Jack's Speech for Hempfest 2001|
The following speech was to be given at the World Hempfest in Eugene, Oregon on July 20, 2001.
It was written by Jack Herer, and we think you'll find it quite eloquent.
For over six thousand years, we all knew about hemp on earth. We all knew about hemp and its value as the number one annually renewable resource for paper, fiber, fuel, food, lighting, oil, and medicine for over 6000 years. Everybody knew about hemp and this knowledge was everywhere, on every continent, within every culture on Earth. We knew at every scholastic level, the educated and the uneducated, from the farm people to the townspeople, to the doctors and the scientists, everyone relied on hemp. Hemp is the king kong of king kongs of plant life. Of the 3.5 million plants on Earth, hemp is number one. It dwarfs all others in its ability to provide paper, fiber, fuel, food, and medicine.
75-90% of all the paper used from 100 AD to 1883 was made of hemp. Hemp paper lasted 50-100 times longer than wood pulp and was cheaper to make. Rag paper, containing hemp fiber is the highest quality and longest lasting paper ever made. It can be torn when wet but returns to full strength when dry. Books, bibles, money, stocks, bonds, newspapers, etc. have all been printed on hemp for as long as those things have existed in human history.
70-90% of all rope, twine, and cordage was made with hemp fiber until it was replaced by petrochemical fibers. Hemp fiber was used to make 80% of all textiles, fabric, canvas and lace until 1850 when the cotton gin and industrial loom technology replaced it. For the first time in our history as a species, light cotton clothing could produced at less cost that hand retted and hand separating hemp fibers to be homespun on spinning wheels and jennys. Hemp is sopfter than cotton, warmer and more water absorbant, has three times the strength of cotton and is many times more durable. Hemp lasts 10-100 times longer than cotton and is softer naturally than cotton. 50% of all chamicals used in agriculture is on cotton. Sounds incredible but its true, 50%. Hemp requires none of these chemicals. Why would anyone choose to grow cotton instead of hemp? Hemp has soft fiber and is the strongest on Earth. Hemp can be made into rope and lace and anything in between.
Hemp oil is more easily digestible by the body as food than any of the 3 1/2 million plants on earth. Hempseed was used in porridges, soups and gruels by all the world's people for six thousand years. Cannabis hempseed contains more of the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary for a healthy life, than any other plant on the planet. These essential oils are responsible for our immune system and clear the arteries of cholesterol and plaque. Hemp can be made into thousands of food products from flour for baking to oil for cooking.
Prior to the 1800's, hemp oil was the number one source for lighting oil. After the 1800's, it was second only to whale oil, but in 1859, it was replaced by petroleum and kerosene, even though hemp oils burn the brightest. Until 1935, even paints and varnishes contained 80% hempseed oil. It is non-toxic and useful as a drying agent. It has been used to make high grade diesel fuel, oil and aircraft and precision machine oil, and even vegetable oil. If hemp is grown for biomass, it can be converted to fuels such as methanol. Hemp is the best sustainable source of plant pulp for biomass fuel to make charcoal, gas, methanol, gasoline or even produce electricity. Hemp is the only plant on Earth that can solve our needs in a natural way. There is no other solution. All of the rest of the plants on Earth COMBINED can only provide 5-10% of the world's energy. If only 6% of the land in the United States was used to raise hemp as an energy crop and this was combined with wind, solar, tidal and hydroelectric power, enough energy would be produced to run this entire nation.
Hemp stems are 80% hurds which are 77% cellulose, a primary chemical feed stock used in the production of chemicals, plastics and fibers. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one ocre of full grown hemp plants can sustainably provide from 4-100 times the cellulose found in corn stalks, kenaf, of sugar cane. Currently, petroleum, cotton, and timber are the primary sources of cellulose.
As medicine, the use of marijuana goes back 12,000 years. It can be used as an inhalant, a lubricant, a digestible, even a suppository. This knowledge was so strong in the medical community that the American Medical Association testified against prohibition at the House hearings on the Marijuana tax act in 1937. The AMA was correctly concerned about the government denying doctors the use of a valuable treatment. And we have known for a long time the medicinal values of hemp/marijuana. It has been found to be effective in the treatment of glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, AIDS wasting and for the treatment of chronic pain, cancer, strokes, and many other illnesses, including simple nausea and anxiety.
For over six thousand years we have known about hemp and we have used hemp for paper, fiber, food, fuel, and medicine. We all knew about hemp and its tremendous value and then what happened? A conspiracy between powerful men to discredit and destroy this plant so they could make mony from timber and petroleum. They hijacked the government and passed a law and then replaced the plant with their poison. They caused hysteria. They made the people believe in a lie. They wielded the sword of fear to terrorize the people into submission and their tactics have not changed in all these years. They fill the prisons with our brothers and sisters. And they are killing the planet we live on and depend on. The continuing suppression of information by the government places us all in moral jeopardy. Here we have a plant that can save the planet by providing all of our paper, fiber, food, fuel and medicinal needs, all while reducing acid rain and chemical pollution and rebuilding the soil and reversing the greenhouse effect and the government of the United States says its illegal.
The role of hemp and other fibers should be determined by market supply and demand and not by the undue influence of prohibition laws, federal subsidies, huge tariffs that keep natural fibers from replacing synthetic fibers. Why is the government taking hemp away from us? Why is the government working so hard on hiding the information about hemp/marijuana from the people? I have never been taught about hemp in school in my lifetime. Has anyone at this festival ever been taught about hemp in the public schools of the country? Brothers and sisters, We have to end this government conspiracy. We have to expose this lie to the people and we have to understand that every day we allow hemp to remain illegal is another day closer to our extinction as a species. The lies and the silence that the government has been telling for over seventy years must end. We know and we have proven that hemp is the number one sustainable natural resource for paper, fiber, fuel, and medicinal needs.
And we hereby extend our $100,000 challenge to the government and the world to prove us wrong!
If all fossil fuels and their derivatives as well as trees for paper and trees for construction were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the greenhouse effect, and stop deforestation, then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the worlds transportation, industrial and home energy needs while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time... and that substance is the same one that has done it for 6000 years... Cannabis Hemp ... marijuana.
And we will give $100,000 to anyone in the government or outside the government to prove us wrong!
You know and I know that they can't prove us wrong. We are right, brother and sisters. The truth is on our side and I amk here to tell you today that we must take back this truth. We must take back this plant. And we must take back this planet so we can heal it. Every day that we allow hemp to remain illegal places us all in great mortal danger. Hemp is the only plant on Earth that can provide all of our paper, fiber, food, fuel and medicinal needs. That is why we hereby extend our $100,000 challenge to the world to prove us wrong!
Prove us wrong. Prove us wrong. Prove us wrong. Prove us wrong. Prove us wrong.