Hemp Essay, Research Paper
Hemp: Hawaii fs Future Industry
Hawaii fs economy is based primarily on the tourist industry. But, there is another industry that can do even better, the hemp industry. Hemp is a tall, fast-growing plant, or scientifically, the Cannabis sativa L. Many people confuse hemp with the drug-type of this plant. They are both from the Cannabaceae family, but are very different from each other.
Many people believe that hemp may have been the first cultivated plant. For thousands of years, it has been used worldwide. The earliest known woven fabric was of hemp, which dates back to the eight millennium (8,000-7,000 b. c.) . Majority of all sails, clothes, tents, rugs, drapes, towels, paper, rope, twine, art canvas, paints and varnishes, and lighting oil were all made from hemp. It is one of the strongest and longest fibers in the world. But once William Randolph Hearst, owner of the largest newspaper chain in the US, published articles that the drug-type hemp was linked with crime, they renamed it “marijuana”. This name has been stuck with all the types of this plant, including industrial hemp. Over the past fifty to sixty years, it was made illegal and seen as evil.
Hemp is divided into fiber-type plants and drug-type plants based on their tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. THC is the chemical that produces hallucinogenic effects. Hemp may contain a level up to only 0.3% THC which is ineffective in producing any type of hallucination. The THC levels of the drug-type (marijuana or drug cannabis) that people smoke are typically between 3% and 10%.
Hemp can be grown in all climatic zones in America, including Hawaii. There wouldn ft be any competition for productive farm land with food crops because it can be grown in rotation with the food crops or on marginal farm land where food production is not profitable. Reductions in sugar cane and pineapple acreage have left agricultural lands available for cultivation of new crops, such as industrial hemp.
The cultivation of hemp poses few problems with plant diseases and there have been only a few reports on soil-borne diseases caused by it. Investigations on the effect of fiber hemp were tested on three major soil pathogens. They were all suppressed with hemp, and were found that hemp in a crop rotation might improve soil health. This shows that hemp can be used as a rotation crop and help eliminate or suppress these pathogens for other crops.
Another environmental benefit hemp has to offer is that it fs not necessary to have to herbicides or pesticides. Fungicides haven ft been found effective and other biocides aren ft needed.
Hemp is also a very effective weed suppresser. It grows very quickly and densely, about four meters in three months, so it blocks out sunlight to any other weeds trying to grow.
Hemp is also a very successful eliminator of carbon dioxide. This provides obvious benefits for the greenhouse effect. Every ton of hemp grown and used removes 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide.
Hemp is considered to be one of the best biomass products in the world. It fs a substantial renewable resource that can be used as a fuel for electric power and other energy products. By the year 2010, it is predicted that over 13,000 megawatts of biomass power could be installed. The economic activity associated with biomass currently supports about 66,000 jobs in the United States. That fs a lot of jobs that more people can take advantage of.
Hemp is better than coal and oil because they are pollutants and release gases into the atmosphere. Biomass fuels don ft produce any sulfur emissions, they recycle atmospheric carbons, minimize global warming impacts, and they help to relieve acid rain. It can also be used to obtain alternate fuels from new technology, which reduces our dependence and export of money out of the local economy.
Economically, hemp produces wonderful products. It can make building materials and all grades of paper or fabric. Hemp seeds can be used as a source of oil. But in order to import hemp seeds into the U. S., it has to be sterilized outside of the country. Anything that can be made out of wood or plastic can be made from hemp. As a fabric, it fs softer, more insulating, absorbent, and longer lasting than cotton. One acre of hemp produces the same amount of paper as 4.1 acres of trees do. It is all natural and biodegradable. And can also be safely bleached. The first paper actually made from hemp, as well as the first draft of the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution.
The importance of the hemp industry could mean so much to better the state of Hawaii. Not only is industrial hemp an environmental benefit, but it would also better our economic system. Because hemp has so many environmental benefits, we wouldn ft have to spend so much trying to fix anything and nature fs problems. Industrial hemp allows us to save money and spend it other important issues needing help. Going into this industry might look as if we are headed towards a lifestyle of drugs, but it is all very wrong. The only way any human being could get “high” off of industrial hemp, would be to smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole in a single setting, which is humanly impossible.
The House of Representatives of the Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, the Department of Business, the Economic Development, and Tourism has requested the growing of industrial hemp in Hawaii for biomass energy production. The government has proposed this to the Department of Business and the Department of Agriculture, completing the research of growing plants.
Hawaii is getting a start that might just change our economy and better the condition of the world. We now need to realize that hemp is not going to ruin the image of Hawaii, but only improve it with an earth-friendly industry. By growing hemp for economic benefits, the earth will be thanking us.