Bob Ewing – There are many things that frustrate me, a mild word for what I feel, about how our governments and corporations approach economic development. We have the means to turn our economy around and head down the path to sustainable living, yet those in charge ignore this reality and keep on doing what has always failed.
I define stupidity as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Well, by that definition those who run the economy must be stupid, or perhaps, they just want to keep the wealth for themselves.
I will leave the discussion for the above for another time, my focus now is on one way we can turn the economy around, create jobs and enhance the environment, all at the same time. That way is to grow hemp.
Hemp is related to marijuana, both are are classified as Cannabis sativa, a member of the mulberry family.
However, there is a significant difference between how these two relatives are used. People smoke marijuana to get stoned, to catch a buzz, and it does have some medicinal benefits which means it could become another economic opportunity, if appropriate regulations were put in place, but that too is a story for another day.
Marijuana is bred to get the highest THC content (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and thus, get the maximum buzz. Industrial hemp is grown to provide, fiber, seed and oil and other commercial products.
You will not get high smoking hemp, so there is no illegal drug market for the product.
Hemp would make an excellent cash crop for farmers who could then supply the companies that would make, the clothing, car parts, building material and food items.
Hemp is not the only plant that has a number of commercial-industrial uses and there is a wealth of information available about which plants can be used for what purposes. So why is this information begin ignored.
Capitalism is supposed to thrive on competition and innovation so why are these possibilities begin ignored or at best relegated to small scale ventures that will have little impact on the economy?
Hemp can be grown by farmers large and small, all across North America, we know how to grow it,; how to harvest it and how to process it. Hemp clothing, hemp seed and oil are reasonable well known products. Companies have made building materials and car parts from hemp so why do we need see more research and development efforts being put into growing the economy through plants such as hemp, rather than bailing out failing companies?