John Trudell was many things over his lifetime: an author, poet, actor, musician and activist. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with John before his journey to the spirit world on December 8, 2015. My hope for this interview is to help keep alive his message and passion about the benefits of industrial hemp and what he called “Earth Medicine.”
We met at the Green Festival in Los Angeles, California, where he took to the main stage to speak about the many uses of hemp (over 30,000 known products can be produced from hemp!) and about his organization. John co-founded “Hempstead Project Heart” (HEART being an acronym for Hemp Energy Alternative Resource Technologies). Hempstead Project Heart’s mission is to raise awareness on the many benefits of hemp for the planet and people. Through collaborations, arts and music, they work to elevate public consciousness about hemp as a basis for a healthy green economy and to get people talking about hemp.
“Hemp is a practical plant that would help us address the environmental reality that we’re in as well as generate a new alternative economic reality,” John told me.
There’s a misconception about what hemp really is. If you bring it up, people automatically think of recreational or medicinal marijuana. The goal is for people to start thinking about the practical uses of what is called “industrial hemp.” It’s environmentally friendly to the earth, it generates oxygen and grows abundantly with no pesticides needed and very little water.
“Its economic growth is endless because it has so many uses,” said John. “It can feed us, shelter us, clothe us, give us fuel, etc. It serves every industrial need that we have in these contemporary times.”
Although hemp and marijuana are both part of the cannabis plant family, the difference is that the marijuana cannabis plant carries the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. Hemp has very low levels of THC.
I’m very familiar with that misconception, because when I mention hemp products to my mother, like hemp milk or hemp seeds, she says “you can’t eat that!” I say, “Mom, you’re thinking of something else.” I even have hemp clothes. The top I’m wearing in the interview is from Vital Hemp, a hemp clothing company. This is just another way mankind must “unlearn what they’ve learned.” Hemp could do so much for us and our country. Currently it is legal to buy hemp products, but illegal to grow hemp in the US, and has been since 1937. Hopefully with John Trudell’s message and the activists and lobbyists that will follow, hemp will be a part of our sustainable, economic growth.
“If we introduced hemp back into our living reality, it would be very beneficial to us,” he said. I think you’re onto something Mr. Trudell #votehemp
What are your thoughts on hemp?
To learn more go to:
- Hempstead Project H.E.A.R.T.
- The Hemp Industries Association
- Info on the environmental and economic benefits of hemp: http://www.nemeton.com/static/nemeton/axis-mutatis/hemp.html
- To find a Green Festival in your area: http://www.greenfestivals.org
Facts About Hemp
FACT: No tree or plant species on Earth has the commercial, economic and environmental potential of hemp.
The potential of hemp for paper production is enormous. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, one acre of hemp can produce four times more paper than one acre of trees! All types of paper products can be produced from hemp: newsprint, computer paper, stationary, cardboard, envelopes, toilet paper, even tampons.
Hemp produces more biomass than any plant that can be grown in the U.S. This biomass can be converted to fuel in the form of clean-burning alcohol, or no-sulphur man-made coal. Hemp has more potential as a clean and renewable energy source than any crop on earth! It’s estimated that if hemp was widely grown in the U.S. for fuel/energy, it could supply 100 percent of all U.S. energy needs!
Hemp was NOT banned because it was a harmful drug. Hemp was banned because it was a competitive threat to the wood products industry, and newly developed synthetic fibers that were patentable, among others, and therefore more profitable than hemp. Corporations that profited from the demise of hemp propagated a smear campaign against hemp by claiming that marijuana use was a major drug problem (it was not) and that marijuana use caused people to become extremely violent – another falsehood. Unfortunately, these false claims went unchallenged and Congress outlawed hemp in 1937. Unfortunately, millions of Americans still believe the lies spread about marijuana/hemp.