Ending the failed war on drugs could significantly reduce deforestation and rebuild our manufacturing sector. The non-psychoactive strains of cannabis called hemp produces more than four times the usable short fiber pulp for superior paper products than the currently used softwood tree farm pulp. It takes only a fraction of the expensive and caustic chemicals to finish hemp paper from hemp short fiber pulp than it does in breaking down forest softwood tree farm pulp into finished paper products. An acre of hemp produces 4.1 times the usable paper pulp in a short 100 day growing cycle than a tree farm could in over a decade. If the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 had not passed which effectively taxed and regulated hemp out of domestic production, we would now most likely have twice the wild old growth forest acreage as we do now.

The cannabis plant is an uniquely useful commodity, every part of the plant can be used. Many of the products made from forest softwoods can be produced from hemp. Hemp is four times more efficient in converting solar energy into usable biomass energy than any other commercially viable crop. Hemp can be grown year round throughout most of America producing more than 3 harvests a year. A single harvest of hemp produces twice the ethanol of corn produces in an entire growing season. Cannabis has been a useful commodity for fuel, food, shelter, clothing and medicine since the dawn of mankind, it was one of the first plants domesticated by humans more than 10,000 years ago. It is still a uniquely valuable commodity today.

The hemp plant is 85% energy rich cellulose and the abundant hemp seeds produces a biodiesel oil that contains just as much energy as etroleum but without the sulfur and with 85% less CO2 emissions. A ton of hemp seeds yields about 15 gallons of hemp seed oil and about 28% of the weight of dry hemp biomass is seeds. An acre of hemp produces about ten tons of dry hemp biomass in as little as 100 days. A ton of dry hemp biomass can produce 100 gallons of ethanol/methanol using modern enzyme extraction methods or the cellulose can be converted into the energy equivalent in methane gas. The dry hemp biomass can be mixed with other crop and wood cellulose waste to be burnt directly for electrical generation or it can be digested to produce gas or liquid fuels along with valuable compost fertilizer as a byproduct. A gasoline equivalent can be easily produced in small factories all across America by mixing the ethanol/methanol from the enzyme digested hemp with a small amount of hemp seed oil and then refining/reforming the mixture with natural gas. Allowing American farmers to once again grow hemp as a normal commodity crop would break the grip the oil cartels have on our economy.

Hemp can be grown on marginal soils and is very drought resistant requiring only the equivalent of 10 inches of annual rainfall to grow a crop to maturity. But, hemp is also an excellent rotation crop to revitalize played out farming soils. The long strong tap root of the hemp plant draws nutrients up from deep in the soil and breaks up hard pan that develops from operating modern farm equipment over the fields. Soils are left more fertile after harvesting hemp than they were before planting. Around 15% of all American farmland is left bare of crops every year for one reason or another. If our farmers planted hemp on just the lands they would normally leave bare the soil would not be exposed to erosion and allow weeds to take hold in the fields requiring costly herbicides for weed abatement. Hemp does not require chemical fertilizers and pesticides like most commodity crops, grows faster and uses less water. Growing hemp as a normal rotation crop would give farmers a valuable commodity crop along with a valuable soil conditioning crop while still being able to comply with federal crop price supports.

Hemp does not just produce superior paper products and biomass energy the hemp seeds are a nutritious source of foods that are high in Omega fatty acids and easily digested simple proteins. In fact, hemp seed food products are close to a perfect food source. You could live a very healthy lifestyle by eating only foods made from hemp seeds. Hemp seeds effectively replaces meat protein in a strict vegan diet. Hemp seed foods are high in fiber and low in fat with a lite nutty flavor and hemp seed oil is a healthier choice than Extra Virgin Olive Oil for salad dressing and cooking.

More than 25,000 products can be made better, stronger, more durable, liter weight and less expensive from hemp. Paper products made from hemp are stronger and more recyclable than current paper products. Hemp composites are ten times stronger per pound than steel when used to produce dent resistant automotive body parts which are also far less expensive to produce than carbon fiber and fiberglass while being safer in a collision. Plastics can be made from hemp that are strong, durable and biodegradable. A wide range of mold, heat and pest resistant building materials can be produced from the strong hemp fiber. A home made from hempen materials would not need protection from termites, they won't touch it. Thousands of business and manufacturing opportunities will grow along side the hemp in the fields all across America producing millions of good living wage manufacturing jobs in a greener and less centralized domestic economy once this ridiculous prohibition ends. For source and links visit my website http://www.rmforbes.net


anonymous green 7 years 30 weeks ago

We are the Real Tea Party.

Smugglers, and criminals, so the Kings say.

Calperson's picture
Calperson 7 years 30 weeks ago

I guess I really am part of the 99%. I am 99% certain that there is no one in the Thom Hartmann community who has need for a rope!

I just wish you'd come out and say it. Of all the arguments I've ever heard, I've never had a solitary person step up and just say with unmasked honesty, "I want to get stoned without the fear of being arrested." Which is ironic to me because it's the only argument I've ever heard that makes sense. It's the only one that's even remotely logical.

Putting up this front that weed is a magical cure for all things economic not only requires you to bend the truth beyond recognition, but makes it seem like you're admitting that simply wanting to get high is not a valid reason to make it legal.

I guess you don't even believe it yourself.

RMForbes's picture
RMForbes 7 years 30 weeks ago

I'm a sixty year old disabled Viet Nam veteran. I haven't used cannabis since I graduated from college in 1982 and I didn't smoke it all that much. Instead I mostly added a little of my homegrown bud to my breakfast every morning before I went to class because I found that eating a small amount of cannabis helped me concentrate on my studies. Before I started this routine I was a below average student but I made the Dean's List thereafter. I really don't care about getting stoned anymore, I would like to be able to grow enough hemp to produce hemp seeds foods and biomass energy for my family. I really don't like corporate factory foods and being ripped off by the oil cartels.

