Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hemp shows some promise in Kentucky but on a smaller scale, UK ag study shows

source: KyForward
By Carol Lea Spence
Special to KyForward


A recent University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment study went beyond hope and hearsay and examined industrial hemp’s true potential as a viable crop in Kentucky.
It found that profitable opportunities may exist for a limited number of farmers and processors, particularly in seed and oil, but the current lack of efficient fiber processing techniques, potentially strong global and domestic competition and a high return from row crops in recent years are some of the factors that could limit the number of growers willing to shift much of their acreage into industrial hemp production.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Hemp Commission asked the UK Department of Agricultural Economics to do the study, called Considerations for Growing Industrial Hemp: Implications for Kentucky’s Farmers and Agricultural Economy. It was predicated on the Kentucky General Assembly’s passage of the “hemp bill” in March, which established a regulatory framework for the production and marketing of industrial hemp if federal policy should change or if the state could obtain a federal waiver.
“If political challenges are overcome, enticing processing interests to locate in Kentucky, along with production research, will be critical to capitalize on a relatively small, but expanding niche market for hemp products,” said Will Snell, one of the study’s authors. Other UK agricultural economists involved in the study included Lynn Robbins, Greg Halich, Carl Dillon and Leigh Maynard. Dave Spalding, extension associate in the UK Department of Horticulture, also contributed.
Hemp is grown in more than 30 countries; China boasts the most acreage, but Canada, the U.S.’s likely chief competitor, is beginning to influence both production and trade. Their acreage has grown steadily over the past five years, and the Canadian government provides grants and no-interest loans to support production.
Hemp can be grown for both fiber and seed. Some people have talked about the potential for industrial hemp fiber to be a major market for Kentucky farmers.
“Based on what I’ve seen, that is not going to happen in Kentucky,” Halich said. “If people are doing this to make money, it’s going to be on the oil seed side, not on the fiber side, at least in the foreseeable future.”
To obtain the most value from the long hemp fiber, the outer layers of the stalk must be removed, a process known as decortification. Cost-effective mechanization for this has not been available. Using Canada as a model, profitable opportunities to date have been largely limited to seed and oil production.
“In the end, fiber production is going to depend on a processing plant being fairly close and willing to pay a high enough price to entice farmers to switch over to grow it,” Halich said.
The hemp oil processing chain is fairly well established. Maynard, however, spoke with a representative of a Canadian processing company who said even a large oil customer that might use 30,000 pounds of hempseed oil per year would support only 96 acres of production.
“None of the processors with whom I spoke — and some of these are well established companies in Canada — none of them thought it was going to be an activity that would produce large numbers of employment or require large numbers of acres,” Maynard said.
For about 15 years in the middle of the 19th century, Kentucky was one of the major hemp producers in the country, until cotton and imports of other materials became more popular. During World War II, industrial hemp production peaked for the manufacture of, among other things, rope and twine for the war effort. Kentucky, with its 52,000 acres, claimed about 10 percent of the market share.
Today, though the U.S. market for hemp-based products is a shadow of what it once was, it is growing, driven by a dedicated base that is interested in natural foods and body care products. There is no expectation, however, that hemp will ever be anything like tobacco, which was highly profitable in many years.
“While our study, under the most optimistic scenarios does show some promise, the current market for industrial hemp products would only generate hemp sales and jobs in the short run that would be relatively small compared to the rest of the Kentucky agricultural economy,” Snell said.
The study is a reminder that should regulations relax and hemp production be allowed, Kentucky producers cannot assume they will automatically corner the U.S. market; other states will enter the market, as well.
“If hemp proves to be profitable in the short run, without barriers to entry, the emergence of new producers from other states and nations could easily result in oversupply and price volatility, which could erode long-term profits to levels comparable with other row crops,” Snell said.
Hemp, however, could be another crop in a farmer’s diversified portfolio.

The full report is available here.

Carol Lea Spence is an agricultural communications specialist at the University of Kentucky and editor of The mAGazine.

To read other KyForward stories about hemp, click here.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Drop the sporting cannabis test for athletes



Stop testing Kiwi sports stars for cannabis. 

That's the call from MPs and New Zealand's sports anti-doping organisation.
About 70 per cent of positive tests for banned substances handled by Drug Free Sport NZ are for cannabis or synthetic cannabis.

But chief executive Graeme Steel says the time and money it spends testing and punishing athletes for using cannabinoids could be better used tracking performance-enhancing drugs cheats.

Steel also says the organisation doesn't have the resources to tackle the social issue of cannabis use.

Parliament's government administration select committee reviewed Drug Free Sport NZ's performance and reported: "The organisation told us that it would prefer not to have to test for cannabinoids, but it seemed unlikely that cannabinoids would be removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency's [Wada] list of prohibited substances.

"Neither we nor the organisation encourage the use of cannabinoids, but we consider that its resources could be better used elsewhere."

Select committee member Labour MP Trevor Mallard, a former Minister of Sport and Recreation and a former member of Wada's executive committee, told Sunday News: "The problem . . . is that [cannabis] is on the banned list. Therefore when they [Drug Free Sport NZ] find it, they then have an obligation to move forward with the disciplinary cases. There is an enormous proportion of their resources wasted, in my opinion, because of that. 

