I think its fair to say that hemp played a huge factor in us winning WW2. The Kentucky farmers were called to collect all their seeds in order for them to be sent to be cultivated in other parts of the country. Hemp gave birth to an industry that helped propel American workers through war times. It even gave Kentucky it’s first millionaire, John Wesley Hunt. He lived in Lexington and wove hemp into rope!
After the war, the government-funded cultivation efforts continued quietly but would eventually be washed out by anti-drug officials come the 70’s. Many farmers were confused why people were turning against a crop that had provided so much bounty. We should all know the middle of 20th century was an extremely controversial and hostile time in our countries history. There were extreme cultural movements, as well as changes made to and from our federal government. I urge you to do some of your own research to come to your own conclusions about the motivation and implementations of the so-called ‘War on Drugs’. I have my own opinions, as I may, and when you tack on the fact that the synthetic fibers and fabrics were skyrocketing at the time the intentions of our federal government seem fairly skewed.
I hope to not get too political, so I will defer you to an eye-opening documentary I watched recently called
Hempsters: Plant the Seed. It follows activists, including our favorite actor Woody Harrelson, as they travel to speak to farmers, politicians and businessmen about the issue of industrial hemp in this country. I highly encourage everyone to watch this movie to better understand the demonization of the hemp plant and its negative effects to farmers and businesses. On the website you’ll find the Itunes link, I know there may be other options but I rented it for only $2.99. : )
In 1969 Leary v. United States, the federal authority was first challenged on the matter when the Marijuana Tax Act was deemed unconstitutional. They would respond the next year by replacing it with the Controlled Substance Act; This allowed federal drug policy to control the manufacturing, importation, possession, distribution and use of particular substances. It created 5 schedules based on safety, potential for abuse, medical purposes etc., ranking Marijuana (along with hemp sadly) as a schedule 1 controlled substance.
Where the Marihuana Tax Act made it nearly impossible to produce hemp, the 1970 Controlled Substance Act made it downright illegal. Industrial hemp was not distinguished from its smokable cousin, and was labeled by President Nixon as “public enemy number one”.
Wait one second! We were talking about flags, and rope, and food! I never said anything about puff, puff ,pass. Its crazy to me now that such different varieties be banned under the same restrictions, when their uses are vastly different. In my opinion, the benefit of both uses of the plant are overlooked. However, in this case the government was definitely making a move against the people.
Next time we will try and clarify the difference between industrial hemp and the steady mary-jane you find out on the street. I believe this will open your eyes to see the injustice of preventing farmers from planting these seeds.
Again, I really hope you watch Hempsters, and enjoy! I’m currently testing out as many hemp products as my budget will allow and i’m super excited to share them with you guys!