Pubdate: Tue, 06 Feb 2007
Source: Drumheller Valley Times (CN AB)
Copyright: 2007 Valley Printing & Publishing Ltd.
Author: Russell Barth


Editor's Note: This was sent as an open letter to all 308 federal 
MPs. It is reprinted here.

Isabell Fooks, editor

Dear Federal MP:

Amidst all of this teethgnashing and hand-wringing about Climate 
Change, none of the "experts" even mentions the most obvious remedy, 
one that the governments of the world have known about since the 
1930's: Industrial Hemp.

I have written many letters to many papers across the country about 
this issue, and very few of them bothered to publish the letter or 
even mention the topic in their reports. So I will try telling all of 
you directly.

Here is how Hemp (the legal, non-drug version of the Cannabis plant) 
can save our planet.

Almost every country in the world can grow Hemp, and if we did, 
humans could completely stop using crude oil and coal, in just 20 years!

Yes, completely, and yes, in 20 years.

We wouldn't even have to "tighten our belts", as there would actually 
be more food and energy for all 6.5 billion of us.

The U.S., for example, could produce enough of their own Hemp to 
completely stop using crude oil. Then they wouldn't have to rely on 
foreign oil, wage oil-securing wars around the world, or start 
drilling in as-yetuntouched parklands. The U.S., incidentally, is the 
one of very few countries where it is still a federal offence to grow Hemp.

Hemp produces more ethanol fuel or biodiesel per acre than any other 
crop. Using hempfuel to run the machines to grow, harvest, and 
transport crops of all kinds will not only reduce the cost of those 
crops, it will produce less pollution. Using hemp-fuel for cars, 
planes, trains, and boats will dramatically reduce pollution to our 
air, water and soil. This will result in a healthier environment, 
which means healthier humans, further reducing health care costs.

Since most countries could grow enough hemp for their own needs, 
crude oil would not have to be shipped around the world at the 
ongoing risk of large scale environmental accidents in our oceans.

Using hemp-fuel for freighters and cargo planes would also reduce 
shipping costs and environmental degradation. Healthier oceans means 
healthier seafood which means healthier humans.

Hemp doesn't need the fertilizers or pesticides used to grow corn, 
soy, or wheat grass, or the fuel to spread those chemicals, so that 
would reduce pollution and water and fuel consumption even further. 
This would help Canada's farmers immensely, most of whom are 
operating under large debts.

Hemp doesn't need to grow in prime soil like those other crops, and 
can grow tall and strong on even marginal, contaminated, or depleted 
soil. This way, farmland that is currently out of use or substandard 
can be reclaimed, and added to the crop rotation. Canada alone could 
reclaim thousands of acres of farmland which would lower food costs, 
boost our economy and create many jobs.

Hemp eats more CO2 per acre than any other crop, reducing pollution further.

Hemp also filters air, soil, and water, and since it doesn't need 
chemicals, that will further reduce water-table contamination from 
farm run-off.

Hemp is a weed, so it will not be overgrown by the other weeds that 
are sure to thrive in the warmer, higher CO2/methane atmosphere of 
the coming decades. These other weeds may threaten more traditional 
crops, but Hemp will help choke those weeds off. That further reduces 
the need to use herbicides and pesticides, which lowers costs and 
pollution even further.

Hemp produces more nutrition per acre than any other crop, and it is 
the most easily assimilated protein known to man. If we fed Hemp to 
our livestock, the resulting meat, egg, fish, poultry, or dairy 
products would be cheaper, more nutritious, better tasting, and free 
of chemicals.

If we, as humans, ate more Hemp or hempfed animal products, we'd all 
be healthier as well. That would further reduce healthcare costs, 
saving us even more money!

The starving masses of Africa, India, and other poor countries could 
be fed cheaply with Hemp, in as little as a few years. This would 
reduce the spread of diseases and death, reduce the costs associated 
with those issues, settle civil unrest, and improve the standard of 
living for everyone on the planet.

Healthier humans need fewer prescription medications, which would 
mean pharmaceutical companies would produce less pollution in their 
manufacturing processes. The bodily waste from humans using chemical 
medications is also more toxic to the environment, so healthier 
humans will, obviously, produce less toxic sewage.

Hemp makes great detergents for hair skin and clothing. Using Hemp 
products would reduce the environmental damage caused by standard 
detergents. The Hemp plant's roots are very strong and long. Sowing 
Hemp where forests once stood helps prevent landslides, soil erosion, 
and further environmental degradation.

Hemp produces more biomass per acre than any other crop. The hemp 
that would be grown on contaminated soil might not be acceptable for 
human or animal consumption, so it could - at least partially - 
replace coal as a hydroelectric fuel. Unlike dirty, finite, coal, 
Hemp is endlessly renewable and burns clean.

Then we wouldn't need more dams or nuclear plants, which saves even 
more money and environmental degradation!

Building a Hemp-fuelled power plant near the Alberta Oil Sands, for 
example, would greatly reduce the cost and pollution generated in 
extracting and refining that oil. It would be cheaper than a dam or 
nuclear plant, and produce far less pollution in it's operation.

But then, we wouldn't even need to extract that oil at all - because 
Alberta could easily grow enough Hemp to exceed the oil sands' output 
many fold! Like all sources of crude oil, the Alberta Oil sands are 
finite, but Hemp is endlessly renewable, meaning one day all the oil 
will be gone, and we would have to turn to Hemp anyway!

Hemp can also be used to make press board that is stronger, lighter, 
and longer-lasting than standard wood building materials. That would 
save trees, which saves money and helps the planet to breathe.

When you cut down an acre of trees to make paper or lumber, it takes 
many, many years to replace that acre. One acre of hemp can produce 
up to four times as much paper as one acre of trees, and it can do it 
again and again every single year! The paper is recyclable many times 
over, and uses less water and chemicals in its production and 
recycling. If we made all of our paper out of hemp, we'd save 
millions of trees every year and reduce pollution and water 
consumption, healing the planet and ourselves even further.

But wait! There's more!

Four-inch thick walls made of Hemp-fibre cement are about 20-40% 
stronger than six-inchthick walls made of the same cement with straw 
or other commonly used fibres.

Using Hemp would dramatically reduce the environmental and economic 
costs of building materials which would make it easier for poorer 
countries and native reserves in Canada to house and care for their people.

Hemp produces fine textiles, which would reduce our reliance on 
cotton, and clothe everyone on the planet cheaply.

Cotton needs far more water than hemp, and produces enormous amounts 
of pollution in it's growing, harvesting, and processing. Hemp cloth 
also lasts far longer than cotton. Hemp also produces plasticlike 
polymers which can be used for vehicle body parts, lubricants, paint, 
toys, appliances, textiles, and any other product for which we 
currently use crude oil. This would make vehicles lighter, stronger, 
safer, and longer-lasting, reducing pollution and resource depletion 
even further!

The ironic part is, clandestine outdoor marijuana growers would never 
sneak their illegal pot into or anywhere near someone's legal Hemp 
field (as they often do now with corn) because the Hemp plants would 
pollinate the marijuana, causing it to seed, and making the pot 
absolutely useless on the black market!

The main problem is promoting and using Industrial Hemp for all of 
these clean, green, environmentally friendly industries might send 
"the wrong message" to youth about marijuana, and undermine the 
government's 70+ year anti-pot propaganda campaign.

So it looks like we are stuck with oil, coal, and prohibitively 
expensive corn for another generation at least.

Too bad. It could be a nice planet.

Russell Barth

Federal Medical Marijuana License Holder

Ottawa, Ont.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom