Included below is the complete text of "New Billion-Dollar Crop," Popular Mechanics, Febraury, 1938, followed by "Pinch Hitters for Defense" (12/41) describing Henry Ford's new auto bodies consisting entirely of plastics made from vegetables producing cellulose fibers (of which hemp is the most efficient of all vegetables), followed by an two excerpts from The Emperor about "Paints and Varnishes" and "Building Materials and Housing":
NEW BILLION-DOLLAR CROP
AMERICAN farmers are promised a new cash crop with an 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, so 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 they 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 acres 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.
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Pinch Hitters for Defense
Over in England it's saccharine for sugar; on the continent it's charcoal "gasogenes" in the rumble seat instead of gasoline in the tank. Here in America there's plenty of sugar, plenty of gasoline. Yet there's an industrial revolution in progress just the same, a revolution in materials that will affect every home.
After twelve years of research, the Ford Motor Company has completed an experimental automobile with a plastic body. Although its design takes advantage of the properties of plastics, the streamline car does not differ greatly in appearance from its steel counterpart. The only steel in the hand-made body is found in the tubular welded frame on which are mounted 14 plastic panels, 3/16 inch thick. Composed of a mixture of farm crops and synthetic chemicals, the plastic is reported to withstand a blow 10 times as great as steel without denting. Even the windows and windshield are of plastic. The total weight of the plastic car is about 2,000 pounds, compared with 3,000 pounds for a steel automobile of the same size. Although no hint has been given as to when plastic cars may go into production, the experimental model is pictured as a step toward materialization of Henry Ford's belief that some day he would "grow automobiles from the soil."
When Henry Ford recently unveiled his plastic car, result of 12 years of research, he gave the world a glimpse of the automobilie of tomorrow, its tough panels molded under hydraulic pressure of 1,500 pounds per square inch from a recipe that calls for 70 percent of cellulose fibers from wheat straw, hemp and sisal plus 30 percent resin binder. The only steel in the car is its tubular welded frame. The plastic car weighs a ton, 1,000 pounds lighter than a comparable steel car. Manufacturers are already taking a low-priced plastic car to test the public's taste by 1943.
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6. Paints and Varnishes
For thousands of years, virtually all good paints and varnishes were made with hemp seed oil and/or linseed oil.
For instance, in 1935 alone, 116 million pounds (58,000 tons) [National Institute of Oilseed Products congressional testimony against the 1937 Marijuana Transfer Tax Law] of hemp seed were used in America just for paint and varnish. As a comparison, consider that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), along with all America's state and local police agencies, claim to have seized for all of 1988, 651.5 tons of American-grown marijuana--seed, plant, root, dirt clump and all.[National Narcotics Intelligence Consumer's Committee, NNICC Report, 1988 DEA office relase, El Paso, TX, April, 1989.] The hemp drying oil business went principally to DuPont petro-chemicals. [Sloman, Larry, Reefer Madness, Grove Press, New York, NY, 1979, pg. 72.]
Congress and the Treasury Department were assured through secret testimony given by DuPont in 1935-37 directly to Herman Oliphant, Chief Counsel for the Treasury Dept., that hemp seed oil could be replaced with synthetic petro-chemical oils made principally by DuPont.
Oliphant was solely responsible for drafting the Marijuana Tax Act that was submitted to Congress.[Bonnie, Richard and Whitebread, Charles, The Marijuana Conviction, Univ. of Virginia Press, 1974.] (See complete story in Chapter 4, The Last Days of Legal Cannabis.)
-- Herer, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, 1992 edition, p. 8.
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11. Building Materials and Housing
Because one acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber pulp as 4.1 acres of trees (Dewey & Merrill, Bulletin #404, U.S. Dept. of Ag., 1916), hemp is the perfect material to replace trees for pressed board, particle board and cor concrete construction molds.
Practical, inexpensive construction material which is fire resistant, with excellent thermal and sound insulating qualities, can be made using a process called Environcore©. This process, developed by Mansion Industries, applies heat and compression to agricultural fiber to create strong construction paneling, replacing dry wall and plywood. (See Appendix, p. 172. [Vincent H. Miller, "A Grass House In Your Future?," Freedom Network News, June/July 1989])
Hemp has been used throughout history for carpet backing. Hemp fiber has potential in the manufacture of strong, rot resistant carpeting--eliminating the poisonous fumes of burning synthetic materials in a house or commercial fire, along with allergic reactions associated with new synthetic carpeting.
