Hemp for Victory is a black-and-white film produced in 1942 by the USDA outlining a plan to distribute 400,000 lbs. of cannabis seeds to American farmers with the goal of producing 350,000 acres of cannabis by 1943 — all for the war effort. The USDA even went as far as to urge 4-H clubs to grow at least half an acre, but preferably 2 acres of cannabis. All American farmers were required to see the film, sign a paper saying that they had viewed the film, and read a booklet on the matter. Farmers who agreed were waived from serving in the military, and all their family members were also exempt. They received farm equipment at a discounted price, and sometimes for free. However, before and after the war — the same plant was considered “demon weed” and the killer of the same kids that were pressed into service to grow it during the war. Furthermore, the USDA and Library of Congress denied the creation or existence of such a film until 2 copies were found and sent in to the Library of Congress. Talk about hypocrisy.
The film was made to encourage farmers to grow hemp for the war effort because other industrial fibers, often imported from overseas, were in short supply. The film shows a history of hemp and hemp products, how hemp is grown, and how hemp is processed into rope, cloth, cordage, and other products.
As it was made by the US Government, it is public domain and is freely available for download from the Internet Archive.
Before 1989, the film was relatively unknown, and the United States Department of Agriculture library and the Library of Congress told all interested parties that no such movie was made by the USDA or any branch of the U.S. government. Two VHS copies were recovered and donated to the Library of Congress on May 19, 1989 by Maria Farrow, Carl Packard, and Jack Herer.
The only known copy in 1976 was a 3/4″ broadcast quality copy of the film that was originally obtained by William Conde in 1976 from a reporter for the Miami Herald and the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church of Jamaica. It was given in trust that it would be made available to as many as possible. It was put into the hands of Jack Herer by William Conde during the 1984 OMI (Oregon Marijuana Initiative). The film 20 years later is now available anywhere through the internet.
This documentary covers a whole lot of ground. It deals with every historical and contemporary aspect of hemp usage and cultivation (mainly in the U.S.), which turns out to be a lot. From describing the production of a fibre much more durable and economic than wood, the documentary discusses hemps multilateral uses as e.g. food products, as a non-polluting fuel and as a pharmaceutical product with much less griveous sideeffects than chemical pharmaceutical products.
The film also investigates why America went from a country which produced vast quantities of the non-narcotic industrial hemp, to the complete ban on hemp production in 1938. This story in particular is interesting, and it points out that the large oilbased industries actually had a key role in the aforementioned ban. Food for thought!
How Weed Won The West is a 2010 documentary by writer/director Kevin Booth about Marijuana, the Marijuana-Prohibition, Marijuana-Business and the Legalizing Movement in the United States.
Plot: With California and the rest of the country going bankrupt, one business is booming. How Weed Won the West is the story of the growing Medical Marijuana industry, focusing on Los Angeles with over 1000 legal dispensaries doling out the buds. Following the story of Organica, a southland dispensary which was raided by state and federal agencies in August of 2009, the film shows that although much has changed with Obama in office, the drug war is nowhere near over. Kevin Booth, producer/director of American Drug War, picks up where the last film left off and continues his fight against the hypocrisy of the War on Drugs. Intended to inform and entertain, this fast paced and even sometimes funny film features Texas conspiracy guru Alex Jones, Ethan Nadelmann head of Drug Policy Alliance, and a host of amazing characters including a former LAPD narcotics officer who now thinks all drugs should be legal.
Grass: History of Marijuana is a 1999 Canadian documentary film directed by Ron Mann, premiered in Toronto Film Festival, about the history of the United States government’s war on marijuana in the 20th century.
The film places much of the blame for marijuana criminalization on Harry Anslinger (the first American drug czar) who promoted false information about marijuana to the American public as a means towards abolition.
The film follows the history of federal policies and social attitudes towards marijuana, beginning at the turn of the twentieth century. The history presented is broken up into parts, approximately the length of a decade. Each decade is introduced by paraphrasing the official attitude towards marijuana at the time (e.g. “Marijuana will make you insane” or “Marijuana will make you addicted to heroin”), and closed by providing a figure for the amount of money spent during that period on the “war on marijuana.”
The film is completely composed of archival footage, much of which is from public domain U.S propaganda films and feature films such as Reefer Madness made available by the Prelinger Archives. The documentary was narrated, free-of-charge, by actor Woody Harrelson.
Reefer Madness (aka Tell Your Children) is a 1936 government propaganda film demonizing marijuana – to ban hemp which competes with OIL! A hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, rape, and descent into madness all ensue. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and starred a cast composed of mostly unknown bit actors. It was originally financed by a church group and made under the title Tell Your Children.The film was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use. However, soon after the film was shot, it was purchased by producer Dwain Esper, who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit. The film did not gain an audience until it was rediscovered in the 1970s and gained new life as a piece of unintentional comedy among cannabis smokers. Today, it is in the public domain in the United States and is considered a cult film. It inspired a musical satire, which premiered off-Broadway in 2001, and a Showtime film, Reefer Madness, based on the musical.
Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the car itself was constructed from hemp. On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10x stronger than steel; Popular Mechanics, 1941.
Hemp seeds are 40% oil and can be used to create natural organic ethanol or methanol. Ethanol blends of 10%-15% blend massively reduces emissions. Pure Ethanol releases no black soot like how oil dirties car engines and exhaust pipes.
Farming 6% of the continental U.S. acreage with biomass crops would provide all of America’s energy needs.
Hemp is Earth’s number-one biomass resource; it is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in four months.
Biomass can be converted to methane, methanol, or gasoline at a cost comparable to petroleum, and hemp is much better for the environment. Pyrolysis (charcoalizing), or biochemical composting are two methods of turning hemp into fuel.
Hemp can produce 10x more methanol than corn.
Hemp fuel burns clean. Petroleum causes acid rain due to sulfur pollution.
The use of hemp fuel does not contribute to environmental pollution nor “global climate change”.
Hemp seeds are about 40% oil. Hemp is the single easiest, most economical, most ecological way to grow protein. Hemp is naturally high in omega-3 unsaturated fats, and has the most complete balance of essential amino acids (2nd only to soy – but not Monsanto’s GMO soybeans). Hemp can be grown at high altitudes, where it’s too high and dry for rice to grow; many mountain villiagers rely on hemp as their main source of protein (including Nepal where U.S. military funding was spent to keep the poor from growing their own food). We can even make biodegradable food containers, edible boxes, and water-soluble plastics for food packaging, tableware, and food storage.
Benjamin Franklin started one of America’s first paper mills with cannabis, allowing a colonial press free from English control. The oldest papers still around were from 770 AD, because Babylonians and Asyrians used hemp paper. Hemp is the longest lasting paper for archives and books because it’s a 2x-3x stronger fiber. Declaration of independence drafts were written on RECYCLED paper made from hemp rags. The Gutenberg Bible was printed on hemp paper by Johannes Gutenberg circa 1455, so was the King James Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.
Paper, printing paper, fine papers, newsprint, filter papers
Cardboard, organic biodegradable packaging
All plastics from cellophane to dynamite
Wood: 2x4s, structural wood, fiberboard
Cement blocks, stucco, mortar
Composites like the body for a Mercedes or a Stealth Bomber
Animal bedding, mulch, mushroom compost
USDA Bulletin #404 Hemp Hurds as paper Making Material said 4x more yield than trees for paper. On an annual basis, 1 acre of hemp will produce as much paper as 2 to 4 acres of trees. From tissue paper to cardboard, all types of paper products can be produced from hemp. Global demand for paper will double within 25 years. Unless tree-free sources of paper are developed, there is no way to meet future demand without causing massive deforestation and environmental damage. Hemp is the world’s most promising source of tree-free paper.
The quality of hemp paper is superior to tree-based paper. Hemp paper will last hundreds of years without degrading, can be recycled many more times than tree-based paper, and requires less toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process than does paper made from trees.
Thousands of products made from petroleum-based plastics can be produced from hemp-based composites. Mercedes Benz of Germany has recently begun manufacturing automobile bodies and dashboards made from hemp.
Australia is giving their national forests away by selling their trees for $70-$80/ton – while renewable Hemp would easily fetch $400/ton.
Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag from hemp. Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Van Gogh as well as most early canvas paintings were principally painted on hemp linen.
In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need to be cut down. Government studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs; Department of Agriculture.
Organic Cellulose Fibers
Best, most superior fiber
Longest strongest fiber in nature
3/4″ douglas fir vs.15′ hemp fiber
Stronger than steel
Lighter than steel
More breathable materials
Clothes last longer with less wear
Organic = safe non-toxic materials
Products Made From Hemp Fibers
Textiles: silk – carpet backing
Canvas wagons – “canvas” was derived from the Arabic word for hemp
FLAGS, clothing (soldier uniforms), parachutes
Old Ironsides had 60 tons of hemp for rigging, sails, lines + 25″ diameter anchor cable
Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) spoke on the Senate floor recently in support of industrial hemp growers’ declaration that May 17-23 be celebrated as Hemp History Week.Paul alluded to America’s long tradition of growing hemp, saying that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson engaged in such activity and that the Federal government encouraged American farmers to grow hemp to help the war effort during World War II.
He then went on to criticize the government for having outlawed cultivation of this crop, even though “in every other industrialized country, industrial hemp, defined to contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, may be legally grown.”
The congressman added that this policy makes it necessary to import all hemp products and materials resulting in “high prices, outsourced jobs, and lost opportunities for American manufacturing.”
In response to Paul’s statement, the sponsors of Hemp History Week, including Vote Hemp and Hemp Industries Association member companies, issued a statement saying they were pleased by his support.
Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, said Hemp History Week supporters plan more than 100 events focusing on local hemp farming history and the sampling of hemp products, hoping to generate 50,000 signed postcards to the Department of Justice asking to allow United States farmers to grow non-drug varieties of cannabis under existing state laws.