Hemp is not marijuana. Literally millions of wild hemp plants currently grow throughout the United States. Wild hemp, like hemp grown for industrial use, has no drug properties because of its very low THC content.
Hemp fiber is stronger and softer than cotton, lasts twice as long as cotton, and will not mildew - 1 acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as 2 to 3 acres of cotton.
Hemp is frost tolerant, requires only moderate amounts of water, requires no pesticides, and grows in all 50 states.
Global demand for paper will double within 25 years. Unless tree-free sources of paper are developed, there is no way to meet future demand without causing massive deforestation and environmental damage. Hemp is the world's most promising source of tree-free paper - 1 acre of hemp will produce as much paper as 2-4 acres of trees.
Thousands of products made from petroleum-based plastics can be produced from hemp-based composites. Mercedes Benz of Germany has recently begun manufacturing automobile bodies and dashboards made from hemp.
It takes years for trees to grow until they can be harvested for paper or wood, but hemp is ready for harvesting only 120 days after it is planted.
Hemp can be used to produce fiberboard that is stronger than wood, lighter than wood, and fire retardant.
Fibers needed to make rope, textiles and other materials were in such short supply during World War II, the U.S. government temporarily re-legalized hemp cultivation so American farmers could grow it for the war effort.
Hemp and Marijuana were grown legally in the US for 162 years. Shortly before marijuana was banned by The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, new technologies were developed that made hemp a potential competitor with the newly-founded synthetic fiber and plastics industries. Hemp's potential for producing paper also posed a threat to the timber industry. Evidence suggests that commercial interests having much to lose from hemp competition helped propagate reefer madness hysteria, and used their influence to lobby for Marijuana Prohibition. It is not known for certain if special interests conspired to destroy the hemp industry via Marijuana Prohibition, but enough evidence exists to raise the possibility.