New Delhi, India: Conspiracy theorists will have you know that the "war" on drugs is just a way to keep drugs in the black market so that their value remains "high". Comparing cannabis (marijuana/hemp) with hard drugs like cocaine, crack, heroin etc is a way to demonise the drug further.
The downfall of the plant started early last century in
the US. Ironically, it was illegal NOT to grow hemp in a few states in
the early part of US history. Even George Washington grew it. Its uses
were many - as fiber for ropes and sails, to make paper, its seeds are
high in proteins, it makes for a stronger, longer lasting material to
make clothes with, than cotton. It was possibly the first agricultural
crop. It can be grown in most climates, is drought resistant, requires
little fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides. Its seeds can be used to
make hemp oil.
A little known fact is that it can also be used to
produce fuel! Henry Ford's first Model-T (the people's car) was even
constructed from hemp! He said it was "grown from the soil" and its
impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel! Hemp fuel is also
biodegradable, does not contribute sulphur dioxide to the atmosphere and
is non-toxic. Farmers around the world would greatly benefit from
growing it. But alas,
upon further research it is proved that hemp can provide us with so
many alternatives, it would drive many companies out of business. Think
about it, it can replace trees for paper, that would not be good for
companies who make profit from cutting down trees. Being a weed, it
grows really fast and outcompetes other weeds. Hemp strains produce
their own resins that make the crop naturally pest free. Not good for
companies that make pesticides! It can be used as a fuel! This is one of
the major threats! Oil companies are some of the biggest giants in the
corporate world. Both Henry Ford and Rudolf Diesel designed cars that
ran on vegetable oils and hemp oil. This was a century ago!
even said that the fuel of the future is going to come from weeds and
fruits, anything that can be fermented to produce ethanol/ethyl alcohol.
But as gasoline emerged as the dominant transportation fuel in the
early part of the last century, as more and more oil fields were
discovered, there was intense lobbying by the petroleum companies to
maintain steep taxes on alcohol thereby killing the market for
The rabbit hole goes deeper. The case for hemp
as mankind's (and the Earth's) saviour cannot be made by me in a 300
word article (which I have far exceeded). Before the western influence
started to dictate our laws, we were happy to spark up, drink, and even
eat the damn drug with no one having any objection. Our festival of Holi
is proof of that. Today it is illegal. So how is it that bhang is sold
at government outlets during Holi?
Why is it that sadhus who smoke
chillums are not arrested? When and why did we bring a law to ban it?
Was it to benefit us, or the US?
HT Media Limited
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