  "I don't want to be in anyway seen as encouraging sportspeople to use cannabis, in fact I think it is wrong and is adverse to their performance. But Drug Free Sport has a limited budget and it is better to focus that budget on catching cheats and catching people who help cheats." 

Mallard was adamant cannabis should not be on the list of banned drugs for which Drug Free Sport NZ tested. He knew of no sport where cannabis could be used as performance-enhancing.

"The idea of a banned list for sports drugs is either it enhances your performance or is a real danger to other people that get involved when you are involved in sport. We are after drugs that enhance performance or actively endanger other people."

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Steel said he did not consider cannabis to be a performance-enhancing drug, and testing for cannabinoids, and then punishing users, was sucking up a sizeable amount of Drug Free Sport NZ's resources and time.

"We are spending money on things that conceivably could be better spent elsewhere."
The focus should be on tackling problems like those grabbing headlines overseas, of cutting-edge performance-enhancing drugs and sportspeople allegedly "being used effectively as guinea pigs" for those drugs, he said.

Drug Free Sport NZ's resources should not be used to solve a social problem - cannabis use - rather than a specifically sports problem, Steel said.

"We don't believe we can be particularly effective in changing often long-term habits of many, many young people [who smoke cannabis], some of whom are sportspeople. We just really don't have the clout. Many other organisations have far more resources than us and have failed."

Wada recently moved to increase the threshold for the level of THC required to activate a positive test from 15 nanograms a millilitre to 150, making it more difficult to fail a test through second-hand exposure to cannabis smoke. But Wada still has cannabis and synthetic cannabis on its banned list.
There are three criteria that could lead to a substance being on the list: it is harmful to health, it enhances performance, or it is contrary to the spirit of sport. If two of those apply, it is banned.
Steel said: "We had argued that [if a substance is performance-enhancing, then banning it] should be mandatory. If it is not performance-enhancing, it is not cheating, it is none of our business."
He said, however, in no way was he or Drug Free Sport NZ condoning the use of cannabis or synthetic cannabis products.

The five-page government administration select committee report also sheds more light on the dangers New Zealand athletes face by taking multiple sports supplements.

Drug Free Sport NZ told the committee some supplements often inadvertently contained prohibited substances.

The committee said that is why it would be impossible for Drug Free Sport NZ to guarantee any sports supplement to be clear of prohibited substances.

"It therefore does not recommend their use by athletes. "Any athlete who uses supplements does so at their own risk," the report said.

Ross Rebagliati was stripped of his 1998 Winter Olympics snowboarding gold medal after failing a doping test for cannabis.

The Canadian said he was a victim of second-hand smoke and had the gold returned after an arbitration court ruled there was no clear provision for marijuana testing at the Nagano Olympics in Japan.

Cannabinoids were later added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list.

Rebagliati welcomes Wada's increasing of the threshold for the level of THC required to activate a positive test – but questions why sports authorities still test for cannabis at all.

Complete 1 Week Toxin Removal Kit contains: 60 Cap bottle DAYTOX daily cleanser - 1 HTR Toxin Removal Shampoo - 30 Cap bottle Tessentials Whole Body Vitamins - 2/6 Panel Drug Tests(mAMP/THC/OPI/COC/OXY/BZO) Smoking marijuana had never enhanced his sporting performance, he said.

"It wasn't ... [that] if I used it I could ride my bike faster, lift heavier or jump higher," Rebagliati told News .

He said cannabis, which is legal in Canada for medicinal use, had allowed him to relax during a gruelling six day-a-week training regime during his professional snowboarding career.

Zydot Ultra Clean Shampoo "I don't know anybody who can just sit down at the end of a long day and not want to have a puff or a cold beer.

"For me it [cannabis] was that one thing that would allow me to be motivated, and continue to be motivated over a long period of time."

Rebagliati believed top-level sports competitors used cannabis. He predicted that would become more common following Wada's THC threshold increase.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Abbotsford lawyer to challenge feds over new medical marijuana rules

source: Abbotsford - Mission Times
By Rochelle Baker

glass pipes

Abbotsford lawyer John Conroy is undertaking a legal battle against new changes to the federal government's medical marijuana program.

On Monday, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced some of the anticipated changes to the program, which includes banning individual home-based medicinal grow-ops in favour of larger government licenced producers.

The new regulations mean sick or disabled people or their legal proxies with licences will no long be able to grow their own marijuana, said Conroy.

The price of marijuana from the large producers will cost people up to four times as much as producing their own, said Conroy.

The government estimates under the new program medical pot will be sold for $8 to $10 a gram while individuals grew their own for between $1 to $4, said Conroy.

The price increase will limit some sick individuals, many on a low income, from being able to buy marijuana for their conditions.

There is legal precedent that individuals with medical conditions with a doctor's authorization have a Constitutional right to reasonable access to medical marijuana, said Conroy.

Under the old program, those that couldn't afford dispensary or black market prices grew their own marijuana, something they won't be able to do in the future.

Conroy expects to launch a Constitutional challenge on behalf of a coalition of medical marijuana users fighting the problematic aspects of the proposed regulations.

"Basically, we're saying these people's constitutional rights are being impaired by what's being proposed," said Conroy.

"At one time they could produce cannabis for themselves as there was no other program to provide it. But a program that's out of reach is akin to having no program at all."

The group, MMAR DPL/PPL Coalition Against Repeal, says it has 3,400 members across Canada.
Conroy said his firm has collected 1,000 victim impact statements so far.

The lawsuit aims to prevent some or all of the new regulations from coming into force, or to maintain the status quo until there's some guarantee that all patients have reasonable access to medical marijuana.

Failing that, Conroy may also take up a class action lawsuit to compensate individuals who have invested resources and borne the costs of growing their own pot over the last decade.
On Monday, Aglukkaq agreed there must be reasonable access to legal marijuana for medical purposes.

But the government believes it must be done in a controlled manner to protect public safety, she said.
Since starting in 2001, the government's medical marijuana program has grown exponentially, from less than 500 authorized persons to over 30,000 currently.

The rapid growth of those producing medical marijuana, often in private homes, had consequences for public health and safety, said Aglukkaq.

"These changes will strengthen the safety of Canadian communities, while making sure patients can access what they need to treat serious illnesses," she said.

Municipal fire and bylaw authorities have long argued that home-based medical marijuana grows can pose fire safety problems or health problems due to mold.

Police point to the dangers of grow rips and the lack of enforcement to ensure licensed growers aren't producing more than they need for the illegal market.

Under the new provisions, patients will have access to quality-controlled marijuana produced under sanitary conditions, said the minister.

But Conroy noted that individuals that grew or developed specific strains of marijuana for their particular medical conditions will be out of luck.

Litigation will get underway sometime after September and before March 2014 when the new regulations go into effect, he said.

The details on the federal government's new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations come out June 19.

European Commission To Ban Heirloom Seeds and Criminalize Plants & Seeds Not Registered With Government


source: Collective Evolution

The European Commission is changing the European Union’s plant legislation, apparently to enhance food safety across the continent. This move has sparked a heavy  opposition from many, saying that the measure will threaten seed diversity and favour large agrochemical businesses. This new law creates new powers to classify and regulate all plant life anywhere in Europe. You can view the entire proposal in the list of sources at the bottom of this article.

The “Plant Reproductive Material Law” regulates all plants. It contains restrictions on vegetables and woodland trees, as well as all other plants of any species. It will be illegal to grow, reproduce, or trade any vegetable seed or tree that has not been been tested and approved by the government, more specifically the “EU Plant Variety Agency.” This agency will be responsible for making a list of approved plants and an annual fee must also be forwarded to the agency if growers would like to keep what they grow on the list. The new law basically puts the government in charge of all plants and seeds in Europe, and prevents home gardeners from growing their own plants from non-regulated seeds. If they did, they would now be considered criminals.

The draft text of the law has already been changed several times due to a large backlash from gardeners.
This law will immediately stop the professional development of vegetable varieties for home gardeners, organic growers and small scale market farmers. Home gardeners have really different needs – for example they grow by hand, not machine, and can’t or don’t want to use such powerful chemical sprays. There’s no way to register the varieties suitable for home use as they don’t meet the strict criteria of the PLant Variety Agency, which is only concerned about approving the sort of seed used by industrial farmers – Ben Gabel, Director of The Real Seed Catalogue
It seems the government is taking over everything, virtually all plants, vegetables seeds and gardeners are to be registered by the government. What’s even more disturbing is that all heirloom seeds will be criminalized. This means that saving seeds from from one generation to the next will become a criminal act!

This law was written for the needs of the globalized farm seed industry, who supply seed by the ton to industrial farmers. It should not apply at all to seed used by home gardeners and small market growers. Freely reproducible seeds should be a human right, they are part of our heritage.
I understand this is to protect the business of big agri-companies, but registration and testing should be voluntary for all non GMO, non-patented and non hybrid seed.

Other Sources


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Inside Atlantis: The online black market that lets users buy and sell drugs, forgeries and hacking services anonymously

source: Mail Online
By Damien Gayle

  • Illicit online bazaar breaks cover with YouTube clip advert
  • Like Silk Road, Atlantis is accessible through the Tor 'darknet'
  • Transactions processed using online crypto-currencies

A brazen new online black market where users can buy drugs, forgeries and hacking services has broken cover to advertise itself in a YouTube clip.
Looking like an advert for a well-funded Silicon Valley start-up, the slick promo video for Atlantis boasts that it is 'the world's best anonymous online drug marketplace' 

It comes as the site's backers announced the launch of a 'big social media campaign' that seems intended to make a play for the market share of the better-known Silk Road.

The products categories listed on Atlantis, which include drugs, drug paraphernalia, forgeries and money, leave little doubt that laws are being broken. 

Some of the products on sale include ecstasy pills, MDMA crystals, speed, cannabis, LSD, heroin and a range of designer compounds, all available for mail order as if they were bought on Amazon.

Elsewhere services including Facebook account hacking and free access to Netflix, as well as tools that might be useful to criminals, are on offer.

Users pay using the anonymous online currency Bitcoin, or its new competitor Litecoin, heavily encrypted payment services which disguise the parties in transactions.

In an illicit online world that has hitherto been dominated by one site - Silk Road - Atlantis's decision to advertise may be a desperate move to take a bigger grab of existing market share. 

Silk Road, in operation since 2011, remains by far the biggest illicit internet bazaar, with one researcher estimating that it attracts 60,000 unique visitors a day and a recent study estimating annual sales worth $22million (£14.5million), Forbes reported.

Like Silk Road, Atlantis is only accessible through the Tor network, an anonymising service which purports to foil attempts to track internet users' online activities.
Tor, whose name is short for The Onion Router, bounces web traffic around a worldwide network of nodes - dubbed onion routes - adding layers of encryption to make users untraceable.

The system works both ways, and while users can use Tor to anonymously browse mainstream websites, they can also exploit it to anonymous post websites without revealing their physical location.

This anonymity has allowed for an explosion of criminality online, with users swapping child porn, selling drugs or advertising illegal services - earning it the nickname of the 'dark net'.

Silk Road, despite a string of newspaper exposes in recent months, has at least made an effort to be more discreet, not actively advertising its website address, for example.

Instead, those curious must find someone to tell them the website address or otherwise find it by browsing elsewhere on the so-called 'dark net'.

The new advert for Atlantis, which is almost certainly against YouTube's terms of service, asks viewers to 'meet Charlie', a 'stoner' who has moved cities for work and has since been unable to find any 'dank buds'.

'He didn't think he'd ever find weed again, until he found Atlantis,' it says.
The story ends with Charlie getting 'high as a damn kite' thanks to the purchase he made through the site. 

It concludes: 'So now that big problem Charlie had has completely gone away!'
A person claiming to the the online bazaar's CEO recently told Reddit users on an 'ask me anything' thread: 'We want to bring attention to the site and bring our vendors more buyers. 

He said he wasn't concerned that drawing attention to the site might attract any unwanted attention from police. 

'Law enforcement is going to be aware of us (and probably already is) regardless of the way we choose to put our product out there,' he said.

Although Atlantis is set up to facilitate transactions involving a string of dangerous drugs and illegal services, its CEO, whose Reddit account has since been deleted, says there are limits to what is acceptable on the site.

'We do not allow listings such as child pornography and necrophilia,' he said. 'We do take a moral stance, there's a large difference between child pornography and drugs.'

He added: 'Restricted items include anything related to paedophilia, poisons, loans, investment opportunities, assassination services or anything which can inflict harm on another person. 

'If you infringe on these rules we will terminate your account instantly.'

From the responses he gives to various questions on the Reddit AMA, it is clear that the CEO, whoever he is, believes there is little chance authorities can act against Atlantis.

'We have team members in various different countries,' he said. 'I would say physical location is relatively irrelevant.

'We can access our systems from anywhere, and our location and the server location is protected by the Tor hidden service network.'

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Expert calls for marijuana to be legalised to reduce harm of binge drinking in teens

source: (Australia) Herald Sun Lifestyle 

THE head of Australia's leading alcohol research body has called for marijuana to be legalised to reduce the harm of drinking. 
Robin Room, director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, says marijuana should be legalised under strict controls because the social harm associated with it was significantly less than from drinking.

"It makes sense to legalise marijuana in a controlled market," he told the Herald Sun yesterday. "We are in a situation where we need to look ahead. I think we need to have the discussion and it makes a lot of sense in terms of, among others, cutting down government costs to have a fairly highly controlled legal (cannabis) market and, while we are at it, tighten up the legal market of alcohol in the same way we tightened up the market of tobacco."

Prof Room, a leading academic at Melbourne University, is funded by the Department of Human Services.

In an ideal world, Prof Room said teens would not smoke marijuana or drink alcohol to excess.

But if an 18-year-old was going to use substances, he said they would likely land themselves in less trouble after using cannabis rather than bingeing on alcohol.

Teens were "better off" on a mixture of booze and marijuana rather than just pure alcohol in social settings, he added. Alcohol was more dangerous than cannabis because it had a closer association with aggression and violence, loss of co-ordination and impacts on work and family life, he said.
"Cannabis is not without harm but it's substantially less than alcohol and tobacco in terms of social harm," he said.

"If you are adding the cannabis to an equal amount of alcohol, then in some ways you'd be probably less likely to be aggressive but it's a bad idea to add it on if you want to drive a car."
Prof Room said if marijuana were legalised, among the measures to control the use should be "state sellers" and "state stores" where sales were regulated. It should not be sold in supermarkets nor advertised on TV or at sporting matches.

While Prof Room acknowledged many people would be "surprised" and even "bothered" by his stance, the statistics backed him up.

The controversial proposal comes as Melbourne continues to battle booze-fuelled violence, and alcohol-related hospital admissions soar for men and women.

                    Watch News Video

ALCOHOLISM & Global Cannabis Studies completed

Undated - News - Pot Might Blunt Damage of Binge Drinking.
1979 - Study ~ Interaction of cannabidiol and alcohol in humans.
1980 - StudyEffect of Alcohol and Marihuana on Tobacco Smoking.
1984 - Study ~ Alcohol and marijuana: comparison of use and abuse in regular marijuana users.
1986 - Study ~ Concordant alcohol and marihuana use in women.
1988 - Study ~ Alcohol use, marihuana smoking, and sexual activity in women.
1992 - Study ~ Marihuana attenuates the rise in plasma ethanol levels in human subjects.
1994 - Study ~ Effects of Alcohol Pretreatment on Human Marijuana Self-administration.
2001- Study ~ Alcohol and marijuana: effects on epilepsy and use by patients with epilepsy.
2002 - Study ~ Association of a CB1 cannabinoid receptor gene (CNR1) polymorphism with severe alcohol dependence.
2003 - Study ~ Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol.
2003 - Study ~ Association between cannabinoid receptor gene (CNR1) and childhood attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in Spanish male alcoholic patients.
2003 - Study ~ Endocannabinoid signaling via cannabinoid receptor 1 is involved in ethanol preference and its age-dependent decline in mice.
2003 - Study ~ Cannabinoid Cb1 Receptor Knockout Mice Exhibit Markedly Reduced Voluntary Alcohol Consumption and Lack Alcohol-induced Dopamine Release in the Nucleus Accumbens.
2004 - Study ~ Overeating, Alcohol and Sucrose Consumption Decrease in Cb1 Receptor Deleted Mice.
2005 - Study ~ Comparison of Cannabidiol, Antioxidants, and Diuretics in Reversing Binge Ethanol-Induced Neurotoxicity.
2005 - Study ~ Ethanol Induces Higher Bec in Cb1 Cannabinoid Receptor Knockout Mice While Decreasing Ethanol Preference.
2005 - Study - Cannabidiol, Antioxidants, and Diuretics in Reversing Binge Ethanol-Induced Neurotoxicity.
2005 - Study - The endocannabinoid signaling system: a potential target for next-generation therapeutics for alcoholism.
2005 - Study - White Matter Integrity in Adolescents with Histories of Marijuana Use and Binge Drinking.
2005 - Study ~ Alcohol Consumption Moderates the Link Between Cannabis Use and Cannabis Dependence in an Internet Survey.
2005 - News - Role of cannabinoid receptors in alcohol abuse.
2006 - Study ~ Effects of Alcohol and Combined Marijuana and Alcohol Use During Adolescence on Hippocampal Volume and Asymmetry.
2006 - Study ~ In vivo effects of CB1 receptor ligands on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant defense systems in the rat brain of healthy and ethanol-treated rats.
2006 - Study ~ Confirming alcohol-moderated links between cannabis use and dependence in a national sample.
2007 - Study ~ The endocannabinoid signaling system: a potential target for next-generation therapeutics for alcoholism.
2007 - Study ~ Involvement of cannabinoid CB2 receptor in alcohol preference in mice and alcoholism in humans.
2008 - News ~ Report: Marijuana Less Harmful than Alcohol or Tobacco.
2009 - Study - Cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs.
2009 - Study - Daily marijuana users with past alcohol problems increase alcohol consumption during marijuana abstinence.
2009- Study ~ White Matter Integrity in Adolescents with Histories of Marijuana Use and Binge Drinking.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Mysterious History Of 'Marijuana'


source Code Switch
by Matt Thompson

We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. This week, we look into how we came to call cannabis "marijuana," and the role Mexico played in that shift.

Marijuana has been intertwined with race and ethnicity in America since well before the word "marijuana" was coined. The drug, , has a disturbing case of multiple personality disorder: It's a go-to pop culture punch line. It's the foundation of a growing recreational and medicinal industry. , it's also the reason for more than half of the drug arrests in the U.S. A deeply disproportionate number of marijuana arrests (the vast majority of which are for possession) befall African-Americans, despite similar rates of usage among whites and blacks, the ACLU says.

Throughout the 19th century, news reports and medical journal articles almost always use the plant's formal name, cannabis. Numerous accounts say that "marijuana" came into popular usage in the U.S. in the early 20th century because anti-cannabis factions wanted to underscore the drug's "Mexican-ness." It was meant to play off of anti-immigrant sentiments.

A common version of the story of the criminalization of pot goes like this: Cannabis was outlawed because various powerful interests (some of which have economic motives to suppress hemp production) were able to craft it into a bogeyman in the popular imagination, by spreading tales of homicidal mania touched off by consumption of the dreaded Mexican "locoweed." Fear of brown people combined with fear of nightmare drugs used by brown people to produce a wave of public action against the "marijuana menace." That combo led to restrictions in state after state, ultimately resulting in federal prohibition.

But this version of the story starts to prompt more questions than answers when you take a close look at the history of the drug in the U.S.: What role did race actually play in the perception of the drug? Are historical accounts of pot usage — including references to Mexican "locoweed" — even talking about the same drug we know as marijuana today? How did the plant and its offshoots get so many darn names (reefer, pot, weed, hashish, dope, ganja, bud, and on and on and on) anyway? And while we're on the subject, how did it come to be called "marijuana"?

