Pubdate: Wed, 22 Jan 2003
Source: Tennessean, The (TN)
Copyright: 2003 The Tennessean
Author: Don Peterson


To the Editor:

Whether you are right, left or upside down in your political persuasion, to 
believe that oil is not central to the Iraqi crisis is self delusion. Oil 
is the principal source of energy for the United States and most of the 
rest of the world. It is a finite resource and Iraq, is sitting on the 
second greatest reserve in the world.

The Bush administration has as much as admitted that oil is pertinent to 
its view of Iraq. The administration wants to finance any cost to its eager 
urge to plunder Iraq with the sale of its oil to offset the cost of the war.

What America should be doing, to a greater degree, is focusing on a 
renewable energy source that replaces or at least diminishes our dependence 
on oil.

One real possibility is agricultural hemp. George Washington grew it. The 
Declaration of Independence draft was written on hemp paper, and during 
WWII American farmers were encouraged to grow it. It has only been this 
ridiculous and untrue tying of agricultural hemp to marijuana that outlaws 
its growth now.

Hemp could save our forests. One acre of hemp replaces four acres of trees 
as a source of paper that is of superior quality. Its deep roots could 
protect our top soil. It is resistant to pests lowering the need of 
pesticides. It is a rich source of food. It can be made into fuel. And most 
importantly, it is renewable.

It is past time for Americans to be continually misled by the merchants of 
the big lie concerning agricultural hemp.

Don Peterson

Nashville 37221
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