Proof the Copenhagen Climate Conference is a Fraud … Hemp is ‘off the table’

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No matter where you stand on the issue of ‘climate change,’ a sure sign that the Copenhagen conference is not really interested in solutions but only in the extortion of money and global control is that hemp is not ‘on the table.’

Ever hear Al Gore say a word on the benefit of planting massive amounts of hemp as a carbon capture plant and its many uses that could replace thousands of polluting products and create hundreds of thousands of ‘green’ jobs.

Nope, you haven’t and you never will. It would make too much sense. The frauds want a centralized mechanism where only a few benefit and the rest of the world would be under their thumb.

We should say no to false science, CO2 demonetization, cap and trade, carbon credits, the UN, bankers, big oil and corporate thieves and yes to hemp, small farmers and the new entrepreneurs who actually have some answers for a better world. Easier said than done but we can get there.

Silence at Copenhagen …

Hemp Global Solutions

Our basic premise is that hemp is far more productive than typical agro-forestry projects, producing annual, versatile biomass alongside more rapid CO2 uptake. It can produce a vast range of sustainable raw materials with an overall low environmental impact, as well as improving soil structure, using low fertiliser and no other chemical inputs (i.e. reduced agrochemical residues).

Hemp can be grown on existing agricultural land (unlike most forestry projects), and can be included as part of a farm’s crop rotation with positive effects on overall yields of follow on crops. This, along with super versatility in diverse soil conditions and climates, makes hemp cultivation a viable and genuine potential.

The vast quantities of hemp derived products and raw materials created by large scale cultivation could replace many oil-based unsustainable products and materials, particularly in construction, locking in captured CO2 and creating secondary benefits to the global environment. In particular, hemp could be used to replace significant quantities of tree-derived products, allowing reduced use of existing tree populations, thus maintaining their CO2 uptake.

Hemp also produces much higher quantities of stronger and more versatile fibre than cotton, and many other fibre crops, which often have very high chemical residue and water footprints. Extra processing required by hemp is also at least partially offset by its recycling potential. {more}

Jack Herer has a $100,000 Challenge to Prove Us Wrong!

If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation;

then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meet all of the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time…

and that substance is the same one that has done it before . . .


Houses made of hemp coud help combat climate change!

Hemp and Lots of It, Could Be One Climate Solution

Hemp Is Not Pot: It’s the Economic Stimulus and Green Jobs Solution We Need

Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America

While on the subject, let’s just legalize marijuana in every form. It’s time for the ‘war on drugs’ scam to end.


The solution to our environmental woes is to end prohibition: Planting the seeds of their destruction

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by chycho

The best solution to our environmental problems is to end prohibition. There is no other viable option short of the immediate end to military conflict that will have the same positive impact on the ecosystem. Our first step towards a sustainable existence should begin with cannabis. Its assimilation into our civilization is the safest, simplest, most efficient immediate solution that we can implement in time to prevent an ecological catastrophe.

Cannabis is a plant, and its use is as old as civilization itself. It has thousands of immediate and potential applications. Its cultivation rejuvenates the soil, it can replace wood products, it’s medicinal, and it can be used as building material, textiles, paint, plastic, fuel, paper, food and body care. It is one of the most important bounties of nature. It’s a plant that we were meant to use.

So what’s the hold up? The short answer is America’s “War on Drugs”. The United States started a legislative war on this plant genus almost a century ago and they do not want to give up the fight.

The war on drugs is not a war between nations; it’s a corporate war on people, irrelevant of their nationality or ethnicity. It is a war against citizens of the United States and those of other nations. It’s a war without borders. It has gone through multiple mutations and over the last few decades grown into the monstrosity that it is today. It is a one sided war declared by nations on their citizens. A conflict not reciprocated by the citizens. It is a war that is sustained entirely do to ignorance, fear, and greed.

If there is such a thing as a just war, then the war on drugs is on the other end of the spectrum. It is the most unjust war that has ever been. It is a war exclusively waged for money. Every other war throughout history has had at least one other fathomable pretence. The war on drugs doesn’t.
The irony is that this war and the destruction that it unleashes can be brought to an end within an instant, if it was so desired. All that is required is to end prohibition, to repeal one law.

We know that the end to prohibition will have positive effects for our society because precedent for this has already been set. When prohibition of alcohol ended, so did most of the violence associated with gang warfare, as did much of the corruption in government. When prohibition ended, precious resources were made available again and a major source of revenue and employment was established through the sale of alcohol and its associated paraphernalia.

These same results have also been observed in Portugal’s experiment with drug decriminalization. The United Nations has also confirmed these findings in its annual report on the state of global drug policy, and many countries have been paying-heed and following Portugal’s example. Decriminalization is sweeping through major parts of Latin America as well as numerous municipalities and States within the United States of America.

The only reason that America’s Federal “War on Drugs” still continues to this day is because its so-called adversaries, criminal organizations and certain sectors of government, don’t want it to end since its continuation guarantees them flow of funds.

All of the above is common knowledge to anyone who has remotely researched this topic, or for that matter, even thought about it. After all, who in their right mind would ever approve of a war on nature, a war on a plant, a war on a plant that’s not even poisonous, a war on a plant that is actually beneficial for us, our society, and the ecosystem? You would have to be deranged to do such a thing. But this is exactly what we have done. We have been waging a war on a plant for almost a century. We have been waging a war on cannabis that spans the globe, costs trillions of dollars, destroys millions of lives, and consumes precious resources.

On the behest of certain corporations and a small minority that profit from prohibition, we have been waging a war on a plant that has the potential to help us reduce our ecological footprint. This must be the ultimate definition of stupidity, and if it isn’t, then it most definitely is the ultimate definition of psychotic.