Let's start with the race question. Eric Schlosser recounts some of the racially charged history of marijuana in (some of the source material for the best-selling book):

 "The political upheaval in Mexico that culminated in the Revolution of 1910 led to a wave of Mexican immigration to states throughout the American Southwest. The prejudices and fears that greeted these peasant immigrants also extended to their traditional means of intoxication: smoking marijuana. Police officers in Texas claimed that marijuana incited violent crimes, aroused a "lust for blood," and gave its users "superhuman strength." Rumors spread that Mexicans were distributing this "killer weed" to unsuspecting American schoolchildren. Sailors and West Indian immigrants brought the practice of smoking marijuana to port cities along the Gulf of Mexico. In New Orleans newspaper articles associated the drug with African-Americans, jazz musicians, prostitutes, and underworld whites. "The Marijuana Menace," as sketched by anti-drug campaigners, was personified by inferior races and social deviants."

In 1937, U.S. Narcotics Commissioner Henry Anslinger testified before Congress in the hearings that would result in the introduction of federal restrictions on marijuana. , Anslinger's testimony included a letter from Floyd Baskette, the city editor of the Alamosa (Colo.) Daily Courier, which said in part, "I wish I could show you what a small marihuana cigaret can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents. That's why our problem is so great; the greatest percentage of our population is composed of Spanish-speaking persons, most of who [sic! such an enthusiastic sic!] are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions."

Folks weren't just worrying about Mexicans and jazz musicians, either. "Within the last year we in California have been getting a large influx of Hindoos and they have in turn started quite a demand for cannabis indica," wrote Henry J. Finger, a powerful member of California's State Board of Pharmacy, (page 18). "They are a very undesirable lot and the habit is growing in California very fast; the fear is now that it is not being confined to the Hindoos alone but that they are initiating our whites into this habit."

It seems clear that much anti-cannabis animus had a racial dimension. Here's the thing, though. The "pot was outlawed because MEXICANS" argument is complicated by the fact that Mexico was also cracking down on the drug around the same time, as Isaac Campos documents in his book . Mexico's prohibition of pot actually came in 1920, a full 17 years before the U.S. federal government pot crackdown started (with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937). And while there may have been a class dimension to the movement against marijuana in Mexico, Campos suggests, people were banning the drug because they were seriously freaked out about what it could do.

The Turn Of The 20th Century

If you've ever watched a stoner movie, this account of marijuana's effects will likely seem very familiar:
"The resin of the cannabis Indica is in general use as an intoxicating agent from the furthermost confines of India to Algiers. If this resin be swallowed, almost invariably the inebriation is of the most cheerful kind, causing the person to sing and dance, to eat food with great relish, and to seek aphrodisiac enjoyment. The intoxication lasts about three hours, when sleep supervenes; it is not followed by nausea or sickness, nor by any symptoms, except slight giddiness, worth recording."
— Source: "The Indian Hemp," The Western Journal of Medicine and Surgery, May 1843.
Add some "Cap'n Crunch," and bam, you've basically just described the plot of Half-Baked.
Most of the pre-1900 press references to cannabis relate either to its medical usage or its role as an industrial textile.* But then, in the early 1900s, you start to see accounts in major newspapers like this Los Angeles Times story from 1905 ("Delirium or death: terrible effects produced by certain plants and weeds grown in Mexico"):

"Not long ago a man who had smoken a marihuana cigarette attacked and killed a policeman and badly wounded three others; six policemen were needed to disarm him and march him to the police station where he had to be put into a straight jacket. Such occurrences are frequent.
"People who smoke marihuana finally lose their mind and never recover it, but their brains dry up and they die, most of times suddenly."

Suddenly, the drug has a whole new identity. Here's a representative New York Times headline from 1925:

This disparity between "cannabis" mentions pre-1900 and "marihuana" references post-1900 is wildly jarring. It's almost as though the papers are describing two different drugs. (In Spanish, ; "marijuana" is an Anglicization.)

But according to Campos' book, these accounts in the American press echoed stories that had been appearing in Mexican newspapers well before. Campos cites story after story — most pre-1900 — containing similar details: a soldier "driven mad by mariguana" and attacking his fellow soldiers (El Monitor Republicano, 1878), a pot-crazed soldier murdering two colleagues and injuring two others (La Voz de México, 1888), a prisoner stabbing two fellow inmates to death after smoking up (El Pais, 1899).

Campos makes a very compelling case that the "pot-induced mania" narrative wasn't imposed on Mexico after the fact by xenophobes in America.

YouTube One version of the popular folk corrido "La Cucaracha" includes a reference to smoking marijuana.
Much of Campos' book is devoted to puzzling through the question of how the effects of marijuana as documented in these press accounts in Mexico and America could differ so dramatically from our contemporary understanding of the drug. Could class prejudice have caused the elites running Mexico's newspapers to hype up accounts of drug-fueled violence among the lower classes? (Consider that all of the accounts listed above involved prisoners or soldiers, who would have been thought of as lower class at the time.)