It is not all that surprising that you have not heard about the real value of hemp since it was the competition hemp posed to the powerful moneyed interests that led to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 in the first place. Before the misinformation campaign led by the tabloid style newspapers of William Randolf Hearst and financed by Andrew Mellon, marijuana was just a slang term used by Mexican migrant workers for wild tobacco. It was the sensationalized stories in the Hearst chain of papers that first linked cannabis to marijuana. If it were not for the invention of the Decordicator by a German-American inventor which mechanically separates the long bast fibers from the short fiber pulp from the hemp stalk, hempen fibers would have remained too expensive to compete with the near monopoly in the paper products industry owned by Hearst and the new synthetic fiber Nylon produced by DuPont who's main financier was Andrew Mellon the Secretary of the Treasury under Hoover. The reason cannabis was demonized and marijuana was scapegoated in the first place was to protect corporate marketshare and profits, nothing has changed since. The corporate powers are still keeping cannabis and specificly hemp out of domestic production to protect their profits. You could have followed the link provided to confirm the facts but instead you choose to believe the disinformation of the prohibitionists and corporatists.

anti-Republicon 7 years 30 weeks ago

Nice posts RMForbes, very well said. It's too bad these things will probally never come to fruition, apparently because half the population is a bunch of close minded gullible corporate sheeple too ignorant to realize they're being duped. After all, they were duped by Dubya Dumb-Butt.

Perhaps in our next life mankind will come together as a collective whole to co-exist with nature and learn from it.

anonymous green 7 years 30 weeks ago

The drug war is an excuse for spying on the portion of America that uses drugs.

Meanwhile, every other ad on TV tells you that you need drugs, or energy bars and drinks.

They want us all on drugs, but they want us to take the drugs they make for us, and pay a premium for them.

Cannabis is a safe alternative with myriad uses and benefits.

RMForbes's picture
RMForbes 7 years 30 weeks ago

Agreed, cannabis was added to schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act by Nixon in 1971 for purely political reasons. Nixon wanted a way to silence a vocal minority and keep minority populations that would not likely vote Republican from gaining power. Even more insidious than government spying is the economic suppression and property seizures that effectively kept entire minority groups economically depressed.

anonymous green 7 years 30 weeks ago

True, drug laws have rascist policies in their essence.

Property seizure and assett forfieture help finance the drug war.

The spies in your neighborhoods get paid on commision, that is, the bigger the crimes they can create, the more they get paid.

We run the drugs, and the drug war, it's always been this way, and it needs to end.

We need pure unadulterated morphine, and pure cocaine, and pure cannabis for medical reasons. We can provide the same to those who's lives have become ensnared by our supply of poisoned heroin and cocaine sold by our criminal/police forces, and cut out the real criminals in the process, by legitimizing and cleaning up the supply.

No one will rob or prostitue themselves to afford drugs that are given to them free of charge, in a clean environment, and a safe clean place to live as an addict.

We created these people, let's care for them, instead of crucifying them.

DdC's picture
DdC 7 years 30 weeks ago


President Ronald Reagan, at the urging of then Vice President George Bush, appointed Carlton Turner as the White House Drug (czar) Advisor in 1981. Soon after Drugczar Carlton Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty. Just as G. Gordon Liddy went into high-tech corporate security after his disgrace, Carlton Turner became a rich man in what has now become a huge growth industry: urine-testing.
~ Jack Herer


Arianna Huffington: Drug War a 'War on Our Own People' 02/13/2012
"[W]e're spending over $50 billion a year fighting a war that's become a war on our own people, especially among African-Americans and minorities in general."

The Drug War Industrial Complex April, 1998
Noam Chomsky interviewed by John Veit

"A great deal of intelligence
can be invested in ignorance
when the need for illusion is deep."
-- Saul Bellow

Who Profits From Drugs February 21, 1989
Illegal drug traffic adds up to one hundred billion dollars a year.

Who Really Profits From Drug Cartel Wars? February 21, 2011
Follow the money on the "War on Drugs" and it will expose a frightening truth: the drug cartels depend on a network of guardian angels and backers who come from where else: the ruling elites.

Rolling Stone
How America Lost the War on Drugs March 24, 2011
After thirty-five years and $500 billion, drugs are as cheap and plentiful as ever. An anatomy of a failure.

The War Next Door 11-03-2008

Yet we successfully overcame all problems. Why then is it impossible to defeat a well-defined enemy, far smaller and weaker than Germany, given the immensely improved weapons and surveillance equipment we have today? The real reason that the drug problem is not eradicated is because it is being run by the highest families in the entire world as part of a coordinated gigantic money-making machine.

"Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ... The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents."
-- William F. Buckley,
Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

anonymous green 7 years 30 weeks ago

The people fighting the drug war will always consider themselves to be winning.

It pays them handsomely.

It gets their own crimes absolved, or the punishment reduced.

It provides a mechanism for spies to infiltrate our society.

The drug war is an industry that works for itself.

RMForbes's picture
RMForbes 7 years 30 weeks ago

Thanks for the reply. You added a lot of good information to the argument which I can use for my website on the topic.

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Has Capitalism and The GOP Destroyed Religion?

Thom plus logo The number of Americans who called them selves Christian or religious has declined precipitously over the last decade, and the number of Americans who are "unaffiliated Christians", atheists, or unconcerned about religion or spirituality has increased.