PictureThis book (apart from the cover) is printed on hemp-based paper. It has harmed no trees, and should last longer than wood-pulp paper. Hemp fibre has been used extensively for making rope, fabric and paper; hemp paper is still used for manufacturing bank-notes and high-class cigarette papers.Over a 20-year period, an area of land can produce four times as much paper from hemp fibre as it can through growing trees for wood-pulp. Hemp also leaves the ground in good condition, and has other environmental benefits. The use of hemp-made paper is in many ways more appropriate than using recycled paper.In centuries past, hemp was grown widely in Europe and North America; at times it has been illegal not to grow it, because of its military use in making sailcloth and rope. Extracting the fibres from hemp was a labour-intensive process, which became uneconomic more than a hundred years ago with the abolition of slavery. In the early part of the 20th century, new technology was developed in the United States for the chemical pulping of wood, and for making nylon fibre.These grossly polluting processes were created before the invention of efficient machinery for “heckling” hemp, and vested industrial interests (including Dupont Chemicals and Hearst Newspapers) ensured that their products replaced hemp – which had been a traditional cash crop for small farmers. There followed a propaganda campaign – generated by Hearst Newspapers – against ‘crazed marihuana smokers’.The growing of marihuana was subsequently made illegal, although many Congressmen did not realise until later that it was the same plant as the traditional hemp. Its history since then, under prohibition, is well known.Hemp is grown under licence in the European Community, and the re-introduction of hemp paper to Britain [was in 1994] being pioneered by Ecologically Sound Papers, Middleway Workshops, Middle Way, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7LG.