A man I know was arrested last week after demonstrating in front of the white house, locked in a steel cage with 3 industrial hemp plants. David Bronner, maker of Bronner’s Magic Soap, the best soap ever, was trying to get the attention of the US government to allow US farmers to grow industrial hemp. Hemp, a wild weed when free to grow, is one of earths most useful and renewable resources. Hemp oil can be used for soap, which Bronner’s family has been magically producing for more than 100 years. Hemp seeds can also be eaten for an excellent source of protein. I eat it everyday in fact. And newsflash, it doesn’t get you high. It is merely a relative of Mary Jane, BUT, unfotunately is still considered the same plant by the US Government. Bronner was arrested for possession of 3 industrial hemp plants. So silly.
Brief history: during the industrial revolution, new synthetic fibers and fabrics such as nylon, along with oil and gas saw hemp as a fierce competitor. Since hemp can be broken down and used for paper, fabric, food and/or ethanol, a renewable bio-fuel, the oil and chemical companies along with paper moguls lobbied Washington to take hemp off the market, passing the blame onto Mary Jane, calling hemp a dangerous drug. And they succeeded.
That’s too bad say I. “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country,” said Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President.
Alcohol was prohibited for a little while for similar reasons. Ethanol, often made of corn and distilled like moonshine by auto-racers, saw promise as a potential fuel leader in the US. Big Oil then lobbied to ban alcohol and moonshine in order to get auto makers hooked on gasoline made from crude oil. When the industry settled on oil, the alcohol ban was lifted, and people went back to being stupid in public as opposed to hiding in speakeasies.
Wouldn’t it be nice to grow our own fuel instead of drilling it out of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, or kill for it in wars with other countries?
“Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” said George Washington, U.S. President & General.
Both Washington and Jefferson were cultivators of hemp. Once used for barter and trade, hemp in history is the reason our money is green.
But alas, we are somewhat stupid. In this now era, renewable resources like wind, solar, bio-fuel, and hemp are just plain bad for business. Sustainability in general is bad for business. Because if our products, houses and cars were actually meant to last, we’d spend less and money wouldn’t be the illusory key to survival.
I’m no economist, but if David Bronner could source his hemp in the United States instead of Canada, wouldn’t portions of his 50 million annual income be invested back into US farmers and farmland, boosting local economies and creating jobs?
But I get it. Balancing the books in today’s market is tricky. We have so many more cars, homes, products and needs than ever before. We’re a nation of material girls hooked on cable TV and Carl’s Jr. And giving us our energy independence would mean no more cable bill. In fact, with energy independence, we’d be free of paying utility bills altogether. We could charge our cars at home on our solar systems and not have to buy gasoline. Billions and billions less dollars would circulate, which would be problematic for the US, a country already in debt.
But what about the water? With gas and electric utilities cleaned up, we could put more jobs and money into water conservation programs, and maybe even less pollution! The way I see it, water is gold and we’re overlooking it, assuming the wells are gonna flow forever. I’ll gladly pay a steep water bill if I know my money is going to sustain life, whereas a gas and electric bill is really just sustaining our favorite TV shows.
This election year, the two leading parties’ positions on just about everything couldn’t be any more bi-partisan. In almost every category, their siding for or against it, loud and clear. For instance, If you’re for supporting the rights of gays, lesbians, and transgender citizens, vote democratic. If you think abortion should be ILLEGAL – vote Republican. If you think that Millionaires and Billionaires should pay more taxes – vote Democratic. If you think corporations should be able to spend as much as they want on candidates and elections . . . and NOT have to disclose where the money comes from – vote Republican. If you think guns should be less freely available, vote democratic. If you’re against universal healthcare, vote republican. If you’re green at heart and want to see more renewable energy sources, vote democratic. If you’re for big oil companies receiving about $4 Billion in subsidies, vote republican. If you’re for the legalization of industrial hemp & marijuana. Vote democratic. It’s never been easier to vote.
And do vote. The 2000 Presidential Election was decided by only 537 votes out of a country of 300 million. Proof that every vote counts.
Love your world. Love your country. Vote hemp. After all, the US constitution is written on hemp paper. So go Rock the Vote!