Marijuana plantations are all over the world. Despite the many attempts of authorities to eliminate them because of their illegal status, they continue to exist.
The demand for cannabis remains high particularly in certain countries that have legalized its use. Uruguay in South America was the first to legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana. Other countries that have followed suit include Argentina, Canada, the United States, Belgium, Columbia, Costa Rica, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine among others.
Uses of Hemp
Despite its negative connotation, marijuana provides environmental and economic benefits.
“For a long time now, hemp has been used as one of the ingredients in making many commercial products,” according to attorney Samantha Greene, a drug lawyer in San Diego. These include paper, textiles, clothing, construction materials, biofuels, plastic composites, health foods and organic body care.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that one acre of hemp is capable of producing more paper than one acre of trees. In addition, hemp can be used to produce various types of paper such as newsprint, stationary, cardboard, envelopes, toiler paper and computer paper.
Interestingly, hemp seed, fiber and oil continue to used today as raw materials by major global companies such as Ford Motors and The Body Shop. But since planting of marijuana is banned in the U.S., most manufacturers in ther country import their needs from Canada, China and Europe.
Apart from its commercial benefits, marijuana cultivation also provides benefits to the environment. Experts point out that small production of hemp actually provides a higher quality hemp and better environmental performance compared to high-volume production. They said that massive marijuana plantations result in poor quality and farmers also need to use chemical crutches. It is for this reason that small and medium farmers are not in favor of the so-called industrial agricultural method of marijuana production. They believe that by keeping their work and income local, they are better able to contribute to their region’s economy by putting money to schools, fire departments among others.
Other notable environmental benefits of hemp are its ability to grow in a variety of climates and soil types, it can resist most pests and it can grow even very tightly spaced. Compared to wood, it can also be pulped using fewer chemicals such as chlorine bleach because it contains lower lignin.
Recently, several bills had been proposed calling for more research on hemp and the removal of federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp. Since 1995 when the first hemp bill was introduced at the state level (Colorado), 31 states have followed suit and 19 have passed a similar legislation. So far, three states (Hawaii, Kentucky and Maryland) have already laws calling for the creation of commissions and authorizing hemp research.