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Hemp for Victory

The U.S. Department of Agriculture persuading farmers to grow hemp for the war effort in the 1940's coined the slogan "Hemp for Victory." Webster's Dictionary defines hemp as "a genus of widely cultivated annuals, this plant's fiber used for ropes and coarse fabrics."Hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa which is similar in structure to the street drug called marijuana.Yet Kulpa ( 1999, p.61) indicates, "hemp is marijuana's straight cousin-classified as cannabis but containing microscopic levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot, according to the North American Industrial Hemp Council."Marijuana is much higher as stated by Sternburg (1999, p.1A), "contains THC levels as high as 20%."The uses of the hemp fiber are numerous and have been woven into our nation's heritage.Thefirst immigrants reaching America used sails, rigging and nets made of hemp ( White 1999 p. 4).In the early colonies'must grow' hemp laws were enforced to provide sufficient clothing and materials( White 1999 p.4). The Declaration of Independence, an unofficial transcript of the Constitution and thefirst flag of the United States were all written on hemp. "Today anything made from petroleum or synthetic products can be manufactured from hemp" (Smith).Industrial hemp is an environment-friendly crop that might contain a wealth of possibilities.
Currently U.S. farmers are looking towards hemp as a new crop to provide diversity and better prices then the present corn, wheat, barley, etc.In 1998 Canada lifted the ban on hemp, allowing farmers with government permits to provide a new rotation crop.Sternberg states (1999 p.1A) "The farmers must pass criminal records checks and prevent the THC level in the plants from exceeding .03 percent, which is monitored by law enforcement." The price difference between hemp and tr

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