World War II

Our energy meeds are an undeniable national security priority. But first, let's look what Uncle Sam can do when pushed into action:

In early 1942, Japan cut off our supplies of vital hemp and course fibers. Marijuana, which had been outlawed in the United States as the "Assassin of Yourth" just five years earlier, was suddenly safe enough for our government to ask the kids in the Kentucky 4-H clubs to grow the nation's 1943 seed supply. Each youth was urged to grow at least half an acre, but preferably two acres of hemp for seed.

(University of Kentucky Agricultural Extension, Leaflet 25, March 1943)

In 1942-43 all American farmers were required to attend showings of the USDA film Hemp for Victory, sign that they had seen the film, and read a hemp cultivation booklet. Hemp havesting machinery was made available at low or no cost. Five-dollar tax stamps were available and 350,000 acres of cultivated hemp was the goal by 1943.

"Patriotic" American farmers, from 1942 through 1945, who agreed to grow hemp were waived from serving in the military, along with their sons; that's how vitally important hemp was to America during World War II.

Meanwhile, from the late 1930s through 1945, "patriotic" German farmers were given a comic book-like instruction manual by the Nazi government, urging them to grow hemp for the war.

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