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Why Hemp?

YAY! Trucker Caps are made of organic cotton and recycled polyester, with a hemp/organic cotton patch. One size fits all.

We are proud to introduce YAY! trucker caps. Our hats are made of organic cotton, recycled polyester and the patches are a blend of organic cotton and HEMP! Why Hemp? Because we believe hemp can save the world! You may not know a lot about hemp and you may think hemp and marijuana are the same thing. They're not. Hemp got a bad rap back in the 1930s because it was a financial threat to the cotton, lumber, and chemical industries.
Is industrial hemp the same as marijuana? No. Even though they both come from Cannabis sativa L., the varieties that are used to make industrial hemp products (seed, fiber, etc.) and those that are used to make marijuana (flowering tops and leaves) are distinctly different. They are scientifically different and are cultivated in very different ways.
What is hemp? For our purposes, hemp is the plant called `cannabis sativa. There are other plants that are called hemp, but cannabis hemp is the most useful of these plants. In fact, cannabis sativa means useful (sativa) hemp (cannabis). Hemp is any durable plant that has been used since pre-history for many purposes. Fiber is the most well-known product, and the word hemp can mean the rope or twine made from the hemp plant, as well as just the stalk of the plant which produced it. Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed and fiber varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp has absolutely no use as a recreational drug.
Why was growing hemp made illegal? Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst led the crusade to ban hemp. Hearst owned millions of acres of prime timber land. A machine that simplified the process of making paper from hemp had just been invented. Hearst used his power as a publisher to create public panic about the evils of hemp and marijuana. Another big money player, Pierre DuPont, held patent rights to the sulfuric acid wood pulp paper process. In 1937, DuPont patented nylon rope made from synthetic petrochemicals. Along with Dupont's backer, Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, the big money people prevailed and near the end of 1937 Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. By placing a prohibitively high tax on hemp production it destroyed the industry.
What are the benefits of hemp compared to other food crops? Hemp requires little fertilizer, and grows well almost everywhere. It also resists pests, so it uses little pesticides. Hemp puts down deep roots, which is good for the soil, and when the leaves drop off the hemp plant, minerals and nitrogen are returned to the soil. Hemp has been grown on the same soil for twenty years in a row without any noticeable depletion of the soil. Using less fertilizer and agricultural chemicals is good for two reasons. First, it costs less and requires less effort. Second, many agricultural chemicals are dangerous and contaminate the environment. Hemp has been used to bail out many populations in time of famine. Unfortunately, because of various political factors, starving people in today's underdeveloped countries are not taking advantage of this crop. In some places, this is because government officials would call it marijuana and pull up the crop. In other countries, it is because the farmers are busy growing coca and poppies to produce cocaine and heroin. Hopefully someday the Peace Corps will be able to teach modern hemp seed farming techniques and end the world's protein shortage.

How can hemp be used for cloth? The stalk of the hemp plant has two parts, called the bast and the hurd. The fiber (bast) of the hemp plant can be woven into almost any kind of cloth. It is very durable. In fact, the first Levi's blue jeans were made from hemp for just this reason. Compared to all the other natural fibers available, hemp is more suitable for many applications. Here is how hemp is harvested for fiber: A field of closely spaced hemp grows until the leaves fall off. The hemp is then cut down and it lies in the field for some time washed by the rain. It is turned over once to expose both sides of the stalk evenly. During this time, the hurd softens up and many minerals are returned to the soil. This is called retting, and after this step is complete, the stalks are brought to a machine which separates the bast and the hurd. We are lucky to have machines today, men used to do this last part by hand with hours of back-breaking labor.
Where in the world is industrial hemp grown? Hemp is grown in Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine.
Is hemp legal to grow in the United States? Today in the U.S., hemp (meaning the roots, stalk, and stems of the cannabis plant) is legal to possess. No one can arrest you for wearing a hemp shirt, or using hemp paper. Marijuana (The flowers, buds, or leaves of the cannabis plant) is not legal to possess, and there are stiff fines and possible jail terms for having any marijuana in your possession. The seeds are legal to possess and eat, but only if they are sterilized (will not grow to maturity.) Nineteen states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia, currently have laws to provide for hemp pilot studies and/or for production as described by the Farm Bill stipulations. Eight of these states: California, Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia, sponsored hemp resolutions and have laws to promote the growth and marketing of industrial hemp.
Conventional Cotton Facts Cotton, a natural fiber, has been grown for millennia around the world and accounts for half the world's fiber consumption. But modern methods of cotton farming can hardly be called natural. The amount of land used to grow cotton hasn't changed since 1930s, but yields have been increased 300 percent through Hybridization, Intensive land management and use of chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers.
Organic Cotton Facts Organic Cotton is grown without the use of Pesticides, Fungicides, Herbicides, Swage Sludge, Irradiation or Genetic Engineering. It is certified by an accredited independent organization. Instead of these toxic chemicals, Organic Farmers use Beneficial Insects, Crop Rotation, Compost, Cover Crops and weed by hand or machine to build soil quality, enhance biodiversity and protect the air and water on which we depend.

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