HEMP AND THE ECONOMY Compiled by the Business Alliance for
Commerce in Hemp (BACH) Provided by Access Unlimited, PO Box
1900, Frazier Park, CA 93225
Hemp's Role in Economic History - Hemp is regarded as probably
being the first crop cultivated by humans: as early as 8,000
B.C. in the Middle East. Hemp textile industries were
introduced at about the same time in human development as
Hemp provided the sails and rigging for ships that
allowed worldwide commerce and made Columbus' trip to America
possible (other fibers would have decayed somewhere in mid-
Hemp replaced papyrus as the source of paper that
eventually fostered the spread of written knowledge. Hemp was
the largest cash crop in the world until the late 19th
century, when new technology began to replace it.
Hemp's Role Today - With some 50,000 commercial uses,
Hemp is the most versatile renewable natural resource on the
planet. And it is again the largest cash crop in America; Hemp
generates almost four times as much revenue ($41.6 billion/yr)
as does its closest competitor, corn ($13.37 billion),
according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
But this is only a small fraction of the potential
revenue that will be generated when Hemp again takes its
rightful place in the agricultural, textile, food, fuel,
cordage, fabrication, pharmaceutical medicines, paper and
other affected businesses in a decentralized ecological and
financially stable economy.
Hemp For farms - Hemp was the major cash crop of the
U.S., including most of the areas now suffering from family
farm foreclosures, until just before the Great Depression. It
is still a viable cash crop and could be grown on marginal
lands, between crop seasons or on fallow land to enrich the
soil. Hemp is the best energy biomass crop identified to date,
and could provide the raw materials for renewed economic
growth in rural and "rust belt" communities.
Hemp For Clothing - Fabrics made from hemp are more
insulating, softer, stronger, more water absorbent and last
many times longer than cotton. This amazing plant fiber holds
its shape as well as polyester, but "breathes" and is
biodegradable because it is completely organic. It has been
valued for its durability since before recorded history. It
can be woven as coarse as burlap, smooth as silk or intricate
as lace. The canvass sails on generations of ships and the
original Levi jeans were all made of hemp. The quality of this
natural fiber has yet to be surpassed.
Hemp For Paper - Paper made from hemp lasts many times
longer than that made of wood pulp, without yellowing,
cracking or otherwise deteriorating.
Hemp pulp does not require as much of the chemical needed
to break down lignin as wood, does not cause dioxin pollution,
and has been called the "archivist's perfect paper." The
Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were
both originally drafted on Hemp. Restrictions on Hemp have
added to the destruction of about 70% of American forests
since 1937. Help restore Hemp to its rightful place in
Hemp could Save S&Ls - The Savings & Loan industry could
recoup its losses by allowing debtors (i.e., real estate) to
invest in hemp..For example, the cost of the federal S&L
bailout program submitted by President Bush in August, 1989
was $50 billion. "Marijuana" income for 1988 was $41.6
billion: the money generated by sales of relaxational Hemp
alone could pay off 80% or more of the difference. Estimates
of the total legitimate revenues that would be generated by
legal commerce in non-smoking Hemp range from 10 to 100 times
Hemp Saves Taxes - Marijuana prohibition and eradication
programs waste hundreds of millions of tax dollars, create an
untaxed black market of tens of billions of dollars and
increased the domestic marijuana crop, according to the DEA.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimated that
there were 21 million regular smokers of marijuana and hashish
in 1988. A lucrative market in smoking paraphernalia worth
billions of dollars is being suppressed.
Help restore competition & security to the American
economy. Info: $1 + SASE to: Business Alliance for Commerce in
Hemp (BACH), P.O. Box 71093, L... CA 90071-0093.