When looking at the historical facts, we see hemp is the earliest plant used for textile fiber. There is evidence of hemp, dating back to 8000 BC, found in what was ancient Mesopotamia, and is now Iran and Iraq. It has been told that the Chinese Emporer Shen Nung, of the Sung dynasty, taught his people how to grow and use hemp for cloth and over time, it spread throughout Europe. France, Spain, and Chile have been cultivating hemp for over 700 years, and Russia was even a huge supplier for hundreds of years.
Evidence was found that by the time the English settlers came to America, hemp had already been growing vastly throughout the US in the areas of land now considered to be California, Kentucky New York, Oregon, Utah, Texas, New England, Virginia, Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Missouri. Even though it was an amazing plant, it easily became overshadowed by cotton as hemp was much more labor-intensive when harvested. Once the cotton gin was invented, hemp became insignificant, as it was much more costly.
Then, in the 1930s we saw a shift towards petroleum and plastics and businesses saw a chance to make much higher profits, especially DuPont, who was threatened by the growth of hemp. In 1938, the machine was invented to make harvesting hemp 100x easier, giving it the chance to become the next “billion-dollar crop,” but DuPont, feeling threatened by the crop, lobbied against it, forcing unjust laws and regulations, and eventually leading to the complete termination of growing hemp. And since then we have been trying to undo these laws. Because of all of these laws, put only in place because of big money seekers, we have banished a “wonder plant” who can do so much for our planet. A plant that can not only be used for health reasons but also can be used to make paper, plastics, clothing, etc. Hemp is very versatile and much needed and as long as we can remember it has been around much longer than any of us, we can see from our past why our ancestors love it so much and utilize what the earth has provided for us. Thanks to the hemp farm bill and the supporters of hemp, we are much closer to normalization.