By Ruth Hill R.N.

It’s tough to report on cannabis news these days because there is so much to share. The industry is busting with innovation, yet the New York Times continues to cater to reefer madness. Laura M. Holson decided on America’s Birthday to publish an article about all the slang words used for smoking marijuana. The NYT also gave blazing accolades to Alex Berenson the author of the book What advocates of legalized pot don’t want you to know. It is a sad day when a prestigious world newspaper falls from grace. My family read the NYT every Sunday when I was a child in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Now it caters to the same audience as that Examiner tabloid you gaze over while waiting in line at the grocery store.

My poetry teacher, Dorothea, reminds us to not be preachy with our poems, “Let the reader decide”. She calls it author intrusion. Sometimes a preaching eases the soul. Since writing for CV Weekly, I brandish my paper scythe in hopes of slaying myths about the science of marijuana. How do we fight reefer madness when the fake media refuses to counter the government’s propaganda?

Hemp has not been grown legally in America since WWII. We will be the leader in the hemp industry’s revolution now that President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp is now legal to cultivate, distribute sell and use in the US because it is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That is way Hemp CBD oil is legal.

  Hempearth Group, a Canadian research business, is building the world’s first plane made from and powered by hemp. Hemp is ten times stronger than steel. Hempcrete, developed in France, is the popular term for a hemp–lime composite building material. It reduces construction costs builds walls floors and insulation. It is breathable, absorbing and emitting moisture to regulate internal humidity and avoid trapped moisture and mold growth. It can replace some use of timber. The growth of a field of hemp will absorb CO2 in the air and release oxygen saving our planet in a more efficient economical way.

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It is biodegradable absorbs metals and decontaminates radioactive soil. If you were born after 1986, google the Chernobyl Phytoremediation Project for more information. In 2008 Italy’s government discovered the toxic chemical dioxin in sheep. Entire herds were slaughtered. The culprit was contaminants spewing from a massive steel plant, Europe’s largest. To successfully leach contaminants from the soil, industrial hemp was planted.

Hemp thrives without pesticides. It’s the ecofriendly alternative to the biggest pollutants of modern time. Researchers at UConn, my alma mater, have found that the fiber crop Cannabis Sativa, has properties that make it viable for producing biodiesel, a sustainable diesel fuel made from renewable plant sources.

Hemp is an alternative to cotton. According to the World Resources Institute, (www.wri.org) cotton accounts for 11 percent of pesticides and 24 percent of insecticides used in the world. It takes 2,700 liters of water to manufacture one cotton t-shirt. Hemp uses a quarter of the water and less land to produce a pound of fiber.

According to the United Nations, more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s. It’s estimated that half of all plastic is single-use, and 60 percent of it ends up in landfills or in nature. Biodegradable plastic does not contain the chemicals commonly found in other plastics that affect the human body’s endocrine system. India is demanding Nestlé go door to door in the Himalayas to comply with the country’s strict new waste-curbing rule on plastics.  (See Wall Street Journal article by Saabira Chaudhuri dated July 5, 2019.)

Hemp plastic is the alternative to banning straws grocery bags and the utensils handed out in fast food restaurants. The hemp industry will save our farms, contribute to research and development and save the planet from destruction far more than any European climate laws. How did this paradigm shift happen? Because of all the pioneers who bravely suffered criminal prosecution pushing for cannabis medicinal and recreational legalization. (Sorry Dorothea the devil made me do it).

Ruth A Hill lectures on cannabis contact hilruth@gmail.com