Campos ultimately concludes that while class attitudes were certainly on display in the Mexican press (just as racist and xenophobic attitudes were on display in the American press), they weren't behind the perception of marijuana as dangerous. In fact, his read of the evidence suggests that it was lower-class Mexicans who were most fearful of the drug's effects.
As mystifying as it might be amid modern perceptions of marijuana as a relatively benign narcotic, Campos argues that a variety of conditions could have caused users in that late 19th-century context to behave very differently from the way we might expect stoners to behave today. He writes:
"When I began this research, I expected the scientifically measurable effects of cannabis to be a straightforward control for understanding the past. My assumption went something like this: If we know the effects that a drug has in the present, then we will know what effects the drug had in the past, producing a perfect control for distinguishing between myth and reality in the historical archive. This, it turns out, was wrong.
"Richard DeGrandpre has called this widespread misunderstanding the "cult of pharmacology" and has identified it as a key component in the genesis and longevity of misguided drug policies in the United States. The cult of pharmacology suggests that there is a direct and consistent relationship between the pharmacology of a substance and the effects that it has on all human beings. But as decades of research and observation have demonstrated, the effects of psychoactive drugs are actually dictated by a complex tangle of pharmacology, psychology and culture — or "drug, set, and setting" — that has yet to be completely deciphered by researchers.
One factor, however, appears difficult to disentangle even in Campos' meticulously detailed account. We have a fairly low-resolution understanding of what "marijuana use" looked like in Mexico and the U.S. at the turn of the century — how much people consumed, how they ingested it, what substances it might have been combined with. Someone smoking a joint packed half with tobacco and half with cannabis indica (the version of the drug that typically produces a sedentary, mellow high) would have had a very different experience than someone who's drinking the Mexican liquor pulque and eating something laced with cannabis sativa (the version of the drug likelier to produce anxiety).
Which brings us back to the problem of names.

The Many Faces Of Marijuana

Remember when I mentioned that the pre-1900 "cannabis" news stories and the post-1900 "marihuana" news stories almost seemed to be describing two different plants? Well, in some cases, they actually were.

One account, published in The Washington Post, draws a distinction between "Mexican marihuano or locoweed" and Indian "hasheesh," aka "cannabis indica." The article actually erroneously conflates a poisonous weed (that really is called locoweed; its clinical name is astralagus, not cannabis) with marijuana. ()

Cannabis is an extraordinarily global plant, and has a variety of identities all around the world. This is one of the reasons the drug has so many names — "ganja" comes from Sanskrit; it appears as "bhang" in The Thousand and One Nights; it's "hashish" in The Count of Monte Cristo. But these different names reflect a wide range of cannabis products and derivatives. According to Campos, for example, Sinbad's hashish may have actually been half-opium. Such variety in labeling obviously makes it difficult to determine how cannabis manifests in different historical accounts.

In fact, the plant has such a robust global history that we don't even know for sure how the Mexican Spanish word marihuana was coined. trace the word's roots to any of three continents. And therein lies an interesting little lesson about history and global interconnectedness.

We know that the Spanish brought cannabis to Mexico to cultivate it for hemp, but it's unlikely the Spanish indulged in any significant fashion in the plant's psychoactive properties. One theory holds that Chinese immigrants to western Mexico lent the plant its name; a theoretical combination of syllables that could plausibly have referred to the plant in Chinese (ma ren hua) might have just become Spanishized into "marijuana." Or perhaps it came from a colloquial Spanish way of saying "Chinese oregano" — mejorana (chino). Or maybe Angolan slaves brought to Brazil by the Portuguese carried with them the Bantu word for cannabis: ma-kaña. Maybe the term simply originated in South America itself, as a portmanteau of the Spanish girl's names Maria and Juana.

The mystery of marijuana's name is appropriate for this incredibly many-faceted plant. It's worth reflecting, when you see coverage of the humble weed, how much global, geopolitical, historical weight is packed into even its name. All that history is still reverberating in the lives of the men and women affected by the drug every day. When you think about it, a degree of multiple personality disorder makes sense for a drug that might as easily have been named by Angolan slaves as by Chinese immigrant laborers.

Picture of the.....year?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cannabis plants spring up all over German town after campaigners plant thousands of seeds in protest against the 'demonisation' of the drug

source: Mail Online
By Olivia Williams

  • Gottingen in Germany is sprouting Marijuana plants all over town
  • A group called 'A Few Autonomous Flower Children' sowed seeds in June
  • Members say the guerrilla gardening is to protest restrictive drug policies

Cannabis plants are sprouting up all over a German town after pro-marijuana supporters planted tens of thousands of seeds last month.

Supporters of the group A Few Autonomous Flower Children spread several kilograms of seeds around the university town of Gottingen last month.
They say they are protesting its 'demonisation' in Germany's 'restrictive drug laws'.

Scores of the plants have sprouted all over the town this week to the fury of the local police and council.
A website shows dozens of photos of the cannabis plants blooming in public parks, allotments, gardens and window boxes all over town - with some even growing outside the local police station.
Police have been ripping out the illegal plants on sight but the sheer number of blossoming plants became noticeable in the past week.
A police spokesman said 70 plants had been removed so far - including the ones outside the police station - adding: 'Everything that looks like cannabis is torn out.'

