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Hemp for Victory?

I figure this video will stimulate some potentially useful discussion. It features portions of an interesting WWII-era production, titled Hemp for Victory, made by the U.S. government to encourage U.S. farmers into the cultivation of hemp to fill the escalating demand for industrial fibre during the war. This was not too long after the U.S. had introduced, during the height of the Great Depression, the 1937 Marihuana tax, which had had the opposite effect. (It goes to show the power that government policies can wield in rapidly influencing social priorities.)

See more pictures from this village here

Today there are all kinds of economic interests and incentives stopping all kinds of appropriate technologies. Is hemp yet another casualty in the competition for our consumer dollars?

It’d be great to hear practical reports from readers who have experience working with the plant and who’ve produced useful products with it. Have permies out there found practical, viable and valuable uses and systems for hemp, the non-THC plant of the cannabis genus?


  1. If the United States was truly following that which was originally set up by the founding fathers it would probably be on our currency, we would revere it as the most useful plant in the world.
    “Make what you can of the Hemp seed, and sow it everywhere” – George Washington

  2. “Some parties have argued that the aim of the Act was to reduce the size of the hemp industry [6][7][8] largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family.” Wikipedia 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.
    If this is true its another depressing example of how the power/wealth elite corrupts the system for their own greed and stifles true free market competition.
    On the positive side hemp is being seen more often in garments such as T shirts. That video of the boot of a car being walloped with a sledge hammer is very impressive. Perhaps Hemp could be used for water storage tanks and as roofing material, the possibilities are endless.

  3. It’s not “all kinds of economic interests and incentives” that stop hemp from being produced (in the US). It’s government dictate that outlaws it. Period. Ron Paul has made hemp legalization a part of his current campaign.

  4. In the EU it is subsidised with payments per ton, even though very few countries use it because of lack of information and this illusionary controversy about cannabis. For instance in Spain the subsidy-money was taken by many so-called “cultivators”, they cultivated hemp (a certain strain given by the so-called “authorities”), and they dumped the final product instead of using it. Well…that’s a way to make money i guess. Now you need to give proof that your hemp will be processed by somebody (Fibres,Seed,Oil etc.)in the end. So there is again the Bureaucracy-Big-Time-Factor which makes it more difficult on the official level. But the reality is here in the EU, the biggest cultivator of Hemp is Romania, and noone of the more developed countries in the EU would bend down to learn from such a “underdeveloped” country like Romania about the benefits of Hemp.
    I am wearing a lot of Hemp-clothing because of comfort and endurance. But they are certainly rare here in a former textile-nation Portugal and of course more expensive than cottonmade clothing washed in blood and chemicals. This is just another thing beyond common sense.

  5. Thanks for the link George – although I was already linking to the full version in the first paragraph.

    Best regards.

  6. @ BehindTheMirrors, the use of chemicals for “softening” the fibers has been a major problem for hemp fibers to be used for textiles as well. But this problem is now solved, replacing chemicals with enzymes. See the video “Dr. Wing Sung on New Hemp Fiber”:

    The first Levis Jeans were made from hemp, and clothes of hemp are 3-10 times stronger than clothes from cotton. Further hemp can be grown locally, not needing to import fibers from far away. Even in Northern Norway they grew hemp before the ban.

    I also came to remember that if you twist a little hemp around the young cabbage plant, the cabbage fly will stay away, replacing the need of chemicals.

  7. @ Øyvind Holmstad thank you for the link, thats good news! The finished fibre product looks very fluffy! I hope they’ll use this technology, there are already so many inventions, especially in the renewable energy/fuel sector that have been pushed aside into oblivion… But nevertheless I always feel happy to see natural things that have prevailed over hundreds, if not thousands of years. There you go…Sustainable.

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