Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Reader’s Column:
“Hemp is NOT Marijuana”
by Joey Ortez of Palo Cedro


Photo by Joe McGarity


The facts in The Reader’s Column are not verified by The Fantom Penguin.  Opinions are those of the writer.



There has long been a stigma with Hemp. Most people assume because it is in the Cannabis family, that it is directly related to Marijuana and therefore is a drug.  Hemp is the sober cousin of Marijuana, and though it only contains very small traces of the same chemical that induces a high in humans, it needs to be re-classified so as not to be confused with the drug.  It’s just like how the deadly Nightshade plant is related to the Tomato plant.  We are persecuting a plant based on her dirty cousin.  Doesn’t seem fair if you ask me.

Since 1937, when hemp was effectively outlawed, 70% of American natural forests have been destroyed. Today, only 4% of America’s old-growth forest remains standing, and there is talk of building roads into that for logging purposes! Hemp farming could completely negate the necessity to use wood at all because anything made from wood can be made from hemp... and made stronger.  The cellulose fibers in Hemp have proven to be stronger than fibers from even the hardest of woods.

The REAL conspiracy to make Hemp illegal began in the early thirties, by such rich and powerful men as the Dupont’s, William Randolph Hearst, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie.  It’s true, and in fact if you read up on the history of each of their empires (monopolies), you will learn how each of them played a part in today’s stigma, and how they all profited from Hemp’s criminalization.  Furthermore, you will learn how the whole subject of Hemp was eliminated and prevented from being published in history books.  A great movie to watch and learn about Hemp and it’s history is called “The Union”.  This documentary goes in depth on how our politicians even convinced third world countries who survived on Hemp to condemn the very plant that made their lives sustainable. It’s an awful expose’ on the evil empire politicians built in an attempt to profit on textiles.  We are consuming and using up natural resources that we cannot replenish fast enough, and we are leaving more waste than we or nature can deal with. This is the definition of a parasitic relationship. No offense to anyone reading this, but we are parasites to something much bigger than us... Earth.

What would you say if I told you that I could create thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of jobs from just one industry? You would say I’m crazy, right? Agricultural farming of Industrial Hemp would create farming jobs all over, not to mention the ripple effect of other jobs being created necessary to the trade: the modifications of existing harvesting equipment would also create manufacturing jobs as well. Retooling existing harvesting equipment is a common trade throughout the agricultural community world-wide... and that’s just one example.  The paper industry alone could flourish beyond it’s current capacity by using fewer chemicals and less equipment, and more humans via the use of hemp cellulose instead of tree fibers.  Grasp this: just 1 acre of hemp can produce as much paper as 4 to 10 acres of trees over a 20-year cycle, but hemp stalks only take 4 months to mature, whereas trees take 20 to 80 years.  Why are we still killing old-growth forests?

The DEA claims that hemp is marijuana, a narcotic. Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, retired, former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, has called the effort to legalize industrial hemp “a thinly disguised attempt...to legalize the production of pot.” In a reply letter I received after requesting Wally Herger to support Oregon’s Measure 80 (The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act), he said he wouldn’t support the bill because “I’m concerned that this similarity in appearance could impede efforts to eliminate the growing of marijuana in this country, particularly when law enforcement agents fly over fields searching for illegal marijuana crops.”  This is a lazy excuse for not educating authorities or even considering the usage of an agricultural registry with a parcel map including legitimate Hemp fields. Even legit corn farmers are registered with their counties, states and the IRS! Why wouldn’t a Hemp farmer be? Not even the excuses are logical.