So, the question is; how do we end this madness? How do we end the war on drugs? The answer is that we must destroy the beast that spawned this plague. The instigator, the aggressor in this war was, is, and continues to be the United States of America. They started this war and they are the main obstacle to peace. To end the global war on drugs, prohibition laws in the United States must be repealed.
{read the rest at The Peoples Voice}


Planting hemp seeds on DEA’s front lawn

David Bronner, left, joins Isaac Nichelson. (Photo By Jonathan Ernst For The Washington Post)

David Montgomery, in the Washington Post, has a delightful article about the symbolic planting that took place Tuesday at DEA headquarters by industrial hemp advocates.

The group included David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, North Dakota farmer Wayne Hauge, and 73-year-old Will Allen, a farmer from Vermont. VoteHemp staff were there as well.

A total of six were arrested for trespassing and will have hearings this week. The expected fine is $240.

The DEA had nothing to say.

Phillip Smith has detailed coverage of this protest, including video, over at Stop the Drug War.
{source – Drug War Rant}

How Will the Feds React to New State’s Rights Industrial Hemp Growing Laws?

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They are probably not very happy about it and look for them to try and stop it. It could cut into the profits of some mega-corporations and as we all know, hemp is an environmentally friendly crop. Can’t have that, can we?


Not just for Canadian farmers anymore?

Oregon Hemp Farming Bill Becomes Law

New State Program for Hemp Farmers to be Established

August 4, 2009

SALEM, OR — Vote Hemp, the leading grassroots advocacy organization working to give back farmers the right to grow industrial hemp (the oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis), enthusiastically supports the decision of Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to sign SB 676 into law today. The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 46 to 11 and the Senate by a vote of 27 to 2, permits the production, trade and possession of industrial hemp commodities and products. With the Governor’s signature, it now makes a politically bold commitment to develop hemp in a state whose slogan is “Oregon – We Love Dreamers.”

“I am glad that Oregon has joined the other states that have agreed that American farmers should have the right to re-introduce industrial hemp as an agricultural crop,” says SB 676 sponsor, Sen. Floyd Prozanski. “By signing SB 676 into law, which passed the Oregon Legislature with strong bi-partisan support, Governor Kulongoski has taken a proactive position allowing our farmers the right to grow industrial hemp, to provide American manufacturers with domestically-grown hemp, and to profit from that effort.” The new law sets up a state-regulated program for farmers to grow industrial hemp which is used in a wide variety of products, including nutritious foods, cosmetics, body care, clothing, tree-free paper, auto parts, building materials, fuels and much more. Learn more about hemp at www.VoteHemp.com.

“Oregon’s federal delegation can now take this law to the U.S. Congress and call for a fix to this problem, so American companies will no longer need to import hemp and American farmers will no longer be denied a profitable new crop,” comments Vote Hemp Director, Patrick Goggin. “Under current federal policy, industrial hemp can be imported, but it cannot be grown by American farmers. Hemp is an environmentally-friendly crop that has not been grown commercially in the U.S. for over fifty years because of a politicized and misguided interpretation of the nation’s drug laws by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). While a new federal bill in Congress, HR 1866, is a welcome step, the hemp industry is hopeful that the Obama administration will recognize hemp’s myriad benefits to farmers, businesses and the environment,” adds Goggin.

Many businesses in Oregon manufacture, market and sell hemp products, including Living Harvest, The Merry Hempsters, Wilderness Poets, Earthbound Creations, Sweetgrass Natural Fibers, Sympatico Clothing, Mama’s Herbal Soaps and Hempire. Living Harvest of Portland was recently ranked the third-fastest-growing company in Oregon, as awarded by The Portland Business Journal’s “Fastest-Growing Private 100 Companies” annual award. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to invest in hemp processing and production locally,” says Hans Fastre, CEO of Living Harvest. “This new law represents another step towards heightening the hemp industry’s profile within mainstream America and making hemp products more accessible to businesses and consumers.”

These Oregon-based companies have been on the leading edge of the growing hemp food and body care markets, which are currently estimated by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) to be $113 million in North American annual retail sales. The HIA estimates the 2008 annual retail sales of all hemp products in North America to be about $360 million. By allowing U.S. farmers to once again grow hemp, legislators can clear the way for a “New Billion-Dollar Crop.”

Hemp Farming Gains Support from More State Governments and Law Enforcement

According to the Illinois Valley News, Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said that he supports the legalization of industrial hemp. “I think it’s a good idea,” Gilbertson said in the article which appeared on July 29. “I think it’s a viable crop, and the entire county could benefit from it.”

On June 9, with little fanfare, Maine Governor John Baldacci signed the Maine hemp farming bill, LD 1159, into law. Maine’s House had previously passed the bill without objection, and the Senate later passed it by a strong vote of 25 to 10. The bill establishes a licensing regime for farming industrial hemp, although the licensing is contingent upon action by the federal government. Maine had previously passed a study bill that also defined industrial hemp. Like North Dakota, the new law in Oregon does not require a federal permit to grow industrial hemp.

During the 2009 legislative session, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Vermont all passed pro-hemp laws, resolutions or memorials. Sixteen states have passed pro-hemp legislation to date, and eight states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research. Like North Dakota, where farmers are in a federal court battle over their rights to grow hemp under state law without fear of federal prosecution, the new law in Oregon does not require a federal DEA permit to grow hemp.

# # #

Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop’s many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.HempIndustries.org.
source: Vote Hemp

The Many Environmental and Health Benefits of Hemp

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Above from: A new crop with new uses for North America

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 by: Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) It seems as though hemp is not only an answer to our global health problems, both for people who don’t have enough to eat and for people in the western world who are malnourished from eating the wrong foods, but also an answer to our environmental crisis.

The healing properties of hemp

Hemp seeds are perhaps the purest, most nutritionally dense food on our planet. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, and are also the only edible seeds with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an essential fatty acid. In fact, its essential fatty acid ratio is absolutely perfect for our bodies.
Many people think that it is impossible to be a vegan because protein comes from animal products such as meat and cheese. In actual fact, hemp seeds are a highly nutritious source of protein that is easily digested by the body in its natural raw state.

