Interesting discussion over at RideLust.com on whether we should be using hemp for alternative fuels vs. corn.
In 2003, the United Stated Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published rules outlawing any product containing any quantity of THC unless it was medicinal in nature, or not intended for consumption.
THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, puts the wacky in weed, so to speak, but most hemp doesn’t contain enough THC to have an effect. Unfortunately, the DEA bases its rules on the Controlled Substances Act, in which Congress used the wording “any quantity” of THC. In other words, if you have a problem with the limits of THC allowable in products, take it up with your state representatives. While the DEA determines how this law affects you and me (for instance, by denying permits to grow hemp, which was once a very successful US crop) the law gives them that opportunity.
Legal issues aside, is hemp a good alternative?
Personally, I would have to say no. We need to be looking toward transportation methods that create significantly less pollution, and uses fewer resources. Ethanol just isn’t it, regardless of what it’s made of. As far as the cost of corn and grain goes, if farmers make the switch to hemp, they’d affect the supply of other corns and grains and still drive up the cost of food. (This is not to say I’ve jumped on the ethanol = starvation bandwagon.) Why not focus on converting garbage? We have plenty of that we don’t know what to do with.