Tags: Marijuana Legalization | legalizing | weed | hemp | environmental | benefits

Legalizing Weed: 4 Environmental Benefits of Industrial Hemp Cultivation

By    |   Thursday, 03 Dec 2015 07:17 PM

As many states consider legalizing recreational weed, lawmakers also are taking a look at the currently banned industrial hemp market. Industrial hemp can be used to make more than 25,000 types of products, while marijuana is known for its psychoactive properties and medicinal uses.

Here are four ways growing industrial hemp is environmentally beneficial.

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1. Limiting the need for deforestation: Currently 40 percent of the nation’s forests are used for timber that is processed into lumber, paper, and other products. This industry has a profoundly negative effect on the environment, damaging natural resources, and displacing animal habitats. Experts theorize that industrial hemp has the capability to replace many products currently made with trees, especially paper products, in a way that is much more sustainable.

2. Providing a renewable energy source: The U.S. is still dependent on nonrenewable energy sources, such as oil and gasoline. Industrial hemp can be used as a clean, renewable form of energy by converting it into diesel fuel.

3. Preventing pesticide pollution: When industrial hemp was outlawed, two of the products that primarily replaced it in the textiles realm to make clothing were cotton and polyester. These crops need extensive amounts of pesticides to be viable, creating pollution that can harm humans, animals, and other plants. By contrast, hemp can be grown in most types of climates and grows hardily without the use of pesticides, naturally withstanding common animals and insects.

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4. Supporting sustainable farming: One of the key methods for sustainable farming is the practice of rotating crops by season to keep the soil nutrient rich and allow it to be renewed between cycles of the same type of plant. Industrial hemp is an ideal crop for rotation. Not only is it much more profitable for farmers than traditional rotation crops like soybeans or wheat, it also leaches toxic metals out of the soil and infuses the earth with minerals, helping the soil be more habitable for the next plant in the rotation.

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As many states consider legalizing recreational weed, lawmakers also are taking a look at the currently banned industrial hemp market. Industrial hemp can be used to make more than 25,000 types of products, while marijuana is known for its psychoactive properties and medicinal uses.
legalizing, weed, hemp, environmental, benefits
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2015-17-03
Thursday, 03 Dec 2015 07:17 PM
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