Some of the benefits of regularly including this potent and delicious super food in your diet are:

* Heart Health and Lowered Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is a sign that the heart is being overworked from having to constantly force blood through sluggish blood vessels. Clinical studies indicate that hemp products reduce inflammation and improve circulation, which means that the blood can flow and take the pressure off the heart.

* Better Digestion – The fiber and fats work wonders for our bowels.

* Losing Weight Naturally – Hemp will fill you up so you don’t feel hungry and crave foods that put on the pounds. Getting enough essential fats and other nutrients that are provided by hemp is one of the best ways to stay slim and healthy.

* More Energy – In our world we need all we can get!

* Healthy Cholesterol Levels – The natural fats and nutrients in hemp help us to maintain balanced cholesterol levels.

* Harmonious Blood Sugars levels – One of the most important ways to defy age and prevent disease is to maintain even blood sugar.

Hemp has a Wide Range of Environmentally Friendly Uses

Hemp offers a way to live in harmony with the environment and ecosystems we depend on.
Hemp is the world’s oldest and most versatile crop. In fact there are more than 25,000 known uses for it.

Hemp has the potential to replace all major non-renewable raw materials. Hemp fibre is stronger and more versatile than any other plant derived fibre, including cotton and wood. Hemp could also potentially replace petroleum products including plastics.

Deforestation is occurring at around 3% per year, and hemp is a far superior resource since it can be grown to maturity in 100 days. Hemp paper is far stronger and durable than paper made from trees.

Hemp is used in the world’s major currency banknotes because it is so strong and water resistant. It is also a sustainable replacement for concrete.

Hemp can grow anywhere and doesn’t require pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Evidence suggests that it can lift heavy metals from polluted soil. It also adds nutrients to soil by tapping into sub-soil nutrients other plants cannot access.

Hemp biomass fuel produces no sulphur and can be effectively used as a relatively clean power source due to its 95% fuel to feed ratio.

At the end of the day, we need to recognize that protecting our environment and our health go hand in hand.

About the author

Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous.
And her latest website www.raiselibido.com offers a vast quantity of information on how to increase sex drive and enjoy a vibrant sex life.

Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/023839.html

North Dakota Farmers Sue to Overturn U.S. Ban on Industrial Hemp

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 by: David Gutierrez

hemp(NaturalNews) A pair of North Dakota hemp farmers have filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn a federal ban on the production of commercial hemp.

North Dakota is the only state that allows the cultivation of industrial hemp, and the state legislature recently lifted a requirement that hemp farmers first seek permits from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

But because federal regulations still prohibit state-regulated hemp farming, North Dakota farmers Dave Monson and Wayne Hague filed a lawsuit on June 9 to overturn this ban. A federal court dismissed their case on November 29 (2007?), and the farmers have now appealed to the next level.

Monson and Hague argue that contrary to the DEA’s arguments, industrial hemp is not the same as marijuana. While both are varieties of the cannabis plant, hemp advocates point to numerous scientific studies showing that industrial hemp is genetically distinct and does not contain high enough concentrations of the narcotic chemical THC to be used as a recreational drug.

Industrial hemp varieties include those used to produce oilseeds or fiber plants. Advocates of hemp say that the plant can be produced with very low ecological impact compared with other fiber sources, such as cotton. In addition, the hemp seed is 25 percent protein, making it second only to soy beans as a vegetable source of complete protein.

The United States lifted its ban on the sale of hemp-containing foods in 2001, but did not lift the ban on production. This led to a surge in hemp cultivation in Canada, which currently exports approximately 90 percent of its crop and the products produced from its crop to the United States. The North American hemp market has continued to grow, now totaling $300 million in yearly retail sales.

Hemp advocates point to Canada as proof that hemp cultivation does not create drug problems.

“Canada grows over 30,000 acres of industrial hemp annually without any law enforcement problems,” said Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra.


Debunking the Hemp Conspiracy Theory

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Debunking the Hemp Conspiracy Theory

By Steven Wishnia, AlterNet. Posted February 21, 2008.

Pot isn’t illegal because the paper industry is afraid of competing with hemp — it’s because of racism and the culture wars.

Scratch a pothead and ask them why marijuana is outlawed, and there’s a good chance you’ll get some version of the “hemp conspiracy” theory. Federal pot prohibition, the story goes, resulted from a plot by the Hearst and DuPont business empires to squelch hemp as a possible competitor to wood-pulp paper and nylon. These allegations can be found anywhere from Wikipedia entries on William Randolph Hearst and the DuPont Company to comments on pot-related articles published here on AlterNet. And these allegations are virtually unchallenged; many people fervently believe in the hemp conspiracy, even though the evidence to back it up vaporizes under even minimal scrutiny.

You could make a stronger case for Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin of John F. Kennedy; Oswald at least left a not-quite-smoking gun at the scene.

https://i1.wp.com/www.erowid.org/culture/characters/herer_jack/images/herer_jack2_med.jpg Jack Herer

Pot activist Jack Herer’s book The Emperor Wears No Clothes is the prime source for the hemp-conspiracy theory. It alleges that in the mid-1930s, “when the new mechanical hemp fiber stripping machines to conserve hemp’s high-cellulose pulp finally became state of the art, available and affordable,” Hearst, with enormous holdings in timber acreage and investments in paper manufacturing, “stood to lose billions of dollars and perhaps go bankrupt.” Meanwhile, DuPont in 1937 had just patented nylon and “a new sulfate/sulfite process for making paper from wood pulp” — so “if hemp had not been made illegal, 80 percent of DuPont’s business would never have materialized.”

