Hemp Issue 2017: Why Hemp Matters

October 07, 2017 | WES ABNEY

50,000 potential uses. One plant. One planet. Photo by Daniel Berman.


Aa kid, I was taught we should always try to leave the world a better place than we found it. And as a kid, it seemed simple. If you go hiking, pick up your trash. Captain Planet reinforced this message—we all need to come together to take care of our planet. At some point, our collective home became second to simple, easy products and corporate profits. It’s time we changed that.

Locking someone in a cage for a plant makes as much sense as making a synthetic plastic that can be made with a plant fiber. Which is to say, none. What does it make sense is that for nearly a century our country’s allowed corporate special interests to dominate law and order, locking our brothers and sisters in jail for Cannabis while hiding the benefits of hemp from the masses? People are waking up, not only to injustices surrounding the War on Drugs in relation to Cannabis and hemp, but to the greater problems our world is heading toward, quickly.

why-hemp-matters-quote.jpgIf someone had a cure for cancer and didn’t release it, morally it’s unthinkable, and potentially a crime against humanity. So, shouldn’t cutting down old growth forest instead of harvesting hemp be looked at in the same way? Or injecting chemicals in our groundwater for fracking natural gas, when we have a plant that can create a bio-alternative? Burning any gas or oil from the earth, when we have endless wind energy, solar and tidal power? The evidence surrounding climate change is undeniable—the consequences of our collective carbon footprint are only now being felt. We must demand accountability and change, for future generations and the planet we call home.

Hemp has more than 50,000 documented uses that involve every aspect of human life. From cleaning up pollution and radiation to providing food, fuel and clothing—hemp can provide almost everything we need as a society in a sustainable way. 

Our hemp issue this year focuses primarily on the farms that are emerging in Oregon, the first wave of a growing industry bringing change and hope for our future. American farms need profitable, sustainable crops that are not controlled by Monsanto or dependent on government subsidies to be profitable. Hemp is an in-demand product that our country spends hundreds of millions of dollars importing yearly. That could switch to an export commodity that creates jobs and raises the domestic GDP, it’s happening in the Northwest.

It’s never too late to make change, and the progress being made in the Northwest is a tribute to exactly that. Oregon Leaf is honored to share these farms pushing the forefront of the hemp industry, a glimpse into the products and a few of the 50,000 uses for hemp.

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