One of the biggest challenges that people have is dealing with fear, especially fear of the unknown. This was the problem with hemp years ago. Congress was concerned about law enforcement being able to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana, so instead of addressing the issue at hand, it slapped a blanket ban on hemp. This was in the year 1970.
Things are different today, given that we have been exposed to different schools of thought on the matter. A lot of research has come to pass, and with more information, wiser choices can be made. The interesting thing about the ban in 1970 is that hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 drug. For someone who doesn’t understand what this means, hemp was in the same category as ecstasy and heroin.
Strategic Steps Taken Towards the Acceptance of Hemp
It hasn’t been a smooth sailing experience for hemp on the road to acceptance. First, universities were allowed to research on hemp, alongside agricultural departments. For research purposes only, they were allowed to grow hemp, but in limited quantities. This led to the acceptance of hemp, and more importantly, realizing the benefits that hemp has to offer.
Apart from that, through research, Congress has had access to relevant and useful information, which prove just how amazing hemp can be, and the uses to which we can put it. At the moment, hemp is touted as one of the best natural remedies for many challenges that people deal with on a day-to-day basis, including stress relief. It was based on these progressive steps that the 2018 Farm Bill eventually came to be.
What Next after Legalization?
Legalizing hemp is not the end of the game. There’s still so much more that needs to be done. Criminalization of hemp in 1970 came with dire ramifications. There’s a negative outlook that people give the mention of hemp, something which shouldn’t happen in the first place. A lot of people cannot tell the difference between hemp and marijuana, and for a good reason too. Marijuana has a very high content of THC, the active ingredient that gives you a high. Hemp, on the other hand, doesn’t. Instead, hemp has CBD.
For more than half a century, hemp has been castigated and likened to marijuana. Undoing more than 50 years of perceptive misconception is not something that will happen overnight. Make no mistake, both hemp and marijuana are cannabis sativa strains. The big difference is that they have different biological features, and they’re also cultivated in a different way. If you’re keen, you will notice that even in appearance, they don’t look the same. Marijuana plants often grow too close to the ground, while hemp, on the other hand, has a thin, long and fibrous stalk, so it will grow relatively taller than marijuana.
A lot of progress has been made so far, especially when it comes to the acceptance and uses to which hemp can be put. Hemp is now available in different forms, like lotion and can also be infused in different foods.