In regards to environmental sustainability, no matter the topic, the goal, the resource, industrial hemp is a solution to all. You’re probably thinking “yeah right, Taylor, how can one plant – one resource - be a solution to the multitude of our environmental problems?”. Few people are aware of all the benefits of industrial hemp. Otherwise, the ban of farming industrial hemp in the United States would be nonexistent. It is our responsibility to spread the word! Hemp is a solution to deforestation, acid rain, the greenhouse effect, erosion, pollutants, starvation, and fossil fuel dependence to name a few. Hemp farming would also provide jobs, increase revenue to our rural areas, and support local businesses. The #1 misconception about hemp is that it is marijuana. IT IS NOT MARIJUANA. Industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% of THC. Hemp is the strongest and most durable natural fiber on earth. As a fabric, it is softer, more insulating, more absorbent, more breathable, cheaper, and longer lasting than cotton. This resource has been utilized for over 10,000 years! Hemp can be used to produce virtually anything that is currently made of cotton, timber, plastic, or petroleum. The production of hemp is not a new concept for the United States. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Why are we not following our founding fathers’ lead? One acre of hemp produces as much paper as 4.1 acres of trees. It grows well in a wide variety of climates and soils. It requires no fertilizer or pesticides. Y'ALL, close to 50% of the world’s pesticides are sprayed on cotton alone. Trees take approximately 20 YEARS to mature. Hemp takes 4 months. Paper made from hemp lasts for centuries. Compare that to wood pulp paper that lasts for 25 – 80 years. Ready to be shocked? The first draft of THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION and THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE were written on hemp paper, with ink made from a hemp. The first United States Flag, made by Betsy Ross, was made from hemp fabric. In 1941, Henry Ford built a hemp fueled and fabricated automobile that weighed 66% less than a steel car and could resist impacts 20 TIMES GREATER without denting. Why are we denying a resource that had so much involvement with the establishment and history of our country? Hemp is the perfect source for fuel. Only 6% of the United States land would need to be dedicated to growing hemp to meet our country’s energy needs and end dependence on fossil fuels. Hemp produces more biomass than any other plant on earth, 10 tons in approximately 90 – 120 days. In 1937 Popular Science Magazine called hemp “the new billion dollar crop”. Then the “big money” companies and leaders fought against hemp to protect their interests. Newspaper publisher William Hearst led the movement to ban hemp. Hearst owned millions of acres of “prime timberland”. Pierre DuPont (sound familiar?) held patent rights to the sulfuric acid wood pulp paper process, made nylon rope and plastics, so guess what? He helped Hearst with his movement against hemp. Even after the ban, hemp was briefly legalized during WWII because of it's fast generation and superior quality. The United States government encouraged farmers to grow hemp. The parachute that SAVED former president George Bush’s life was made from hemp fiber. Why are we continuing to support big money interests? Hemp seeds are edible and very high in protein. Hemp oil contains the largest amount of fatty acids than any other plant known to man. Hemp oil can also create paints, varnishes, lubricants, cooking oil, make up, and the list goes on! Today we are allowed to ship hemp into our country from foreign countries, supporting other’s economies instead of our own. Industrial hemp is cultivated in China, Russia, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Spain, England, Poland, and many other eastern European countries. Why are we allowing our country to fall behind?? Hemp is viable, environmentally sound, and biodegradable in any form. Hemp can really change the world!! If you don’t take my word for it, please do research on your own. Friends, it’s time to wake up and make a responsible change.