This may sound strange. But this isn’t a blog post about the future. I always write about the future. Or I at least try to write about the future. But not this time. I know. It feels weird to me too.
This is a blog post about the past, sort of.
Let’s talk about a little archaic technology that went out of fashion during the last century. Not for good reasons, though. Most due to fear, the mega-millionaires, public misinformation, and general political apathy.
I like to read books. Real books, made of paper and ink and glue. Not eBooks. I don’t even own an eBook reader. Perhaps someday I will, but not now. Because I like to OWN my books. I like to mark them up, trade them, loan them, maybe even sell them someday. I don’t know.
You can’t do any of these aforementioned things with eBooks. ‘Owning’ an eBook is closer to leasing than buying.
But paper books do present a slight problem. They must be printed on paper, which is a non-renewable resource. You chop down a tree, make paper, and that tree is gone forever. You have to plant a new one and wait decades before it becomes usable. These trees are also providing us valuable oxygen. I like to read, but I also like to breathe. Call me old-fashioned.
Our world is quickly becoming overpopulated. We now have to measure our energy and material consumption in a unit called a ‘planet’. Meaning, that big, swirling, blue globe we’re all riding upon.
But I still want to read books. On paper.
Now that we’re getting real about marijuana laws, it’s time to get real about hemp as well. Growing hemp has been banned in the US since 1937. Many subsequent attempts to put hemp back into the hands of farmers have failed. The questionable war on drugs should not impact a person’s right to grow hemp.
Hemp is the harmless cousin of marijuana. In many industrialized cultures that grow hemp, the THC (which is the active ingredient that makes smoking it mind-altering) is bred out of it. I know you’ve seen the list of countless things that can be made with hemp like rope and cooking oil and beer. I won’t recount them here.
But printing books on hemp paper and not on tree paper would make them a renewable resource. And I wouldn’t feel so awful needing so many books.
What can we do?
Several states are moving forward to enact legislation that would make growing hemp legal. But it’s still illegal
How about a new slogan? “Trees are for breathing. Hemp is for reading”.
It could work.
But mostly, you can support hemp. You can sign online petitions. If someone is grabbing signatures outside the grocery store, you can write your name. It’s easy, it’s painless, and maybe we can have books printed on a renewable resource.
So, join the movement. It’s reasonable, it’s long overdue, and it’s literate.
What more could you need?
Hemp is the future.