MARIJUANA AND HEMP
THE UNTOLD STORY
The purpose of this brochure is to expose the numerous facts about marijuana and hemp that have been suppressed-facts the government does not want you to know.
Hemp is a plant that can be used to produce thousands of products. Hemp is of the same plant species that produces marijuana; its scientific name is Cannabis Sativa. Hemp has been used for thousands of years to produce products like paper, textiles, oil, rope, and canvas. In fact, the word canvas is derived from the word cannabis. Hemp grown for industrial use is very low in THC (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana), thus making industrial hemp useless as a drug. Although marijuana is most commonly known as a recreational drug, marijuana also has many medicinal uses.
During the 1930s, the American media ran many blatantly-false stories depicting marijuana as an extremely dangerous drug. Because these lies went unchallenged, marijuana and hemp were effectively banned in 1938. Recently, hemp has been rediscovered as a natural resource that has great economic and environmental potential. Marijuana for medicinal use is also gaining renewed recognition. Ironically, as will be explained shortly, it is possible that the real reason marijuana was banned was to prevent hemp from ever becoming a major natural resource. What follows are many astonishing facts about marijuana and hemp-facts that will shock most people.
HEMP: THE WORLD’S MOST BENEFICIAL NATURAL RESOURCE?
AMAZING FACTS ABOUT AN AMAZING PLANT
On an annual basis, 1 acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as 2 to 3 acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is stronger and softer than cotton, lasts twice as long as cotton, and will not mildew. Many textile products (shirts, jackets, pants, backpacks, etc.) made from 100% hemp are now available.
Cotton grows only in moderate climates and requires more water than hemp; but hemp is frost tolerant, requires only moderate amounts of water, and grows in all 50 states. Cotton requires large quantities of pesticides and herbicides-50% of the world’s pesticides/herbicides are used on cotton. But hemp requires no pesticides, no herbicides, and only moderate amounts of fertilizer.
On an annual basis, 1 acre of hemp will produce as much paper as 2 to 4 acres of trees. From tissue paper to cardboard, all types of paper products can be produced from hemp. Global demand for paper will double within 25 years. Unless tree-free sources of paper are developed, there is no way to meet future paper demand without causing massive deforestation and environmental damage. Cannabis Hemp is the world’s most promising source of tree-free paper.
The quality of hemp paper is superior to tree-based paper. Hemp paper will last hundreds of years without degrading, can be recycled many more times than tree-based paper, and requires less toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process than does paper made from trees.
Cannabis Hemp can be used to produce fiberboard that is stronger than wood, lighter than wood, and fire retardant. Substituting hemp fiberboard for timber would further reduce the need to cut down our forests. Hemp can also be used to produce strong, durable and environmentally-friendly plastic substitutes. Thousands of products made from petroleum-based plastics can be produced from hemp-based composites. Mercedes Benz of Germany has recently begun manufacturing automobile bodies and dashboards made from hemp.
It takes years for trees to grow until they can be harvested for paper or wood, but hemp is ready for harvesting only 120 days after it is planted. Hemp can grow on most land suitable for farming, but forests and tree farms require large tracts of land available in few locations. Harvesting hemp rather than trees would also eliminate erosion due to logging, thereby reducing topsoil loss and water pollution caused by soil runoff.
Hemp seed oil contains a protein that is as nutritious and more economical to produce than soybean protein. Hemp seeds are not intoxicating. Hemp seed oil/protein can be used to produce virtually any product made from soybean: tofu, veggie burgers, butter, cheese, salad oils, ice cream, milk, etc. Hemp seed can also be ground into a nutritious flour that can be used to produce baked goods such as pasta, cookies, and breads.
Hemp seed oil can be used to produce non-toxic diesel fuel, paint, varnish, detergent, ink and lubricating oil. Because hemp seeds account for up to half the weight of a mature hemp plant, hemp seed is a viable source for these products.
Just as corn can be converted into clean-burning ethanol fuel, so can hemp. Because hemp produces more biomass than any plant species (including corn) that can grow in a wide range of climates and locations, hemp has great potential to become a major source of ethanol fuel.
Literally millions of wild hemp plants currently grow throughout the U.S. Wild hemp, like hemp grown for industrial use, has no drug properties because of its low THC content. U.S. marijuana laws prevent farmers from growing the same hemp plant that proliferates in nature by the millions.
