Industrial Hemp: Building a Sustainable Future
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The hemp plant has been used throughout the world since ancient times. In the United States, there is a rich cultural and political history associated with this hearty and prolific plant. It is only in the past century that its value has been questioned and cast aside in the name of greed, corruption and immorality. The prohibition of industrial hemp that was instituted in 1957 is currently interfering in the evolution of what could be the preferred material for sustainable building. Traditional building materials such as concrete, fiberboard, and insulation are detrimental to the environment for several reasons, not the least of which is their carbon footprint. Hemp concrete, hemp fiberboard and hemp insulation are poised to become some of the most preferred, and economical, building materials of environmentally-conscious consumers worldwide. Unfortunately, archaic legislation still stands in the way of its mass production and industrial use in the United States. This ban is not just an environmental travesty, but also an economic one, as money for hemp products is pouring into other countries as U.S. farmers face financial hardship. Though progress has been made in recent years, the time has come to fully lift the federal ban on hemp cultivation, processing, and sales in this country.