As we enjoy the incredible momentum within the cannabis law reform movement, it's important to remember one of the founders of the movement. It's hard to imagine being where we are today without the life and work of Jack Herer.
While support for legalizing hemp's distant cousin, marijuana, remains controversial, hemp is not marijuana. Legalized industrial hemp production could emerge as a prolific cash crop and a clean-burning alternative fuel.
Given all of these benefits, why have Obama and the political establishment chosen to remain silent? The explanation has to do with retrograde and backward beliefs which have been hindering environmental progress for a generation.
Unfortunately the Obama administration has confused non-drug industrial hemp with marijuana and blocked American farmers from growing the crop. This outrageous policy has forced American companies to import hemp textiles.
It was then I learned something that I wish everyone knew about -- although I prefer it the way it is, because I get to be one of the 'knowing' few. I learned that vaporizing is basically the best thing ever.
Despite growing consumer demand for these eco-friendly and healthy products, the U.S. remains the only industrialized nation in the world that allows the importation and sale of hemp raw materials and finished goods, but bans its farmers from growing the crop.
At its core, the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp is a simple matter of agriculture and economics that has nothing to do with drug policy at all, and shouldn't even be tied to the otherwise raging debate about marijuana laws in America.
The subject of hemp has been mostly seen as a cause célèbre of the political margins, either the "hippie" Far Left or the libertarian Far Right. But public support for industrial hemp legalization -- particularly within the agricultural community -- is reaching a tipping point.