Hemp Hot In Intricate Jewelry

Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by SiN-Drome, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. The year is 1776, and Thomas Jefferson and a committee of men huddle over a draft of the Declaration of Independence. They painstakingly pore over the document that America would look to for the fundamentals of society.

    The year is 2003, and four teenage girls crowd around one of their friends who is struggling over a complicated square knot. What draws these two groups of very different people together?

    Hemp.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.

    Hemp was a part of everyday life for the Founding Fathers. To me, as I watch teenage girls weave a beautiful necklace at lunchtime, hemp again is part of everyday life.

    Hemp was used for hundreds of years in this country as a cash crop before it was outlawed by the federal government in 1937 as a result of companies that associated it with marijuana because they wanted to replace hemp with synthetic materials, according to Apparel Industry Magazine.

    Hemp and marijuana come from the same species of plant, but industrial hemp has only trace amounts of THC, the chemical that causes the high of marijuana. While it still is illegal to grow hemp in the United States, it is legal to import hemp fiber, which is becoming popular in fabrics and other materials.

    "Hemp is great!" says Hank McGraw, a former professional baseball player and California resident who is knowledgeable about hemp-based products.

    "It's a much safer way to deal with our environment. There are many usages for hemp, and you don't have to deplete the soil when you grow it because it requires less processing than other crops."

    Making hemp jewelry is a favorite pastime at the Academic Magnet, where I go to school. "Hemp can make lots of very interesting jewelry," says Meredith Benton, one of my classmates. "You can design different patterns in necklaces, bracelets and anklets."

    Not only is it an enjoyable activity, but the products are gorgeous works of art that we can wear and give as great gifts.

    "You can start with knowing how to make one simple knot, and from that you can make anything from glasses straps to belts," says Ilana McQuinn, a junior at the Academic Magnet. "I walk through Wal-Mart and I see purses that are made out of hemp, and I know that I can do that!"

    At this point, I hope you're so excited that you want to know where to buy hemp!

    Wal-Mart is one of the cheapest places to get it, but for a more personal experience, The Beaded Venus in Mount Pleasant sells hemp and decorative beads to weave into hemp jewelry.

    The next time you walk down the street and see someone sporting a piece of hemp jewelry, realize the time and effort it took to make it so intricate and beautiful.

    I admit, I'm no expert on weaving hemp, but I'm learning how to very slowly.

    Now, it's time for me to go practice my square knot. I hope you'll join me soon.
     

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