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The Benefits Of Hemp Versus Marijuana

1912 words - 8 pages

“Hemp is the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country” Thomas Jefferson the United States third president and principal author of the declaration of independence, believed that Hemp being a resilient plant and having great variety of use was perfect for building the fledging nation after independence. As of 2013 Uruguay became the first country to legalize the sale and use of Marijuana by its citizens under licencing and registration as well as allowing each household to grow 6 plants per year equivalent to 480 grams of dried product, all in an effort to reduced drug trafficking and related crimes. Caribbean countries whose cultivation of the currently illegal Marijuana have brought them under scrutiny by the international community are now following closely the developments in the United States, where legislation has been passed on Colorado and Washington allowing for the sale and taxation of Marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes while another 18 states having legislation in place for medicinal purposes only. Marijuana was made illegal by the international community due to the concentration of it psychoactive chemicals present in some varieties, this resulted in the entire species Cannabis Sativa being listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance in the United States by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 even though some had extremely low levels of THC. However Industrial Hemp was never made illegal China, Russia and Hungary and legislation passed since 1990 has seen some countries in Europe legalizing it under licencing for production and research, with Canada, Australia and some states in the US following in 1998. The word Hemp has been used to describe different bast fiber plant varieties but True Hemp was first recorded in China about 2800 BC used for making cloths, cordage from its fiber and later for grains and oils from its seed (Ehrensing 1998). Eventually finding its way to Europe in the 16th century where in 1537 Greek physician and pharmacologist Pedanius Discorides coined the name Cannabis Sativa a plant with over 79 different varieties and was cultivated primarily for the fibrous content of its stem and its seeds used for food and oils, however more recently emphasis has been placed on the intoxicating ingredients concentrated in its flower buds and leaves of some strains.
While the international community is focused on the legalization of Marijuana for medicinal and recreational purpose, Caribbean countries can benefit from investment in the lower THC level Industrial Hemp a variety of the Cannabis Sativa species which thrives in warm climate, has a greater variety of uses than any single plant and support their economies sustainably.
While being members of the same species Marijuana and Hemp are quite different primarily in chemical makeup and physical characteristics. There are more than 60 unique chemicals found in Cannabis Sativa called Cannabinoids. Marijuana refers to the strain of Cannabis...

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