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Most people think that hemp is synonymous with marijuana. In fact, when it comes to purchasing hemp garments or foods, the general public seems to believe that you can get high from its consumption. People have often jokingly quipped, “if I buy it, do I just wear it and then smoke it when I’m done with it?” The truth is, you could burn it all you want but are not going to get “high” from it. This is one of the most common falsehoods about hemp. Hemp has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years for fiber (textiles and paper) and food. Oddly enough, it has been effectively prohibited in the United States since the 1950s. Did you know that our founding fathers used hemp? George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson even drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. Henry Ford experimented with hemp to build car bodies. He wanted to build and fuel cars from farm products. BMW is experimenting with hemp materials in automobiles as part of an effort to make cars more recyclable. According to The North American Hemp Industrial Hemp Council (http://naihc.org), the hemp plant is harvested for its fibers, seed, seed meal and seed oil. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. Due to the similar leaf shape, hemp is frequently confused with marijuana. Although both plants are from the species cannabis, hemp contains virtually no THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana. Hemp cannot be used as a drug because it produces virtually no THC (less than 1%), where marijuana produces between 5 - 20 % THC. In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer will speak to Erwin A. "Bud" Sholts, NAIHC Chairman and agricultural policy expert, Jeffrey W. Gain. If you want to learn more about this biblical fiber and the controversy involved, stay tuned!
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