As a quick note, I wanted to highlight another effect of legalizing hemp closely related to the subject of my previous post: savings in the federal budget, which could be used to lower the deficit, reduce taxes, or both.
The corn industry, as many already know, is the recipient of billions of dollars in annual federal aid. While Congress finally eliminated the $5 billion yearly appropriation previously allotted to corn growers (read: large agriculture companies) in 2011, that pork barrel “cut” is really just a ruse: in the same year, Congress awarded the corn lobby $6 billion in subsidies for corn-derived ethanol. (Source)
While these billions are arguably better spent reducing reliance on foreign oil than lowering the cost of high fructose corn syrup, they’re still billions wasted; hemp ethanol, were it allowed under federal law, probably wouldn’t require such subsidies to pay for itself. As noted in the previous post, hemp-derived ethanol can be produced much more efficiently than ethanol fermented from corn: while corn ethanol requires more energy to produce than it yields, Henry Ford proved the sustainability of hemp ethanol nearly 75 years ago.
There are times when government investment in sustainable technology may be a good idea, but surely everyone can agree that to spend billions of tax dollars on an inefficient solution makes no sense when an efficient, self-sustaining alternative is waiting in the wings. Federal law is the only hindrance.