A New Reason Foundation Study—Illegally Green: Environmental and Economic Costs of Hemp Prohibition


Drug prohibition is stupid. Even stupider is a ban on a product because it's related to one implicated in the idiotic Drug War. Reason Foundation's Skaidra Smith-Heisters has a new study on the environmental and economics benefits of industrial hemp.

"There are numerous environmental advantages to hemp," says Smith-Heisters. "Hemp often requires less energy to manufacture into products. It is less toxic to process. And it is easier to recycle and more biodegradable than most competing crops and products. Unfortunately, we won't realize the full economic and environmental benefits of hemp until the crop is legal in the United States."

The study also points out

Not only has the government banned hemp production in the U.S., it is also directly subsidizing other crops that the study shows to be "environmentally inferior." Corn farmers received $51 billion in subsidies between 1995 and 2005; wheat farmers were given $21 billion; cotton farmers fleeced taxpayers for $15 billion; and tobacco farmers were handed $530 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies. 

The full study, Illegally Green: Environmental Costs of Hemp Prohibition, is available here. A short summary of the report can be found here.