Industrial Hemp Struggles with Marijuana Stigma

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Industrial Hemp Struggles With Marijuana Stigma
As the issue of legalizing marijuana remains complicated and highly controversial, a lesser-known yet increasingly significant side effect continues to transpire in the background: the suppression of its incredibly useful and diverse distant cousin, industrial hemp. Both marijuana and hemp have a long history in the United States. Unfortunately, because both plants are from the cannabis species, hemp was pigeonholed into a “dangerous drug” classification along with marijuana, representing the beginning of the end for hemp as a major agricultural asset to the United States. Industrial hemp contains no psychotropic qualities that create a “high” like marijuana. Considering that hemp’s
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Thus, a plant with no psychotropic properties and that could be used to fashion anything from ropes, to paper, to bricks for constructing homes is placed in the same category as marijuana. (Smith 233) In his research, Smith found that the source of the problem stems from the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that was carried over into the comprehensive Drug Abuse Controlled and Prevention Act of 1970. Banning industrial hemp was a mistake from the beginning. The government refusing to address this situation is not acceptable and that is where the Oglala Sioux tribe in Pine Ridge, South Dakota have drawn a line in the sand. The tribe said it is their right as a sovereign state to cultivate their land. They were also purposely shedding light on the need to legalize hemp.
Research from the University of Connecticut conclusively indicates that hemp is a viable source for biodiesel fuel—one thatc does not affect the food supply like corn and soy do. Led by associate professor of chemical engineering Richard Parnas, the research team will be building a refinery using a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Energy. Hemp is ideal for two reasons: first, it is not a major food source so it should not contribute to food security problems; secondly, it can grow in infertile soil using otherwise inhospitable

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