Think Anew..Act Anew ! "See" A New Green Earth !!! It is time that hemp, which can be used for items ranging from paper products to carpets, from textiles to food & oil, from construction material to paints, once again be made "Legal" !!!
Overlooked in the ongoing debate on marijuana is the fact that legalization of pot would also legalize industrial hemp production in California (passed twice by the legislature but vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger).
At the founding of our country, all farmers and anyone with land grew hemp as it had been a staple for producing textiles for centuries. Hemp fixes nitrogen in the soil eliminating the need to let fields go fallow, and it reduces the need for expensive fertilizers.
What changed was the development of synthetic fiber and fertilizer from oil by a new company called Dupont that launched a lobbying campaign to criminalize the production of hemp by linking it to its drug-producing cousin — marijuana.
Some would argue that oil-based products are cheaper to make; but if that were true, there would be no need to criminalize hemp.
They may not realize it now, but industrial hemp production would be a real boon to California farmers. And legalization could open up a whole new manufacturing opportunity and provide much needed jobs.
Now that the governor has decriminalized pot, he should be petitioned to legalize hemp. If not, why not?
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Hemp Will Save The Earth
The earth, our beautiful planet, contains many life forms that have in many ways been blessings to human beings and contributed to the evolution of living things. If one considers the earth as one organism, all of its animals, plants, minerals and micro-organisms, constitute its ecological network, and they have contributed to our prosperity and shared the evolution of the network. Our civilization is, however, now endangered on a global scale by our shortsighted sectionalism, environmental degradation caused by our social systems that focus on the oil industry, and the ill effects that these problems have on our bodies and minds. It has formed competitive societies based on harmful oil resources and has brought about unavoidable dispossession, warfare and confilct. In contrast, a symbiotic society based on infinite hemp and other biomas resources can produce a world of peace and sharing. As a first step, hemp, a natural material with many uses in key industries, has recently been highly evaluated worldwide.
It cannot be said that hemp alone will solve all of our environmental problems. However, the use of hemp and other natural resources can serve as a warning against excessive use of fossil fuels and hazardous chemicals, and contributed greatly to our movement toward a sustainable society. If each one of us becomes conscious of the need for environmental preservation and starts with what is possible, we can once again have the type of harmonious, cyclical society that existed in ancient times.
If hemp is cultivated on 12% of the European landmass, it can meet the entire world demand for paper, and thus eradicate the need to cut trees for paper. Hemp pulp, from which hemp paper is made, is as durable as wood pulp, and it needs only one quarter of the land required for producing wood pulp. While chlorine is used for bleaching in the wood-pulp manufacturing process, hemp pulp can be produced using the ASA pulp method, which hardly produces any pollutants. Moreover, hemp paper is of such high quality and durability that it hardly deteriorates, even after 200 years.
Hemp stems can be used to produce biodegradable plastic that does not produce harmful substances and is highly antibacterial. It can be freely molded and used for car bodies, building materials and all existing plastic products. Only a few of its many features are sufficient to prove that it has great potential as an ecological plastic that can solve the problems of environmental impact and waste disposal.
To give and example, the American company Ford started using hemp for automobile manufacturing in 1929. The results of their research were published in Popular Mechanics Magazine in 1941 along with the catch-phrase "Organic car born from the Earth". All of the parts except the frames were made of hemp, and hemp seed oil was used instead of light oil. The car had one-third the weight and ten times the impact tenacity of conventional cars of the same type.
Hemp, a Natural Resource
Hemp is a human-friendly natural resource - it can adjust the temperature and humidity of houses because walls made of hemp can breathe. Hemp houses provide a comfortable atmosphere - cool in summer and warm in winter. It is an all-weather composite building material that can save energy for air-conditioning. Hemp board bends and curves easily, and has the same strength as concrete. It is very light and resistant to fire. As it is a natural resource, it is biodegradable. Hemp can totally change our views about housing and make us switch to environment-friendly houses, because it can be grown for a half a year and lasts for 100 years. Its use can result in the preservation of forests and the protection of living things, as well as the restroration of cyclical ecological system that includes human beings.
