October 10, 2013
Hemp is such a versatile material that it literally threatened a handful of businesses, which colluded to make it illegal in the US during the late 1930s but up until then, it was cultivated freely for its many uses. It produces a superior diesel to that drilled from the ground. One acre of hemp produces the same amount of a superior paper to that produced by 4 acres of trees. Prior to its being made illegal it was used in the production of paint which was non-toxic, unlike the petroleum-based paints with which it was replaced. Hemp can be used to make a resilient plastic: The list of uses derived from the hemp plant is virtually infinite.
In 1938, Popular Mechanics magazine ran an article called “New Billion-Dollar Crop.” This was the first time that the words “billion-dollar” had been used to describe a US agricultural product.
Popular Mechanics said, “A machine has been invented that solves a problem over 6,000 years old. The machine is designed to remove the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for us use without a prohibitive amount of human labor.
Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce over 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces – and the woody [materials] remaining after the fiber has been removed contain 77% cellulose and ca be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to cellophane.”