Herer, a somewhat cantankerous former marijuana-pipe salesman, deserves a lot of credit for his cannabis activism. He was a dedicated grass-roots agitator for pot legalization during the late 1980s, perhaps the most herb-hostile time in recent history. Despite a substantial stroke in 2001, he soldiers on; he’s currently campaigning to get a cannabis-legalization initiative on the ballot in Santa Barbara, California. The Emperor — an omnivorous conglomeration of newspaper clippings and historical documents about hemp and marijuana, held together by Herer’s cannabis evangelism and fiery screeds against prohibition — has been a bible for many pot activists. Unearthing a 1916 Department of Agriculture bulletin about hemp paper and a World War II short film that exhorted American farmers to grow “Hemp for Victory,” Herer more than anyone else revived the idea that the cannabis plant was useful for purposes besides getting high. Unfortunately, he’s completely wrong on this particular issue. The evidence for a “hemp conspiracy” just doesn’t stand up. It is far more likely that marijuana was outlawed because of racism and cultural warfare.

How marijuana was prohibited

Twentieth-century cannabis prohibition first reared its head in countries where white minorities ruled black majorities: South Africa, where it’s known as dagga, banned it in 1911, and Jamaica, then a British colony, outlawed ganja in 1913. They were followed by Canada, Britain and New Zealand, which added cannabis to their lists of illegal narcotics in the 1920s. Canada’s pot law was enacted in 1923, several years before there were any reports of people actually smoking it there. It was largely the brainchild of Emily F. Murphy, a feminist but racist judge who wrote anti-Asian, anti-marijuana rants under the pseudonym “Janey Canuck.”

In the United States, marijuana prohibition began partly as a throw-in on laws restricting opiates and cocaine to prescription-only use, and partly in Southern and Western states and cities where blacks and Mexican immigrants were smoking it. Missouri outlawed opium and hashish dens in 1889, but did not actually prohibit cannabis until 1935. Massachusetts began restricting cannabis in its 1911 pharmacy law, and three other New England states followed in the next seven years.

California’s 1913 narcotics law banned possession of cannabis preparations — which California NORML head Dale Gieringer believes was a legal error, that the provision was intended to parallel those affecting opium, morphine and cocaine. The law was amended in 1915 to ban the sale of cannabis without a prescription. “Thus hemp pharmaceuticals remained technically legal to sell, but not possess, on prescription!” Gieringer wrote in The Origins of Cannabis Prohibition in California. “There are no grounds to believe that this prohibition was ever enforced, as hemp drugs continued to be prescribed in California for years to come.” In 1928, the state began requiring hemp farmers to notify law enforcement about their crops.

New York City made cannabis prescription-only in 1914, part to pre-empt users of over-the-counter opium, morphine and cocaine medicines from switching to cannabis preparations, but with allusions to hashish use by Middle Eastern immigrants. In the West and Southwest, anti-Mexican sentiment quickly came into play. California’s first marijuana arrests came in a Mexican neighborhood in Los Angeles in 1914, according to Gieringer, and the Los Angeles Times said “sinister legends of murder, suicide and disaster” surrounded the drug. The city of El Paso, Texas, outlawed reefer in 1915, two years after a Mexican thug, “allegedly crazed by habitual marijuana use,” killed a cop. By the time Prohibition was repealed in 1933, 30 states had some form of pot law.

The campaign against cannabis heated up after Repeal. “I wish I could show you what a small marihuana cigaret can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents,” a Colorado newspaper editor wrote in 1936. “The fatal marihuana cigarette must be recognized as a DEADLY DRUG, and American children must be PROTECTED AGAINST IT,” the Hearst newspapers editorialized.

https://i1.wp.com/www.erowid.org/culture/characters/anslinger_harry/images/anslinger_harry1_med.jpg Harry Anslinger

Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, headed the charge. “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marihuana, he would drop dead of fright,” he thundered in 1937.

An ambitious racist (a 1934 memo described an informant as a “ginger-colored nigger”) who had previously been federal assistant Prohibition commissioner, Anslinger railed against reefer in magazine articles like 1937’s “Marihuana: Assassin of Youth.” It featured gory stories like that of Victor Licata, a once “sane, rather quiet young man” from Tampa, Fla., who’d killed his family with an axe in 1933, after becoming “pitifully crazed” from smoking “muggles.” (Actually, the Tampa police had tried to have Licata committed to a mental hospital before he started smoking pot.)

Anslinger’s other theme was that white girls would be ruined once they’d experienced the lurid pleasures of having a black man’s joint in their mouth. “Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with female students (white) smoking and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution,” he noted. “Result, pregnancy.”

In 1937, after a very cursory debate, Congress enacted the Marihuana Tax Act, levying a prohibitive $100-an-ounce tax on cannabis. “I believe in some cases one cigarette might develop a homicidal mania,” Anslinger testified in a hearing on the bill.

The case against the “hemp conspiracy”

The hemp-conspiracy theory blames that law on Hearst and DuPont’s plot to suppress hemp paper and cloth. The theory is that the invention of a hemp processor known as the “decorticator” made it easier, faster and much more cost-effective to extract hemp fiber from the stalks. In February 1938, Popular Mechanics hailed hemp as the “New Billion Dollar Crop.” In response, Hearst and DuPont, scared by the prospect of hemp’s resurrection as a competitor for their products, schemed to eliminate the plant.

However, The Emperor makes only three specific claims to support that theory. One is the anti-marijuana propagandizing of the Hearst newspapers. Second, it claims that Anslinger’s anti-pot crusade was on behalf of Pittsburgh banker Andrew Mellon, who supposedly was DuPont’s “chief financial backer,” lending the company the funds it needed to purchase General Motors in the 1920s. And finally, The Emperor argues that DuPont anticipated the Marihuana Tax Act in its 1937 annual report, which worried that the company’s future was “clouded with uncertainties” — specifically about “the extent to which the revenue-raising power of government may be converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization.”

