5. HENRY FORD
Represents: The Industrial Revolution in America, Use of industrial hemp in America
The automotive innovator Ford foresaw the potentiality of hemp as an industrial resource long before our modern day “hempcrete,” now being utilized to construct buildings and vehicles. Per the December 1941 edition of Popular Mechanics, reprinted by UKCIA, Ford experimented with building cars out of hemp plastic. He labored 12 years to create a vehicle that weighed a half-ton less than a conventional car, yet could withstand a blow 10 times stronger than mighty steel.
Unfortunately, Ford was thwarted in his dank designs by the 1937 prohibition of cannabis—which also included the banishment of hemp. This no doubt fueled the right-wing—some would charge fascist—Ford to resent President Franklin Delano Roosevelt even more, as FDR was the U.S. president who presided over pot prohibition.
Per True Democracy Party, Ford was “green” long before the concept of being eco-conscious was established, envisioning cars and other vehicles running on ethanol and other hemp-based fuels. Given the era he lived in, Ford was truly ahead of time in regard to seeing the big picture of utilizing natural resources and having environmental sensitivity—and that cannabis could play a pivotal role when it comes to both factors.
With the advent of America’s high standard of living, the country began to focus on other issues, exemplified as well as anyone by…