Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why hemp is illegal

Great Britain has seen the light. In 1993 the ban on hemp cultivation was overturned in the UK. (Hemp is still, stupidly, illegal in the US, of course.) A quote on it from this article in the Guardian:
The hemp community has been shouting about the environmental benefits of the plant for years. An oft-quoted statistic is that hemp has more than 25,000 natural uses - ranging from food and oil supplements, made from its seeds, to strong industrial materials processed from its woody outer core. It is fast-growing and can thrive in British soil with little water and with no pesticides or other soil-polluting chemicals.
So why was it illegal there? Well, according to Kenyon Gibson, a researcher and author of the book, Hemp for Victory,
the misrepresentation of hemp as a dangerous narcotic has been pushed for decades by international conglomerates, who are well aware of the threat that the plant poses to their trade.

"It was the large multinationals who helped ban hemp decades ago, and it's the large multinationals who are still ensuring that natural alternatives to their products are being sidelined even in this time of environmental chaos," Gibson says. "Look at how many trees we could save by investing in a global hemp paper industry. Look at its potential to contribute to natural ethanol, yet we're lagging behind countries such as Brazil which are making great strides in creating fuel from domestic products."

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