Are We On the Verge of An American Hemp Renaissance?
Kentucky was America’s leading hemp producer in the early 19th century. Now, 200 years later, after a historic election for drug policy has led to a shift for marijuana policy reform in America, Kentucky lawmakers are taking steps to revive the crop.
While advocates for hemp legalization say the plant could bring a wealth of green jobs to Kentucky, deep-rooted drug stigma and conflict with federal law have made passing the legislation unlikely. Nonetheless, two state bills are in the works, while a federal proposal aims to clear the way for state legalization. Lawmakers suggest the bills could at least open up the conversation about hemp, and clear up misconceptions about its use.
Because hemp is increasingly imported from Canada, growing and making it in the US could save the US money and create green jobs at home. Aside from soy, no other plant has shown the potential to create so many different products -- from hemp soap to paper and oil. Hemp rarely requires pesticides, can be grown in the same fields over several consecutive years, and produces biodegradable plastics and biofuels. Lightweight and dense, hemp-lime is a building material that is known to be an efficient insulator leaving behind a minimal carbon footprint.
- Read the entire article at Alternet.