Tell me again why hemp is illegal?

I could post cites about the practical applications of hempiculture. I might try to trace the legal history or speculate about the social climate, etc. But I’d rather start from scratch.

Tell me again why hemp is illegal?

Please note, I’m not talking about pot, the drug some people like to smoke &etc. I’m talking about industrial hemp.

It looks the same as the fun stuff so a farmer could hide his illegal products amidst his legal ones.

As for hemp’s much-touted benefits, it’s pretty much second best compared with whatever you want to compare it with. Except the fun stuff.

Can we have some background here? Sounds like opinion to me. I have seen in various places many of which seemed less than partisan, that there are many advantages to hemp cultivation. I know that it was widly grown here in the US untill the Reefer madness days. Do you have stock in cotton companies?

Just a “for instance”: "Hemp rope is notorious for breaking due to rot as the capillary effect of the rope-woven fibers tended to hold liquid at the interior, while seeming dry from the outside. Hemp rope used in the age of sailing-ships was protected by tarring, a labor-intensive process (and source of the Jack Tar nickname for sailors). Hemp rope was phased out when Manila, which does not require tarring, became available. Manila is sometimes referred to as Manila hemp, but is not related to hemp; it is Abacá, a species of banana."

And that happened before the invention of polyester for rope.

The hemp lobby is a large subset of the “let’s legalize marijuana” lobby. Hemp needs to be highly processed to make comfortable clothes, though they wear like iron. Cotton can be used for clothing as soon as you gin out the seeds and stems. Olive oil tastes better than hemp oil and you can cook with it, too. OTOH, I like the idea of using hemp for paper. But as long as reefer is illegal hemp will also be illegal.

I saw a program that demonstrated making hemp stampings. They were auto panels. The plastic ones are made from petroleum. It does have industrial applications. Eventually it would have lots of uses. Here are a bunch.

Actually, the kind of traits one wants in industrial hemp are contrary to the traits one wants for a good pot crop. They don’t in fact look the same.

They do buried in the middle of a field.

If pot farmers successfully use corn as a cover crop (which they do), you can only imagine how much more effective hemp would be. Good luck trying to spot a thousand pot plants scattered through a grow of a million hemp plants. Even farmers with nothing but legitimate intentions would have trouble with pot growers parasitizing their land, irrigation, natural camouflage, etc.

If hemp is legal, then pot has to be legal. I’m cool with that, but let’s not be obtuse about the motivation or issues around legalizing either of them. Pot should be legal not because hemp is great textile material (it isn’t), nor because it’s wonderful medicine (it isn’t), but because it should be legal for adults to enjoy a natural pleasure that is less harmful than alcohol (which it truly is).

It was part of the whole prohibition movement in the US. Basically it was added to the illegal substances list in (IIRC) the 30’s mainly due to it’s use by minority groups such as blacks and hispanics. It was demonized in the 50’s because Harry Anslinger was a zealot about the stuff for some odd reason.

In the end not enough people care about the stuff to get it made legal. There simply has been no major backlash such as what occurred to over turn prohibition. Personally, I’m all for making the stuff legal, by which I mean the recreational use part. That said, this hemp will save the world stuff is just nutty. IIRC Cecil did an article on this a few years ago…if I have time I’ll see if I can dig it up.

Wink wink, nudge nudge. Yeah, it’s always about hemp and not about the drug…



Dave’s not here, man.

But he’s due on the the Floor to vote on the legalization bill!

Pot is illegal because the chemical companies couldn’t figure out a way to efficiently control its growth and distribution in a way that would net them huge profits.

Hemp is illegal for the same reason that a cop would pull over a Cadillac-load of african-americans and not pull over a Cadillac-load of norwegian-americans. To the authorities, it just looks bad…

Here’s a USDA study from 2000, looking at the prospects of hemp as a viable alternative crop.

