Hemp History Week hosts hundreds of events nationwide to educate people on the benefits of industrial hemp and encourage a lift of the ban on the growth of this crop. Currently, federal policy prohibits US famers from growing hemp despite its growing popularity and market for a healthy food source, eco-friendly textiles, clothing, building materials, auto parts, and more.
The 5th annual Hemp History Week was celebrated June 2 – 8 across the nation. We caught up with Stephanie Lana, activist for peace, industrial hemp, and organic foods, who hosted a screening of the documentary film, Bringing it Home, in celebration of Hemp History Week.
LAYOGA: What inspires your commitment to activism?
Stephanie Lana: People inspire my commitment to activism. The idea that we can create hundred of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars back into our economy with industrial hemp. The love of families and everyday people, helping contribute to the future and present of this country’s economic status. According to Time Magazine, Detroit was the richest city in the world and is now bankrupt. Henry Ford built the plant based car near Detroit in the 40’s. This could be a major crop for the country. Popular Mechanics called Hemp a “billion dollar crop” in 1938 and that it could be used to make over 25,000 items. This gets me excited about creating jobs in America!
LAYOGA: How did you get started as an industrial hemp activist?
SL: I met a girl at a birthday party who told me about industrial hemp. I researched it on my own after meeting, learned about www.VoteHemp.com. Right away I started organizing music and activism events to educate people about this wonder crop.
LAYOGA: What moments have been meaningful for you in your work promoting industrial hemp?
SL: Working with my husband, Deepak, on this year’s Bringing it Home film screening and every other event that we do together to promote industrial hemp is so meaningful.
LAYOGA: What outcome do you hope to see?
SL: The outcome I hope to see is that industrial hemp is classified as an agricultural crop and that the federal ban is repealed forever. That Universities and States research and grow this crop and develop new processes that replace plastic and petro-chemicals.
How can you make a difference? Click on the link to take action in California hemp legislation.
Felicia Tomasko has spent more of her life practicing Yoga and Ayurveda than not. She first became introduced to the teachings through the writings of the Transcendentalists, through meditation, and using asana to cross-train for her practice of cross-country running. Between beginning her commitment to Yoga and Ayurveda and today, she earned degrees in environmental biology and anthropology and nursing, and certifications in the practice and teaching of yoga, yoga therapy, and Ayurveda while working in fields including cognitive neuroscience and plant biochemistry. Her commitment to writing is at least as long as her commitment to yoga. Working on everything related to the written word from newspapers to magazines to websites to books, Felicia has been writing and editing professionally since college. In order to feel like a teenager again, Felicia has pulled out her running shoes for regular interval sessions throughout Southern California. Since the very first issue of LA YOGA, Felicia has been part of the team and the growth and development of the Bliss Network.