Hemp in Alabama

A very nice follow up to my ‘Marijuana Gold Mine” letter which appeared in the Anniston Star a few days ago.

Thank you Gail Evans.

Hemp in Alabama
by our readers
Re “Marijuana gold mine” (Speak Out, July 31):

Writer Loretta Nall’s letter about legalization of marijuana sparked several thoughts. Legalization would make sense, given the failure of the hugely expensive war on drugs.

Alabama is facing an economic meltdown. We have factories closing, workers laid off, people knocking themselves out to find employment where there are few, if any, jobs. Rural areas are suffering the most.

Should Alabama legalize cultivation of cannabis hemp, which contains no THC, it would be a tremendous boost to the state’s economy. This crop is inexpensive to grow and harvest, using no commercial fertilizers or pesticides harmful to the environment, and the Alabama climate would allow three crops per year.

The harvested hemp requires processing before it is made into clothing, sheets, towels, paper, etc. Re-opening some of the abandoned cotton mills to process the fiber would lead to jobs for those who need them and increased tax revenue for the state. The green leaves could be processed as biomass for alternative fuels. The seed of the plant could be pressed for a nutritious oil (already included in many cosmetics and body care products), and the seed cake, which is high in protein, could be used to feed humans and livestock.

Every time I drive by a closed factory or an abandoned farm, I think how it might be different if our farmers were allowed to grow cannabis hemp.

Gail Evans
Bay Minette