From 1776 to 1937, hemp was a major American crop and textiles made from hemp were common. Yet, The American Textile Museum, The Smithsonian Institute, and most American history books contain no mention of hemp. The government’s War on Marijuana Smokers has created an atmosphere of self censorship-speaking of hemp in a positive manner is considered taboo.
United States Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, used products made from hemp, and praised the hemp plant in some of their writings. Under the laws written by today’s politicians, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be considered a threat to society-they would be arrested and thrown in prison for the felony crime of growing plants.
No other natural resource offers the potential of hemp. Cannabis Hemp is capable of producing significant quantities of paper, textiles, building materials, food, medicine, paint, detergent, varnish, oil, ink, and fuel. Unlike other crops, Cannabis Hemp can grow in most climates and on most farmland throughout the world, with moderate water and fertilizer requirements, no pesticides, and no herbicides. Cannabis Hemp (also known as Indian Hemp) has enormous potential to become a major natural resource that can benefit both the economy and the environment.
“Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
-President George Washington, 1794
During World War II, the U.S. government urged patriotic American farmers to grow
Hemp For Victory
Fibers needed to make rope, textiles and other materials were in such short supply during World War II, the U.S. government temporarily re-legalized hemp cultivation so American farmers could grow it for the war effort. Although the government allowed more than 350,000 acres (550 square miles) of hemp to be cultivated during World War II, the U.S. experienced no increase in marijuana use during that period.
Left: Introduction to the U.S. government’s 1942 pro-hemp film titled Hemp For Victory.
Right: A farmer inspects his 8-foot-tall hemp crop, which is nearly ready to harvest.
The surrounding images are from the 1942 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture film titled Hemp For Victory, which was used to educate American farmers about growing hemp for the war effort. This film portrays the hemp plant in a very positive light. For years the government denied it made this film, and records of its existence in The Library of Congress were mysteriously missing. But in 1989, after an exhaustive search of government archives, researchers uncovered the original library records which prove Hemp For Victory was produced by the U.S. government. Video cassette tapes of Hemp For Victory are now available for sale to the public. (See Page 11 for ordering information.)
Left: A Marijuana Tax Stamp permitted American farmers to grow hemp during World War II.
Right: A Wisconsin farmer harvests his hemp crop in September.
DO HEMP ADVOCATES HAVE AN AGENDA TO
Many prohibitionists discredit the need for a hemp industry because they fear hemp is being used as a vehicle to re-legalize marijuana. The facts must be judged on their own merit. The economic and environmental benefits of hemp are very real. There are literally thousands of American farmers who want to grow industrial hemp. The repeal of Hemp Prohibition is also advocated by numerous major farm organizations, including the conservative 4.5-million-member American Farm Bureau. Many businesses are now producing hemp-based products and some large American corporations (International Paper, Inc.) are beginning to advocate the repeal of Hemp Prohibition.
It is entirely possible to repeal Hemp Prohibition without re-legalizing marijuana because Cannabis Hemp grown for industrial use has no drug properties. China and Eastern European nations are the world’s leading growers of Cannabis Hemp, but marijuana is still illegal in those nations. Although marijuana is illegal in Canada, England, Germany, and Australia, those nations have recently begun growing Cannabis Hemp for the first time in decades. If the United States does not repeal Hemp Prohibition, a significant economic and environmental opportunity will be lost-the benefits will be reaped only by America’s economic competitors.
MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE: FACTS THE GOVERNMENT IGNORES
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value. That classification contradicts mounds of evidence showing marijuana to be a very safe and effective medicine. Marijuana is more effective, much less expensive, and much safer than many drugs currently used in its place. Marijuana can provide superb relief for those who suffer from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, insomnia, and depression. If knowledge of marijuana’s many medicinal uses, its remarkable safety, and hemp’s enormous potential as a natural resource become widely known, the DEA fears that support for Marijuana Prohibition will collapse, and thus threaten the DEA’s budget. To maintain the myth that marijuana/hemp is useless and dangerous, the DEA prohibits the medicinal use of marijuana, denies researchers access to marijuana for use in clinical studies, and rejects all applications to grow industrial hemp. In 1988-after reviewing all evidence brought forth in a lawsuit against the government’s prohibition of medical marijuana-the DEA’s own administrative law judge (Judge Francis Young) wrote:
“The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the Drug Enforcement Administration to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence.”Judge Francis Young of the Drug Enforcement Administration went on to say:
“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. In strict medical terms, marijuana is safer than many foods we commonly consume.” Judge Young recommended that the DEA allow marijuana to be prescribed as medicine, but the DEA has refused.
