On July 4th, 1776, something absolutely amazing happened. A man by the name of John Adams was pushing for independence from Great Britain and the 13 American colonies would soon become the United States of America thanks to Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence. This pivotal piece of history will stand firm in the minds of American citizens until the end of time, but a crucial piece of information that eludes most of the patriotic land-dwellers of the great US of A is that the Declaration of Independence was, in fact, written on hemp paper.
That’s right, you heard correctly.
Fast forward to today, 238 years later, and we read in current hemp news that a plant that was once used for virtually everything (and actually illegal to NOT grow), is now almost impossible to plant without a horde of DEA agents knocking down your door. In fact, you wouldn’t even be able to get that far. Don’t freak out! Industrial hemp farming is slowly picking up speed, and now some states can actually grow it legally, except exclusively on assigned pilot plots, with a ton of red tape, and with the DEA still quietly standing in the shadows, waiting for the chance to jump in and gobble up all the hemp seeds anyway. But for mainly research purposes, some of these states have been launching their pilot plots and have begun growing their own industrial hemp.
Enter Virginia, where a man named Jim Politis has been pushing for something as well. He’s been pushing to get industrial hemp back and growing in the state again. Just like it once was when this country was formed, and just as it was thousands of years ago. As it stands right now there are 16 states allowed to grow industrial hemp, and the state of Virginia is not one of them. By the end of this month, however, there is a sense of hope in the air that points toward all that changing.
A federal memo estimated that the hemp industry in the country has already created nearly 4,000 jobs. This is only at the very birth of industrial hemp legalizations in certain states like Kentucky, Colorado, and a handful of others, we can only imagine if it became legal on a nation-wide basis. The total value of hemp products being sold on the internet is at more than a half a billion dollars as well. It’s no shock to anyone who knows anything about hemp that this crop could make billions and create jobs, and it’s certainly no surprise that there is a high demand. It’s used for building materials, paper, cosmetics, plastics, clothes, medicine, and the list just keeps going. The oils from the hemp seed can be used in food products as well, and you guessed it, it’s one of the healthiest things to eat. Good for the environment? Good for your health? Cheap to grow? Oh, and it grows in virtually any type of soil?
Where do I sign?
It sounds like good news to see more and more states fighting to legalize the growth of industrial hemp, but until then, we still need to write that rough draft declaring the independence of this crop from the rather firm grasp of the law which bans it. Is that guy Thomas Jefferson still around? I wonder what he would have to say about this? Or George Washington? Oh, that’s right; they grew their own hemp, so chances are they would be moderately confused to say the least.
In the meantime, let’s be patient. I’m a firm believer in the fact that history has a tendency to repeat itself.
Declaration of Industrial Hemp
Well, maybe one day.