There is currently a lot of talk and even some promising action surrounding the issue of re-legalizing the cultivation of industrial cannabis hemp. The 2014 Farm Bill was approved in the Federal House of Representatives finally last month with a crucial amendment that focuses on the rescheduling of industrial cannabis hemp. More specifically, the US Senate’s “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013” would appropriately differentiate the non-psychoactive cannabis hemp from another variety of the plant currently placed under schedule I drug prohibition. The amendment to the 2014 Farm Bill “allows institutions of higher education to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for the purpose of agricultural or academic research.” The volition of the State’s will decide whether or not to allow hemp to be cultivated.
This is an incredible advance in the outmoded, if ever valid, prohibition of a vital crop which has been predicted to offer to meet and exceed the nations fiber and nutritional needs. Perhaps the US can once again become a major exporter–or at least begin to provide more for itself without ravaging the land. Cannabis hemp may be a superior feedstock for bio-fuels, plastics, building materials, insulation, and a host of other products that currently are derived from unsustainable fossil fuel consumption. The impressive scale of this reality may hold promise to an end in the need to cut down one more single tree for paper. Hemp is a crop that can offer a profitable and sustainable mode of agriculture to the landscape in Tennessee.
Proponents of forestry and agriculture alike will surely recognize this as an epic turning point in our history—one which will likely be venerated by future generations. It is likely that the prohibition of the plant was tied to political and industrial interests which sought to remove competition from the vital and versatile agricultural crop to make way for other products in the capitalistic pursuit of profits. The controversy surrounding genetically modified crops, the need for bioremediation, the plague of petrochemical pollution, and the viability of agriculture and manufacturing for Americans are all benefits for our failing economy.
One does not have to do too much digging to research on the Web to read about the history, many uses, and benefits of this crop that has been a part of humankind at least since agriculture itself was developed.
Legislature pertinent to the new Farm Bill is currently awaiting approval in Tennessee. There are many avenues from which to show your support for this groundbreaking step toward better health and economic stability for Tennesseans:
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Please click the links below to explore a viable crop with exciting economic and environmental benefits for the land, people, families, and communities of our nation:
(All photos sourced from the Web--not property of the author.)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926669099000485 -Fiber strain different than drug
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01140671.2001.9514191 -Hemp as a pesticide [nematicide]