Hemp for Ethanol?

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Sun, May 25 - 6:07 pm EDT | 10 years ago by
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Hemp Farm in Ontario, CAInteresting 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.

Sources: DEA, Farm and Ranch Guide

Image: Newscom

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  • http://greenthinkingblog.com green thinking

    The major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, particularly in the industrialized countries. Developed countries must take the lead in achieving sustainable consumption.

  • Hilary

    Agreed. Now, how should countries do this, and how can we help make it happen? ;)

  • http://www.fashionpeaceblog.com Melinda

    I’m with you….convert waste to energy…and ethanol is not the final answer. Find better transportation solutions I say!!

  • Quest

    Hemp isn’t the complete solution, but it is part of the solution. It is utter maddness to use corn, which is a precious food resource, to produce ethanol. Hemp is the perfect short term alternative. I addition,… This is the 21st Century,…. The DEA would be acting like irresponsible fools to ban hemp. Instead of chasing their tails, they should think about what’s best for the future of this country.

  • Regis

    I find it hypocritical of people to say that any alternative fuel is not an answer. That there needs to be better transportation solutions. I say that’s hypocritical because most of the people saying this still drive cars burning petroleum base fuels. The markets are driven by demand, costs, and availability of products. Hemp is not the only answer but it is a good one. WAKE UP AMERICA! More people die from lung cancer from auto emissions that pot and ethanol emissions.

  • Hilary

    It’s easy to forget that we’re exposed to so much more diesel and gas-related emissions than those from ethanol. Exposure has a huge impact on how toxic something seems. I felt this was important enough to make a new post on ethanol risks. I was very surprised by what I found out.

    Thanks for your comments. :)

  • RISK

    Methane electricity from our garbage should be used to charge our electric cars, which can also draw from neighborhood grids which also contain solar and wind turbines

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