Hemp Oil-Powered Car To Tour US Summer of 2001
If you're driving on the interstate this summer and you smell a strange odor don't worry, you're not having a flashback and that isn't a "doobie" you smell, it's Hempcar! The exhaust won't "catch you a buzz" but the car is creating one among hemp activists and environmentalists. It's a car powered by hemp seed oil and it will be touring the country to promote drug-law reform and environmental fuel technologies. Amy Wells, Grayson Sigler, and Kellie Ogilvie created the project to demonstrate the utility of hemp to car crazy Americans. They are embarking on a 10,000 mile journey around the continent beginning in Washington D.C. on July 4, 2001. "We've been pleasantly surprised by the attention the car is getting," says Wells. "The website www.hempcar.org is starting to take off and we're getting a lot of support from the hemp industry."
The hemp movement has been gaining ground in fits and starts. Since Canada legalized production of industrial hemp, entrepreneurial Americans have created a $100 million per year industry manufacturing hemp products. Americans can now buy hemp paper, clothes, bags, shoes, and even hemp "tofu". However, the DEA hasn't exactly looked on all of this with magnanimity. Just last year the DEA instructed U.S. customs to seize a shipment of sterilized hemp birdseed from Canada, apparently in the "interest" of national security.
Currently, hemp fuels are not one of the hemp industry's products. There is not enough hemp being grown to make hemp fuels a profitable industry. "If hemp were legal to grow in the U.S., technologies such as pyrolysis would make hemp fuels economically competitive with petrol fuels," says Sigler. "The emissions associated with the use of hemp fuels are far less toxic than for fossil fuels, and hemp helps remediate global warming by absorbing CO2 from the air while it is growing."
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