The Great Hemp Hype

Laura Noble

Was There a hemp Conspiracy?

The demonization of hemp and marihuana took center stage when Harry Anslinger was appointed as the first commissioner of theU.S. Treasury Departments Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930. Anslinger set off reefer madness hysteria. He made claim white women would seek out having sex with black men if they got their hand on a “marihuana” cigarette. He boasted how “marihuana” was a violent aggressive “drug” and it would make people “insane”.

This was prime timing and fuel for newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst, industrialist Lammont DuPont II, and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon who all were financially motivated in wanting to see hemp snuffed out of the American market. It was Hearts and his publication that came up with the slang term “marihuana” [today also spelled marijuana] for the cannabis indica Lam plant. This is the variety of cannabis that gets tiny trichomes containing Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). THC is the psychoactive substance that people associate with getting “high”. The stuff Harry Anslinger did not like that the “Negros and Mexicans” were smoking.

Hemp (cannabis sativa L) was a direct competitor to paper and petroleum. Further, Henry Ford was working on constructing an automobile made from the cellulose in the hemp plant and he intended to use hemp oil to fuel it. Hearst was good friends with DuPont who was working on patents for a new process which would make paper from wood. Hearst was the largest owner of wooded forests. The DuPont family had additional financial interests in synthetic fibers, petroleum oil and GM. The two were good friends with Andrew Mellon who was the uncle to Harry Anslinger. Hearst, DuPont and Mellon had a great deal to financially gain if confusion and hysteria occurred with cannabis indica Lam (marihuana) and cannabis sativa L (hemp) the non-psychoactive strain of cannabis; especially if they were packaged in one bundle.

Eventually all this muss & fuss over "marihuana" would lead to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Since marihuana was a slang word used by Hearst newspaper, many were unaware at that time that "marihuana" was actually cannabis and hemp. The Tax Act did not necessarily set out to outlaw hemp, the act was imposed to try to tax hemp to death. The possession or transfer of hemp and cannabis indica in the United States became illegal without a permit, yet permits were rarely granted. This paved the way to prohibition of all varieties of cannabis.

During World War II, farmers were requested to grow hemp for the war effort in a campaign titled "Hemp for Victory". It didn't last long. DuPont sparked legislation to outlaw hemp in the 1950s. Harry Anslinger was continuing his crusade, now claiming marihuana would lead to communistic brainwashing. He remained at the helm until 1962. Next in line would be Richard Nixon.

President Nixon made matters worse for hemp when he placed it within the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. Nixon decided to classify cannabis/marihuana/hemp in the worst of the categories, placing it as a Schedule I Controlled Substance along with heroin and other highly addictive, no medical use drugs. The Shafer Commission, Nixon’s own appointed committee, had advised against placing cannabis as a control substance at all. Nixon’s personal prejudices contributed to going against his advisors. This strict classification scheduling system ended up including industrial hemp even though it was known it did not contain psychoactive properties.

When the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was signed it into power on July 28, 1973 by Nixon, just days before his resignation in August, the DEA was given the authority to enforce the Controlled Substance Act. Since 1973, the DEA has had control over the hemp plant, which is not a drug; it cannot be used to manufacture a drug. Hemp is a plant that is a nutritionally dense food source and a renewable raw material.

This outdated federal policy continues today due to ignorance and money. Removing hemp from the Controlled Substance Act has nothing to do with being “soft on drugs”. Although the DEA recognized that hemp is not a drug, they will not release permits to grow the crop, which could benefit consumers and manufactures. The DEA claims the hemp plant would allow for marijuana plants to be hidden within the same field and cause control problems. This is not true. The industrial hemp plant and the cannabis plant known as marijuana, though similar, are different looking and sow differently. The DEA is spending millions of US tax dollars on eradicating hemp plants, also known as "Ditch Weed" from farm fields, which are the hardy descendants of hemp grown by farmers decades ago during WWII.

The United States is one of the only industrialized counties that does not allow the cultivation of hemp. Any politician or public official, who does not want to support hemp farming in the US is either misinformed or is being led astray by the special interests who continue to benefit from hemp prohibition.

While the DEA uses our tax dollars to destroy industrial hemp plants, farmers in Canada and Europe are making millions from the hemp plant for use of food, clothing, car parts and the thousands of manufacturing products; while the U.S is left to importing.

Eat Hemp & You Eat healthy!

To Your Good Health,

Cousin Mary Jane

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