Hooray for Hemp?

 legal-hempBiofuels have been proven to be cost effective and efficient since 1973. It is estimated that biomass produces 146 billion metric tons a year. Many new alternatives are emerging across the country and hemp is a potential. Hemp has the potential to be the number one biomass producer on Earth. 77% of the plant contains cellulose and cellulosic ethanol is the term referring to types of energy that we are familiar with. Cubing the plant can condense the bulk which reduces the cost and the amount of land used in the pyrolosis reactor which makes the fuel.

Hemp has promising potential because it is drought resistant making it easier to grow in dry regions across the country and is the only resource capable of functioning as an independent energy source. Although this seems like a great idea, there’s an underlying problem, it was outlawed in the United States in 1938. It is said that marijuana and hemp are of the same category, so the government made them illegal, but scientifically speaking you would need to smoke a 60ft pole of hemp just to get high. American farmers are now encouraged to apply for a license to cultivate hemp, but the Department of Agriculture rarely gives them out discouraging farmers.

The United States spends so much money on petroleum and coal exports that we are now feeling the effects of it in our economy. If the government were to legalize hemp, then the crop would provide us with a clean energy source, easier ways of producing cotton, a reduction on oil, and a better outlook on our future. To outlaw something with such great potential is completely absurd and its many uses can change the face of the green America.

-Nicholas Chan

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