None of these claims stand up.

Claim 1: Hearst the propagandist

According to W.A. Swanberg’s extensive biography Citizen Hearst, the Hearst chain was actually the nation’s largest purchaser of newsprint — and when the price rose from $40 a ton to over $50 in the late 1930s, he fell so deep in debt to Canadian paper producers and banks that he had to sell his prized art collection to avert foreclosure. “It therefore seems that it would have been in Hearst’s interest to promote cheap hemp paper substitutes, had that been a viable alternative,” Dale Gieringer wrote in his article, calling the hemp-conspiracy theory “fanciful” and a “myth.”

In any case, the Hearst papers never needed hidden self-interest to trumpet fiendish menaces. The expression “yellow journalism” comes from Hearst’s campaign for a war against Spain in 1898. And from the 1930s on, his papers were finding RED SUBVERSIVES and PINKO FELLOW-TRAVELERS under every bed. In 1935, a University of Chicago professor accused of being a Communist by the Hearst-owned Herald-Examiner told the Nation that the reporter covering him had admitted, “We do just what the Old Man orders. One week he orders a campaign against rats. The next week he orders a campaign against dope peddlers. Pretty soon he’s going to campaign against college professors. It’s all the bunk, but orders are orders.”

Claim 2: The Anslinger-DuPont Connection

There was an Anslinger-Mellon connection. Anslinger was appointed to head the Bureau of Narcotics by Andrew Mellon, his wife’s uncle, who was treasury secretary in the Herbert Hoover administration. However, it’s unlikely that DuPont needed to borrow money to buy GM in the 1920s, as the company had done very well as the leading manufacturer of explosives for the Allied forces during World War I.

Historians find no evidence of a DuPont-Mellon connection either. “General Motors was historically associated with the Morgan group during that period,” Mark Mizruchi, a professor of sociology and business administration at the University of Michigan, told me in an email interview in 2003. Sociologist G. William Domhoff of the University of California at Santa Cruz, author of Who Rules America?, concurred, saying it was safe to state there was no connection. And in the 440-page tome considered the definitive account of American banking and corporate finance during the Depression era, Mizruchi added, Japanese historian Tian Kang Go does not mention “even the smallest financial connection between DuPont and Mellon.”

Claim 3: Dubious DuPont claims

The argument that DuPont’s 1937 complaint about federal taxes had anything to do with hemp is an extremely dubious stretch. If the company had been talking about the government eliminating a competitor by levying a prohibitive tax, it wouldn’t have been worrying about the uncertainty of foreseeing new federal imposts. It would have been celebrating its newly cleared path. Given the context of the times, it’s almost certain that this statement was merely typical 1930s corporate-class whining about the New Deal’s social programs and business regulations — akin to current corporate-class complaints about government “social engineering.”

Poster, 'Weed With Roots in Hell'

Prohibition’s racist history

The belief that marijuana prohibition came about because of the secret machinations of an economic cabal ignores the pattern of every drug-law crusade in American history. From the 19th-century campaigns against opium and alcohol to the crack panic of the 1980s, they have all been fueled by racism and cultural war, conflated with fear of crime and occasionally abetted by well-intentioned reform impulses. (The financial self-interest of the prison-industrial complex has been a more recent development.) The first drug-prohibition laws in the United States were opium bans aimed at Chinese immigrants. San Francisco outlawed opium in 1875, and the state of California followed six years later. In 1886, an Oregon judge ruled that the state’s opium prohibition was constitutional even if it proceeded “more from a desire to vex and annoy the ‘Heathen Chinee’… than to protect the people from the evil habit,” notes Doris Marie Provine in Unequal Under Law: Race in the War on Drugs. In How the Other Half Lives, journalist Jacob Riis wrote of opium-addicted white prostitutes seduced by the “cruel cunning” of Chinese men.

The path to the 1914 federal narcotics law that limited cocaine and opioids to medical use — and was almost immediately interpreted as prescribing narcotics to addicts — was more complex. The main rationale was ending the over-the-counter sale of patent medicines such as heroin cough syrup, but there was a definite racist streak among advocates for controlling cocaine. “Cocaine is often the direct incentive to the crime of rape by the Negroes,” Hamilton Wright, the hard-drinking doctor-turned-diplomat who spearheaded the first major multinational drug-control agreements, told Congress. In 1914, Dr. Edward Huntington Williams opined in the New York Times Magazine that “once the negro has formed the habit, he is irreclaimable. The only method to keep him from taking the drug is by imprisoning him.”

The movement to prohibit alcohol was part puritanical, part racist. In the big cities, it was anti-immigrant. Bishop James Cannon of the Anti-Saloon League in 1928 denounced Italians, Poles and Russian Jews as “the kind of dirty people that you find today on the sidewalks of New York,” while in 1923, Imogen Oakley of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs described the Irish, Germans, and others as “insoluble lumps of unassimilated and unassimilable peoples … ‘wet’ by heredity and habit.” In the South, it was anti-black. “The disenfranchisement of Negroes is the heart of the movement in Georgia and throughout the South for the Prohibition of the liquor traffic,” Georgia prohibitionist A.J. McKelway wrote in 1907. “Liquor will actually make a brute out of a negro, causing him to commit unnatural crimes,” Alabama Rep. Richmond P. Hobson told Congress in 1914, a year after he’d sponsored the first federal Prohibition bill. (He said it had the same effect on white men, but took longer because they were “further evolved.”)

Prohibitionism was an early example of fundamentalist Christians’ political strength. The midpoint of William Jennings Bryan’s odyssey from the prairie populist of 1896 to the evolution foe of 1925 was his endorsement of Prohibition in 1910. The rural puritans were abetted by middle-class do-gooders who, when they saw a slum-dwelling factory hand come home drunk and beat his wife, would blame the saloon instead of the pressures of capitalist exploitation or the license of misogyny. And many industrial employers, including DuPont’s gunpowder division, demanded abstinent workers. World War I’s austerity was the final piece of the puzzle.

