What is Hemp for Victory?
Hemp for Victory was the name of the World War II propaganda campaign to get states producing hemp for the war effort. But, hemp was placed under a strict Prohibition roughly five years before this effort began. It didn’t matter as, between the Great Depression and the onset of World War II, the American military was running low on materials. Our fighting men needed parachutes, ropes and other products that could only be provided by hemp.
Why Hide Hemp for Victory?
Before 1989, the American government denied ever making such a film to promote this program. Thankfully, a Miami Herald journalist was able to find a copy for William Conde. Over the next 20 years, the 15-minute two-reel film had a habit of appearing at many Pro-Cannabis events and eventually the Internet. But, why would the US Government keep such a film hidden?
Hemp for Irony?
Well, the War Effort put American in a bind. While the Government would’ve preferred using a traditional rope and other devices, those natural fibers were in short supply due to the War in Europe. The irony is appreciated by history, as it must’ve been quite the sight to see the US Dept of Agriculture have to backpedal after just 5 years. What’s even crazier is that after World War II ended, things went back to straight Prohibition.
Final Hemp Thoughts
Why did America grow hemp during World War II? Well, it’s because they didn’t have the fortune of being that morally upset over the ‘dangers’ of hemp. It was a true crisis of opportunity.