By John E. Dvorak, Hempologist

The U.S.S. Constitution is one of this country's national treasures. In addition to having the distinction of being the world's oldest commissioned warship, Constitution never lost a battle during her legendary career. Almost two feet of solid oak, live oak, and fir were used to construct the hulls that rendered cannon balls useless against "Old Ironsides". The namesake of the last remaining Constitution-class frigate was originally outfitted with cannabis hemp sails and over 60 tons of cannabis hemp rigging. Constitution's most recent restoration was planned with an eye on her 200th birthday. On July 21, 1997, Constitution sailed off of Marblehead, MA under her own power for the first time in 116 years. The fact that little, or possibly no, "true" cannabis hemp was used during Constitution's restoration mars the celebration of this historic event. I wanted to know why this American icon wasn't being restored in a historically accurate manner. Chris Conrad (author of the new book, Hemp For Health) summed up my feelings about this when he said, "that's not restoring it, that's defacing it". Chris also pointed out that Disney is using hemp in some of its exhibits and historical simulations at Disneyland. If the restoration of Constitution is not a "Mickey Mouse" operation, we'd like to know; WHERE'S THE HEMP!?!

Was this oversight a conspiracy by an evil industrial/political cabal, who, for over 60 years, have plotted and schemed to prevent cannabis hemp from being used to provide innumerable eco-friendly products? Evidence of this exists in the March, 1997 issue of Buzz Magazine, where DEA special agent, Abel Reynoso, was quoted as saying "Nobody cares about the environmental uses of hemp. That's taking us back to the Stone Age. . . Whatever product you can make from hemp, DuPont will come out with a synthetic fiber to replace it." While petroleum products seem inexpensive, their true costs are being passed on to the environment and humanity when the negative aspects of petroleum exploration, refining, consumption, and dependence (i.e., The Gulf War) are factored in.

Unfortunately for historical (and hemp) purists, a lack of demand caused the production of marine grade (K1) hemp fiber to cease. However, thanks to the efforts of Don Wirtshafter (800-BUY-HEMP) and others, it is once again being produced. The individuals responsible for the rebuilding of one of Holland's most historic ships, the Batavia, are using cannabis hemp oakum and cordage. As is the case with Holland's tolerance toward the personal use of cannabis, America should well consider adopting a new attitude toward the use of historically (and environmentally) correct materials over cheap, toxic replacements. If the masters of deception and fantasy (Disney) use hemp, why can't the United States Navy? Where's the Hemp?!? Please contact the Charlestown Navy Yard and politely ask them to consider using true cannabis hemp in any future restoration projects of Constitution.