One of the main causes of global warming is the carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal. Oil from hemp seeds and the cellulose of the hemp stem can produce methanol, ethanol and other kinds of fuel that have the same ignition temperature as diesel oil. Hemp fuel does not produce heavy metals or sulfur, so it does not cause acid rain or air pollution. As hemp is a plant, it reduces carbon dioxide to oxygen as it grows. It has three to four times the reducing power as a deciduous tree. If hemp is cultivated on only 6% of the North American landmass, it can meet all the fuel demand in the U.S.
A running test project of bio-diesel cars using hemp oil was established in the U.S. in July 2001. A car started from Washington on July 4, the anniversary of Independence Day, and was driven one thousand miles over a period of three months. In Japan, a car started from Takigawa City in Northern Hokkaido on April 29, 2002 and was driven 12, 500 km over a period of four months until September 11. The test used 2, 600 liters of hemp oil.
Hemp seeds and their oil are excellent foods that are good for human health. The oil can be used for cooking, massage, lubrication, cosmetics, and as dietary supplement. Hemp oil contains many elements that retail humidity, so it can be used for making soap, shampoo and environment-friendly cosmetics. Hemp seeds contain a protein similar to that of soy beans, which is easily digested and absorbed into the human body. They also contain eight kinds of essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the human body, so they are an ideal food that has perfectly balanced nutrients.
The nutrients in hemp seeds have many beneficial effects on human health. They balance and control cholesterol, purify blood and help it to flow smoothly in the body, thus preventing arteriosclerosis and increasing immunity. Hemp seeds can keep human bodies young and healthy, they are effective in preventing aging and promoting longevity.
Human bodies have many receptors that take in the medical components of hemp. When the components enter our bodies, melatonin, a beneficial hormone, is secreted, stimulating an auto-therapy mechanism. While melatonin is secreted, a-waves and c-waves occur in the brain, causing people to relax as if they were in a state of meditation. Hemp has long been used as a herb because of its medical effects, and it will gain importance in the future.
Textiles- Hemp and Cotton
Cotton requires the use of pesticide for its cultivation, and a huge volume of chemicls in its manufacturing process. Hemp, however, never requires the use of these harmful substances, a fact that makes it cheaper to produce. Hemp textile is four times more durable than cotton, and its productivity per unit of land area is three to five times higher than that of cotton. In France and Germany, insulation materials made of hemp and hemp board are already in use. Wooden buildings using oil resources have given rise to the so called "sick-house sydrome" that causes cancer and abnormal environmental hormones. These building catch fire easily and do not decompose. Many buildings are constructed of wood that is several decades old and last only 30 years.
Hemp Technology for Healing
Hemp can be used to produce 25,000 to 50,000 kinds of industrial products. It is an annual grass that can be grown in 100 to 200 days. It is useful for preventing deforestation and global warming b ecause it has a high capacity for reducing carbon dioxide to oxygen. A very adaptable plant that can be grown in most environments other than deserts, snowfields and tundra zones, it does not require the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers or deplete the soil of nutrients.
Hemp fabric does not generate static electricity. Since it is highly resistant to insects and has an antimicrobial effect, herbicides and insecticides are not required for its cultivation. Accordingly, the soil can be improved and it is possible to prevent ground water from being contaminated. It has been reported if one root of hemp is planted, the surrounding 30 meter area becomes electrically neutral.
From the energy perspective, hemp is a healing plant that harmonizes with the environment. It has been attracting a great deal of attention because of its potential to neutralize electromagnetic waves, radioactive rays, ultraviolet rays, etc. Hemp fabric neutralizes electromagnect waves generated from electrical products and toxic substances. The material and its technology shall be required in many fields, such as architectural materials and health care products.
Hemp fabric has been used in Japan for imperial rituals, traditional events, Shinto religious services, shrines etc. since ancient times. In the same way, it has been used for rituals and traditional ceremonies in other countries all over the world.
In ancient times, the Japanese grew hemp as part of a lifestyle based on coexistence with nature. Hemp is an annual plant, and thus fits into the earths basic one-year environmental cycle. Cultivated every year, it is part of an ecosystem in which everything is connected, like a circular, harmonious society with no beginning or end. Hemp can help us to remember what we have forgotten about the wonder of the natural world. It is generally known that hemp can be used effectively in various industries and that it is an environment-and human friendly material. Whether we will use hemp and take advantage of its features depends on our attitude and our way of life. Japan is a nation that has strong connections to hemp in every aspect. Through our study of hemp we have come to understand why it is a plant that Japanese people have loved from ancient times - it represents a spirit of harmony.
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