Basically, the U.S. outlawed hemp due to pressure from timber and petrochemical manufacturers that saw it as a potential threat to their businesses. Hemp fiber had been used for hundreds of years to make rope and cloth but in the 20th century new technologies made it more cost effective and less labor intensive. Industrialists like William Randolph Hearst and companies like Dupont campaigned intensely to equate hemp with marijuana and ensure that both were illegal.
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