Although the federal government claims marijuana has no appropriate medicinal use, the federal government contradicts itself by supplying government-grown, FDA-approved marijuana cigarettes to 8 seriously ill Americans remaining from its discontinued medical marijuana program. The federal government closed its medical marijuana program to new patients in 1992 after the AIDS epidemic created a flood of new applicants. In November 1996, California voters approved an initiative (Proposition 215) that re-legalizes the personal use and cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
MARIJUANA / HEMP WAS LEGAL,WHY WAS IT BANNED?
For the first 162 years of America’s existence, marijuana was totally legal and hemp was a common crop. But during the 1930s, the U.S. government and the media began spreading outrageous lies about marijuana, which led to its prohibition. Some headlines made about marijuana in the 1930s were: “Marijuana: The assassin of youth.” “Marijuana: The devil’s weed with roots in hell.” “Marijuana makes fiends of boys in 30 days.” “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marijuana, he would drop dead of fright.” In 1936, the liquor industry funded the infamous movie titled Reefer Madness. This movie depicts a man going insane from smoking marijuana, and then killing his entire family with an ax. This campaign of lies, as well as other evidence, have led many to believe there may have been a hidden agenda behind Marijuana Prohibition.
Shortly before marijuana was banned by The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, new technologies were developed that made hemp a potential competitor with the newly-founded synthetic fiber and plastics industries. Hemp’s potential for producing paper also posed a threat to the timber industry (see New Billion-Dollar Crop, pages 6-7). Evidence suggests that commercial interests having much to lose from hemp competition helped propagate reefer madness hysteria, and used their influence to lobby for Marijuana Prohibition. It is not known for certain if special interests conspired to destroy the hemp industry via Marijuana Prohibition, but enough evidence exists to raise the possibility.
After Alcohol Prohibition ended in 1933, funding for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Drug Enforcement Administration) was reduced. The FBN’s own director, Harry J. Anslinger, then became a leading advocate of Marijuana Prohibition. In 1937 Anslinger testified before Congress in favor of Marijuana Prohibition by saying: “Marijuana is the most violence causing drug in the history of mankind. Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes.” Marijuana Prohibition is founded on lies and rooted in racism, prejudice, and ignorance. Just as politicians believed Harry Anslinger to be a marijuana expert in 1937, many people still believe law enforcement officials are marijuana experts. In reality, law enforcement officials have no expert knowledge of marijuana’s medical or health effects, but they do represent an industry that receives billions of tax dollars to enforce Prohibition.
Before the government began promoting reefer madness hysteria during the 1930s, the word marijuana was a Mexican word that was totally absent from the American vocabulary. In the 1930s, Americans knew that hemp was a common, useful, and harmless crop. It is extremely unlikely anyone would have believed hemp was dangerous, or would have believed stories of hemp madness. Thus, the words marijuana and reefer were substituted for the word hemp in order to frighten the public into supporting Hemp Prohibition. Very few people realized that marijuana and hemp came from the same plant species; thus, virtually nobody knew that Marijuana Prohibition would destroy the hemp industry.
Bolstering the theory that marijuana was banned to destroy the hemp industry, two articles were written on the eve of Marijuana Prohibition that claim hemp was on the verge of becoming a super crop. These articles appeared in two well-respected magazines that are still published today. The articles are: Flax and Hemp: From the Seed to the Loom (Mechanical Engineering, Feb. 1937) and New Billion-Dollar Crop (Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1938), which appears in its entirety on pages 6-7.
This was the first time that billion dollar was used to describe the value of a crop. These articles praise the usefulness and potential of hemp by stating “hemp can be used to produce more than 25,000 products” and “hemp will prove, for both farmer and public, the most profitable and desirable crop that can be grown.” Hemp Prohibition took effect within one year after both these articles were written.
New Billion-Dollar Crop
From: Popular Mechanics Magazine, February 1938
New Billion-Dollar Crop appeared in the February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine. This article predicted that hemp was on the verge of becoming a super crop. Marijuana Prohibition, which destroyed the hemp industry, took effect just as this article went to print. Highlights are in bold type.
American farmers are promised a new cash crop with an annual value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has been invented that solves a problem more than 6,000 years old.
It is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by underpaid coolie and peasant labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers throughout the land.
The machine that makes this possible is designed for removing the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without prohibitive amounts of human labor.
Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody “hurds” remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than 77 percent cellulose, which can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.
