April 20, 2010

National Hemp Day

It is April 20 (4/20). In honor of the this date I propose we make this National Hemp Day to raise awareness of this valuable cash crop which is illegal to grow in the United States. It is illegal to grow hemp because law enforcement has a hard time distinguishing this plant from its intoxicating cousin. Hemp products are not illegal, hemp food and textiles are available everywhere.

I become aware of hemp products while researching my problems with eczema. In previous years my eczema would flair up in the spring, and I would take olive oil to help ease the itching, but I still had problems. I heard that Hemp Seed Oil was a natural cure for this itchy rash problem. It worked better than I thought it would. This is the first spring in ten years I've not had any problems (knock on wood) . I know it may be psychosomatic, whatever works. The oil is kind of expensive, $20 for 24 ounces, but I found a place online that sells organic hemp seed oil for half the price of the Natural Food stores. I also love the nutty flavor. I use the oil on my vegetables and to make popcorn. It stores well in the refrigerator and does not become thick. If used in cooking, use only low temperatures.

I also use a milk like product and a protein supplement made from hemp seeds. The milk is quite good on cereal. The protein powder I use when I make chocolate/banana/strawberry smoothies protein shakes. It doesn't dissolve and adds a nutty flavor to the drink. They also make a nut butter from the seeds which I haven't tried yet. Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritionally complete foods available.

Hemp can also be used to make textiles for clothing. It is a superior fiber to cotton, stronger and longer lasting. During WWII farmers were allowed to grow hemp to make rope for the military because of its superior strength.

It is natural bug resistant crop so pesticides are not needed, and grows well in different types of climate.

It is unfortunate the farming of this important crop is not allowed in this country, fortunately other countries don't have such shortsighted laws. I can't believe it is illegal to grow certain plants in the U.S and we have to waste the benefits of this plant for farmers and consumers.

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