from the drugwar
Here's an outline to a speech I gave on hemp. It gives a few reasons why (I think) hemp is superior to wood (see II-B), though keep in mind that the outline is a rough draft.
I. The first reason why our country needs industrial hemp is that it is an invaluable source of fuel in the form of biodiesel.
A. Hemp was the fuel that early engineers intended for us to use.
1. Rudolph Diesel invented the diesel engine with the intent that it would run on hempseed oil (NAIHC, 1997).
2. Hempseed oil was the primary fuel for automobiles for over thirty years after the invention of the internal combustion engine.
B. Hemp is a substantially more eco-friendly fuel source than petroleum.
1. We are currently experiencing the effects of global warming, and fossil fuels contribute to this phenomenon; hemp, however, does not.
a. Hemp fuel burns clean.
b. Petroleum produces sulfur, which causes acid rain.
2. While growing, hemp plants release oxygen into the atmosphere (Taiz & Zeiger, 2006).
a. This combats global warming by reducing the atmosphere’s CO2 percentage.
C. Hemp is the earth’s primary biomass resource.
1. Planting 6% of our land with hemp would satisfy our nation’s energy needs, eliminating our dependence on foreign oil (Earleywine, 2003).
2. Hemp can produce four tons per acre every four months (NAIC, 1997).
3. Hemp can produce ten times more methanol than corn (Earleywine, 2003).
II. Industrial hemp is the greatest source for fiber, working well as a textile and paper.
A. Compared to cotton, hemp is far superior.
1. Hemp has been grown for fiber and food for the past 12,000 years (NAIHC, 1997).
2. The fibers from hemp are stronger, longer, more absorbent, and more mildew-resistant than cotton (NAIHC, 1997).
3. Hemp fabrics block UV rays better than any other fabric (NAIHC, 1997).
4. Hemp produces more fiber per acre, needs less water and pesticide, and causes less environmental harm than cotton (Earleywine, 2003).
B. Compared to trees, hemp is the far superior paper.
1. Hemp can be recycled several more times than paper derived from trees (NAIHC, 1997).
2. Hemp typically produces between three and eight tons of dry fiber per acre (NAIHC, 1997).
a. This is four times more than an acre of trees (NAIHC, 1997).
3. Hemp paper lasts a very long time and does not yellow (NAIHC, 1997).
C. When desperate, during resource shortage experienced from World War II, our government re-legalized industrial hemp during the war, but then following WWII, changed the law once again, making it illegal to grow industrial hemp (USDA, 2001).
III. As a food source, industrial hemp is invaluable, being environmentally friendly and nutritious.
A. Hemp is an environmentally friendly food source.
1. Hemp is much more environmentally friendly to produce than the crops with which it would compete (Earleywine, 2003).
B. Hemp is a highly nutritious food source.
1. Hempseed oil is the richest source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the fats that are good for us (NAIHC, 1997).
2. Hemp is high in protein (NAIHC, 1997).
3. Hemp by itself can support diets of entire populations.
IV. High-Value Cash Crop
A. In 1938, Popular Mechanics published an article hailing hemp as the “new billion dollar crop.” Back in 1938, a billion dollars was a lot more than it is now. I’m not trying to push for people getting high—I’m pushing for what many strongly believe to be the answer. Our world is still warming, we’re still dependent on foreign oil, our economy is still failing, people are still going hungry, people still can’t afford clothes, we are still cutting down our forests, but we still won’t try something different. Over thirty other industrialized nations are enjoying the benefits of industrial hemp (NAIHC, 1997). Please, let’s be sensible. Let’s give hemp a chance.
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