Unfortunately, hemp was made illegal in 1937 under the guise of marijuana. It has been legal to grow industrial hemp in the United States, but only if you can acquire a permit from the DEA. Obtaining this license is virtually impossible due to the subjective opinions of the Drug Czar who has no scientific or logical fact based in their reasoning to label hemp the way they have.
Jason Lauve, a hemp advocate, addressed market, economic and production issues for the sustainable farming of industrial hemp. The talk addressed the history of hemp in the United States, industrial uses, processing and manufacture of materials for items like food, building materials and plastics on site with portable technology or in a local facility.
Some of the interested people that came are prominent members in the community, including Max Smith, Todd and Mary Randolph, long time residents and farmers, Kevin Hefley and Steve McCall, two of the larger farmers in the area, along with Representative Wes McKinley of Colorado. About 30 curious people gathered to hear what the potentials of growing industrial hemp are. There were questions raised; not of fear from “illegal marijuana,” but from the fundamental need to raise a sustainable and economically viable crop. Much of the same equipment that is in use today can be used as is or modified to meet the needs of hemp production and as the public is educated further about the value of hemp, the market should continue to expand.
The presentation revealed that various parts of the hemp plant can be used for things like body armor which would out perform Kevlar, horse bedding that is highly absorbent, insulation which is non-toxic or flammable, fuel, food high in protein and essential fatty acids, plaster, durable clothing and many other examples of the tens of thousands of uses for the hemp plant.
So how do We The People re-legalize an economically viable crop and move past the stonewalling of the Government? Baca County was the origin of the 1977 American Ag Movement and the 1979 Tractorcade to Washington DC, where farmers tried to get parity for farmer’s bushel of wheat for barrel of oil. This time we don’t have to drive a tractor thousands of miles, instead we can organize an educational social media internet campaign where millions of people can support and participate as well. Many people in the country are dissatisfied for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, many people in the country do not understand or support the needs of the farmer. This is an opportunity to continue educating consumers about their health and the farmer’s role in creating a sustainable America.