Prohibitionists played key roles in the campaign to outlaw cannabis. Harry Anslinger had been so hardline that he advocated prosecuting individual users for possession of alcohol. (Federal Prohibition, unlike the current marijuana laws, only banned sales, allowed personal possession and limited home brewing, and had an exemption for medical use.) Richmond P. Hobson, who crusaded against drugs in the 1920s as head of the World Narcotic Defense Association, was an early advocate of marijuana prohibition. In 1931, he told the federal Wickersham Commission that marijuana used in excess “motivates the most atrocious acts.” And in early 1936, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs joined Anslinger’s campaign to make reefers verboten.

In a country that was puritanical and racist enough in 1919 to outlaw alcohol in 1919, forbidding cannabis was politically very easy. Alcohol had been the most pervasive recreational drug in the Western world for millennia. Marijuana was virtually unknown. And though Prohibitionists — like the immigration laws of the 1920s, the resurgent Ku Klux Klan, and the 1928 presidential campaign against Irish Catholic Democrat Al Smith — demonized whiskey-sodden Micks, wine-soaked wops, traitorous beer-swilling Krauts and liquor-selling Jew shopkeepers, at least those people were sort of white. Marijuana was used mainly by Mexican immigrants and African-Americans.

The Nixon-era escalation of the war on drugs was one of the few times in U.S. history when white users were a prime target, as marijuana and LSD provided legal pretexts to attack the ’60s counterculture. Richard Nixon’s White House tapes captured him in 1971 growling that “every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish.” But Nixon and other law-and-order politicians were most successful when they lumped youthful cultural-political rebellion and black militance with ghetto heroin addiction and the rising crime of the 1970s. New York’s draconian Rockefeller drug laws, passed in 1973 as Gov. Nelson Rockefeller was trying to look “tough on crime,” were a harbinger of the federal mandatory minimums of the 1980s. The result was that more than 90 percent of the state’s drug prisoners are black or Latino.

The crack hysteria of the late 1980s was another example of the fear of dark-skinned demons breeding racially repressive law enforcement. Both federal and many state crack laws were designed to snare street dealers and bottom-level distributors, giving them the same penalties as powder-cocaine wholesalers. The racial results were obvious almost immediately. In overwhelmingly white Minnesota, more than 90 percent of the people convicted of possession of crack in 1988-89 were black. In the early 1990s, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Southern California went more than five years without prosecuting a white person for crack.

That pattern still holds: In 2003, 81 percent of the defendants sentenced on crack charges nationwide were black. And law enforcement didn’t spare the African-American innocent. In an August 1988 drug raid on an apartment block on Dalton Avenue in South Central Los Angeles, 88 city cops smashed walls and furniture with sledgehammers and axes, beat people with flashlights, and poured bleach on residents’ clothes — and arrested two teenagers who didn’t live there on minor drug charges.

Why do people believe it?

Why, then, do so many people believe in the “hemp conspiracy”? First, it’s the influence of The Emperor Wears No Clothes; many people inspired to cannabis activism by Jack Herer’s hemp-can-save-the-world vision and passionate denunciations of pot prohibition buy into the whole “conspiracy against marijuana” package. Another is that many stoners love a good conspiracy theory; secret cabals are simpler and sexier villains than sociopolitical forces. The conspiracist worldview, a hybrid of the who-really-killed-the-Kennedys suspicions of the ’60s left and the Bilderbergs-and-Illuminati demonology of the far right, is especially common in rural areas and among pothead Ron Paul supporters. Most people don’t have the historical or political knowledge to dispute a conspiracist flood of detailed half-truths.

Counterculture people who see the evil done by corporations and politicians are often quick to believe that they are thus guilty of anything and everything — that because the CIA tried to kill Fidel Castro with an exploding cigar, it’s therefore indisputable that it killed Bob Marley by giving him boots booby-trapped with a carcinogen-tipped wire. Witness the multitudes who zealously argue that because George W. Bush gained a political advantage from the 9/11 attacks and told a thousand lies to justify the war in Iraq, it’s proof that his operatives planted explosives in the World Trade Center and set them off an hour or so after the planes hit.

The Bush administration’s attempt to link buying herb to “supporting terrorism” proved more laughable than lasting. Yet the racism-culture war combination is still very potent. Among the 360,000 arrests for marijuana possession in New York City between 1997 and 2006, the decade when mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg turned the city into the nation’s pot-bust capital, 84 percent of the people popped were black or Latino, mostly young men. And the oft-cited statistic that there are more black men in prison than in college should be the equivalent of a doctor’s warning that the nation has a cholesterol level approaching Jerry Garcia’s after years on a diet of ice cream, cigarettes and heroin.


See more stories tagged with: marijuana, hemp

Steven Wishnia is the author of “Exit 25 Utopia,” “The Cannabis Companion” and “Invincible Coney Island.” He lives in New York.


Drug War Rants

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Thursday, January 17, 2008 <!– –><!– –>

Government sued for street value of pot

This one’s been sitting on my desktop for a week, but I didn’t want to let it go by…

You know how the government always brags about how much marijuana it seized in a bust by assigning the highest possible street value for every bit of it? This could come back to bite them.

Dickes, a 38-year-old Desert Shield Marine who suffers from debilitating pain after catching grenade shrapnel in the Gulf, says he was treated worse by Colorado police than by anyone in Iraq. In April, 2007 officers raided his home after receiving a tip from a neighbor and, according to his lawyer Robert J. Corry Jr., threw the disabled veteran to the ground, held him at gunpoint and ransacked his home. They found 71 marijuana plants, at least 65 of which they confiscated illegally, and they charged Dickes with felony cultivation. After eight months of legal wrangling, the Arapahoe County district attorney dismissed the charges, determining that Dickes was in fact a certified grower. But, by then, his plants were long dead.

