Fly your American grown hemp Star Spangled Banner this Fourth of July

usa flagThis Fourth of July fly your American grown hemp Star Spangled Banner. Oh, that’s  right, you can’t. Americans are prevented from growing hemp by their own DEA. You can get a hemp flag, maybe even one produced in the USA. But not from hemp grown here by American farmers; all this vital raw material must be imported. Chinese farmers and Canadian farmers grow hemp, some for lucrative export to the booming American market. The practice of growing hemp and using it for food, fiber and fabric is thousands of years old in China.

If an American farmer should plant 40 acres in this same industrial, non-psychoactive hemp crop as imported from China to provide to American manufacturers and food producers, he would be considered as the worst sort of criminal by the DEA and federal criminal code, subject to arrest, decades in prison and forfeiture of the family farm. Any production of over 100 plants puts the farmer in jeopardy of severe federal sanctions.

Your inability to buy an American flag made from American-grown hemp is hugely ironic in that the very first American flag was likely made of hemp, a major product in the colonies.The first Declaration was printed on hemp paper.

Now, this Fourth of July, a hemp flag made from newly legalized hemp from Colorado will fly over the capitol building in Washington D.C. Thanks to the intelligent efforts of Reps. Jared Polis D-Colorado, Blumenaur, D-Oregon and Massie, R-Kentucky several pieces of pro-hemp legislation recently put before congress. One right they sought was for universities to be able to study hemp in the states where it is now legal by state law. Such study of hemp for its potential as food, fuel, fiber and fabric are blocked by the DEA, which allows no research on hemp.

 

 

 

DEA’s regulatory morass stifles American capitalism.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

Congratulations to Canadian hemp food producer Manitoba Harvest for its new Hemp Hearts. Long a supplier of hemp foods, the Winnipeg company has come up with a new product mix for hemp seeds.

I am happy to be able to purchase this highly nutritious food, filled with brain friendly Omega 3s, essential oils, fiber and protein, even at $16/pound.  As an Oregonian, though, I am sorry that hemp seeds cannot be grown in my state (and country). Farming is an important state industry and Oregon farmers could doubtless produce a bountiful crop of this food Americans so desperately need. How about an Oregon Harvest, instead of having to import what Oregonians could grow. In 2009, Oregon even passed state legislation, signed by the governor and now state law, allowing Oregonians to grow hemp. But no Oregon farmers are growing hemp because the DEA would crush them and take their land in forfeiture if they did, just one of many ways this bloated agency’s regulatory morass stifles American (and Oregon) capitalism. Silly regulations bluntly enforced by the DEA prevent fellow citizens from growing these powerhouse foodstuffs on American soil.

If the DEA had its way, Americans would have no access to hemp seed foods at all. That’s right, perhaps the most nutritious food on earth would not be a choice available to American consumers. Americans being fattened into diabesity by their obesity-inducing diets could not, by DEA mandate, purchase omega-3 rich hemp seed oils nor seeds until quite recently. Until overturned by court order, this federal bureaucracy restricted the rights of Americans to buy and consume hemp seeds, quite possibly the planet’s most nutritious food. Similarly, the rights are stolen from American farmers and entrepreneurs to grow and monetize one of humankind’s oldest crops.

In addition to supplying sublimely nutritious food, hemp is (or would be) one of American industry’s most useful basic resources. Virtually every part of the plant is usable. Fiber and fuel are two key areas.

Superb hemp-based building materials, comparable and even superior to wood provide vast opportunities in construction and manufacturing. In terms of working and building materials, hemp, of course, amplified the productivity of early Americans by providing them rope, canvass and a host of other materials. Deemed such an important contributor to colonial productivity and prosperity, some colonies required the growing of hemp. Its use declined with the availability of seemingly endless forests for wood building materials and with the introduction of oil-base synthetic fibers. With end of exploitative forestry and the passing of cheap oil, hemp fiber again has a great future as a source of construction material, building material and fiber for fabrication. Many building materials incorporating organic material from cannabis sativa are gaining favor.

  • Hemp can be incorporated into fiber board, insulation, and hempcrete, a more natural form of concrete.
  • Productivity with these materials is multiplied. First, they are carbon negative, a crucial consideration in a warming world. Cannabis plant material comprising hempcrete and similar products sequesters carbon away, out of the atmosphere. Such materials may be locally sourced, as hemp can grow nearly anywhere, saving transportation and carbon costs.

Clothing is a basic human need. Hemp fabric is already a preferred material for providing comfortable, hypoallergenic, UV protective cloth.

Using hemp for fuel offers huge American opportunities. Pure hemp seed oil can be used directly by any diesel engine. For now, hemp oil makes for an expensive fuel, but of course, it is against the law to produce it here in the USA. Maybe that has something to do with the high cost.

Of course, it is probable that medical care is the field where cannabis sativa, if freed of DEA strangulation, could make it grandest contribution to American well being and productivity. With the discovery of the endocannabinoid regulatory system in the 1990s, and subsequent exploration of its many functions in human physiology, and entire new area of medical research was opened. Or at least it would have been, had the entire cannabis plant not suffered DEA Schedule 1 status. Nearly all medical research is stymied by this most restrictive classification.

Recent congressional legislation has enhanced DEA scheduling capabilities. In effect, this bloated federal agency is allowed to write it own laws, on its own, by scheduling any substance it chooses. Bizarrely, legislators running on small government, anti-regulation platforms are quick to burden American capitalists with new regulations that benefit only DEA bureaucrats.

