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Re examining "NEW BILLION DOLLAR CROP"

CaliNORML

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The following article was published alomst 100 years ago. Could it still hold true today?

Link click HERE





Contributor's Note: The following is the famous
February, 1938 article which appeared in POPULAR MECHANICS.

-=[*]=-

NEW BILLION DOLLAR CROP
American farmers are promised a new cash crop within annual
value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has
been invented which solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. It
is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American
products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and
manufactured products produced by underpaid coolie and peasant
labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers
throughout the land.
The machine which makes this possible is designed for removing
the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp
fiber available for use without a prohibitive amount of human
labor.
Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile
strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000
textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody
"hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more
than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce
more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.
Machines now in service in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota and
other states are producing fiber at a manufacturing cost of half a
cent a pound, and are finding a profitable market for the rest of
the stalk. Machine operators are making a good profit in
competition with coolie-produced foreign fiber while paying farmers
fifteen dollars a ton for hemp as it comes from the field.
From the farmers' point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow
and will yield from three to six tons per acre on any land that
will grow corn, wheat, or oats. It has a short growing season, soil
that it can be planted after other crops are in. It can be grown in
any state of the union. The long roots penetrate and break the soil
to leave it in perfect condition for the next year's crop. The
dense shock of leaves, eight to twelve feet above the ground,
chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land
that has been abandoned because of Canadian thistles or quack
grass.
Under old methods, hemp was cut and allowed to lie in the
fields for weeks until it "retted" enough so the fibers could be
pulled off by hand. Retting is simply rotting as a result of dew,
rain and bacterial action. Machines were developed to separate the
fibers mechanically after retting was complete, but the cost was
high, the loss of fiber great, and the quality of fiber
comparatively low. With the new machine, known as a decorticator,
hemp is cut with a slightly modified grain binder. It is delivered
to the machine where an automatic chain conveyor feeds it to the
breaking arms at the rate of two or three tons per hour. The hurds
are broken into fine pieces which drop into the hopper, from where
thy are delivered by blower to a baler or to truck or freight car
for loose shipment. The fiber comes from the other end of the
machine, ready for baling.
From this point on almost anything can happen. The raw fiber
can be used to produce strong twine or rope, woven into burlap,
used for carpet warp or linoleum backing or it may be bleached and
refined, with resinous by-products of high commercial value. It
can, in fact, be used to replace the foreign fibers which now flood
our markets.
Thousands of tons of hemp hurds are used every year by one
large powder company for the manufacture of dynamite and TNT. A
large paper company, which has been paying more than a million
dollars a year in duties on foreign-made cigarette papers, now is
manufacturing these papers from American hemp grown in Minnesota.
A new factory in Illinois is producing fine bond papers from hemp.
The natural materials in hemp make it an economical source of pulp
for any grade of paper manufactured, and the high percentage of
alpha cellulose promises an unlimited supply of raw material for
the thousands of cellulose products our chemists have developed.
It is generally believed that all linen is produced from flax.
Actually, the majority comes from hemp--authorities estimate that
more than half of our imported linen fabrics are manufactured from
hemp fiber. Another misconception is that burlap is made from hemp.
Actually, its source is usually jute, and practically all of the
burlap we use is woven by laborers in India who receive only four
cents a day. Binder twine is usually made from sisal which comes
from Yucatan and East Africa.
All of these products, now imported, can be produced from
home-grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope,
overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed
linen and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on
American farms. Our imports of foreign fabrics and fibers average
about $200,000,000 per year; in raw fibers alone we imported over
$50,000,000 in the first six months of 1937. All of this income can
be made available for Americans.
The paper industry offers even greater possibilities. As an
industry it amounts to over $1,000,000,000 a year, and of that
eighty per cent is imported. But hemp will produce every grade of
paper, and government figures estimate that 10,000 devoted to hemp
will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average pulp land.
One obstacle in the onward march of hemp is the reluctance of
farmers to try new crops. The problem is complicated by the need
for proper equipment a reasonable distance from the farm. The
machine cannot be operated profitably unless there is enough
acreage within driving range and farmers cannot find a profitable
market unless there is machinery to handle the crop. Another
obstacle is that the blossom of the female hemp plant contains
marijuana, a narcotic, and it is impossible to grow hemp without
producing the blossom. Federal regulations now being drawn up
require registration of hemp growers, and tentative proposals for
preventing narcotic production are rather stringent.
However, the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems
to be exaggerated. The drug is usually produced from wild hemp or
locoweed which can be found on vacant lots and along railroad
tracks in every state. If federal regulations can be drawn to
protect the public without preventing the legitimate culture of
hemp, this new crop can add immeasurably to American agriculture
and industry.
-=][=-
Popular Mechanics Magazine can furnish the name and address of the
maker of, or dealer in, any article described in its pages. If you
wish this information, write to the Bureau of Information,
inclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope. [offer made in 1938]
-=][=-
END

Contributor's Note: The decorticator mentioned in the article
promised to make hemp so cost-effective that its cultivation was
seen as a threat by petrochemical, textile, paper, and other
interests. With the ready assistance of the Hearst newspaper chain,
a program of disinformation and hysterical propaganda was foisted
upon the public, culminating in the passage of the Marijuana Tax
Act of 1938: Marijuana Prohibition had begun.
 

Axismaster

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CaliNORML said:
The following article was published alomst 100 years ago. Could it still hold true today?

Link click HERE





Contributor's Note: The following is the famous
February, 1938 article which appeared in POPULAR MECHANICS.

