard to tell apart. Since marijuana is illegal to grow, they do not want any part in making it easier for its growth. However; farmers argue that since hemp is the stronger of the two plants, it would cross-pollinate with marijuana, and take it over, making it impossible for marijuana to be grown anywhere near it. Since this is the case, the farmers argue that hemp should be legal and that marijuana is a different issue.
How Can We Use Hemp to Help Our Environment?
As mentioned, hemp can be used to make over 25,000 environmentally friendly products. Hemp can be used to make: rope, cloth (clothing made from hemp is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter), fuel, furniture, shoes, paints, makeup, medicine, lotion, soap, plastics, inks, insulation in housing, paper, and the list goes on! Most products that are made from wood, cotton, or petroleum can be made from hemp.
The major advantage of using hemp is that unlike wood you don’t have to chop it down. When we chop down trees we are harming forests and the creatures that live in it. When we use hemp, we do not have to pump or mine it like petroleum. Since hemp can grow in most climates, its not limited geographically like oil. Combined with other alternative energies hemp could end our reliance on foreign oil!
Hemp is a great alternative to cotton. (First of all, no we do not want to harm the cotton farmer’s industry, they can start growing hemp instead!) Listen to what a real farmer says about hemp.
Look at the advantages of growing hemp:
- Less pollution– Cotton uses so many pesticides, do to all of it’s natural enemies. Hemp rarely needs a pesticide, because not much will bother its growth. This means hemp can help with the runoff pollution, toxins in water or soil, and contamination of wilderness areas and other crops.
- Biodegradable– Hemp biodegrades faster than other crops. Hemp is known as a “low maintenance” crop. It doesn’t require much fertilizer and acts as its own mulch, meaning it grows very tall very fast and provides its own shade to keep weeds away, eliminating the need for herbicides.
- Save Farmer’s Money– After harvest, the fields are left weed free, so no need to spray the fields down. Saving money on pesticides and other sprays help the farmers make more of a profit off of the crop.
- No Erosion– Hemp has a deep root system which means no erosion and not only does it not deplete the soil of nutrients like many other crops, but it has the ability to clean contaminants from soil.
- Less Deforestation– Hemp doesn’t need as much land to grow, because it grows tall (not wide) and has a higher yield than most crops.
So, What Can You do to Help Legalize Hemp?
- Education– With so much false information on why we want to grow hemp, it is important to educate yourself and others on the importance of growing hemp.
- Support Hemp Products– Purchasing hemp products can help this industry. Purchasing natural hemp foods, hemp clothing, hemp paper, and other hemp items will help show that this is why we want to grow hemp. To save our environment by using hemp to make everyday items. Though these items can be expensive right now, if we leagalize hemp, the costs will be more reasonable for the consumer. Here are some sites that you can check out: Abundant Earth, Hemp Fair- Safe Shopper, The Vegetarian Site, and Hemp Planet.
- Sign the Petition– By visiting sites such as Go Petition and signing the petition to legalize hemp, it can help show the number of people that want to help our environment by using hemp as a replacement of our trees.
So, do not just read this article and say you agree. Go out a make a difference! Tell others, support the industry, and make a statement by signing the petition. Together we will make a difference!