Henry Ford’s Hemp Plastic Car (1941)
Henry Ford spent more than a decade researching and building this car whose primary ingredient was hemp plastic. The car weighed 1000 pounds less than a steel car of the same size, yet the exterior body could withstand 10 times the impact. Henry Ford is quoted saying that he one day hopes to “grow automobiles from the soil.” Because of the criminalization of hemp, this car never made it to market.
In my mind, this remains one of the clearest tragedies of hemp’s criminalization. This car, had hemp not been criminalized, would drastically increase the safety and sustainability of the auto industry.