By Ron Lee
“Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!”
~George Washington, The Writings of George Washington
From the the very beginning of our country we relied on Hemp production. Our own founders grew it and there were even municipalities that required it. Today we find ourselves needing to foster an industry that can literally provide for our services and create jobs, and Industrial Hemp can and will be that industry.
One thing that can’t be said enough is that Industrial Hemp is not Marijuana. Educating the public to the benefits of the plant is a must, and I can’t think of anything better than utilizing the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) own pro-hemp propaganda film, Hemp for Victory, produced in 1942 and released in 1943. While educational on the origins and benefits of hemp, it was primarily used to interest and instruct farmers in growing the crop for the war effort.
For years the existence of the film was hidden. Both the USDA and Library of Congress denied it had ever been made. In 1989 two copies were donated to the Library of Congress and now the video can be found all over the internet.
Our victory won’t come through warfare, only financial stability and individual and state sovereignty. However, in this climate of Federal expansionism, becoming self-reliant will be a fight; as it was for our founders. This time, however, it’s not going to be tea dumped into a harbor, rather it will be seeds planted in the ground that symbolize the independence of the people. Beyond the symbolism and show of resolve, the planting of industrial hemp can and will bolster our local economies and strengthen the entirety of the United States, if we would simply move ahead and plant.
Look for Josephine County, Oregon to be first. Stay tuned.