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Thread: Pillsbury: Hemp Is More Than Just 'Weed'

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    Pillsbury: Hemp Is More Than Just 'Weed'

    The problem with government subsidized bio fuels has stirred my historical memory of when, 15 years ago this month, I along with a small group of well-meaning environmentalist/freedom seekers staged a few teach-ins to proclaim that "Hemp could save the world," at Stone Park in Ashland.

    Our featured speaker was Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes." We spread out dozens of products: paper, health care products, building materials, cloth, food products, twine, oil, etc made from hemp which made the town leaders try to deny my access to Stone Park for a second time. That unconstitutional ignorance was halted in federal court and we had another event.

    In March of this year, Skaidra Smith-Heisters, a policy analyst at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets published a white paper "Illegally Green: Environmental costs of Hemp Prohibition".

    Smith-Heisters' review of the facts surrounding hemp as fuel is summed up, "a more recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Energy claim: one billion dry tons of biomass could supply the equivalent of 30 percent of the nation's annual petroleum consumption for transportation." The report concludes, "Nations that followed the U.S. in prohibiting hemp cultivation have, for the most part, rescinded these laws - some more than a decade ago."

    At the end of the day, if we had been growing hemp for the last 15 years, a loaf of bread today would not cost that much more, the billions in farm subsidies could have gone to better use and the hundreds of millions of tons of pollution produced by petro chemicals would have not been produced at all, and at least some of our energy needs would have been met.

    I suggest all elected officials; environmentalists and everyone interested in the facts surrounding hemp, print out the Reason paper and read it.

    Source: The Metro West Daily News
    Copyright: 2008, The Metro West Daily News
    Contact: JAMES M. PILLSBURY, Framingham
    Website: Pillsbury: Hemp is more than just 'weed' - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News

  2. #2
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    Re: Pillsbury: Hemp Is More Than Just 'Weed'

    Illegally Green: Environmental Costs
    of Hemp Prohibition
    Reason Foundation
    Reason Foundation’s mission is to advance a free society by developing,
    applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty,
    free markets, and the rule of law. We use journalism and public policy
    research to influence the frameworks and actions of policymakers, journalists,
    and opinion leaders.
    Reason Foundation’s nonpartisan public policy research promotes choice,
    competition, and a dynamic market economy as the foundation for human
    dignity and progress. Reason produces rigorous, peer-reviewed research and
    directly engages the policy process, seeking strategies that emphasize cooperation,
    flexibility, local knowledge, and results. Through practical and innovative
    approaches to complex problems, Reason seeks to change the way people
    think about issues, and promote policies that allow and encourage individuals
    and voluntary institutions to flourish.
    Reason Foundation is a tax-exempt research and education organization as
    defined under IRS code 501(c)(3). Reason Foundation is supported by voluntary
    contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations. The views
    are those of the author, not necessarily those of Reason Foundation or its
    Copyright © 2008 Reason Foundation. All rights reserved.

    R e a s o n F o u n d a t i o n
    Illegally Green: Environmental Costs of
    Hemp Prohibition
    By Skaidra Smith-Heisters

    Regulation of Cannabis sativa L. is complicated by the fact that there are two common varieties
    of the plant with very different properties: the agricultural variety, known by the common
    name hemp, and the pharmacological variety, marijuana. Prior to prohibition in the United States,
    industrial hemp was the subject of considerable excitement and speculation. The same is true
    today, as lawmakers and stakeholders in many states are considering the potential for reintroducing
    industrial hemp into the domestic economy.
    The environmental performance of industrial hemp products is of particular interest because, to a
    large degree, environmental inefficiencies impose costs on society as a whole, not just on the
    producers and consumers of a specific good. Many commodities which came to replace traditional
    uses of industrial hemp in the United States in the last century and a half have created significant
    environmental externalities.
    Assessments of industrial hemp as compared to hydrocarbon or other traditional industrial
    feedstocks show that, generally, hemp requires substantially lower energy demands for
    manufacturing, is often suited to less-toxic means of processing, provides competitive product
    performance (especially in terms of durability, light weight, and strength), greater recyclability
    and/or biodegradability, and a number of value-added applications for byproducts and waste
    materials at either end of the product life cycle. Unlike petrochemical feedstocks, industrial hemp
    production offsets carbon dioxide emissions, helping to close the carbon cycle.
    The positive aspects of industrial hemp as a crop are considered in the context of countervailing
    attributes. Performance areas where industrial hemp may have higher average environmental costs
    than comparable raw materials result from the use of water and fertilizer during the growth stage,
    greater frequency of soil disturbance (erosion) during cultivation compared to forests and some
    field crops, and relatively high water use during the manufacturing stage of hemp products.

    Overall, social pressure and government mandates for lower dioxin production, lower greenhouse
    gas emissions, greater bio-based product procurement, and a number of other environmental
    regulations, seem to directly contradict the wisdom of prohibiting an evidently useful and unique
    crop like hemp.

    Continued in PDF HERE-