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Hemp Production & Democracy in America

May 20, 2013

Hemp is considered one of the most useful crops grown. It can be used to make clothing, fiberboard, paper, plastics, skin-care products, cooking oil and even car parts. It doesn’t need herbicides or pesticides. Farmers want to grow it, and manufacturers want to use it. But it’s got an obnoxious relative that states are afraid of. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not allow farmers to grow hemp. It categorizes hemp as cannabis, like its cousin marijuana, even though hemp doesn’t contain enough THC to produce a high. Few people know it, but before 1937, when Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act, hemp was among the nation’s leading cash crops. Drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper, and Betsy Ross’ American flag was made from hemp. The fact is, there are products made from hemp in use all over the country right now. But the raw material has to be imported from Europe or Asia. Currently the people who are in favor of hemp are preaching that hemp and marijuana are two different things but realistically that doesn’t matter seeing as how states are currently starting to legalized marijuana. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with the whole hemp debate once marijuana is legalized in all 50 states. What shall the excuses be then for why hemp isn’t legalized?

 

In Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, Tocqueville comperes equality and liberty in the first chapter and then goes on to talk about equality, its dangers, and America. What I understood from it all is that equality is a tricky thing. To achieve true equality we give up some of our bounty. Thinking of the future generation and selfless activities provides for greater equality. When it comes to economic equality the usual answer is taxes to redistribute wealth, but what if we were ingrained with the sense for the common good. We may see that redistribution of wealth is not necessary, and that all our economy would do well in the face of generosity, community and mutualism. To not be so individualistic may be beneficial to both those that need and those that give.

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