Economic Prosperity
for a New Millenium

Compiled by BACH:
Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp

Recommended reading:
Hemp, Lifeline to the Future
by Chris Conrad

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Hemp in History -- Cannabis sativa, or hemp, is our first known crop, traced back to 8000 B.C. in the Middle East and China. Hemp textiles go back in history as far as pottery.

Hemp was used in sails, caulk and rigging for the ships that opened worldwide commerce. Most paper was made with hemp for 1000s of years. Early American farmers were reqjuired to grow it. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drafted on hemp. Hemp was the world's largest single industry until the mid-1800s. The U.S. government suspended prohibition and had farmers grow a million acres of hemp to stop Hitler during WWII. Many farming and industrial groups support the return of cannabis hemp today.

A New, Multi-Billion Dollar Discovery --With over 50,000 commercial uses, today's hemp is the most versatile, sustainable and valuable natural resource on Earth. Conservative estimates of its profit potential surpass $500 billion per year and tens of thousands of new jobs, once the trade barriers are removed and this valuable cash crop is again allowed to compete. Restoring hemp to its traditional role as the primary source of food, clothing, shelter, fuel, paper, fiber, medicine and other consumer goods will put money into local communities for an ecological and financially stable economy.

Making It With Hemp -- Hemp is the temperate climate zone's most prolific source of plant cellulose: the basic raw material used for plastics, fabrication material, chipboard, fiber board and other construction boards. France makes a concrete substitute from hemp, and Henry Ford once built and powered a car with hemp.

Hemp for Clothing -- Fabrics made from hemp are stronger, more insulative, more absorbent and more durable than cotton. Natural, organic hemp fiber "breathes" and is biodegradable. With minor retooling, our textile mills can spin and weave hemp fiber as smooth as silk, as tough as burlap, or as intricate as lace. While the garment industry was once a thriving part of our U.S. economy, more than half the textiles we use today are imported, due to environmental concerns and labor costs. Since hemp needs less fertilizer and pesticides, we can have those jobs back&endash;without sacrificing our ecology.

Hemp for Paper -- Paper made of hemp lasts much longer than that made of trees, without cracking, yellowing or otherwise deteriorating: It's the "archivist's perfect paper." Processing hemp for paper uses far less chemical acid than does wood. Over a 20 year period, one acre of hemp produces as much pulp as 4.1 acres of forest land.

Hemp for Fuel &endash; The Dept. of the Interior in May, 1991 projected crude oil costs of $40 per barrel within 10 years. Plant "biomass" fuel is cleaner than fossil fuels and can provide gasoline, methane, charcoal, etc. to meet all our home and industrial energy needs. By developing hemp, the most productive energy crop for America's climate, we can have fuel that is both cheaper and cleaner.

Hemp for Jobs -- As new hemp businesses open, so will tens of thousands of new job opportunities. It offers a basis for creating permanent economic health, even in our rural and "rust belt" communities. Using this sustainable resource means real job security. For example, most timber-related jobs are not cutting trees, but the milling, distributing, shipping, sale and use of end products in the construction and clerical fields.

Hemp for Farms -- Hemp is so valuable that it is now subsidized in every European country; a viable cash crop even if grown on depleted land, between crop seasons or sown to enrich the soil of fallow land. It was a major American cash crop until just before the Great Depression. Today we have a crisis of farm foreclosures, but hemp is banned here.

A Medical & Social Herb -- Contrary to some claims, hemp is not a dangerous drug. However, a few seedlines, grown under proper conditions, produce the therapeutically active herb cannabis. These plants stand out from industrial hemp and are easy to identify. They are not important for large scale seed oil, feed, fiber or pulp production.

As medicine, cannabis has about $6 billion per year in pharmaceutical potential for treating millions of people with AIDS, cancer, MS, epilepsy, asthma, cramps, migraine and other conditions. In addition, these people will retain their self respect and economic productivity, which will save society billions in health care and support services.

 As a social activity, over 21 million Americans regularly smoke 'marijuana.' Although cannabis is safer than tobacco or alcohol, tens of billions of tax dollars are wasted on its prohibition. This stymies industrial hemp trades, while we pay ever-higher taxes to build prisons and bailout government debts. A lucrative market for safer smoking devices is also suppressed. Meanwhile Holland has a prosperous cannabis concessions industry, and crime rates have gone down. The potential U.S. market for neighborhood "cannabis coffee shops" is over $5 billion per year.

Saving Taxes & Generating New Revenue for Schools and Health Care -- The states can eliminate deficits, balance their budgets and enjoy new revenues in just a few short years if our farms and industry invest in hemp.

For more information send $2 + a large stamped envelope to:

Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH)

PO Box 1716, El Cerrito CA 94530 USA