Plastic plumbing pipe (PVC pipes) can be manufactured using renewable hemp cellulose as the chemical feedstocks, replacing non-renewable petroleum-based chemical feedstocks.
So we can envision a house of the future built, plumbed, painted and furnished with the world's number one renewable resource--hemp.
-- Herer, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, 1992 edition, p. 10.
In 1937, a Special Interest Group Got the Cannabis Industry Banned by
Attacking "Marijuana" While Concealing the Many Valuable Uses of the Plant.
Today, a Public Interest Group, BACH, Intends to Deregulate Cannabis by
Promoting "Hemp" and Showing How Everyone Benefits From This Reform.
We start with a natural core constituency: Civil libertarians, Rock-n-Roll/Rasta/Jazz music fans, paraphernalia makers and users, medical users, sympathetic media and officials, Vietnam vets, entrepreneurs, the art community and the "Sixties Generation." We can rapidly win over farmers, economists, environmentalists, holistic/natural medicine advocates, the unemployed, hunger relief projects, tax reformers and free market/anti-Big Government forces and others.
THE FARMING COMMUNITY is our linchpin, linking the Northwest, Midwest and South. It is in financial trouble and will be the first major beneficiary of hemp commerce.
TEXTILE, FUEL, PAPER INDUSTRIES AND MARKETS, MEDICAL AND RECREATIONAL USERS are concentrated in coastal and urbanized population centers.
SHIPPING, INVESTORS, COMMODITIES MARKETS AND BANKS link these regions, create a role for the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in deregulating hemp and add to the financial pressure for reform.
We anticipate strong resistance in pharmaceuticals and plastics, where entrenched forces stand to lose a share of the market when hemp products come into common use.
But this pressure will soon be offset by the support of hemp industry consumers, investors and workers who benefit from new spin-off industries.
PHASE ONE: ORGANIZATION: Develop and target literature and lobby campaigns, alert our consituency, explain the economic and social significance of this reform to potential allies and win "celebrity" endorsements. We need to demonstrate an interstate supply and demand network to establish the economic vitality of hemp commerce, thereby drawing financial and political support and setting the stage for ICC intervention against state laws that impede trade.
PHASE TWO: PUBLIC RELATIONS: Launch a program of speaking engagements and advertisments (PSAs and paid) to redefine the hemp debate, sway the general public and create a climate of support based on people's self-interest. Our goal is to disassociate hemp from "drugs" and align it with jobs, prosperity and traditional American self-sufficiency.
PHASE THREE: DEREGULATION: Introduce non-threatening deregulation
legislation, support initiatives/referenda, set up test cases to pursue
legalization through the courts and use business pressure to win ICC action.
BACH Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp
P.O. Box 71903, Los Angeles, CA 90071-0093
"We are able to inform you that ancient grandfathers, the great stands of cedar and redwoods, are in danger of extinction by chainsaws. The maple, chief of trees, is dying from the top down, as was prophesied by Ganiodaiio, Handsome Lake, in 1799. Great rivers and streams are filled with chemicals and filth, and these great veins of life are being used as sewers.
"We were told the female is sacred and carries the gift of life as our Mother Earth, the family is the center of our life and that we must build our communities with life and respect for one another.
"We were told the Creator loves children the most, and we can tell the state of affairs of the nation by how the children are being treated.
"When we return to Onondaga, we will begin our Great Midwinter ceremonies. We will tie the past year in a bundle and give thanks once again for another year on this earth.
"This was given to us, and we have despoiled and polluted it. If we are to survive, dear friends and colleagues, we must clean it up now or suffer its consequences.
. . . But Lyons also remembered turning to Leon Shenandoah, chief of the Grand Council of the Six Nations Confederacy. "My chief, he doesn't say much, but I asked and he said, `They're not taking it serious enough. I don't think they realize what's going to happen to them. What's coming.' He would have liked to see less posturing. We have our prophecies. We know what is coming down the road.'"
-- Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons, on the Global Forum he
helped organize on Environment and Development for
Survival held in Moscow, January 15 to 19, 1990.