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Hemp: America’s Answer for Energy Self-Sufficiency

By Hempology | January 8, 2002

By Milton John Kleim, Jr.
I have never smoked a joint, nor consumed cannabis for
intoxication. I have my personal reasons for this, and it is my personal
choice, not because a lawyer said it is “illegal.” However, as one who
reveres Nature, I respect all of Mother Earth, including each green plant that
grows upon her. No plant is “evil,” though humankind can abuse Nature’s
bountiful flora for a variety of purposes.
During this time of grave national emergency, many have uncomfortably taken
note of the great dependence upon crude oil from the Islamic world America
has. Bush administration officials and allied Republicans have suggested
that due to “national security” concerns, drilling in Alaska’s environmental
havens may be necessary. Of course, America will continue to need vast
quantities of energy resources to maintain our way of life. But, there is
more than one source of indigenous energy for our country, and considering the
irresponsibility of disturbing pristine nature areas, it is obviously prudent to
examine all alternatives.

One of those alternatives is from humankind’s ancient ally, hemp.

The ignorant believe that cannabis is really “just for smoking,” and that
the industrial hemp industry exists solely as a vehicle to legitimize
intoxicating uses of cannabis. This is utterly foolish, as anthropology
and history can easily demonstrate. Hemp has countless uses for fiber,
food, and fuel, serving nearly every human industry. It is superior to
both cotton & wood pulp for paper, utilizing far less resources to grow,
with virtually no pesticides required, as in the case of the former. Hemp
seed is one of the most nutritious foods available to the undernourished and
properly nourished alike, providing essential protein & fatty acids not
often found apart from meat. Likewise, it has the potential to supply
*all* of the USA’s demand for vehicle fuels through its sustainable production
of hemp seed oil; simply another type of vegetable oil.

The Slavic world (and much of the rest of Europe) continues to produce
enormous quantities of hemp for industrial and consumption usage, with hardly
any abuse of its flowers or resin as an intoxicant. Indeed, as in America,
alcohol & tobacco, the latter requiring a high amount of pesticide to
produce, are the chief intoxicants, and responsible for countless deaths and
hardship for its victims. These “legal” products kill millions, while *not
one* case has been documented proving that marijuana has killed its user.

Is the Bush administration reviewing hemp as a fuel, to give America the
energy self-sufficiency it deserves and needs so desperately?
Hardly. Not long after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Bush’s DEA
appointee, Asa Hutchinson, issued new rules “outlawing” hemp products with *any*
detectable THC content, tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) being the intoxicating
element in cannabis. [1] This includes food products such as hemp seed
& its oil, which are reasonably *impossible* to get “high” from in any
consumable amount. It would be more likely to get high from the spice
nutmeg, another psychoactive plant.

The technology is available and ready to go to use vegetable oil for
vehicle fuel. [2] American science and ingenuity led to this technology,
and it can develop alternatives to any petroleum product from the extremely
versatile hemp plant. Why isn’t this being pursued? Perhaps it’s
because, as some observers have suggested [3], the Bush administration is
pursuing petroleum interests in this current war.

Those of us who witness George W. Bush, John Ashcroft, and their
compatriots’ piousness in proclaiming their religion, Christianity, to the
world, find it deeply ironic that they don’t even believe in a fundamental verse
in their holy book: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing
seed, which is upon the face of all the earth….And God saw every thing that he
had made, and, behold, it was very good.” [4] As a pagan, it is
fascinating that I find more beauty in this Judeo-Christian passage than the
President and his administration does.

During World War II, the US government encouraged American farmers to
produce hemp, because no other resource makes such fine cordage — and other
products. The implications of *this* current war are as dangerous to
America’s future as were those of the Second World War. It’s time that the
American leadership educate themselves, and discard anachronistic,
two-dimensional attitudes about Nature’s treasures. And, if they won’t,
it’s the duty of every American to speak out with one voice, and let them know
the W ill of the People is different than their current policies. In a
free society, the Will of the People counts…they work for us.

– Milton John Kleim, Jr.


[2]: Tickell, Joshua, From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank : The
Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil As an Alternative Fuel. Third
Edition. Tickell Energy Consulting, 2000.

[3]: Rall, Ted. “It’s About Oil.” San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2/01.

[4]: Genesis 1: 29, 31.

Additional resources for learning about the ancient resource of hemp:

Copyright 2001, by the author. Permission to circulate freely
granted, provided entire text is not abridged or altered. Author contact

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