Monday, July 20, 2009
Feral Hemp, also know as "Ditch Weed" grows wild throughout much of the Midwest. According to a DEA report 99% of all marijuana destroyed by federal agencies was this wild variety and not cultivated marijuana. We have wild stands of this plant coming up in ditches and along fence rows on our farm. We spray it to kill it, and it seems to come up in other areas. This wild hemp was grown legally as a commercial crop for its fiber content. The government spends tax-payers money to eradicate the wild remnants of this plant, even though most of it is never harvested or presents any threat to public safety. In 2003, 4.5 million plants were destroyed in Missouri alone. More than 50% of all the States do not report their ditch weed eradication totals. Wild populations of this plant contain less that 0.1% of THC, which is the chemical property found in cultivated marijuana. This basically means that ditch weed is truly feral, having reverted back to an untamed state. More than 50 years ago this plant was grown for the fiber, it was used to make rope for use during WWII. Almost all plants found in the wild now are leftovers from those previously cultivated crops. I suppose some enterprising people would try to use this plant for the intention of getting high, but most likely it would be to no avail, as the chemical make up is different from plants grown for this purpose. I tease my in-laws about the wild ditch weed growing around our farm, telling them they better hope the authorities don't find it. I love it when they stammer and say "well we spray it all the time" LOL.