04 Apr US Military Wants to Start Using Hemp
The idea that the military might start producing hemp could be a strange idea to many. Truth is it isn’t the first time the United States Military has deemed hemp a useful product. You may or may not have seen a promotional video made by the United States Department of Agriculture called “Hemp for Victory”. This video was made during World War II and was meant to encourage US farmers to grow hemp! For good reason too. With the US entering World War II a crop as useful as hemp was necessary to ensure the military was well supplied against the Nazis.
Since World War II public’s opinion on hemp has changed a bit. The cannabis plant has been demonized with unfair stigmas since then and hemp has just been lumped in with its cousin. Nowadays, public opinion is changing for both the hemp and the cannabis plant. Many states have legalized cannabis and many more states are expected to follow. Hemp has been legalized nationwide and many states have already legalized its cultivation.
Today’s Military and Hemp
With public opinion and laws changing quickly, seems like the US Military is going back to its “Hemp for Victory” roots. The US Military is now teaming up with the University of Wisconsin. The purpose of their efforts is to research replacing imported polyester to hemp fibers in military vehicles. Wisconsin was the epicenter of fiber production during both World Wars. So chances are this isn’t the first time Wisconsin farmers have grown hemp.
Researchers at the University are working now to produce a textile that the military can then take and test to see if it can withstand conditions better that the polyester they have been using. There are also efforts by state lawmakers to pass legislation that would fund the project for $250,000.
“Let’s reposition Wisconsin as the No. 1 hemp fiber state in the nation,” said Paul Fowler, executive director of the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology at UW-Stevens Point. “Let’s make sure that we’re using the entire plant and all the potential that it has built in.”
The military is looking to use hemp for their vehicles seat belts, seat covers, and uniforms. The belief is the hemp fabric is going to be stronger and more durable. It will also be produced in the United States! Which means our militaries uniforms will no longer be “made in china”.