Why is Hemp Illegal?
Hemp was initially legal all over the world and something changed. What changed? In 1937 the lumber industry was booming, we were living in a post WWI society which had seen some boom directly following the war but a recession was upon us in the United States.
The only industries that were doing were doing very well were the lumber industry and the cotton plantations of the south.
Hemp was, people speculate, feared by these industries because not only was hemp able to replace nearly every single paper product made from trees, it could also produce textile fibers much like cotton. To make matters worse, hemp was extremely renewable with new crops able to be harvest in a few short weeks of growth.
With such sustainability, it would be very hard to compete with hemp. To make things even grimmer for the lumber barons, there was no way to privatize hemp because people had grown cannabis plants for their own personal use for thousands of years. Cannabis is the family of plants that hemp belongs to.
What ensued was a smear campaign against hemp. It was stated that cannabis was an abhorrent plant, the work of the devil. It was compared to alcohol in a time where abolition was a way of the land and bootleggers were making history by transporting illegal moonshine around the country to the speak easy days of Chicago and Al Capone.
Hemp was classified as the alcohol of its time, bad for you and immoral. Many believe that the lumber and cotton industries were working together to perpetuate this lie to get congress to criminalize cannabis. In 1937, they got their wish and hemp was criminalized across the nation. It became illegal to possess a plant and any product made from hemp.
Suddenly, everyone has to go purchase aspirin for their headache instead of using cannabis. There were no more elixirs made for upset stomach without seeing the pharmacist. The era of Big Brother was being ushered in.
Marijuana and hemp activists have fought since 1937 so legalize the use of cannabis once again. Science has shown that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of legitimate uses for cannabis. In 1996, the state of California legalized medical marijuana. They were the first state to do so. Colorado followed suit in 2008. Since then there are many more states climbing on board the marijuana train.
When California opened the door to researchers to be able to legally investigate and explore the potentials of marijuana, they discovered CBD and how it had usefulness on its own. People began lobbying for the use of CBD oil to be legal as it contained minute amounts of THC – not even enough to get high from.
In 2014, the Farm Bill signed by President Obama took measures to begin decriminalizing hemp nationwide. Still the verbiage wasn’t enough to call firm footing in the industry. In December of 2018, President Trump signed a newer, updated version of the bill with far clearer wording that decriminalized the possession of hemp products, the manufacture of hemp products and allowed for states to regulate their own research and growing industries for hemp cannabis.
This caused an explosion in growth for the cannabis industry as a crop and as a commodity . Cannabis stocks are now being traded on Wall Street and CBD oil is being sold nationwide. Hemp is no longer illegal. In fact, hemp may be the crop that saves American agriculture.
It’s likely that farmers understand this too. 2019 saw a rise in the number of farmers who applied to get certified as cannabis growers. The number increased by 300% in just the first three months after the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
No End in Sight
CBD products are available everywhere you turn now. Industrialized hemp is the primary plant from which CBD oils are extracted. Cannabis has seen legalization in nearly a dozen states and many feel that it will be nationwide at some point in the very near future. It’s very possible that it will due to the education of the public via the internet and the positive reviews coming from states like California and Colorado.
Crime did not increase. In fact, crime went down in many neighborhoods. Hard drug use went down. The rates of teen pregnancy didn’t go up, they’ve gone down in nearly every place where medical marijuana became available.
The influx of money into these states has been dramatic as well. Now that hemp is being used to create CBD oil and it is making a mark on a national market, states are competing with each other to grow hemp as never before. New uses for hemp, besides CBD oil, are being developed. Hemp paper, hemp plastics and much more are being developed that could reduce dependency on plastics and help clean the earth.
Hemp plastics would biodegrade, solving a massive world pollution problem that is killing ocean animals and the planet as well. In the 1960s activists were screaming that cannabis could save the world. What they were thinking about was peace, in an era of Vietnam and Korean wars. Now, we are looking to hemp as a product that might actually save the planet. Peace may be harder to achieve but cannabis and CBD products do enhance the mood and ensure that we all smile more.
It is said that CBD use has only reached a 1% saturation on the market, meaning that there are a ton of potential new customers out there. As people learn how dramatically it can improve the way your body feels, there is no doubt truth in this number. One of the fastest growing groups using CBD and hemp products are senior citizens. This certain gives hope that we could see the planet heal as acceptance comes from the older generations who were raised believing that hemp was taboo – a gateway drug, the work of the devil.
You may now purchase hemp products legally in every state. Times have changed and people are changing as well.