Can HEMP save the planet?
Hemp, also known as Cannabis sativa, is a plant of the family Cannabaceae. This plant, often confused with marijuana plant, is prohibited in the United States. Federal law makes it illegal to grow industrial hemp here. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies hemp in the same category as marijuana due to its Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, the psychoactive chemical ingredient in marijuana. The fact is that industrial hemp plant contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana could contain up to 24% THC. Considered a ‘super-crop’, it is one of the most versatile, valuable, and misunderstood plants known to man. It is often referred to as the plant that can save the planet. Why? It is basically the only plant on the planet that can produce clothing, bio-fuel, highly nutritious foods, milk, edible oils and seeds, high-quality protein, building materials, car parts, paper, plastics, medicine, and cosmetics. Hemp grows very quickly and almost anywhere without the use of pesticides and fertilizers. It prevents soil erosion, and resists pests and weeds. Legalizing industrial hemp in the United States would benefit the country by helping solve our environmental crisis, energy needs and third world hunger.
Certainly one of our environmental crises is pollution due to our consumption of fossil fuels. One of the best solutions for this problem is the conversion of biomass into bio-fuel. (Biomass contains stored energy from the sun.) Industrial hemp is an excellent source to biomass. Because it grows in most climates and in marginal soils, hemp can produce more biomass per acre than any other plant. One of the many benefits of industrial hemp as a source of bio-fuel are local production, reducing the need for fuel transportation, cost reduction, and environmental disasters like the gulf spill.
Another major environmental issue is deforestation. Most of the forests in Europe and United States have been destroyed...