Machines now in service in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, and other states are producing fiber at a manufacturing cost of half a cent per pound, and are finding a profitable market for the rest of the stalk. Machine operators are making a good profit in competition with coolie-produced foreign fiber, while paying farmers $15 a ton for hemp as it comes from the field.
From the farmer’s point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from three to six tons per acre on any land that will grow corn, wheat, or oats. It can be grown in any state of the Union. It has a short growing season, so that it can be planted after other crops are in. The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for next year’s crop. The dense shock of leaves, eight to twelve feet above the ground, chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land that has been abandoned because of Canadian thistles or quack grass.
From this point on, almost anything can happen. The raw fiber can be used to produce strong twine or rope, woven into burlap, used for carpet warp or linoleum backing, or it may be bleached and refined, with resinous by-products of high commercial value. It can, in fact, be used to replace foreign fibers which now flood our markets.
New Billion-Dollar Crop (Continued)
From: Popular Mechanics Magazine, February 1938
Thousands of tons of hemp hurds are used every year by one large powder company for the manufacture of dynamite and TNT. A large paper company, which has been paying more than a million dollars a year in duties on foreign-made cigarette papers, now is manufacturing these papers from American hemp grown in Minnesota. A new factory in Illinois is producing bond paper from hemp. The natural materials in hemp make it an economical source of pulp for any grade of paper manufactured, and the high percentage of alpha cellulose promises an unlimited supply of raw material for the thousands of cellulose products our chemists have developed.
It is generally believed that all linen is produced from flax. Actually, the majority comes from hemp–authorities estimate that more than half of our imported linen fabrics are manufactured from hemp fiber. Another misconception is that burlap is made from hemp. Actually, its source is usually jute, and practically all of the burlap we use is woven from laborers in India who receive only four cents a day. Binder twine is usually made from sisal, which comes from the Yucatan and East Africa.
All of these products, now imported, can be produced from home-grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen, and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on American farms. Our imports of foreign fabrics and fibers average about $200 million per year; in raw fibers alone we imported over $50 million in the first six months of 1937. All of this income can be made available for Americans.
The paper industry offers even greater possibilities. As an industry it amounts to over $1 billion a year, and of that, 80 percent is imported. But hemp will produce every grade of paper and government figures estimate that 10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average pulp land.
One obstacle in the onward march of hemp is the reluctance of farmers to try new crops. The problem is complicated by the need for proper equipment a reasonable distance from the farm. The machine cannot be operated profitably unless there is enough acreage within driving range and farmers cannot find a profitable market unless there is machinery to handle the crop.
Another obstacle is that the blossom of the female hemp plant contains marijuana, a narcotic, and it is impossible to grow hemp without producing the blossom. Federal regulations now being drawn up require registration of hemp growers, and tentative proposals for preventing narcotic production are rather stringent.
“the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems to be exaggerated.”
However, the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems to be exaggerated. The drug is usually produced from wild hemp or locoweed, which can be found on vacant lots and along railroad tracks in every state. If federal regulations can be drawn to protect the public without preventing the legitimate culture of hemp, this vast new crop can add immeasurably to American agriculture and industry.
Myth: Today’s marijuana is more potent-therefore more harmful-than it was many years ago.
Fact: There is no medical evidence that shows high-potency marijuana is more harmful than low-potency marijuana. Marijuana is literally one of the least toxic substances known. High-potency marijuana may actually be preferable to low-potency marijuana because less marijuana is consumed to obtain the desired effect; thereby reducing the amount of smoke that enters the lungs and lowering the risk of any respiratory health hazards. Claiming that high-potency marijuana is more harmful than low-potency marijuana is like claiming wine is more harmful than beer.
Myth: Smoking marijuana can cause cancer and serious lung damage.
Fact: The chance of contracting cancer from marijuana smoke is minuscule. Tobacco smokers typically smoke 20+ cigarettes every day for decades, but virtually nobody smokes marijuana in the quantity and frequency required to cause cancer. A 1997 UCLA study (see page 12) concluded that even prolonged and heavy marijuana smoking causes no serious lung damage. Cancer risks from common foods (meat, salt, dairy products) far exceed any cancer risk posed by smoking marijuana. Respiratory health hazards and cancer risks can be totally eliminated by ingesting marijuana via baked foods or tincture.
Myth: Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, thus proving that marijuana is dangerous.
Fact: Coffee contains 1,500 chemicals. Rat poison contains only 30 chemicals. Many vegetables contain cancer-causing chemicals. There is no correlation between the number of chemicals a substance contains and its toxicity. Prohibitionists often cite this misleading statistic to make marijuana appear dangerous.
