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!
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.
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.
Groups hope to collect 50,000 signed post cards urging Obama and Holder to put end to industrial hemp ban. Jack Herer, ”the self-described Emperor of Hemp”, passed away nearly a month ago, but that doesn’t mean his dream died with him. Roll Call reports, “Hemp History Week might not earn anyone time off work, but Rep. Ron Paul still thinks it’s worth celebrating.”
The Texas Republican and erstwhile presidential candidate on Thursday submitted a statement to the Congressional Record recognizing next week, May 17-23, as Hemp History Week and urging his colleagues to pass legislation legalizing hemp farming. In the statement, which hemp advocates are touting as a big endorsement for their cause, Paul notes that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both grew the leafy crop.
Paul’s arguments focused on the potential economic effect of legalizing hemp — probably making for a stronger case than the beauty of those hemp necklaces found on the necks of half the attendees of any given Widespread Panic concert. “Unfortunately, because of a federal policy that does not distinguish between growing industrial hemp and growing marijuana, all hemp products and materials must be imported,” Paul said. “The result is high prices, outsourced jobs, and lost opportunities for American manufacturing.”