So American capitalists, entrepreneurs, farmers and dozens of other productive professions are being denied a hugely important raw material of food, fiber, fuel, medications, literally thousands of products to serve the real needs of Americans. The prosperity and well being of millions of Americans are sacrificed at the bureaucratic alter of the DEA. This is big government at its very worst.

Drug War Idiocy – Importing hemp from China

Industrial hemp

Industrial hemp

China is currently the world’s largest producer of hemp and exports fiber and seed products to the USA. World trade opportunities are growing rapidly for hemp seed, hemp oil and fiber, textiles and other products of the plant cannabis. Only the USA is being left behind, a consumer, not a producer, of new green agricultural products that provide food, fuel and industrial and textile fibers.

American hemp entrepreneurs are crushed beneath the heels of tax-paid bureaucrats. Green, tax-paying jobs and products are being sacrificed to the whims of the DEA, a self-serving government agency working to maintain its power and enormous budgets.

Hemp seed is arguably the humankind’s single most nutritious food. To its shame, the DEA tried to ban Americans from all access to this food in the 1990’s. The agency, by administrative fatwa declared that because of THC content, no hemp product could be even imported, much less grown domestically. The federal bureaucrats were finally dissuaded from their dishonorable hack only by the courts. Their efforts to deprive their countrymen of nutritionally supreme products such as hulled hemp seeds were declared to be over-reaching by one of the few good court decisions of the drug war.  A federal court rejected the DEA’s strangle-hold on hemp food.

The current situation where Americans import hemp seeds and products from China (along with Canada and other countries) illustrates, in microcosm, the USA’s perilous economic situation. China sells 4 times more to the USA than it buys. American money and assets flow to China, now holder of nearly  a trillion $ of US debt. Chinese goods and products, including foodstuffs such as hemp seeds and fiber products, flow to the USA.  Dollars to pay for them flow to China. For Americans to be importers, not exporters, of such an agricultural product is ludicrous. American farmers are the most productive on earth, at least when not crippled by inane federal restrictions. The free market in the USA for the potentially highly valuable hemp crop has been crushed by the DEA. Like the apparatchiks of the Soviet Union telling farmers what to grow, the bureaucrats at the DEA exercise total control, backed by vast powers of punishment.

A dozen states, Oregon the latest, have passed laws specifically trying to give their farmers and entrepreneurs the freedom to produce and profit from hemp. But there is a catch. No American can currently grow even one cannabis plant without breaking federal law and risking ruin by the DEA.

The success of the Canadian company, Manitoba Harvest, is impressive. It demonstrates the type of innovative, entrepreneurial and jobs-providing enterprise the natural resource of hemp can provide. FoodBizDaily reports:

  • Hemp foods are one of the hottest health food trends in North America, and a fast-growing Canadian company is demonstrating that there is a healthy appetite for nutritious hemp foods overseas.
  • Due to a vigorous international sales initiative over the past few years by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils (www.manitobaharvest.com), exports of their hemp foods beyond North America have skyrocketed more than 500% over the past year.  So far in 2009, the company has exported products to eight nations (in addition to the United States) including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland and Japan.

Good for Manitoba and Canada, but let us also have a Montana Harvest, and Oregon Harvest and Idaho Harvest of hemp. Such success could be emulated by American hemp farmers and entrepreneurs, were they free of the bureaucrats and ill-conceived laws that restrict them. Growing hemp for nutritious food, strong material, fine fabric and alternative fuel is the most basic kind of productive activity, adding value by feeding, clothing, sheltering, transporting and employing people. For Americans to be denied participation in this productive, innovative, worldwide hemp boom is a disgrace. This is a clear example of another way drug war idiocy is crippling the USA. Supposedly living in the land of the free, Americans are not free to grow, thrive and prosper this extraordinary plant resource.

A great resource for promoting hemp is Vote Hemp. The single issue advocacy group provides useful political tools, such as an automated way to write your congress person and request support of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009. Let American be growers, producers and entrepreneurs of hemp based products! We will export hemp foods, fibers, and fuels to the world!

Lecture China on human rights? The USA, “incarceration nation”, holds no high moral ground.

With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in China, human rights groups are upset that she is not taking China to task for human rights violations. But if freedom from being unnecessarily caged is a human right, then the USA holds no high moral ground to be lecturing any country. For the USA imprisons its citizens at an astoundingly high rate, far higher than any other government on earth. Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project outlined in 2006 how the USA is the “Incarceration Nation.”

The USA incarcerates 2.3 million prisoners at a (2006) rate of 738 per 100,000. For China, the rate is 118 prisoners per 100,000 people less than one sixth the rate in “the land of the free.” No other country comes close to the American rate of incarceration. Turkmenistan comes in at 489, Cuba 487. Over 61% of countries imprisoned at a rate of less than 150 per 100,000 roughly 1/5th the rate in the USA. For more detail see the King’s College of London World Prison Population List (7th ed.) by Roy Walmsley.

Even though China’s is home to over a billion more people than the USA, it total prison population is far lower. Still, Chinese prison population it is second highest in the world, with over one and a half million caged prisoners. China does indeed have egregious human rights violations, some of the worst involve police executioners pumping bullets into the back of the heads of people, sometimes for mere drug possession.

Young Chinese woman prepared for death on UN Anti-Drug Day

Young Chinese woman prepared for death on UN Anti-Drug Day

This is done in a public and festive manner on the United Nations Anti-Drug day in July. In the USA, barbarity towards those convicted of drug crimes is not in public executions. American “justice” is in burial alive in concrete and metal cells for decades, for “crimes” that were trivial before draconian War on Drugs laws.

So before lecturing the Chinese about human rights, Hilary, think about hundreds of thousands of Americans arrested and imprisoned for what should not be crimes during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Free those human rights prisoners first.