I Suppose it’s a Start…Anyway

As you might be aware, Congress recently passed the contentious Farm Bill and the prez signed it. No, no, I’m not gonna go all ‘food stamps’ and ‘subsidies’ on ya. That’s getting into a political arena I’d rather not enter. There was a hemp provision in the thing. From what I’ve read on the news services the provision got in as an amendment. I haven’t read the thing, I’ve just picked up on it from internet – so I know it must be true.

From what I understand, states that previously passed legislation allowing the cultivation of hemp will be allowed to do so. With a few restrictions, of course.

The hemp growing is approved only for research by universities or state agencies. Research? You gotta be kiddin’ me! Hemp isn’t some exotic plant from out of the Amazon. Before that whole fiasco in 1937 folks had been growing hemp for, uh, for…like 10,000 years! Heck, it’s currently grown in Canada, China and Europe.

Sheesh.

Well, if this is the way it’s gotta be (here) then I’d recommend the agriculture majors get a copy of Lyster Dewey’s diaries. There’s near twenty-five year’s worth of notes related to hemp in the things.

You guys know Lyster, right? He was a botanist for the United States Department of Agriculture at the turn of the 20th century. Fibre was his thing.

Kymington, Yarrow, Tochigi, Tochimington, Keijo and Chinamington. I wonder wich of those varieties are commonly referred to as “ditch weed.” With all the hemp growing done here at one time, it’s not surprising some of it ‘got away.’

Yeah, I suppose it’s a start.

Just a Couple of Links

The first has to do with a Nazi conspiracy. Yes, that’s what I wrote.

Nazis, oh my!

This one… did you know hemp was grown in Wisconsin up until ’57? Me neither.

Wisconsin

The articles aren’t terribly long, though they do take a few minutes to wade through. They sorta, kinda tie together. I found both rather interesting. I hope you do to.

Oh, and here’s to you having a decent 2013!

It’s Hemp History Week!

Okay, so I’m a day late. I won a buck yesterday in a game of shoes, so ‘least I’m not a dollar short. Check out the link below for all kinds of cool information. You can see what events might be held in your area, merchants that peddle hemp stuff - stuff and stuff.

Hemp

Better late than Sunday, eh?

Movie Time?

Hemp for Victory is a classic USDA film in more ways than one. Various pro-hemp organizations were showing the film in an effort to prove that during WWII the United States Government promoted hemp cultivation.

The Government claimed the film was a fraud. No such film had ever been made by the USDA nor any other government agency.

Jack Herer, Maria Farrow and Carl Packard went in search of the film at the Library of Congress. It wasn’t in the card catalogues. There was no record of its existence. They weren’t dissuaded. They found it on a dark back corner shelf. Obviously, whomever had attempted to make it go away didn’t do a thorough job.

The above is one copy. There are many others out there. And yes, it is currently listed at the Library of Congress.

I’m Going Out on a Limb Here

Mostly cuz’ I haven’t posted anything in the hemp category for some time and cuz’ things have basically been quiet on the cannabis front (not that I think that’s a good thing). Unless, of course, you happen to live in Mexico, on the Texas border.

(I start climbing the trunk) I was out back reading my current copy of Scientific American. In the News Scan section there’s an article on a new type of acid rain. It’s not sulphuric acid derived (like before) but, is a result of nitrogen compound emissions.

Those emissions have several sources; coal-fired plants, cars and a weird ammonia\bacteria thing that happens in the ground. The ammonia is used in fertilizer manufacturing. I suppose as a natural phenomenon the ammonia bacteria exchange can’t really be called weird. Unless, like me you are uneducated and don’t understand the underlying chemistry. (okay fine, the article explains that, but I’m writing here, okay?)

You can use machines to test the emissions from cars and coal plants. It’s tough to gauge emissions from agriculture. Europe, howsomeohever, has managed to decrease their nitrogen emissions by a third, while the U.S. has gone the other way; our emissions increased 27% between 1970 and 2005.

