Can Hemp Save Us From Global Warming? | High Times

Can Hemp Save Us From Global Warming? | High Times.


A report published by the Family Council on Drug Awareness, Europe (don’t let the name throw you –it’s a pro-pot organization) introduced the Cannabis Biomass Energy Equation (CBEE), a formula delineating the manner in which cannabis uniquely produces energy that is less polluting and less expensive than fossil fuels and uranium, and is therefore capable of economically replacing them.
One of the primary CBEE tenets is that hemp grows well in almost any cli- mate and reaches its maximum biomass yield in only four months, allowing at least two harvests per year producing 20 tons of cannabis biomass per acre, which in turn will generate 2,000 gallons of methanol to be used in biodiesel production.
The report also answers those skeptics who discount the extensive cultivation of hemp due to economic factors, calculating that only 6 percent of agricultural land in the United States would be necessary to produce sufficient cannabis biomass to supply all of the country’s current needs for oil, gas and diesel.
Even if that 6 percent turns out to be a lowball estimate and more land is required, given the fact that there are almost 600 million acres of unused land in the United States — with some 30 million of that total comprising agricultural land being kept idle by farmers who are paid nearly $2 billion a year by the US government not to harvest — there’s more than enough acreage for hemp cultivation to produce the required biomass.
Hemp for Victory: The Sequel
It’s been over 75 years since cannabis was outlawed by the federal government — but just a few years after deeming it illegal, the United States was forced to embrace the versatility of hemp with the onset of World War II (as immortalized in the 1942 US government film Hemp for Victory). Many would argue that global warming is the worst crisis we’ve faced since the Second World War, so it’s no doubt fitting that hemp could again be in demand — once legalized — as a crucial material to help combat the planetary threat of climate change.
While this needs to happen sooner rather than later, there are encouraging signs. Besides the ever-increasing awareness in the culture at large, there’s been action on the political front. The Huffington Post reported that more than 70 hemp-related bills have been introduced in various US states since January 2014—double the number in 2013.
The US Farm Bill, signed by President Obama this past February, permits any state to legalize the cultivation of hemp for research purposes, and the number of states who have done just that has now reached double digits.