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Wed Jul 11, 2012, 12:22 PM

Hep on hemp: Why industrial-grade hemp should be a vital part of our economy [View all]

from the Detroit Metro Times:

Hep on hemp
Why industrial-grade hemp should be a vital part of our economy

By Larry Gabriel
Published: July 11, 2012

The United States government has cried wolf about cannabis so many times that its credibility on the subject must be at an all-time low. Nowhere is that more apparent than when it comes to hemp.

Hemp is a strain of cannabis sativa, but is sort of the nerdish, boring, industrious cousin of the plants people use for medicine, and to just get stoned. Hemp doesn't get you high at all, but it is useful in many other ways as textiles, paper, food, fuel and much more. A Jan. 19 paper from the Congressional Research Service titled Hemp as an Agricultural Product estimates that the global market for hemp includes some 25,000 products.

So why is this product prohibited rather than a vital part of our economy? As far as I can tell it's because the government thinks people are stupid. The simple reason given for hemp prohibition is that law enforcement is too dense to recognize the difference between a field of marijuana and a field of hemp. It would probably take about 10 minutes to explain it to a 10-year-old. Marijuana is grown for its THC-rich buds, which form on the end of its leafy branches. The more branches, the more buds. Most marijuana growing operations feature shorter, bushier plants with lots of branches that are planted several feet apart so that the sun can get to its lower branches. These are created by pinching off the ends of the stems, causing them to branch out.

Hemp is grown for the fibrous main stem, its trunk, so to speak, and its seeds. In order to get the longest stem, hemp plants are sown a few inches apart so that the plants literally compete for sunlight by reaching up. Anybody who has visited a dense forest has seen the phenomenon of a canopy of tall, skinny trees with few lower branches and very bushy tops. That's the way hemp is produced, in order to maximize the harvest of fibers. Pinching the ends to make the plant bushy is a no-no. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://metrotimes.com/mmj/hep-on-hemp-1.1341612

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Reply Hep on hemp: Why industrial-grade hemp should be a vital part of our economy [View all]
marmar Jul 2012 OP
Uncle Joe Jul 2012 #1
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tridim Jul 2012 #5