-=[*]=-

NEW BILLION DOLLAR CROP
American farmers are promised a new cash crop within annual
value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has
been invented which solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. It
is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American
products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and
manufactured products produced by underpaid coolie and peasant
labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers
throughout the land.
The machine which makes this possible is designed for removing
the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp
fiber available for use without a prohibitive amount of human
labor.
Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile
strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000
textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody
"hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more
than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce
more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.
Machines now in service in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota and
other states are producing fiber at a manufacturing cost of half a
cent a pound, and are finding a profitable market for the rest of
the stalk. Machine operators are making a good profit in
competition with coolie-produced foreign fiber while paying farmers
fifteen dollars a ton for hemp as it comes from the field.
From the farmers' point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow
and will yield from three to six tons per acre on any land that
will grow corn, wheat, or oats. It has a short growing season, soil
that it can be planted after other crops are in. It can be grown in
any state of the union. The long roots penetrate and break the soil
to leave it in perfect condition for the next year's crop. The
dense shock of leaves, eight to twelve feet above the ground,
chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land
that has been abandoned because of Canadian thistles or quack
grass.
Under old methods, hemp was cut and allowed to lie in the
fields for weeks until it "retted" enough so the fibers could be
pulled off by hand. Retting is simply rotting as a result of dew,
rain and bacterial action. Machines were developed to separate the
fibers mechanically after retting was complete, but the cost was
high, the loss of fiber great, and the quality of fiber
comparatively low. With the new machine, known as a decorticator,
hemp is cut with a slightly modified grain binder. It is delivered
to the machine where an automatic chain conveyor feeds it to the
breaking arms at the rate of two or three tons per hour. The hurds
are broken into fine pieces which drop into the hopper, from where
thy are delivered by blower to a baler or to truck or freight car
for loose shipment. The fiber comes from the other end of the
machine, ready for baling.
From this point on almost anything can happen. The raw fiber
can be used to produce strong twine or rope, woven into burlap,
used for carpet warp or linoleum backing or it may be bleached and
refined, with resinous by-products of high commercial value. It
can, in fact, be used to replace the foreign fibers which now flood
our markets.
Thousands of tons of hemp hurds are used every year by one
large powder company for the manufacture of dynamite and TNT. A
large paper company, which has been paying more than a million
dollars a year in duties on foreign-made cigarette papers, now is
manufacturing these papers from American hemp grown in Minnesota.
A new factory in Illinois is producing fine bond papers from hemp.
The natural materials in hemp make it an economical source of pulp
for any grade of paper manufactured, and the high percentage of
alpha cellulose promises an unlimited supply of raw material for
the thousands of cellulose products our chemists have developed.
It is generally believed that all linen is produced from flax.
Actually, the majority comes from hemp--authorities estimate that
more than half of our imported linen fabrics are manufactured from
hemp fiber. Another misconception is that burlap is made from hemp.
Actually, its source is usually jute, and practically all of the
burlap we use is woven by laborers in India who receive only four
cents a day. Binder twine is usually made from sisal which comes
from Yucatan and East Africa.
All of these products, now imported, can be produced from
home-grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope,
overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed
linen and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on
American farms. Our imports of foreign fabrics and fibers average
about $200,000,000 per year; in raw fibers alone we imported over
$50,000,000 in the first six months of 1937. All of this income can
be made available for Americans.
The paper industry offers even greater possibilities. As an
industry it amounts to over $1,000,000,000 a year, and of that
eighty per cent is imported. But hemp will produce every grade of
paper, and government figures estimate that 10,000 devoted to hemp
will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average pulp land.
One obstacle in the onward march of hemp is the reluctance of
farmers to try new crops. The problem is complicated by the need
for proper equipment a reasonable distance from the farm. The
machine cannot be operated profitably unless there is enough
acreage within driving range and farmers cannot find a profitable
market unless there is machinery to handle the crop. Another
obstacle is that the blossom of the female hemp plant contains
marijuana, a narcotic, and it is impossible to grow hemp without
producing the blossom. Federal regulations now being drawn up
require registration of hemp growers, and tentative proposals for
preventing narcotic production are rather stringent.
However, the connection of hemp as a crop and marijuana seems
to be exaggerated. The drug is usually produced from wild hemp or
locoweed which can be found on vacant lots and along railroad
tracks in every state. If federal regulations can be drawn to
protect the public without preventing the legitimate culture of
hemp, this new crop can add immeasurably to American agriculture
and industry.
-=][=-
Popular Mechanics Magazine can furnish the name and address of the
maker of, or dealer in, any article described in its pages. If you
wish this information, write to the Bureau of Information,
inclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope. [offer made in 1938]
-=][=-
END

Contributor's Note: The decorticator mentioned in the article
promised to make hemp so cost-effective that its cultivation was
seen as a threat by petrochemical, textile, paper, and other
interests. With the ready assistance of the Hearst newspaper chain,
a program of disinformation and hysterical propaganda was foisted
upon the public, culminating in the passage of the Marijuana Tax
Act of 1938: Marijuana Prohibition had begun.
Legalized hemp would probably be the best thing that happened to farmers since John Deere. As for pot prohibition, just goes to show how young a concept it is, in fact man used pot freely for his million year history up until that point. This is why I think drug bans are a passing fad and should be struck down ASAP.
 

CaliNORML

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Nepal has legalized Hemp, not for economic reasons, to feed the poor.

Australia is doing massive studies on this to save the forests and to stop soil degradation.

China is still the textile king because of Hemp.

France and the Netherland refuse to dsign the EU Constitution due to Ag restrictions on Hemp in those two countries.

The UK, Germany, and South America have all bowed to US pressure to stop Hemp production. This war is not only in our Nation, our US government took it globaly with the incentive of loans to these countries if they went to war on this plant.

KMS
 
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