Land reclamation is another compelling economic and ecological argument for hemp cultivation.
Until this century, our pioneers and ordinary American farmers used cannabis to clear fields for planting, as a fallow year crop, and after forest fires to prevent mud slides and loss of watershed.
Hemp seeds put down a 10 to 12 inch root in only 30 days, compared to the one inch root put down by the rye or barley grass presently used by the U.S. Government.
Southern California, Utah and other states used cannabis routinely in this manner until about 1915. It also breaks up compacted, overworked soil.
In the formerly lush Himalayan regions of Bangladesh, Nepal and Tibet there is now only a light moss covering left, as flash floods wash thousands of tons of topsoil away.
Bangladesh literally means “canna-bis-land-people” (it was formerly called East Bengal province, a name derived from “bhang” (cannabis) and “la” (land). In the 1970s, Independent Bangladesh signed an “anti-drug” agreement with the U.S., promising not to grow hemp. Since that time, they have suffered disease, starvation and decimation due to unrestrained flooding.
World War II: The Most Recent Time America Asked Our Farmers to Grow Cannabis Hemp Marjiuana
Our energy needs are an undeniable national security priority. But first, let’s see what Uncle Sam can do when pushed into action:
In early 1942, Japan cut off our supplies of vital hemp and coarse fibers. Marijuana, which had been outlawed in the United States as the “Assassin of Youth” just five years earlier, was suddenly safe enough for our government to ask the kids in the Kentucky 4-H clubs to grow the nation’s 1943 seed supply. Each youth was urged to grow at least half an acre, but preferably two acres of hemp for seed.
In 1942-43 all American farmers were required to attend showings of the USDA film Hemp for Victory, sign that they had seen the film and read a hemp cultivation booklet. Hemp harvesting machinery was made available at low or no cost. Five-dollar tax stamps were available and 350,000 acres of cultivated hemp was the goal by 1943. (See transcript p. 64.)
“Patriotic” American farmers, from 1942 through 1945, who agreed to grow hemp were waived from serving in the military, along with their sons; that’s how vitally important hemp was to America during World War II.
Meanwhile, from the late 1930s through 1945, “patriotic” German farmers were given a comic book-like instruction manual by the Nazi government, urging them to grow hemp for the war. (See a complete reproduction of this 1943 Nazi “hanf” (hemp) manual in the Appendix.)
Hemp seeds broadcast over eroding soil could reclaim land the world over. The farmed out desert regions can be brought back year after year, not only slowing the genocide of starvation but easing threats of war and violent revolution.
Instead of a National Guard, why not establish a Natural Guard of environmental soldiers to be our front line for survival–planting trees, harvesting biomass (e.g., hemp) from marginal farm lands?
A Natural Guard of electricians, plumbers, engineers and laborers who work re-building the infrastructure of America: our roads, bridges, dams, canals, sewers, railroad tracks, etc.
Isn’t this the humane, civilized and socially responsible way to use our human resources, rather than warehousing people like animals in prisons?