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Hemp History Week is an annual grassroots campaign event held every June that advocates for federal laws on hemp to be changed and to legalize industrial hemp farming. The campaign also seeks to educate the public about the many uses of hemp. The campaign consists of hemp farmers and hemp-product manufacturers and is endorsed by people like Dr. Andrew Weil, Alicia Silverstone, Jason Mraz, Ziggy Marley, and John Salley.

During Hemp History Week, volunteers across the country plant hemp, screen films, hold hemp conferences, sales promotions and educational seminars to educate people and lawmakers about hemp farming and products. The 9th annual campaign is scheduled for June 4 through 10, 2018. Hemp History Week campaigns for legalizing a free market for industrial hemp and petitions lawmakers to change the drug classification of hemp.

Congress Recognizes Hemp History Week

Did you know that the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper? Hemp used to be very popular for thousands of years and was widely used as paper in the United States during the Revolutionary War. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington all grew hemp, and George Washington grew hemp on all five of his farms. Lawmakers revisited industrial legal hemp again when a group of Senators, including Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), introduced the Hemp History Week bill. The bill passed June 8, 2017, but federal law still prohibits hemp farming. The recognition was still a victory for the Hemp History Week campaign.

Many farmers are cultivating hemp legally due to The Farm Bill of 2014, which allows states to legalize regulated hemp farming locally, and there is strong support from the public to lift the federal ban on hemp farming. Money talks and the hemp industry is worth $688 million dollars and its market value grew 25 percent last year. The rapid market growth has prompted entrepreneurs and other advocates to support lifting the federal ban.

The History of Hemp

Hemp originated in China more than 10,000 years ago. Emperor Shen Neng used marijuana tea to treat malaria, gout, and rheumatism back in 2737 B.C.

Hemp was the biggest industry in ancient China and large crops dominated the farmland. The ancient Chinese used every part of the cannabis plant including the root, leaves, stalk, and seeds. The plant was used for arrows, medicine, textiles, rope, paper, food, oil, clothing, and pottery. Paper was made by grinding hemp fibers and mulberry bark into a pulp, mixing it with water and drying it. A Chinese surgeon figured out how to use hemp as an anesthesia by mixing it with wine.

By 2000 B.C., cannabis was being used in India. They used hemp leaves, stems, and seeds to make a drink called bhang with spices, nuts, poppy seeds, and milk. It was to treat anxiety, phlegm, dysentery, diarrhea, and sunstroke. They also used hemp as an intoxicant. Because it was considered a sacred plant, Hindu monks used it to meditate.

Environmental Benefits of Hemp

Bees Pollinate Hemp PlantsHemp is an easy-to-grow crop that is environmentally sustainable, making it quite profitable for the agriculture industry. It requires no pesticides or petroleum to grow and needs little water. It is also a renewable resource that will reduce the country’s dependency on wood and petroleum. Fiber from hemp can replace packaging materials and plastics, which contributes to fewer containments being released into the atmosphere. It also produces a lot of pollen which makes it good for bees, and bees are needed to pollinate our fruit and vegetable crops.