Thanks to a referendum passed in 2000, Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado State Constitution stipulates that “any property… used in connection with the medical use of marijuana… shall not be harmed, neglected, injured, or destroyed while in the possession of state or local law enforcement officials.” Not being equipped with the growroom or know-how to maintain them, Aurora police simply uprooted the plants and threw them in the evidence room.

So Dickes is planning on suing the suburb of Aurora for over $360,000 in damages.



MPP doubles their offer

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Marijuana and Driving

The difference between drunk drivers and stoned drivers:

  • The drunk driver will speed through the stop sign without noticing it.
  • The stoned driver will stop and patiently wait for it to turn green.

The invoked boogeyman of reefer-crazed drivers on the road has been one of the convenient tools of the prohibitionist. The experienced marijuana smoker knows better — they know from experience that they avoid driving, and when they do drive, they drive more cautiously/less recklessly, more paranoid and alert even than when they’re sober, due to the marijuana-induced self-awareness of their impediment. But they also know that any attempt to explain that to the propaganda-fed general public will sound like the deluded braggadocio of the drunk who claims to be OK to drive.

So we’re very careful to say: “Well, certainly driving while stoned would still be illegal,” and without realizing it cede to the prohibitionists the fearmonger’s tool. The public, certain that legalization will mean an increase in use, logically imagine a future multitude of stoned drivers mowing down their children.

This is why I’ve been so vocal about the relative safety of stoned drivers — not to say that it’s OK to drive stoned, but rather to say that, of the many dangers we face daily, stoned drivers will always be one of the lowest.

We now have another resource — NORML’s Paul Armentano has put together a comprehensive review of the science: Cannabis and Driving: A Scientific and Rational Review. I think that it could well serve as a useful tool in providing sane alternatives to prohibitionist posturing. And there are a lot of excellent points, well referenced.

Personally, I find the report to share characteristics with its subject matter — it’s overly cautious, although I understand the desire for an organization like NORML to appear that way in order to gain mainstream credibility. I’m assuming the audience for this is not the general public, but rather the researcher and the media — it’s way too… dry for viral propagation. I may need to take on a project of creating a page similar to Why is Marijuana Illegal? related to cannabis and driving for distribution on messageboards and social networks. If so, I will certainly draw upon Armentano’s work, for which I am grateful.

I do question the strength of one of his assumptions:

Drivers should also be advised that engaging in the simultaneous use of both cannabis and alcohol can significantly increase their risk of accident compared to the consumption of either substance alone. 3233

I’ve not been able to read the complete studies referenced, but I’d certainly want to verify that they conclusively show that the combination of cannabis and alcohol is more dangerous in actual crash likelihood than alcohol alone (although they certainly do show that alcohol and cannabis are more dangerous than cannabis alone), and I’d also like to verify that they address the mitigating caution factor. Based on other studies I’ve read, I’m skeptical.

Additionally in this regard, I think the Transport study’s speculations are worth mentioning:

But the study also found that drivers on cannabis tended to be aware of their intoxicated state, and drove more cautiously to compensate. Indeed, doped-up volunteers often rated themselves as being more impaired than police surgeons brought in to evaluate their sobriety.

Surprisingly, drinking alcohol didn’t offset this cautious behaviour, opening up the unproven possibility that a driver who is moderately drunk might be better off under some conditions if they had also smoked.

Paul Armentano concludes with a call for the development of better cannabis-specific impairment testing. That’s something I also support, (although I’d push harder for it to actually be impairment-based and avoid phrases like “identify intoxicated drivers” (which I fear will lead to some cannabis equivalent of a 0.01 BAC)).

The development of such technology would also increase public support for the taxation and regulation of cannabis by helping to assuage concerns that liberalizing marijuana policies could potentially lead to an increase in incidences of drugged driving.42 Such concerns are a significant impediment to the enactment of marijuana law reform, and must be sufficiently addressed before a majority of the public will embrace any public policy that proposes regulating adult cannabis use like alcohol.

There’s where I disagree. Better testing will not, in my opinion, assuage the public. They know that testing doesn’t prevent drunk drivers from killing people. All that the implementation of better cannabis impairment testing will do is falsely tell them that cannabis driving is very dangerous — something that they already believe — and so, certain that legalization will mean an increase in use, they logically will imagine a future multitude of stoned drivers mowing down their children.

No, the way to assuage the public regarding legalization is to show them that driving while stoned is about as dangerous as driving with a cellphone. Something to be discouraged, maybe even outlawed. Certainly less dangerous than driving while fatigued. And not even in the same universe as driving while drunk.

The real reason to develop impairment based testing for cannabis drivers is two-fold:

  1. To prevent the prohibitionist claims that, since there is no reliable impairment test, we simply must outlaw driving with any metabolites in the body (the zero tolerance movement), thereby providing a sneaky way to prosecute people for smoking marijuana even if it was days before they drove.
  2. Let me tell you a true story…

Last Thursday, 17-year-old Courtney Anna Marie Kuenzi Kessenich of Spring Green, Wisconsin, was killed in a car crash. Courtney had been dating John Harrison (also 17) of Madison for about a year. There were planning to get engaged June 8 (her 18th birthday). She didn’t want to drive home from work in the snow Thursday night, so John offered to drive. On the way home, he lost control of the car, which went sideways and it was hit broadside. She died and he is in the hospital recovering from serious injuries.

It’s the tragic tale of so many young people on the roads. An accident. Two devastated families.

But it gets worse.

Police believe that they found some marijuana in the car and so they questioned Harrison while he was sedated and he admitted smoking a little pot earlier in the day.

So they arrested him “on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and causing injury by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.”

