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Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution Paperback – March 28, 2014
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“Fine covers a remarkable amount of ground in his book, so much so that it’s hard to believe that he does it in fewer than 200 pages. He talks to a dizzying variety of people who have special knowledge and experience, whacks his hand on a tractor hood made from hemp, and drops in plenty of historical facts for context. (Humanity has an 8,000-year history with this plant.) If you need a crash course in a commodity that could well turn American agriculture on its head over the next few years, look no further.”
"Little noticed on the sidelines during the recent media controversy over Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana was a groundbreaking movement in Congress to lift a decades-long ban on the popular intoxicant’s psychoactively inert cousin, hemp. As elucidated in this witty and informative overview of hemp’s enormous agricultural potential, New Mexico-based author and radio reporter Fine argues that not much has ever made sense about the stigma U.S. lawmakers have heaped upon this incredibly versatile plant since it was made illegal back in 1937. Although it bears a strong resemblance to the smokable form of cannabis, hemp is almost completely lacking in THC, the ingredient that bestows marijuana’s much sought-after ‘high.' Hemp’s incredibly strong internal fibers have been used in making everything from rope and paper to durable clothing and eco-friendly housing. In 11 engaging, myth-busting chapters bearing titles such as 'Grow Your Next Home' and 'Patriots Ponder Planting,' Fine makes clear that hemp legalization, assuming it happens, could both boost the American economy and spawn a mini hemp based industrial revolution.”
“Hemp Bound is informative, entertaining, and chock full of stories about hemp farmers, wannabe hemp farmers, passionate activists, and savvy business people. It is a fun book to read and hopefully, alongside aggressive legalization at the state level, it will help break down the roadblocks to production that the cotton, vegetable oil, plastics, lumber, and paper corporations constructed and maintained since shortly after the Second World War. Doug Fine is right: this incredible plant could be a boon to large and small farmers and rural communities―one that we have been prohibited from growing in this country for more than fifty years. Hemp’s time has come again.”--Will Allen, organic farmer; author, The War on Bugs
“In Hemp Bound, Doug Fine convincingly describes the proven value and amazing potential of the nonpsychoactive variety of the cannabis plant. You can eat it, drink it, read it, tie it, wear it, drive it, live in it, and make money growing it, all while saving the soil and protecting the climate. This is an important story, engagingly told.”--William Martin, senior fellow, drug policy, Rice University’s Baker Institute
“If ever anyone needed proof that government meddling in markets is injurious to innovation, Hemp Bound dispels all doubt. With science and humor, Fine paints an alternative and optimistic future―one that makes growing hemp seem as exhilarating and necessary as clean air. Fine’s style and storytelling ability make this one of the most fun books you’ll ever read about the future of farming.”--Joel Salatin, author of Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal
“Doug Fine’s engrossing and eye-opening book reveals hemp’s role as a new source of food, energy, and raw materials. This absurd war on one of the world’s most useful plants is about to end, and everyone can declare victory.”--Mark Frauenfelder, founder, Boing Boing
“Hemp is our ancestral ally, one that long provided us with food, shelter, clothing, and medicine. Hemp Bound reveals that now is the time to remember this alliance with hemp after years of prohibition, and that although it won’t save us, it can help us. That’s what earth medicine does.”--John Trudell, poet, recording artist, actor, activist, and cofounder of Hempstead Project HEART
"What might come back along with legalized pot? Only one of the strongest, most versatile plants in the world: hemp. In his latest, self-described “comedic investigative journalist” Fine (Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution, 2012, etc.) focuses on the enormous potential applications for industrialized hemp. As the author ably explains, the plant is the government-designated name for all strains of cannabis that have negligible amounts of THC, meaning it can’t get you high. However, it can be used as a wildly strong fiber; when the U.S. government passed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, suddenly the U.S. Army found itself lacking in decent ropes. It can also create incongruous benefits, like creating nutritious products based on its oil, and can even be used as a potential energy source. To prove his point, Fine chronicles his trips across North America, visiting and profiling entrepreneurs, advocates, farmers and innovators. In Denver, he took a test drive in a hemp oil–powered Mercedes-Benz; in Winnipeg, Canada, he visited a factory where enthusiasts are crafting composite materials from hemp that could potentially be used in automobiles, airplanes or industrial tools like tractors. The author also makes the point that the United States is the largest market for Canada’s thriving hemp industry, which is regulated smoothly and profitably by its government. Fine is, of course, an accidental activist, too, but it’s hard not to admire his enthusiasm. A short, sweet, logical and funny argument for the potential of one of the world’s most dynamic cash crops.”
“The issue is simple: farmers need hemp, the soil needs hemp, forests need hemp, and humanity needs the plant that the good Lord gave us for our own survival―hemp. The benefits are too many to name, but if hemp was a crop that could be monopolized by industrial Ag corporations it would already be legal. Hemp Bound tells us with detail and humor how to get to the environmental Promised Land. Doug has created a blueprint for the America of the future.”--Willie Nelson
“I never dreamed industrial hemp had so much promise until I read Doug Fine's Hemp Bound. The book is not only fun to read, but it passes along fascinating insights about a farm crop that produces many food and fiber products and is adapted to areas where corn and soybeans are rarely profitable. As the author points out with gracious good humor, industrial hemp is not medical marijuana, and it should become a major farm crop in America as it has elsewhere.”--Gene Logsdon, author of Gene Everlasting and Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind
About the Author
Doug Fine is a comedic investigative journalist, bestselling author, and solar-powered goat herder. He has reported from five continents for The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, The New York Times, Outside, National Public Radio, and U.S. News & World Report. His work from Burma was read into the Congressional Record (by none other than pro-hemp Senator Mitch McConnell), and he won more than a dozen Alaska Press Club awards for his radio reporting from the Last Frontier. Fine is the author of three previous books: Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution; Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living; and Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man. A website of his print work, radio work, and short films is at www.dougfine.com. Twitter: organiccowboy.
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It's a recommend read all who are specialists. Thank you Amazon.com.
The author has a very folksy, cheeky writing style, which is fine as a general rule but for me it got a bit stale by the end. The book reads more like a travelogue.
The big problem is that I didn't really lean much more than what you get from the abstracts. For example, it would bee good to know WHY are hemp fibers so strong?? What is it about natural conditions that favored the evolution of such long and strong fibers so useful in so many applications? A bit of basic quasi-chemistry would go a long way here. How are the molecules put together (no, I'm not asking for a PhD dissertation, rather the kind of scientific explanations that you can get from a Bill Bryson in A Short History of Nearly Everything).
There is sloppiness. There are convoluted and run-on sentences here and there. Many times I had to reread sentences 2 or 3 times and there's at least one whopper of a math error. On page 48 it says "2013 is a year in which we same humans will no doubt surpass 2010's consumption of 37.7 billion barrels of oil--that's 87 million barrels a day, or a million barrels a second" If only I'd known there are only 87 seconds in a day I'd have wasted less time in my life. By the way, 87 million X 365 = 31.7 billion. For the record.
It's not a complete loss; there is some good info in the book but the best thing about it is the lovely cover.
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