William H. Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, says this new acid rain is most likely going to increase. Scientists are already documenting the effects on trees back East.

So what are we using all of this fertilizer for?

(Out I go on a very thin limb) We know that cotton requires quite a bit. I wonder about the various plants that we harvest for their oil. How much of this fertilizer could we do without if we started growing hemp to replace a portion of the crops currently being grown? Hey, I said it was a thin limb. I don’t have any numbers to quote. I haven’t any sources to cite. Hell, I might even be barking up the wrong tree (yuk, yuk).

The thing is, I read daily about fertilizer and pesticides winding up in places we’d really rather not have it. And now the Scientist Dudes are saying it’s even falling from the skies. I can’t help but believe that if we were allowed to grow hemp once again it would mitigate or possibly eliminate a good percentage of this agricultural pollution.

But, what’a I know?

In Nor Dakoda

That’s North Dakota with an accent. …I think.

I could have entered this post in prohibition but beings this particular prohibition has to do with hemp I figured I’d put it here. See, there’s a couple of would-be hemp farmers in North Dakota that have filed a lawsuit against the DEA.  Sweet, huh? What I think really makes it cool is one of the farmers, David Monson, is a State Representative. Speaker of the House, actually.

This all started a while back, as is the way with these things. For over a decade Dakotans have been trying to get the hemp thing going. There’s a state licensing program. Though that program doesn’t require applicants to file with the DEA Monson and the other farmer, Wayne Hauge, attempted to do so. And they got stonewalled. In June of ’08 they filed a lawsuit in the appropriate U.S. District Court in an effort to end the obstructions. And then they got hosed.

That court stated that industrial hemp contains some THC at some time so therefor it falls within the DEA’s authority to prohibit its agriculture. So the farmers filed with the U.S. Court of appeals. And got hosed AGAIN!

The appeals court stated that;

District court did not err in concluding the cannabis plants plaintiffs proposed to cultivate fell within the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana and that their planned cultivation of industrial hemp under North Dakota state law was subject to federal regulation under the Controlled Substances Act; plaintiffs had standing to challenge the Act because they established they were targets of DEA action and showed actual injury sufficient to confer standing; their claims were ripe for review, and the district court did not err in finding that further efforts to exhaust the DEA’s administrative procedures would be futile; Congress has the authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate marijuana that is grown on a large-scale for the undeniably commercial purpose of generating products for sale in interstate commerce; Congress’s decision to regulate the manufacture of all marijuana plants – regardless of the grower’s ultimate purpose – was a rational means of achieving the congressional purpose of controlling the supply and demand for controlled substances and state law restrictions, such as prohibiting the plant from leaving the farmer’s property, did not place the cultivation beyond Congress’s reach.

When the hell are these people going to realize that marijuana and hemp are not the same plant?  I’m confounded that educated individuals won’t make that distinction. What could possibly be their agenda? Assuredly there must be an agenda. These types of decisions can’t possibly be the result of ignorance.

May 18 of this year Monson and Hauge filled another legal action against the DEA. This, ladies and gentlemen, is real grass-roots activism (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). Regardless of the special interests of the large corporations hemp is going to be grown and harvested again in this country. In my opinion, the U.S. citizenry will not tolerate such a blatant abuse of the legal system much longer. It’s a flat-out embarrassment.

I wish these two fellows the best. Go Get ‘Em Guys!!!

Hempcrete

Are you guys hip to this? In all honesty I’ve just begun to take a look at it. Hempcrete? The hurds are mixed with lime and water. The mixture is poured or sprayed into or onto a mold. When it dries it becomes hard. The insulation properties are outstanding. It’s bug and mold resistant. Enter “hempcrete” into your favorite search engine. There’s a slug of videos out there.

