USA decriminalises hemp
2018 was short on good news stories, but President Trump gave the world something to celebrate late in December, when he signed the 2018 US Farm Bill into law. One part of the Farm Bill decriminalised industrial hemp, at federal level, meaning that US farmers can now grow the crop without a complex licensing process, or fear of federal intervention.
Reefer Madness and all that
The Marihuana (sic) Tax Act of 1937 effectively made possession or transfer of marihuana illegal throughout the United States under federal law through the imposition of an excise tax on all sales of hemp. This act was brought in to criminalise the use of recreational cannabis, following the infamous Reefer Madness religious propaganda film. Many believe that hemp was effectively criminalised under this act so as to protect the paper and plastics interests of American industrialists. Whatever the truth was, hemp is now legal to grow, without the need for licences or advance tax payment. The 1930s were truly odd.
Hemp for sustainable production that helps the environment
Hemp built America, and much of the modern world, so it’s great to see this plant again taking the lead in the search for sustainable materials that can keep us in the lifestyles to which we’ve become accustomed, but without destroying the planet. An acre of hemp absorbs 10 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, while the processed plants can displace materials and foodstuffs derived from trees, oil and dairy cows. So hemp is the champion that can save the world. And it is truly awesome to see America again take the lead in mass cultivation of hemp.
This Wikipedia article has great detail on the history of cannabis in the USA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States
This article from Visual Capitalist has information on the 6,000-year history of medical cannabis: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-medical-cannabis-shown-one-giant-map/
Watch Reefer Madness, IF YOU DARE! https://youtu.be/esfKfTBGadg
Reefer Madness poster credit: By Motion Picture Ventures – posterwire.com direct link, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69820558