The charges are tentative and may still be dropped, but it’s completely outrageous that such charges can even be contemplated without any evidence of impairment.

There’s one other person who is devastated, and who is not going to take it — the girl’s father.

“It was an accident. It wasn’t his fault,” Kessenich said. “The road conditions were terrible and he lost control of the car and my daughter died. It was an accident. Why do I want to live with bitterness? I ‘m supporting him and his family.”

He said he wants Harrison to attend Courtney’s funeral today in Spring Green.

“John was like a son to me,” Kessenich said. “I’ve been agonizing over this. It ‘s going to be my mission to straighten it out. I don’t want her going down as a statistic from a drunk driver.”

The thing is… in the real world — not the fantasyland of the prohibitionists — people instinctively know that it’s extremely unlikely that pot caused Courtney’s death. In fact, some may even argue that if John had been stoned, he might have driven more slowly, or even convinced her not to make the trip home at all.

We know that there’s no justification in claiming Courtney died because of pot. But without a way to actually test for impairment, you can practically see the Dane County regulars salivating at the chance to point to a Death By Marihuana!

Even if it means ruining more innocent lives.

Drive careful out there. OK?



Marc Emery agrees to 5 years in Canadian prison (updated)


Marc Emery, Vancouver’s self-styled Prince of Pot, has tentatively agreed to a five-year prison term in a plea bargain over U.S. money laundering and marijuana seed-selling charges.

Facing an extradition hearing Jan. 21 and the all-but-certain prospect of delivery to American authorities, Emery has cut a deal with U.S. prosecutors to serve his sentence in Canada.

He also hopes it will save his two co-accused — Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams, who were his lieutenants for so much of the past decade. […]

If accepted by the courts in both countries, Emery said he will serve the full term and not be eligible for Canada’s lenient get-out-of-jail-early rules.

“I’m going to do more time than many violent, repeat offenders,” he complained. “There isn’t a single victim in my case, no one who can stand up and say, ‘I was hurt by Marc Emery.’ No one.”

Ian Mulgrew, the author of the article, goes on to editorialize pretty strongly that the Canadian government should step in…

It’s time for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to step in and say, sorry, Uncle Sam, not today — not ever.

Update: This report tells a slightly different story:

Emery says his lawyers told him there was no hope to refute the U.S. allegations and the American offer also includes no jail time for his co-accused Greg Williams and Michelle Rainey.

He says the American’s have demanded a 10-year prison term, where he serves at least five years in custody, most of it in Canada. […]

Emery, who’s been a vocal advocate for decriminalizing pot, says if the federal government agrees to the plea deal he could be going to serve time in a U.S. prison within the next 60 days.

Still 5 years actually served, but with the idea of some of it in the U.S.

Interesting, if this is true. Probably having a little bit of time served in the U.S. is a way for the U.S. prosecutors to save face? — be able to say that they actually successfully extradited him, without taking the chance of Canada balking?

Hope the lawyers are doing their job well with the negotiations (dotting i’s, making sure there are witnesses to the terms, etc.). Call me cynical, but I can’t help imagining some additional charges magically surfacing once Emery’s in the U.S.

Of course, remember that these are still preliminary reports.

Marc Emery, Prince of Pot


Tarika Wilson update and some good voices added to the discussion

Tarika Wilson, the Lima, Ohio mother of six who was shot to death by police in a drug raid was buried on Friday.

On Saturday, protesters marched through the streets of Lima once again.

Ms. Johnson, march organizer, said marchers will demonstrate every Saturday until they find out why Police Sgt. Joe Chavalia shot the 26-year-old woman on Jan. 4.

Two strong articles have appeared in the Lima News, which leads me to some hope that the important things are at least being discussed.

First, this OpEd by Ronald Lederman, Jr.: A War We Should Call Off

Two recent reports from groups advocating reform of the justice system show that, no matter what happened in that house on Third Street, all parties involved stood to be the victims of a war that has gone on for too long with no overall success. This most recent battle in our War on Drugs has claimed at least three lives directly, many more indirectly, all to take one alleged dealer out of circulation. The lives involved include a 26-year mother of six and a 31-year veteran officer.

But, truth be told, we can go to many corners of this region to find some manner of drugs, and that’s without counting alcohol as the drug it is. If Terry is everything prosecutors accuse him of being, is his being off the streets doing anything other than shifting traffic just a little?

But, lawmakers, who want to appear to be keeping us safe, pass increasingly tougher laws. They can claim credit for tougher laws, but we don’t hold them accountable enough for their role in what happened on Third Street. Police agencies that want to show they’re cleaning up the streets keep making busts without cutting very much into the overall supply. We end up locking many more people away, which means we’re spending billions of extra tax dollars, but the rate at which people use drugs isn’t declining. […]

Society would have much more money and much more prison space if we limited our police actions against drug users and dealers to those who actually present a serious risk.

And then there’s another one by Thomas J. Lucente, Jr.: The Ill-Conceived War on Drugs Destroying America

America’s ill-conceived War on Drugs cost another life this month when a police officer in Lima accidentally shot and killed a woman and injured her baby during a drug raid. They were looking for her boyfriend.

The accidental shooting of 26-year-old Tarika Wilson was just the latest in more than a quarter-century of bloodshed.

Read that whole piece by Lucente — it’s a very powerful rant.

It concludes:

This “us against them” attitude makes it increasingly easier for them to bust down doors on unsuspecting residents based on often-spurious tips from shady characters. They conduct pre-dawn raids with very little intelligence on what they will find in the house. Then, when an officer kills someone, they put up a wall of silence and claim the whole operation was “by the book.”

Well, whatever book they are using has no place in a free society where police should be protecting the liberties and freedoms of citizens — even if that freedom includes the recreational use of drugs.

The Constitution has become nothing but a doormat for government agents to trample on as they bust down another door to another American home looking for drugs that may or may not be there.