• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of May 3, 1996

Facts about... the plant hemp.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Two hundred and fifteen years ago, when the Virginia State Militia was running low on cash, Governor Thomas Jefferson ordered his officers to pay for military supplies not with currency, but with hemp. For centuries, hemp was a valuable crop used to make cloth, paper, rope, and money. But it was outlawed in 1937 because it can also be a source of marijuana. This year, Vermont is considering allowing people to grow hemp again. A bill has already passed the Vermont House of Representatives. Supporters say hemp yields 4 times more fiber per acre than trees and is relatively environmentally friendly. It's naturally pest resistant, and when used as cloth repels water and doesn't mildew. Hemp paper is easily bleached with peroxide instead of chlorine. Advocates say industrial hemp contains only tiny amounts of the hallucinogen THC, the source of the marijuana high. But law enforcement officials oppose hemp legalization, saying it would create an enforcement nightmare and increase drug abuse. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.