She confirmed that officers were expecting to see a huge rise in the number of cannabis plants in public areas, adding: 'Officers have been told to be vigilant and destroy any plants they see.'
A spokesman for A Few Autonomous Flower Children said: 'We can't set eyes on this useful and beautiful plant because it's absolutely forbidden in Germany to grow it.'
She added: 'This action is a big deal - people (from A Few Autonomous Flower Children) really put effort into it.'

Local Marcus Baum said: 'The cannabis plants are sprouting up everywhere.
'They removed the ones from the police station very quickly, but the plants are coming up in parks and gardens everywhere.
'Some are even growing in window boxes.'

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hemp, Inc. Issues Clarification on Vast Difference between Industrial Hemp and Marijuana

 source:PR Newswire

Cultivator's Handbook of MarijuanaHash Oil: A Guide To Curing CancerHarvesting & Curing GuideThe Cannabible 2

LAS VEGAS, July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hemp, Inc. (OTC: HEMP) a leader in the industrial hemp industry and the first industrial hemp publicly traded company, feels it is necessary to inform and educate shareholders, and others who may be misinformed, on the difference between Industrial Hemp and marijuana. It is important to note that Industrial Hemp products are completely legal for consumers to purchase in the United States. Marijuana, while medically legal in many states and recreationally legal in Colorado and Washington, is deemed illegal on the Federal level, and consumers in States that do not recognize medical marijuana may face prosecution for purchasing or possessing marijuana. To clarify, the Hemp products such as Hemp Milk, Hemp Cereal, and Hemp Oil that American consumers nationwide are increasingly purchasing every day, are obviously, legal.

Hemp, Inc. focuses strictly on Industrial Hemp products since it is allowed to market in all fifty states and worldwide without any ambivalence between state and Federal laws.  By getting a foothold in, what many see as the next American Industrial Revolution, the Industrial Hemp industry, Hemp, Inc. (the only publicly traded company of its kind and in its sector) will continue to be the Avant-garde of every category of Industrial Hemp products.

The major market for Hemp is as a food or supplement as it is rich in protein, Omega fatty acids and has a high fiber content. Costco carries hemp seeds, and Natural Grocers and Whole Foods Market stock many brands of Hemp food products and supplements. The clothing industry has targeted Hemp as a provocative niche market fabric. High fashion designers Ralph Lauren and Versace make apparel from Hemp blended fabric. Footwear giants Vans and Adidas make Hemp sneakers. Trendy companies market hemp T-shirts, hats, jewelry, backpacks, even pet beds and leashes. Auto manufacturers use durable, green Hemp composites and fabrics when feasible. Industrial Hemp can also be used for building materials, plant based plastics, and paper products.

Industrial Hemp is cultivated much differently than marijuana. Marijuana is used solely for its medical and psychoactive aspects, and growers strive for a high THC content, although recent developments in Israel indicate that medical researchers are more interested in the medicinal value of its CBD content. Hemp, on the other hand, has a low THC content. The main difference in cultivation between marijuana and Industrial Hemp is that in cultivating marijuana, the plants are spaced far apart, and the male plants are destroyed to assure that they cannot seed the female plants, which would result in undesirable, less potent and less marketable, seeded marijuana buds. Hemp, on the other hand, is planted close together and commonly hermaphrodites, which creates an abundance of seeds, the main component of Hemp foods and supplements. The Hemp stalks are processed and used for fiber, composite, and other hemp based end products. 

Industrial Hemp has long been known for its versatility, durability, sustainability, and high-quality. Industrial Hemp grows quickly, in just about any climate and doesn't require pesticides, while simultaneously removing toxins found in soil. Industrial Hemp has been used for over 12,000 years and was once the primary fiber used to produce rope, paper, canvas, and clothing in the United States and Europe.

Hemp was vilified then outlawed in the United States because of its connection to marijuana. While it is currently illegal Federally to grow industrial hemp plants in the U.S, countries including China, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and England allow cultivation, and we can now reap Hemp's many benefits.


Hemp, Inc. (OTC: HEMP) seeks to benefit many constituencies, not exploit or endanger any group of them. Thus, the publicly-traded company believes in "upstreaming" of a portion of profit from the marketing of their finished hemp goods back to its originator. By Hemp, Inc. focusing on comprehensive investment results—that is, with respect to performance along the interrelated dimensions of people, planet, and profits— our triple bottom line approach can be an important tool to support sustainability goals.

SOURCE Hemp, Inc.


Feb 14, 2013
As plants, marijuana and hemp look related, and they are. But while marijuana is bred to get its users high, hemp is all business — grown for food and other everyday uses. Hemp contains very little of the chemical THC, the ...
Mar 05, 2013
“People now understand how industrial hemp can benefit Hawaii,” said State Representative Cynthia Thielen (R-Kaneohe Bay), who cosponsored HB154. “The hemp plant itself uses phytoremediation to cleanse the soil of ...
Jan 16, 2013
Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. continued, “Now that we've achieved the initial goals of the company and are spinning off the peripheral companies, it's time to move from a development stage company to an operating ...
Feb 08, 2013
Two law enforcement groups on Monday criticized efforts to revive hemp production in Kentucky as economically unsound. In a joint news release, the Kentucky Narcotic Officers' Association and Operation UNITE said they ...