William Randolph Hurst was an American newspaper publisher who built one of the largest newspaper chains in the country, from the San Francisco Journal to the New York Journal. But he used his power in journalism to launch an extensive campaign against hemp with a vengeance and a monopoly of timber acreage for his newspapers. Hurst had lots of help in destroying the hemp industry. Starting with Henry J. Anslinger, who was the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, to Lammont Dupont, who developed ways to develop ways to extract fuel and synthetics from wood pulp and patented it.The assault on growing hemp was in full swing. and with the FBI's help, these 3 powerful men lobbied successfully against hemp. After alcohol Prohibition ended in 1933, Anslinger and the FBI then turned their assault to hemp and any products that come from it.
There was also a dark side to their "demonizing" hemp and that was to go after the African- American population. William Hurst used his newspaper print, along with the county's immense prejudice toward blacks and immigrants by printing outlandish stories of "crazed" negroes under marijuana's influence-assaulting and raping white women, or lazy-immigrants (mostly Mexicans) smoking pot and thus the term was coined "reefer madness" which has stuck throughout the centuries , including today, 2013.
But that was then and this is now. So what is the hold-up in growing hemp now? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson to name a few, grew acres of hemp and it's uses ranged from making ropes to clothing and bedding to medicinal uses. Our country was founded on the cultivation of hemp and it is time to open up the books again to it's great uses. This country is at a stand-still right now, with lay-offs, GMO foods being produced, and massive amounts of our brothers and sisters incarcerated for growing, smoking or selling marijuana. We can invent new ways to use hemp, and bring back some old uses too to create needed jobs for farmers, jobs for industry, jobs for our young who are struggling to find work, etc. We are the ONLY industrialized country that does not grow hemp and that is the travesty of it all.
Many states now are considering other ways to bring jobs back to their states and boost state revenues. Viola-even states like Kentucky of all places, where the coal industry has lapsed and farmers are struggling. Now eight states have legislation in congress to be allowed to grow hemp.States like Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, Washington (my state) and West Virginia. With the passage of HR 525 (Industrial Hemp Farming Act 2013) along with the Senate bill 359, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp, we could be well on our way to digging ourselves out of this huge hole we are in right now-no jobs-no future.
For more info on marijuana or hemp legislation-please go to NORML.org for daily updates across the country and state by state.