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Cannabis is the Latin name for the hemp plant which was grown in China for more than 8,500 years. Hemp helped the human population make the great achievements it did and in fact the sailing ships of 100 years ago were powered by hemp. The oil content in a hemp plant is three times that of any other plant, and the plant is very hardy and grows almost anywhere. Paper was made from hemp and it can yield 3-8 dry tons of fiber per acre. This is four times what an average forest can yield. Hemp can make medicines, building materials, bio-degradable plastics and the list goes on. The fall from grace of this plant in the 1930’s is a story of greed and manipulation in the U.S.|
At the height of its usefulness in the 1930’s the modern farming machinery was set to make hemp a multi-billion dollar crop in the U.S. This however coincided with the development of nylons and plastics by the Dupont industry, and in addition, William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane) and the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division of Kimberly Clark owned vast acreage of timberlands. The Hearst Company supplied most paper products. Both these industries would suffer if hemp production increased. Using insiders in the government they managed to get the plant outlawed as dangerous and placed as a Class 1 drug next to heroin, where it still is today. The case for the use of this plant in agriculture is stunning and compelling.
But it is a drug you might say. That is true to some degree, but what sort of drug? I know people who occasionally smoke this and it does not cause them problems. They are not addicted as there is no nicotine and yet governments allow nicotine. It makes people lose some mental control. Maybe, but so does alcohol which is legal. Marijuana is actually known for its properties in alleviating asthma and is allowed under prescription in the States. In fact there is a deal of evidence to suggest that marijuana is no more dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol and should not be classified the same as heroin which is a lethal and addictive drug. Rather the opposite, a deal of research has shown that the medicinal values of marijuana are very important.
Besides this, there is the fact that the growth density of the plant dictates the amount of drug within it. On top of that certain strains of the plant contain less than 0.03% of marijuana. Scientists have also been able to create virtually drug free specimens.
I believe that there is already one such production hemp base in Dongping, Shangdong and maybe China should look very hard and objectively at the production of hemp as a source of food, medicine, materials and fuel. The plant is now growing in Canada and other places and many countries have relaxed laws on hemp because it has not been found to be the devil but rather quite the opposite.
I believe that this plant has been outcast due to the business interests of big business in America and its shame, is really the shame of greed. As the writer of this article I will plainly state that I have smoked two marijuana cigarettes in my life. The first time I fell asleep, and the second time I danced energetically all evening. I had a third cigarette which I never bothered to smoke. As an addicted cigarette smoker, I found that marijuana was not addictive in the same way as cigarettes and alcohol, but was possibly rather fun for the odd buzz. Many countries allow the private use of marijuana for personal use and you cannot say that for heroin. Why are they both classed the same in the U.S, Class 1?
I neither promote, or discourage, the use of marijuana but rather I am pointing out the enormous benefits of one of the world’s greatest plants for the use of mankind.
China should revisit from a scientific standpoint this amazing plant and ignore the propaganda from the U.S government and its corporate wolves. Then consider the value of what nature can provide in the form of hemp. This is a very good time for China to develop prosperous cash rich crops.
At the same time China should look at the properties of the drug marijuana and make their own assessments based on research and facts.