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Ron Paul & Hemp for American Farmers

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Uploaded on Jul 19, 2007

[Economist articles in description - Ron Paul mentioned in one]
A video consisting of an US Government history lesson about hemp which leads into an argument for hemp and then Ron Paul's Hemp legislation. Hemp has the potential to be a huge boon for American farmers and the US economy all while helping the environment and improving US security by lowering our reliance on foreign oil...and Ron Paul is the only candidate in favor of legislation to allow American Farmers to grow it.

Music
Artist - The Whitest Boy Alive
Song - Golden Cage

(Economist - 6/23/07)
Nowadays farmers are banned from growing hemp without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which usually refuses to grant one. So many hemp products in America—food, lotions, clothing, paper and so forth—are imported from China or Canada, where farmers have been allowed to grow hemp commercially since 1998.

Hemp grows so easily that few pesticides or even fertilisers are needed. "Feral" hemp is said to grow by the roadside in Iowa and Nebraska. Barbara Filippone, owner of a hemp fabric company called Enviro Textiles, says demand has rocketed—sales are growing by 35% a year. Nutiva, a California-based hemp company that sells hemp bars, shakes and oils, saw sales rise from under $1m three years ago to $4.5m last year. "Hemp is the next soy," predicts John Roulac, Nutiva's founder.

American farmers would love to grow hemp. North Dakota, which in 1999 became the first state to allow industrial hemp farming, has taken the lead. This week two farmers from the state filed a lawsuit to force the DEA to issue permits to grow hemp; the farmers had applied for permits back in February, thus far to no avail. Ron Paul, a Texas congressman and presidential candidate, could win over farmers in Iowa because of his pro-hemp lobbying. In February he introduced a bill in Congress that would allow Americans to grow it.

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(Economist - 7/14/07)
Nancy Pelosi, the new speaker of the House of Representatives, set up a special committee to come up with a solution to the nation's energy woes by July 4th, so that America's new political masters could declare "energy independence" on the same day their forebears renounced the colonial yoke.
But July 4th has come and gone, Ms Pelosi as yet has no energy bill and America is still just as firmly yoked to expensive, dirty, imported energy as ever. The price of oil is near the nominal record reached last year, and petrol costs well over $3 a gallon. Not only have the Democrats shelved any plan for limiting greenhouse emissions; they have also embraced two of Mr Bush's more pernicious ideas: using greenery as an excuse to dole out subsidies to ungreen lobbies; and claiming a bogus link between climate change and energy independence.

Sadly, however, the Senate's energy bill weds sensible steps on fuel economy and energy efficiency with all manner of less helpful, populist measures, including new anti-price-gouging rules aimed at big oil companies and hand-outs for farmers in the form of new incentives for expensive (and ungreen) corn-based ethanol.

The Democrats hold at least two suspect truths to be self-evident. Most obviously, they think that politicians should micro-manage energy policy, encouraging some technologies and neglecting others. That ignores most of the lessons of economics, but it is decidedly well grounded compared with the Democrats' other verity: that slowing global warming and reducing dependence on imported fuels go hand-in-hand. What sense does it make to give preference to American ethanol over the cheaper and more climate-friendly Brazilian sort? (Indeed, if you embrace the goal of "energy security", bigger imports of Brazilian ethanol might help, by reducing America's demand for oil from more hostile lands.)

The Democrats' leaders might calculate that it is worth dressing up an energy bill with patriotic talk and weighing it down with subsidies in order to buy political support for more contentious measures.

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