OPINION: Hemp can help Trump fulfill his promises

hemp
Creative Commons | The Daily Wildcat Hemp plant

The 2020 elections are approaching ever so quickly. While Democrats have failed to nail down solid candidates, Donald Trump has actually been working hard to secure votes from both sides. 

Trump, though continuing his usual antics of screaming "fake news" to try and get out of serious problems, has supported bills that have strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. An example of this is the First Step Act, a much needed criminal reform bill. Trump also took to Twitter with a new view Monday morning, stating the military budget is “Crazy!” and should be lowered. However, there is one bill Trump may sign that will make both far-left liberals and far-right conservatives happy. This bill is the 2018 Farm Bill: The bill that will legalize hemp. 

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On Dec. 12, the House passed the bill in a landslide 369-47 vote, according to Ag Web. Now, it's up to the president whether it will become law. Hemp contains cannabidiol, a compound with known medicinal properties. Hemp has a very small amount of THC (around .3 percent), meaning it is almost void of the substance that makes conservatives shake in fear. The seeds are rich in nutrients from omega oils to essential fatty acids. The plant can be spun into cloth; the pulp can be made into paper. Hemp concrete or hemp skin creams can boost the economy by creating jobs. This plant can do just about anything. Some Founding Fathers also grew hemp, giving marijuana’s straight-laced cousin a storied American history.

The hemp industry would give some troubled states the ability to boost their economies. Places like Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee will especially benefit from the legalization of hemp, due to the fact hemp is durable and hardy and produces high yields. Also, they say it can grow just about anywhere. Coincidentally, these states were also the states that received big promises from Donald Trump.

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Trump has not necessarily done anything to bring back the coal industry as he had promised. Other than rolling back some EPA regulations that benefit the heads of the companies, the workers (and former workers) of the coal industry have not found themselves in better positions. 

If hemp were to become a legal crop, these laborers would find themselves in an industry that is much more promising than coal. Hemp laborers would be needed year round in the fields, as the plant matures within 12-14 weeks. The industry would also open up many mills and factories to process the plant into various other products. In comparison to the coal industry, it is much less injurious to the health of the workers and provides better job security. 

Now, most progressives will realize, these positive bills do not outweigh the other stances Trump has taken, but Trump did not win by securing the progressive vote. Trump won the election because he appealed to the “forgotten”, mostly white working-class Democrats and Republicans in the South and Midwest. If he continues to support bills that will boost the economy in these states, he may once again steal a victory, especially if Democrats cannot produce a solid couple of candidates within the next few months. 


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