Myth: Marijuana is a gateway drug-it leads to harder drugs.
Fact: The U.S. government’s own statistics show that over 75 percent of all Americans who use marijuana never use harder drugs. The gateway-drug theory is derived by using blatantly-flawed logic. Using such blatantly-flawed logic, alcohol should be considered the gateway drug because most cocaine and heroin addicts began their drug use with beer or wine-not marijuana.
Myth: Marijuana is addicting.
Fact: Marijuana is not physically addicting. Medical studies rank marijuana as less habit forming than caffeine. The legal drugs of tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine, but marijuana is one of the least habit forming substances known.
Myth: Marijuana use impairs learning ability.
Fact: A 1996 U.S. government study claims that heavy marijuana use may impair learning ability. The key words are heavy use and may. This claim is based on studying people who smoke marijuana every day-a sample representing less than 3 percent of all marijuana smokers. This study concluded: 1) Learning impairments cited were subtle, minimal, and may be temporary. In other words, there is little evidence that such learning impairments even exist. 2) Long-term memory was not affected by heavy marijuana use. 3) Casual marijuana users showed no signs of impaired learning. 4) Heavy alcohol use was cited as being more detrimental to the thought and learning process than heavy marijuana use.
Myth: Marijuana is a significant cause of emergency room admissions.
Fact: The U.S. government reports that “marijuana-related emergency room episodes” are increasing. The government counts an emergency room admission as a “marijuana-related episode” if the word marijuana appears anywhere in the medical record. If a patient tests positive for marijuana because he/she used marijuana days or weeks before the incident occurred, if a drunk driver admits he/she also smoked some marijuana, or if anyone involved in the incident merely possessed marijuana, the government counts the emergency room admission as a “marijuana-related episode.” Less than 0.2% of all emergency room admissions are “marijuana related.” This so-called marijuana-causes-emergencies statistic was carefully crafted by the government to make marijuana appear dangerous.
1997: Canada Repeals
After a successful two-year trial period of permitting experimental hemp cultivation, Canada repealed Hemp Prohibition in 1997. Canada’s hemp industry is now poised for rapid expansion. The United States of America remains one of the last industrialized nations on Earth where growing hemp can result in a prison sentence.
These photos show an August 1997 hemp harvest in Ontario, Canada. Detailed information about Canada’s brand-new hemp industry can be found on the Internet at: http://www.kenex.org
DOES PROHIBITION CAUSE MORE HARM THAN MARIJUANA?
Recently, narcotics officers raided the house of a suspected marijuana dealer in Wisconsin. The unarmed suspect, who offered no resistance, was shot to death in front of his 7-year-old son. His crime? Possession of 1 ounce of marijuana. In Oklahoma, a wheelchair-bound paraplegic who used marijuana to control muscle spasms caused by his broken back was sentenced to 10 years in prison. His crime? Possession of 2 ounces of medical marijuana. Another Oklahoma man is serving 75 years in prison for growing only 5 marijuana plants. (These are not misprints.)
Prohibition is the number one cause of America’s exploding prison population. Many non-violent drug users are now serving longer prison sentences than murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals. It costs taxpayers $30,000 per year to imprison just one non-violent drug offender. Politicians are spending billions of tax dollars to build new prisons and jails so more and more non-violent drug users can be warehoused. Meanwhile, funding for education and other services is being strained.
Reducing drug abuse is a desirable goal, but law enforcement methods used to obtain that goal are counterproductive. Prohibition costs billions to enforce, creates a black market that generates violence and corruption, and makes criminals out of millions of productive and harmless adults. Adult use of alcohol and tobacco is accepted, but adult use of marijuana is considered criminal behavior. Why?
The main rationalization for Prohibition is to keep marijuana away from children. That rationalization does not reflect reality. Several surveys reveal that teenagers can obtain marijuana easier than they can obtain the legal drugs of beer or wine. In Holland, where sale of marijuana to adults is openly accepted, the percentage of teenagers using marijuana is less than half that of American teenagers. Because the marijuana trade is totally unregulated, marijuana dealers are on the streets and in the schools selling to anybody-especially teenagers. Regulating marijuana like wine would put street dealers out of business, would make marijuana dealers pay taxes, and would restrict sales to adults only. Prohibition does not make it difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana. Tougher marijuana laws have not reduced marijuana use. Marijuana use has increased every single year since 1991.