Declaration of Independence was written on Hemp

by Ryan Hay

ryan1The production of hemp in Kentucky and surrounding states is illegal due to an early 1900’s media blitz. The media started this blitz on a huge international level. Hemp was deemed a wonderful product throughout the early 1600’s to the mid-1900’s period, and because of that, was a key ingredient in many highly manufactured items such as clothes, cars, plastics, building materials, rope, paper, linens, food, and medicine, along with other needed items. The use of hemp had a very strong presence from the beginning of the United States. With many of our most important documents, such as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence was written on paper made of hemp. Hemp has been illegal to grow since the early 1950’s. However, cannabis had been prescribed by doctors internationally for centuries before the illegalization in America.


In the past decade, Canada has legalized hemp once again after a similar prohibition period of the plant that America is currently still implementing. The Canadian government allowed the plant to be used once again as a way to possibly decrease the countries deficit by exporting it to other countries, such as the United States. Since the legalization of hemp in other various countries, many American politicians in touch with the United States’ current deficit believe that the intelligent option for the countries government is to release the countries prohibition on hemp. They believe that this will reduce the deficit by exporting instead of importing from countries such as Canada and other European countries. The countries that have legalized hemp production do not understand America because we import large quantities of hemp to manufacturer many daily used and durable items for domestic use.

ryan2One reason for a marijuana/hemp production decrease in the late 1930’s was the result of an internationalized scare that began in Australia, the newspaper Smith’s Weekly ran the headlines: “Drug that maddens victims”, “Plant grows wild in Queensland” and “Warning from America”. The article claimed that marijuana “distorts moral values”. One of the main reasons that hemp is illegal is that newspaper tycoon William Hearst decided that hemp was a strong competitor with his paper company. So he decided to use his various newspaper outlets as a way to shut down the hemp industry and its production. He is the father of “yellow journalism” which is a type of writing that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye catching headlines to sell more newspapers. This situation was escalating the already race and culture wars that were occurring at the time. However, the recent look into the legalization of hemp has been fueled by the fact that hemp can be used for not only fuel but is a very light product and can make items such as cars, homes, clothes, linens, and even nutritious food items.

These newspapers that implemented “yellow journalism” used a Mexican slang word, “marihuana”, for the media to use instead of hemp, because they knew about the wonderful effects of the hemp industry throughout the world and knew that nobody would want to get rid of such a wonderful product so instead they decided to use a word that nobody would know or care about and by doing that, they blamed it on the by-product, what is now known as marijuana. This began the major reason of illegalization of hemp and a great increase of international worry of the misuse of cannabis.


ryan3The worry about the misuse of cannabis was fueled by not only by the yellow journalism of the early to mid-1900 but by legitimate scientific research done. Scientists found that the active ingredient in marijuana is THC. That is short for dela-9-terahydrocannabinol. THC was found that when smoked it was rapidly absorbed after smoking pot. Within minutes, THC and the other substances in marijuana smoke cause short term medical effects such as:  rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased rate of breathing, red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, and slowed ones reaction time. These effects were found to be reduced after three or four hours. However, marijuana hangs around in your system for as long as a month after smoking. The lingering effects mean you’re impaired for several days to weeks even after the high wears off.

The psychological effects of marijuana were found to be things such as: distorted sense of time, paranoia, magical or random thoughts, short term memory loss, and anxiety and depression. Roughly one percent of Americans abuse cannabis. Although never proven it was thought that heavy use of marijuana could cause lung cancer later on in life. Heavy marijuana use is also thought to lower men’s testosterone levels, sperm count, and quality. Marijuana was thought by many experts that marijuana is physically addictive. Symptoms of withdrawal from pot might include: aggression, anxiety, depressed mood, and decreased appetite. The greatest current issue with marijuana is the thought that it is a “gateway drug” which is the belief that pot smokers are more likely to try cocaine, heroin, or other “hard” drugs. Many psychologists say that marijuana does make its smoker’s more likely to be put into the position to be offered these other “hard” drugs, but smoking marijuana has nothing to do with wanting to try these “hard” drugs.

In summary, the reason that hemp and cannabis is illegal is due to the concerns by the public of the misuse of the drug that was implemented through fear tactics for financial gain. I believe that legalizing hemp once again would improve not only Kentucky’s economy but also the countries as a whole, thus allowing our country to stop importing a proven very useful crop and start profiting from it once again.





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