From what I’ve seen the hemprete is put between the studs of a regular lumber framed house. The hemp then becomes the wall. In one video they have a length of plywood spanning the studs, inner and outer, and fill the resulting mold. After it dries up they go to the next row. In another, from Co Cork, Ireland, full sheets of plywood have been affixed to the interior of the studs and the guy is spraying the hempcrete filling the void from the interior outward. In one photo I saw it appeared the hempcrete was precast blocks.

Obviously the mixtures vary with the intended use. One cat was using a roto-tiller for the final blend of water, hemp and lime. It was to be used as insulation so a very dry mix was indicated. I’d take a wild guess and say a person would want it a bit wetter for spray; between the two for a molded wall?

I’ve had a project rolling around in my head for quite some time now. The exterior siding on this shack is asbestos shingles. I’ve been looking at doing some sort of plaster right over the top of it. Being in the PNW that can be a bit tricky due to all of the moisture. I’ve been formulating a plan called an open system. You use two moisture barriers… Never mind. You don’t want’a know all’a that.

In one video the guy is dumping a sack of stucco lime into the mixer. The hurds are in what looks like a 25 pound bag. The bag is labeled from some sort of feed co-op. I figured I’d just take a quick look at hurd pricing. Now, granted, this pricing is from the first place I looked- I certainly hope it’s not a real indication of the cost.

$10.00 a 5 pound bag (120 bag price. FOB China).

I’m thinking I should be checking out the feed co-ops, eh?

Seriously, when you’ve got a few minutes to burn go tube’n and check out the hempcrete thing. Down in North Carolina a very cool house has been built with it. In England a warehouse. You wouldn’t mind chasing a little pricing for me while you’re out there, would ya’?

The Pentagon Was a Hemp Field

Okay, not the Pentagon, but the land it sits on.

A buddy of mine sent me a link to a web page called Toke of the Town. On the site is an article that appears to have been gleaned from the Washington Post. It’s about one Lyster Dewey, a botanist. “Okay, a botanist,” you may be thinking. “So what. What makes Dewey so special?” Well, I’ll tell ya’.

Dewey kept a journal about growing several strains of hemp on a piece of property called the Arlington Farm. The Pentagon now sits on that piece of property. I haven’t decided whether that’s pretty cool or I’m bummed because the hemp is no longer there. Can it be both?

This was a U.S. hemp farm during the 19th and 20th centuries. It was handed over to the War Department in the ’40s for construction of the Pentagon.

These journals and photographs are now in the hands of the Hemp Industries Association. How they ended up there is a long tale about a yard sale, the journals being split up and then reunited, eBay… A benefactor of the association, David Bronner negotiated a price of four grand for the historical records. Bronner might sound familiar to a few of you folks. He was one of the protestors arrested for planting hemp seeds in the lawn of the DEA.

The Hemp Industries Association intends to begin displaying these journals this Monday, May 24. Their hope is to educate people about hemp and the fact that the Government grew hemp to supply the military with cordage.

Pretty cool, huh? This is as good as, or better than, the USDA film, Hemp for Victory.”

What’s the Commonality?

Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Netherlands, Poland, Romania,  Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Egypt, Korea, Portugal, Thailand and the Ukraine.

The answer is hemp as an agricultural commodity.

I wonder what ever happened to the experimental 1\4 acre plot in Hawaii back in 1999? I’ll go take a look when my motivation returns. Right now the hot tub is calling to me.

Industrial Hemp Farming Act(s)

So I was cruising the intertubes this morning trying to come up with an inspiration for another post. I figured I’d enter something in the Hemp category. That’s when I stumbled across the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 (H.B. 1866). Huh, I thought, maybe something’s going on with this? The Act would amend the Controlled Substance Act to exclude industrial hemp. Well that’s promising, I thought further.

Then I stumbled upon the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007 (H.B. 1866)

And the Industrial Farming Act of 2005 (H.B. 3037)

So much for “promising.” I haven’t seen any hemp fields, have you?

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