Pubdate: Wed, 06 Aug 2008
Source: Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN)
Copyright: 2008 The Tennessean
Author: Don Peterson


Isn't it strange that with all the talk over bio-fuels  and ethanol,
the word hemp never seems to be mentioned?  Here is a plant with
thousands of years history that  produces over 25,000 different
products, including  bio-fuel and ethanol. It is also good for the
soil. It  has very deep roots that would regenerate the topsoil.  In
New Guinea, topsoil is by the foot while here it is  in inches. To
precious to be lost. Hemp has a miniscule  amount of THC, which is in

A "joint" of hemp would have to be as big as a  telephone pole to
equal that in a "joint" of  cigarette-sized marijuana. My, oh my. This
reminds me  of my cousin Dick and I behind my great uncle Ole's  barn
trying to smoke corn silk.

Hemp is biodegradable. Plastic bags could be made from  it that would
disappear after being discarded. Plastic  is a general hazard in our
oceans and in our trash  sites. If bio-fuel were spilled, it would not
be a  hazard. It would simply be absorbed in the soil. It  needs
carbon dioxide to grow so it is carbon neutral to  the atmosphere.

Is it a magic bullet? No. But it would help to create a  friendly
environment and give some relief from our  petroleum crisis and not
raise the price of food as has  happened with corn as an ethanol source.

Don Peterson,  Nashville
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