DAVID DALLAS — Mission: Hemp possible

hempYou don’t have to inhale.  You don’t even have to put it in your mouth.  We don’t need it for recreational use, we need it for work, jobs, and a more productive Mississippi. Our great agricultural state needs to take the lead in Industrial Hemp production.  And we need to do it quickly.

The New York Times has been running some interesting articles about legalization of marijuana- the inhaling kind.  Longtime Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon told the crowd at the Neshoba County Fair Wednesday that he predicts marijuana will be legalized in Mississippi within the next decade.  Now, we know Governor Bryant won’t allow that while he’s in the mansion, but we can hope Bryant may see the benefit in Industrial Hemp before it is too late to get ahead of the curve.

There is a difference between the recreational stuff and the stuff that could really change our future: a big difference based on potency.  The term ‘marijuana’ refers to the medicinal, recreational or spiritual use involving the smoking of cannabis flowers. Industrial hemp contains only about 0.3% to 1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids, the intoxicating ingredients that make you high) while marijuana contains about 5% to 10%, or more, THC.

Hemp fiber is the longest, strongest and most durable of all natural fibers. Hemp was a dominant crop on the American landscape, refined for various industrial applications, including paper and textiles.  In fact, our U.S. Constitution was drafted on Hemp Paper.  Thomas Jefferson loved the stuff. Our Founding Fathers did some of their best work on Hemp.

Over time, the use of industrial hemp has evolved into an even greater variety of products, including health foods, organic body care, clothing, construction materials, bio-fuels, plastic composites. Industrial Hemp is a major crop in throughout Europe, Canada, and Asia.

DAVID DALLAS

DAVID DALLAS

It grows in just about any soil, requires no pesticides, and needs little maintenance.  No tree or plant can produce more paper, per acre than Hemp and it creates much less pollution.

Hemp has long been considered a threat to paper, timber, and the petroleum industries and their lobbying power has been able to prolong Hemp’s status as a pariah crop. Hemp Conspiracists blame Andrew Mellon and the Dupont family for making it illegal to grow Hemp under the Hoover Administration, banning it as a competitive threat more than a drug threat. Just in case anyone thought our capitalist system was about competition. Andrew Mellon was Secretary of the Treasury at the time and the Mellon Bank was major investor in Dupont Chemical.  Mellon even appointed a family member to Head a newly created Bureau of Narcotics designed specifically to destroy hemp production in the U.S.

But less than 10 years later, we needed Hemp desperately.  The Japanese had cut off our supply from Asia, and farmers were encouraged to grow loads of Hemp during WWII as part of the Defense Department’s “Hemp for Victory” Campaign.  It produced rope for Navy towlines, mesh and webbing for parachutes, and laces for the boots on the ground.  American Hemp defeated Hitler.

In the interest of fairness, let’s consider Mary Jane’s alternative use just in case the High-THC advocating Cannabis Crew takes the cause for Industrial Hemp a bit too far.

Gateway drug?  Sure it is, but let’s make one thing clear about drug use. Other than the fact that far too many people do it, regular use denotes a “soul problem.”  It is a “soul problem” no different than regular runs to KFC or any other fast food joint, which keeps your spouse awake with your snoring and clogs up your arteries. Those unhealthy-eating “soul problems” also create enormous healthcare costs for your family and your state, unless you kick the bucket-of-extra-crispy right away.  Then you just have to pay funeral costs.

Other “soul problems” include gambling, overspending on designer clothing, energy drinks, SEC football or over sharing on Facebook, which may be as lethal as crack cocaine.  No matter,  “Soul problems” such as these don’t go away when you make them illegal.  If that were the case, we wouldn’t be saddled with the costly drug war and the numerous incarcerations and deaths associated with it. As Nancy Reagan said, we should teach our children, as well as ourselves, to just say “NO” when it comes to such drugs.

Because of our nation’s obsession for drug criminalization coupled with our psycho-neurotic demand for recreational drugs and our willingness to pay both top dollar and through the nose, thousands of children are crawling to our border to escape drug gangs and cartels that run much of Central America. Our nation will be burdened with this problem until our drug policy becomes a health concern and not a criminal issue.

But back to our cause: low-THC Industrial Hemp production for paper, textiles, construction materials, and food. Mississippi needs to say “YES” and soon before Florida or Alabama lifts the banner for “King Hemp.”

» David Dallas is a political writer. He worked for former U.S. Sen. John Stennis and authored Barking Dawgs and A Gentleman from Mississippi.

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4 Responses to “DAVID DALLAS — Mission: Hemp possible”

  1. Patrick Jones Says:

    The facts are:

    Cannabis DOE NOT produce THC.

    Cannabis produces THCA.

    THCA must be heated to 174F to be converted into THC.

    In the absence of THC, why is Cannabis prohibited?

    (I’m not looking for anyone to give me anecdotal reasons.)

    It is a hypothetical question to ask of your inner ‘self’.

    How did they script you into such an inferiority complex that you believe they need to protect you and your children from Cannabis?

    IF you don’t have a debate with your neighbor over it, why not DEMAND REPEAL OF PROHIBITION.

    Then watch as real progress happens for the 1st Time EVER in America. What you have experienced is over 200 years of script. Should you enjoy THIS screenplay. Please disregard.

    The Police convert THCA into THC. This is a criminal act.

    ANY farmer who subjects their fields to testing is committing a self-incriminating act.

    By allowing the Police to convert the THCA traces on hemp into THC, the farmer becomes in violation of the DEA Schedule – AS A RESULT OF THE CRIMINAL CONVERSION OF THCA into THC.

    For the Homicide part of it, that relates to Drs. Jean P. Davis, M.D. and H.H. Ramsey, M.D. and their 1947 report: “Anti-epileptic Action of Marijuana-Active Substances”. The American Medical Association has known for 67 years that THC is effective on Tonic-Clonic (Grand Mal seizures).

    EVERY GRAND MAL seizure since 1947 COULD possibly have been avoided.

    Instead the AMA participated in the criminal suppression of information which has lead directly to countless deaths over the past 6 decades.

  2. terry Says:

    A. Urban legend is that the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights were written on hemp paper, hemp being the industrial name for the fiber of the marijuana plant. For some reason, this “fact” is touted by those who seek to legalize marijuana for recreational use. First, it is not clear why the use of hemp as a fiber should mean it should be legalized for recreational use. Second, the “fact” is not a fact.

    The Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are currently housed in the National Archives. All three are written on parchment, not hemp paper. Parchment is treated animal skin, typically sheepskin. The Declaration was inked with iron gall ink. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory was commissioned to create a system to monitor the physical status of all three. The Charters of Freedom Monitoring System took digital photos of each sheet of parchment in 1987, each document divided into one-inch squares. Over time, the photos are retaken and compared to the original to look for signs of deterioration. Before the charters were recently reencased for display, a small tear in the Declaration was repaired by adding Japanese paper to the gap. This is the only paper in any of the documents. This is not to say that a copy of any of the documents was never written on hemp paper – just not the copies we see in the Archives Rotunda.

  3. david dallas Says:

    Terry
    Thus the use of the term “drafted,” as Hemp paper was much cheaper than parchment to draft on. You are correct that the final copy of the Constitution and most other official documents of the time were transferred to parchment.
    Thanks for reading the Mississippi Business Journal and commenting on the column.

  4. jenny kilgore Says:

    i am in total agreement with you. id love to lend a hand in researching and/or any other journalistic needs you may have. please let me know. i am a graduate of mississippi college and i have incredible references as well.
    jenny k.

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