Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Hemp-Rich America

It's an unprecedented and interesting time in this country we call home, "Land of the Free".
Along with un-necessary war debt that reaches 10 Billion per month, environmental disasters both natural and man-made, and a political system that is out of date and in control of a failing economy, "The Big Bail-Out" could prove to make us even more dependant on a system that is not working and some say this financial crisis could lead to the biggest "Great Depression" this country has ever seen. But many of us have "Hope" and are ready for "Change" this election season and we all seem to be holding our breaths, if ever so slightly, as we wonder HOW we are going to make the changes that are going to renew America's strength within and abroad.
CNN pundit Glenn Beck said tonight that this is "The Perfect Storm" that we've all feared, with our self-fulfilling prophecy's seemingly manifesting right before our eyes.

Here in "Nash Vegas", as we like to call our big-little city of Nashville, TN, we've just experienced our first official "Gas Crisis". Liken to the chaos of California in the 1970's, 80% of our gas stations were out of gas last week. IF you were lucky enough to find a place that had gasoline available you found your self stuck in a long line that took and hour or even 2 to get through. Gas prices rose minute by minute and in a matter of a few days, it went from $3.70/gal to an avergage of $4.19. One location, the only station with gas in a long stretch on a very busy road couldn't resist a price gauge at $4.59/gal. Apparently Hurricane Ike damaged oil lines as well as halted production. One story on the local news informed us that it was the stations themselves opting not to purchase the gas that was available. I'm still not sure what this is about but they say the crunch should be over by Friday, tomorrow.

As I've driven around Nashville lately and enjoyed the cooler mornings and evenings as Summer wanes and Fall prepares the regions hills with hints of color-change in the rich, green landscape that looks emerald with its lush variety of vegetation, I can't help but imagine the fields waving with tall hemp plants as high or higher than corn. The farmers here had it really tough last year. Because of the drought, the Corn fields that everyone planted due to the high demand for corn- based products, including ethanol, dried up and looked worthless.
This year's wet summer has been better for the crops and corn is king again. But, what if farmers could choose to grow Hemp or Marijuana alongside their corn crop and the Hemp needed less water and fertilizer? Could they still make a profit in a year where the corn dried up too early? I say they can. I would love to hear from farmers by the way.

I can't help but wonder, what if Tennessee farmers and those in other American States were allowed to choose Hemp as a legal crop that could be sold for biofuel? Because of the large number of other uses for Hemp, could American farmers begin seeing better returns on their yields? Research says they can produce 10-15 barrels of oil from one acre of hemp. What if at my local gas station, there was a pump labeled "Hemp Bio-Fuel" so that if (or before) we were having a gasoline shortage, we could convert our automobiles with a slight modification to accept bio-fuels, and at a much cheaper cost than gasoline? The answers to these questions might surprise you and the research and innovation is available to provide us the answers to the problems we face as a nation and as a society.

In my working-title book, "Marijuana: Green God" (The American Revolution of a Culture Icon), I am laying out the answers to many of the dilemmas this country faces as well as raising new questions while re-examining the past.

I have chosen today to begin this blog because I feel that there is so much happening right now in our country with its calls for change, and it is my hope that this work will begin a new dialog between all of us about the potential benefits that Cannabis Sativa offers and has offered us for thousands of years. With this new dialog, I hope that we can be bold enough to consider re-examining our prejudices and lack of full disclosure in regard to this mysterious "Green God" .

In the future I will begin posting sample chapters of my book and essays.
Much of the book reflects a psycho-spiritual and psycho-social theme as we explore marijuana's influences individually and collectively. The goal of this information is to educate and to lift the demonization myth of a truly powerful plant that has the potential of creating a new American spirit of cooperation and allowance.

I look forward to this dialog and hope you will feel free to offer your comments and feedback as we go along.

Kim West

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