Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hempsters: Plant the Seed (2009) R - 3 Stars

When most people hear the word "hemp," their immediate thoughts turn to it's cousin, marijuana. While hemp is a product of the marijuana family, it's not for smoking and getting high. It contains less than 1% THC - Tetra Hydro Cannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana that gives the "buzz." Instead, the industrial crop of hemp, that once fueled our nation, is banned from growing in the United States.

Since 1985, hundreds of thousands of farmers have lost their farms with approximately 500 farmers a week go out of business. The film follows small town farmers who have grown hemp for generations but now current and future generations are banned. 

I learned a lot about this plant from the documentary about it's usage and benefits on our growing society. So many products can be made from hemp, it 's really sort of paranoid of the government and public opinion to not bring it's production back to life. If hemp is grown anywhere that marijuana is grown, hemp will take over the drug plant weakening the strength of the marijuana plant. It looks totally different than the marijuana plant and these differences can be seen by flying over.

30 countries across the world regularly grow hemp to meet their agricultural needs. However, the mention of the product here is untouched because if it's close relationship with the drug.  In 1942, the US Military destroyed all seeds in Kentucky as part of the marijuana prohibition causing American farmers to be forced to grow other products like corn, soy and tobacco. We've seen how these huge corporations gobble up the small farmer , forcing them to only plant their patented seeds. Hemp, once  grown  for military rope and canvas, now effecting Indian tribes and the soil on their land, where exercising their sovereign rights has only brought in the DEA to destroy their only means of income.

The documentary starts in 1996 where actor Woody Harrelson is planting four feral hemp seeds in the lawn in front of Kentucky government building, Knowing he could be arrested and face jail time, this documentary follows his crusade in the hopes of drawing public attention to his environmental activist approach to reliance on foreign oil, and discovering efficient forms of energy. Harrelson joins other activists Ralph Nader, Willie Nelson, Julia "Butterfly" Hill, Merle Haggard and many more top open up societies eyes to the benefits of producing such an important product. I'm unsure where hemp stands in this year 2012 but I do feel if more people watched this documentary to lessen their fears of the plant, hemp would be brought back to live helping solve production relationships with our own people in our own land.

Cinema Libre Studios
Director: Michael Henning
Producer: Diana Oliver
I viewed 2/12

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