The 10,000-Year History of Cannabis


Bulletin No. 404 was introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientists Jason L. Merrill and Lyster H. Dewey. The scientists highlighted paper made from hemp pulp, which they deemed “favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood.”

As further noted by Jack Herer in his book “The Emperor Wears no Clothes:”

“The USDA Bulletin N. 404 reported that one acre of hemp, in annual rotation over a 20-year period, would produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres (17,000 m2) of trees being cut down over the same 20-year period. This process would use only 1/7 to 1/4 as much polluting sulfur-based acid chemicals to break down the glue-like lignin that binds the fibers of the pulp, or even none at all using soda ash. The problem of dioxin contamination of rivers is avoided in the hemp paper making process, which does not need to use chlorine bleach (as the wood pulp paper making process requires) but instead safely substitutes hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching process. … If the new (1916) hemp pulp paper process was legal today, it would soon replace about 70% of all wood pulp paper, including computer printout paper, corrugated boxes and paper bags.”

Unfortunately, mass production of cheap newsprint from hemp was abandoned by major corporations in the USA, who already made large investments in operational equipment for harvesting cotton, wool, and linen while neglecting investments in hemp production. The shadow of cannabis prohibition looming over the country only worsened the economic situation of the hemp industry.

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