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Hemp for Victory: Watch 1942 USDA film encouraging farmers to grow crop during WWII

hemp cover 205x205.jpg
This week's cover story, "Green Acres," is all about hemp: its past (outlawed by the feds), its present (resurrected thanks to Amendment 64) and what advocates say is a promising agricultural future.

That past includes a push by the federal government during World War II to encourage farmers to grow the plant, which is a variety of cannabis sativa. Five years after the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 made doing so all but illegal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made a film called Hemp for Victory (on view below).

In it, a vintage-voiced narrator extols hemp as "the old standby cordage fiber." The nearly fourteen-minute film encourages farmers to grow the crop "as part of the war program" after the country's supply of imported fibers to make things such as ropes for ships and webbing for parachutes was cut off by the Japanese.

Jack Herer, the late author of the 1985 pro-hemp book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, is credited with discovering Hemp for Victory. Legend has it that Herer and friends found the film around 1989 in the Library of Congress archives after the federal government had denied its existence for years.

Below, watch Hemp for Victory, which is now widely available online. Also below is a video of Herer discussing his search for the film; that video also includes an excerpt from the 1936 anti-marijuana movie Reefer Madness.

More from our Marijuana archives: "4/20: Why CU's going without fish fertilizer to stop pot rally, but still closing Boulder campus."


Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at melanie.asmar@westword.com



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3 comments
HempCleans
HempCleans

Hello,
If you have questions about industrial hemp in Colorado, please take a look at www.HempCleans.com
Thanks,
Jason Lauve

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

If you're going to feature and reference Jack Herer for the Westweed puerile pot punks, at least get his most profound quote into print regarding taxes on marijuana:

"Not a Fucking DIME to the Government"  -- Jack Herer


CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

I am sorry Melanie it is clear that you got this story with no background.  Could you please spell out the exact way hemp is going to be revitlized by A64?

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