Hemp Essay

2104 words - 8 pages

The wonders of hemp. none received yetPREAMBLEAs we enter a new millennium, we find ourselves reevaluating the paths we've chosen and the decisions we've made. Have we made the best with what we've got or are we stumbling in the dark? How many gaps riddle the blanket of our knowledge?The problem lies in how we make sense of where we're heading. Do we choose the path of economics and progress or do we choose the path of environmentalism and sustainability? Is there a median available for us to take where the greens of economy and environment are balanced or are we doomed to blindly continue the path of short-term gain and comfort . . . living out a flawed paradigm?Canada is a prime example of a country that is continually weighing its power and influence on the natural and manmade worlds. We've found ourselves sitting on the global fence between our magliomaniacal brother to the south and our staunch traditionalist motherland to the east. From this division of powers and alliances we find ourselves locked into a self-induced ignorance and stifling conservatism. It's ironic that we have the opportunity to solve most of Canada's critical environmental issues in one fell swoop . . . with one simple plant. It is ignorance and the maintenance of the status quo that has blinded and crippled our ability to realize this resource.-2-INTRODUCTIONA plant exists that is so strong that it can be grown without requiring chemicals in almost every part of the world. Many have touted this plant as a possible way in which to wean society from its dependence on fossil fuels for energy and the need to log forests for pulp, paper and wood. It is even said that this plant could adequately clothe and feed the world more efficiently and cheaply than we can do now!Why is this miracle plant not used if all evidence points to its versatility? The answer is bogged down in a century of law, sociology, the corporate agenda and conspiracy theories. Since the early part of the century, hemp has been considered a drug, though it has no euphoric attributes. Hemp: the wonder plant and possible solution to the bulk of our problems is illegal only because it is seen as guilty by it's association with marijuana.Hemp is a herbaceous plant called 'cannabis sativa', which means `useful (sativa) hemp (cannabis)'. Fiber is the best known product, and the word `hemp' can also mean the rope or twine which is made from the plant, as well as just the stalk of the plant which produced it.History has proven its acceptance of hemp: both the U.S. Constitution and the firstdraft of the Declaration of Independence were drafted on hemp paper; Ben Franklin started the first American newspaper with hemp hurds, while Thomas Jefferson said, 'Hemp is offirst necessity to the wealth and protection of the country'. Canvass, a hemp product, was widely used as sails in the early shipping industry, as it was the only cloth which would not rot on contact with saline sea spray. Archaeological digs in China have...

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