Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fields of Green

Records show that humanity has been cultivating marijuana for at least 8,000 years. Most archaeologists agree that the cultivation of the plant probably began in China and spread throughout Asia and into Africa where it moved to South America and up to North America. Evidence has also been found in Southern Russia of marijuana’s cultivation going back to 700 B.C. The Russians were master rope makers and sold hemp products throughout Europe. They also became leaders in early commerce because of their softer hemp fabrics and ropes which made it easier for Italy and England to rule the European seas.
Humans have cultivated Hemp for clothing for at least 2,400 years. Fabric from Hemp predates even cotton. Hemp fibers were the first to clothe humanity in a natural progression from animal skins to fibers grown from the earth.
Paper was soon to follow. For hundreds of years scribes wrote on stone, wood, bamboo, silk or parchment. Records reveal that hemp paper initially appeared around the first century B.C. in China. Hemp fibers were mixed with mulberry tree bark, made into a paste and then spread into molds to dry. The technique remained a secret for hundreds of years but was then discovered by Japan and eventually the Arab world caught on too.1 Hemp paper remained the paper of choice for Europe and the New World for hundreds of years, until the 19th century introduction of the chemical wood pulping process lowered the demand for hemp. Our forefathers drew up the famous Declaration of Independence on paper made from hemp and this document survives today.

It was discovered early on that food could be made from the seeds. Natives of India report that hemp remains the favorite food of Shiva. A special beverage called, “Bhang” is a mixture of marijuana with other herbs and spices. It has been called the drink of the Gods. “Bhang” continues to be a popular drink amongst many Indians today.
Because Hemp seed is high in essential fatty acids, including Omega 3’s, many food products in the natural foods market include Hemp seed or hemp seed oil within the supplements and food products sold. Make-up, shampoo, lotion and other personal care products can be manufactured from Hemp. Bird seed is also a popular item made available commercially. However, because Hemp can’t be grown in the U.S., these product ingredients are grown in Canada and then sold to us for use. Our government has even been known to harass individual citizens who have ordered non-psychoactive hemp seeds from Canada to use for their pets, health or food recipes thanks to an ongoing multi-billion dollar “Drug War” that focuses on eradicating marijuana use as a top concern at the expense of the American tax payer.
Canada is a leader in hemp production and though it’s good to have a friendly neighbor to do trade with, their multi-million dollar hemp industry is costing Americans. Because of our southern state climates and the Mediterranean climate of the West coast, American farmers could be growing hemp year round as an annual crop that requires much less water and fertilizer than both corn and cotton, making it both an economically feasible crop as well as a profitable crop.
By the way, estimates show that Marijuana already is the number one cash crop in the u.s. and it's not taxed. A great profit for some.

The buzz word of American politics right now is, “Energy Independence” and as John McCain said in his first prime time debate last night with Senator Obama, “Everyone is for alternative energy NOW!.” I can remember when this was not the case, and it was not very long ago. I am happy to see that everyone agrees that it is time to become more energy independent and that we are willing to consider alternatives but this will involve thinking outside of the comfortable box of complacency and supervised knowledge.

The current global market for hemp derived products is valued between $100 Million and $200 Million annually. Add the decriminalization of marijuana for personal and medical use and the reasonable taxation of sales and profits, preparation of hemp bio-fuels for use within the fuel infrastructure, including possible exports, and we could “Bail Out” our current economic and political system from further decline. Now that's Independence! We possess the resources to make hemp the number one cash crop in the U.S. Yet, out of fear and ignorance we limit American farmers, retailers and all investors in our economy.
I have a day dream each time I drive past farm land long vacant with “for sale” signs, up sometimes for years, in hopes of a future subdivision or shopping mall venture. Some hit it lucky and become millionaires overnight. Others work the land they’ve purchased or inherited only to find themselves further in debt just to be able to work the land. With the acceptance of hemp and marijuana as cash crops, we can reignite the land and its people. We can save billions each year in the un-necessary prosecution of marijuana “offenders”, (an estimated 700,000 Americans per year), and put the focus back on individual rights and freedoms, leading the way to reason and eliminating the black market and the assorted crimes that come with that market.

I see fields of green as far as the mind can imagine. When I grew up in Oklahoma I used to love the fall wheat fields that would sway like ocean waves across a large field of golden wheat. It’s one of the few things I loved about that landscape but the beauty made an indelible impression on my psyche, as well as the sounds of oil wells right in the middle of those wheat fields, clicking and squeaking throughout the day and night with a rhythmic sound that I’ve often missed at night as an adult. It was my “white noise” as a child, lying in the middle of the dark country night. Now I have the click of the ceiling fan.
It is my dream, within this lifetime, to see fields of hemp, swaying effortlessly in a sea of green. To see open commerce and renewable fuel productions escalate as we become a prosperous and reasonable nation, free of our obsession with foreign oil and the politics that involves. Hemp growing can be “Green” in so many ways, and not just the cash either. A “Green Economy” is the wave of the future, will you be a part of that future? Whether you are willing now or not, you will be involved.

There are many streams of thought and statistics I could insert right now but I have chosen to use this site as a place of introduction though I have begun preparing a website at that can be accessed for more in depth research as I gather my material and complete my book, Marijuana: Green God , “The American Revolution of a Culture Icon.” I will make an announcement when the site is available.

For blog purposes, this is but a hint at the information that is available. A few simple google searches and anybody can become educated about the possibilities of hemp production, medical & recreational marijuana etc. There are some dedicated individuals out there that have been fighting this fight a very long time.
Much of what I will be sharing is nothing new. The Hemp Revolution has been occurring for thousands of years and for us as a nation, since the inception of the first colonists onto a land whose keeper, the American Indian, had been using the sacred plant for generations. The “Revolution” continues as the human evolution continues with cycles of birth and rebirth, death and regeneration. This amazing plant calls to all who are willing to listen. We sit at a precipice in this cycle of regeneration. Do we fall or greet the dawning of a new age in reason where knowledge is power?

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