But if hemp, a plant humans have relied on for centuries, is so useful; why is it illegal (especially since you can puff on it all day and it won’t get you stoned like it’s more-fun sister plant)? The quick answer is money. You see, other products came on the market, such as wood pulp and oil, and the companies behind them encouraged the U.S. to ban hemp; a major competitor, spreading ridiculous rumors about its effects.
All of this is ridiculous, of course. As SustainableHemp.com points out, “Hemp is one of the most diverse plants on the planet, and could literally supply most of humankind’s needs for fuel, food, clothing, building products, and medicine.”
But let’s drag our feet on legalization legislation, shall we? Let’s continue pretending it’s harmful and that our country couldn’t use the tax revenue it would collect if only our legislators would stop being so Puritanical. As long as we turn away from all it can do for us, we’ll continue to fuel “Mexican criminal groups” as the National Drug Intelligence Center puts it; waste money enforcing drug laws and imprisoning people involved in the trade while we continue to deny ourselves realistic alternatives to products that are harmful to us and our planet.