You can’t get high on hemp, but you can create clothing, housing, food, fuel, natural plastics and other locally useful and globally marketable consumer products out of it. And oh yeah, did we mention jobs, and lots of them. Hemp is already a multi $ billion a year industry and growing.
We want SOUTH AFRICA to join these countries that are already growing hemp: AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, CANADA, CHILE, CHINA, DENMARK, EGYPT, FINLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREAT BRITAIN, HUNGARY, INDIA, ITALY, JAPAN, KOREA, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, SLOVENIA, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, THAILAND, TURKEY and UKRAINE.
We wish to end the botanical racism imposed on the industrial hemp plant. Let’s free the industrial hemp plant from the current apartheid style discrimination. We support legislation change that will allow the hemp plant to grow in peace.
Over 50 000 recorded uses
There are over 50 000 recorded uses, and amazingly every part of the plant is utilized:
- The outer stalk: for textile fibres.
- The inner stalk: for building materials and cellulose.
- The seed kernel: for nutritional oils.
- The seed husk: for biodegradable plastics.
- The leaves: for re-tilling and fertilizing the soil after harvest.
Hemp has a well documented history:
- The United Nation signed a treaty, in 1961, which allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp.
- The American Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper.
- The U.S. Constitution was printed on hemp paper.
- George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp.
- Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper.
- The King of England distributed hemp seeds free to farmers in Canada. (1801)
- Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early Republic.
- Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I & King Philip of Spain made it law for all land owners to grow hemp.
- Many of the world’s most well-known paintings are painted on hemp canvas.
- Galileo’s scientific observation notes were written on hemp paper. (c. 1600)
- Rudolph Diesel designed his engine to run on hemp oil.
- Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation under light of a hemp oil lamp. (1863)
- In 1938 Popular Mechanics described hemp as the “New Billion Dollar Crop.”
Please consider our environment
Hemp is grown organically. It is naturally resistant to most pests so no pesticides or herbicides are required in its cultivation. An acre field of hemp can yield up to 8 dry tons of fiber, that’s about 3 times more than cotton. The same crop will also give 4 times more paper than an acre forest trees. Hemp makes an extremely durable textile fabric which is four times stronger than cotton. And hemp paper lasts way longer than wood-based paper (hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has even been found). Hemp paper can also be recycled more times than wood-based paper. Also, hemp grows in about 3 to 4 months, whereas trees take over 20 years to reach a size worth destroying. Best of all though is that the hemp plant has a rapid rate of photosynthesis; which means more oxygen for everyone.
Industrial hemp will provide solutions to many of South Africa’s critical issues. It will create jobs, nourish and clothe people, build houses and reduce our dependence on forest products.
Join the chorus
I joined my fellow South Africans in calling on our country to legalise industrial hemp now. If you’d also like to join the chorus of voices, please sign the petition and check out the Facebook group.
This is an economic opportunity that we can not afford to lose. Let’s lead the global green rush toward a renewable economy and make hemp a cash crop that can benefit all South Africans!
Hemp seeds, from the article ‘Hemp as Health Food‘ from Organic Spa Magazine.