Pubdate: Wed, 16 Feb 2011
Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Copyright: 2011 Metro Times, Inc
Author: Ralph Givens


Re: Larry Gabriel's column "Hemp on the ropes" (Feb. 9), the only
thing more stupid than outlawing marijuana is banning hemp. Without
hemp, the United States would have lost World War II. Without hemp,
none of the U.S. Navy's battleships, aircraft carriers and other big
ships could have sailed. Without the hemp cables used for maneuvering
these behemoths, they would have been out of action, resulting in the
loss of the war in the Pacific.

Fortunately, the War Department overruled Harry Anslinger's reefer
madness assault on hemp and the Hemp For Victory program won the day.
Nevertheless, after World War II the Bureau of Narcotics again banned
hemp growing. The claim was and is "we cannot tell the difference
between marijuana and hemp."

This is one of the big, big lies still told about cannabis, because it
is easy to tell the difference between a hemp field and a pot garden
from 100 yards away. You see, hemp is broadcast or sown on 4-inch
centers. By the time a hemp field is two or three feet high it is
impossible for a man to walk through the field. With a pot garden,
plants are seeded on 3-foot centers, to allow branching and increased
bud production. Also, the male plants are removed to prevent
fertilization and a lowering of bud potency.

It is impossible to confuse a hemp field with a marijuana garden,
because pot disguised as hemp would be pollinated and would be
worthless as a drug crop.

One other thing: Allowing hemp growing will provide hundreds of
thousands of jobs in the United States. Hemp is a cash crop with
dozens of industrial uses that can put farming on a profit-making basis.

Ralph Givens, Daly City, Calif.
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