It concludes that there’s not much of a demand for industrial hemp for fiber. We don’t import much hemp fiber into the US, and there’s not any commercially viable linen production in the US, even though there’s no legal barriers to linen production (linen and hemp are pretty much interchangeable in terms of use in fabric production). Hemp seed as a food ingredient probably will never have a large market, but be equivalent to the market for poppy and sesame seeds, and hemp oil has disadvantages when used for food production, and will find it hard to compete with other oils for industrial lubrication. It also concludes that in Canada (where industrial hemp production was legalized), there was a tremendous overestimate of the crop’s potential and it led to a a glut in the market. It concludes that industrial hemp production is probably not economically feasible in the US.

Wife was driving a load of Norskies on a church mission trip through Texas and they encountered a DUI roadblock. Being COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY NAIVE, the kids were surprised their van was waved through after only the most cursory inspection. And thought Wife was cool for “pulling it off.”

Jesus fuck, I understand their grandparents, but those kids and their parents are, to this day, so clueless that I feel like an alien when I go to church.

Industrial hemp and hemp grown for its THC content don’t look all that different. It’s really next to impossible to tell the difference without testing the plant’s THC content.

You still go to church? I admire your loyalty, or stamina, whichever.

My cousins live in southwest Minnesota, a spit from Iowa and a piss from South Dakota. I don’t think they are racists. I do think they are incredibally racially ignorant. Their horizons are broadening, however. A few years back, my youngest cousin (who is as white as the driven snow) was sent to a ‘Good Lutheran Bible College’ so she could be safe from the evils of the world and learn the Lord’s ways in a secure environment.

She fell in love/lust with an african-american fella who was recruited from inner-city Chicago to help the basketball team. He knocked her up and then convinced her to leave school and then broke up with her. A year later, he came crying home and expressed his undying love for her just long enough to impregnate her again. (I’m not putting fault all on him, she is equally at fault.)

My cousins are pretty much down on ‘that guy’, but are forced by their beliefs to be nice and decent and kind to the innocent kids. Who don’t look anything like them… I think God has a wonderful sense of humor.

Well, you started out OK, then you foundered. look, there’s no need for any paranoid or racist conspiracy about banning marijuana. They banned cocaine and **EVERYTHING. ** Including Booze. Now, Prohibition was a failure and was repealed, but they did actually ban booze for a while.

Alcohol has been legal in the United States since 1933. That’s 76 years. It was only repealed because voters (read: white people) were tired of being denied alcohol. The same couldn’t be accomplished with drugs that were more popular with immigrants or African-Americans, because they simply couldn’t vote.

The whole story is more complicated than that, but it’s unbelievably naive to think that race doesn’t take a part.

Blacks had been able to vote since 1870, and believe it or not, Blacks partook of booze back then, too- not just White People. In any case, they outlawed ALL drugs, even such “white folk” drugs as cocaine (popular in many “Patent” nostrums of the day) . Now, if they had only outlawed hemp, you might have a case, but as it is, there’s nothing racial about it.

There was definitely a racial motivation for banning marijuana. Even a cursory ‘History Channel’ look at the subject makes it pretty apparent.

As for them banning a whole bunch of stuff, including alcohol, that’s true…never denied it. The main reason Alcohol was made legal again in most places and pot wasn’t is due mainly to the amount of public reaction. Prohibition of alcohol was highly unpopular with the general public, and a very large majority of people found ways (illegal mostly) around the law. MJ on the other hand just doesn’t have that kind of popular support from the public at large.

As to why hemp is illegal, it’s because for all practical purposes they are the same thing…and simply put there isn’t enough public demand for either to make it worth while for politician types to fight that fight. Couple that with decades of inflamed propaganda from the 40’s on and it seems unlikely it will become legal any time soon. The folks who want to make hemp legal are doing so because they know that if they can get that through it will be virtually impossible to keep the, um, medicinal variant under wraps.

Found that article from Cecil. It’s tangential to this discussion, but he makes some good points in there:

I especially like this part: