Does the hemp conspiracy continue?
In March 1992, Robert Bonner, the chief of the Drug Enforcement Agency, effectively rejected a petition to permit doctors to prescribe marijuana for patients as medication for chronic pain. Bonner said: "Beyond doubt the claims that marijuana is medicine are false, dangerous and cruel." But, according to a federal administrative law judge, Francis Young, "The record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people and doing so with safety under medical supervision." (The New York Times)
Conclusion - The Issue of Prohibition
To tell you the real truth, my interest isn't in drugs or in the criminalization of drugs although I think we should abolish the criminal penalties for drugs, and deal with it as the Europeans do in a medical way, but who cares? That's an opinion.
I am interested in a much larger issue, and that is the idea of Prohibition -- the use of criminal law to criminalize conduct that a large number of US seem to want to engage in.
How about the prohibition in England from 1840 to 1880 against the drinking of gin? Not drinking, just gin -- got it? The marijuana prohibition - because the story had never been told -- and it is an amazing story. Every single person who has ever written seriously about the national alcohol prohibition agrees on why it collapsed. Why? Because it violated that iron law of Prohibitions. What is the iron law of Prohibitions? Prohibitions are always enacted by US, to govern the conduct of THEM. Large numbers of people supported the idea of prohibition who were not themselves, opposed to drinking. Want to see it? Let me give you an example, 1919. You are a Republican in upstate New York. Whether you drink, or you don't, you are for the alcohol prohibition because it will close the licensed saloons in the City of New York which you view to be the corrupt patronage and power base of the Democratic Party in New York. So almost every Republican in New York was in favor of national alcohol prohibition. And, as soon as it passed, what do you think they said? "Well, what do you know? Success. Let's have a drink." That's what they thought, "let's have a drink." "Let's drink to this." A great success, you see. How could a country prohibit just the drinking of gin, not the drinking of anything else for forty years? Answer: The rich people drank whiskey and the poor people drank what? -- gin. Do you see it? Let's try the gambling prohibition. Have you ever seen the rhetoric that goes around the gambling prohibition? Because, who is not supposed to gamble? Oh, you know who is not supposed to gamble -- THEM poor people, that's who. My God, they will spend the milk money. They don't know how to control it. They can't handle it. But US? We know what we are doing. That's it. Every criminal prohibition has that same touch to it, doesn't it? It is enacted by US and it always regulates the conduct of THEM. And so, if you understand that is the name of the game, you don't have to ask me, or any of the other people which prohibitions will be abolished and which ones won't because you will always know. The iron law of prohibitions -- all of them -- is that they are passed by an identifiable US to control the conduct of an identifiable THEM. And a prohibition is absolutely done for when it does what? Comes back and bothers US. Let's just try the marijuana prohibition as a quick one. Who do you think was arrested 650,000 strong in 1993 for violation of the marijuana laws? Do you think it was all minority group members? Nope. It was not. It was some very identifiable children of US -- children of the middle class. No prohibition will stand -- ever-- when it comes back and penalizes our children -- the children of US who enacted it. And in fact, do you have any real doubt about that? But, let me say that I am not confident that good sense will prevail. Why? Because we love this idea of prohibition. We really do. They love it in the USA and we love it in this country. And so I will tell you what I predict. Well, folks, we are going to have a new prohibition because we love this idea that we can solve difficult medical, economic, and social problems by the simple enactment of a criminal law. We adore this, and of course, you judges work it out, we have solved our problem. Do you have it? Our problem is over with the enactment of the law. You and the cops work it out, but we have solved our problem.
Here comes the new one? What's it going to be? No, it won't be guns, this one starts easy. This one is the Surgeon General has what? --Determined -- not "we want a little more checking it out", not "we need a few more studies", not "reasonable people disagree" -- "The Surgeon General has determined that the smoking of cigarettes will kill you." There has to be another thing. It has to divide by class --- by social or economic class, between US and THEM. But, you know who has quit smoking, don't you? In gigantic numbers? The college-educated, that's who. The college-educated, that's who doesn't smoke. Who are they? Tomorrow's what? Movers and kickers, that's who. Tomorrow's movers and kickers don't smoke. Who does smoke? Oh, you know who smokes out of all proportion to their numbers in the society -- it is the people standing in your criminal courtrooms, that's who. Who are they? Tomorrow's moved and kicked, that's who. And, there it is friends, once it divides between the movers and kickers and the moved and kicked it is all over and it will be all over very shortly. You know that the cigarette companies are expecting it. What have they been doing? They have been shifting all of their operations out of the United States and diversifying like crazy. Where are they going to sell their cigarettes? In China and Africa, that's where. And they are already moving, because they see it and I see it. And cigarettes are no longer going to be three dollars a pack; they are going to be three dollars a piece. And who's going to sell them to you? Who will always sell them to you? The people who will sell you anything -- organized crime. You got the concept; they will go through the whole darn thing again because the USA is hooked on the notion of prohibition. Because the USA loves this idea of prohibitions, they can't live without them. They are their very favorite thing because they know how to solve difficult, social, economic, and medical problems -- a new criminal law with harsher penalties in every category for everybody.
South Africa had concerns about cannabis use among Indians brought to work in the colony. In 1870 a law was passed forbidding the smoking, use or possession of hemp by Indians.
In 1911, South Africa began the outlawing of marijuana for the same reasons as New Orleans: to stop insolent blacks! White South Africa, along with Egypt, led the international fight (League of Nations) to have cannabis outlawed worldwide.
The BANTUS (Africa) had secret Dagga Cults, societies which restricted cannabis use to the ruling men. The Pygmies, Zulus, and Hottentots all found it an indispensable medication for cramps, epilepsy, and gout, and as a religious sacrament. Their "Dagga" cults believed Holy Cannabis was brought to earth by the Gods, in particular from the "Two Dog Star" system that we call Sirius A and B. "Dagga" literally means "cannabis." Interestingly, the surviving Indo-European word for the plant can also be read as "canna," "reed" and "bi," "two," as well as 'canna,' as in canine; and 'bis,' meaning two (bi) ß "Two Dogs." South Africa still allowed its black mine workers to smoke dagga in the mines, though. Why? Because they were more productive! In fact, in that same year, South Africa influenced southern U.S. legislators to outlaw cannabis (which many black South Africans revered as "dagga, their sacred herb). Many South Africans' American business headquarters were in New Orleans at the time.
This is the whole racial and religious (Medieval Catholic Church) basis out of which our laws against hemp arose.
Are you proud?
Current international treaties
The international treaties relating to cannabis are the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971 and the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Vienna Convention).
Isn't it interesting that in 1985 the U.S. incarcerated a larger percentage of people than any country in the world except South Africa? In 1989, the U.S. surpassed South Africa, and the 1997 incarceration rate is almost four times that of South Africa, is the highest in the world, and is growing.
History of marijuana & cannabis use and abuse
6000 B.C. Cannabis seeds used for food in China. 4000 B.C. Textiles made of hemp are used in China. (Pharmacotheon) 2727 B.C. First recorded use of cannabis as medicine in Chinese pharmacopoeia. In every part of the world humankind has used cannabis for a wide variety of health problems. 1500 B.C. Cannabis cultivated in China for food and fiber. 1500 B.C. Scythians cultivate cannabis and use it to weave fine hemp cloth. (Sumach 1975) 1200-800 B.C. Cannabis is mentioned in the Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as "Sacred Grass", one of the five sacred plants of India. It is used by medicinally and ritually as an offering to Shiva. 700-600 B.C. The Zoroastrian Zend-Avesta, an ancient Persian religious text of several hundred volumes, and said to have been written by Zarathustra (Zoroaster), refers to bhang as Zoroaster's "good narcotic" (Vendidad or The Law Against Demons) 700-300 B.C. Scythian tribes leave cannabis seeds as offerings in royal tombs. 500 B.C. Scythian couple die and are buried with two small tents covering censers. Attached to one tent stick was a decorated leather pouch containing wild Cannabis seeds. This closely matches the stories told by Herodotus. The gravesite, discovered in the late 1940s, was in Pazryk, northwest of the Tien Shan Mountains in modern-day Khazakstan. 500 B.C. Hemp is introduced into Northern Europe by the Scythians. An urn containing leaves and seeds of the Cannabis plant, unearthed near Berlin, is dated to about this time. 500-100 B.C. Hemp spreads throughout northern Europe. 430 B.C. Herodotus reports on both ritual and recreation use of Cannabis by the Scythians (Herodotus - The Histories 430 B.C. trans. G. Rawlinson). 100 B.C.-0 The psychotropic properties of Cannabis are mentioned in the newly compiled herbal Pen Ts'ao Ching which is attributed to an emperor c. 2700 B.C. 0-100 A.D. Construction of Samartian gold and glass paste stash box for storing hashish, coriander, or salt, buried in Siberian tomb. 70 A.D. Dioscorides mentions the use of Cannabis as a Roman medicament. 170 A.D. Galen (Roman) alludes to the psychoactivity of Cannabis seed confections. 500-600 A.D. The Jewish Talmud mentions the euphoriant properties of Cannabis. (Abel 1980) 900-1000 A.D. Scholars debate the pros and cons of eating hashish. Use spreads throughout Arabia. 1090-1256 A.D. In Khorasan, Persia, Hasan ibn al-Sabbah, the Old Man of the Mountain, recruits followers to commit assassinations...legends develop around their supposed use of hashish. These legends are some of the earliest written tales of the discovery of the inebriating powers of cannabis and the supposed use of hashish. 1200s Cannabis is introduced in Egypt during the reign of the Ayyubid dynasty on the occasion of the flooding of Egypt by mystic devotees coming from Syria. (M.K. Hussein 1957 - Soueif 1972) Early 1200s Hashish smoking very popular throughout the Middle East. 1155-1221 Persian legend of the Sufi master Sheik Haidar's of Khorasan's personal discovery of Cannabis and it's subsequent spread to Iraq, Bahrain, Egypt and Syria. Another of the ealiest written narratives of the use of Cannabis as an inebriant. 1300s The oldest monograph on hashish, Zahr al-'arish fi tahrim al-hashish, was written. It has since been lost. 1300s Ibn al-Baytar of Spain provides a description of psychaoctive Cannabis. 1300s Arab traders bring Cannabis to the Mozambique coast of Africa. 1231 Hashish introduced to Iraq in the reign of Caliph Mustansir (Rosenthal 1971) 1271-1295 Journeys of Marco Polo in which he gives second-hand reports of the story of Hasan ibn al-Sabbah and his "assassins" using hashish. First time reports of Cannabis have been brought to the attention of Europe. 1378 Ottoman Emir Soudoun Scheikhouni issues one of the first edicts against the eating of hashish. 1526 Babur Nama, first emperor and founder of Mughal Empire learned of hashish in Afghanistan. mid 1600s The epic poem, Benk u Bode, by the poet Mohammed Ebn Soleiman Foruli of Baghdad, deals allegorically with a dialectical battle between wine and hashish. 1700s Use of hashish, alcohol, and opium spreads among the population of occupied Constantinople. Late 1700s Hashish becomes a major trade item between Central Asia and South Asia. 1809 Antoine Sylvestre de Sacy, a leading Arabist, reveals the etymology of the words "assassin" and "hashishin“ 1840 In America, medicinal preparations with a cannabis base are available. Hashish available in Persian pharmacies. 1843 Le Club des Hachichins, or Hashish Eater's Club, established in Paris. after 1850 Hashish appears in Greece. 1856 British tax ganja and charas trade in India 1870-1880 First reports of hashish smoking on Greek mainland. 1875 Cultivation for hashish introduced to Greece.1877 Kerr reports on Indian ganja and charas trade. 1890 Greek Department of Interior prohibits importation, cultivation and use of hashish. 1890 Hashish made illegal in Turkey. 1893-1894 The India Hemp Drugs Commission Report is issued.1893- 1894 70,000 to 80,000 kg of hashish legally imported into India from Central Asia each year.
Early 1900s Hashish smoking very popular throughout the Middle East. 1915-1927 Cannabis begins to be prohibited for nonmedical use in the U.S., especially in SW states...California (1915), Texas (1919), Louisiana (1924), and New York (1927). 1920 Metaxus dictators in Greece crack down on hashish smoking. 1920s Hashish smuggled into Egypt from Greece, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Central Asia. 1926 Lebanese hashish production peaks after World War I until prohibited in 1926. 1928 Recrational use of Cannabis is banned in Britain. 1920s-1930s High-quality hashish produced in Turkey near Greek border. 1930 Yarkand region of Chinese Turkestan exports 91,471 kg of hashish legally into the Northwest Frontier and Punjab regions of India. 1930s Legal taxed imports of hashish continue into India from Central Asia. 1934-1935 Chinese government moves to end all Cannabis cultivation in Yarkand and charas traffic from Yarkand. Both licit and illicit hashish production become illegal in Chinese Turkestan. 1937 Cannabis made federally illegal in the U.S. with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act 1938 Supply of hashish from chinese Turkestan nearly ceases. 1940s Greek hashish smoking tradition fades. 1941 Indian government considers cultivation in Kashmir to fill void of hashish from Chinese Turkestan. 1941-1942 Hand-rubbed charas from Nepal is choicest hashish in India during World War II. 1945 Legal hashish consumption continues in India. 1945-1955 Hashish use in Greece flourishes again. 1950s Hashish still smuggled into India from Chinese Central Asia. 1950s Moroccan government tacitly allows kif cultivation in Rif Mountains. 1962 First hashish made in Morocco 1963 Turkish police seize 2.5 tons of hashish. 1965 First reports of C. afghanica use for hashish production in northern Afghanistan. 1965 Mustafa comes to Ketama in Morocco to make hashish from local kif. 1966 The Moroccan government attempts to purge kif growers from Rif Mountains. 1967 "Smash", the first hashish oil appears. Red Lebanese reaches California. Late 1960s-Early 1970s The Brotherhood popularizes Afghani hashish. 1970-1973 Huge fields of Cannabis cultivated for hashish production in Afghanistan. Last years that truly great afghani hashish is available. Oct 27, 1970 The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is passed. Part II of this is the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) which defines a scheduling system for drugs and places most of the known hallucinogens (LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, peyote, cannabis) in Schedule I. 1972 The Nixon-appointed Shafer Commission urged use of cannabis be re-legalized, but their recommendation was ignored. Medical research continues. Early 1970s Lebanese red and blonde hashish of very high-quality exported. The highest quality Turkish hashish from Gaziantep near Syria appears in western Europe. Early 1970s Afghani hashish varieties introduced to North America for sinsemilla production. Westerners bring metal sieve cloths to Afghanistan. Law enforcement efforts against hashish begin in Afghanistan. 1973 Nepal bans the Cannabis shops and charas (hand-rolled hash) export. 1973 Afghan government makes hashish production and sales illegal. Afghani harvest is pitifully small. 1975 FDA establishes Compassionate Use program for medical marijuana. 1976-1977 Quality of Lebanese hashish reaches zenith. 1978 Westerners make sieved hashish in Nepal from wild Cannabis. Late 1970s Increasing manufacture of "modern" Afghani hashish. Cannabis varieties from Afghanistan imported into Kashmir for sieved hashish production. 1980s Morocco becomes one of, if not the largest, hashish producing and exporting nations. 1980s "Border" hashish produced in northwestern Pakistan along the Afghan border to avoid Soviet-Afghan war. 1985 Hashish still produced by Muslims of Kashgar and Yarkland (NW China). 1986 Most private stashes of pre-war Afghani hashish in Amsterdam, Goa, and America are nearly finished. 1987 Moroccan government cracks down upon Cannabis cultivation in lower eleations of Rif Mountains. 1988 DEA administrative law Judge Francis Young finds after thorough hearings that marijuana has clearly established medical use and should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. 1993 Cannabis eradication efforts resume in Morocco. 1994 Heavy fighting between rival Muslim clans continues to upset hashish trade in Afghanistan. 1994 Border hashish still produced in Pakistan. 1995 Introduction of hashish-making equipment and appearance of locally produced hashish in Amsterdam coffee shops. Sept 1 2003 The Netherlands became the world's first country to make cannabis available as a prescription drug to treat chronically ill patients.
Hemp is farmed for the harvest of its valuable pulp, fibre, grain and oil. It can be used as an oxygen crop, to prevent soil erosion and to suppress noxious weeds. Its ease of cultivation and resistance to pests and disease allows hemp to be a suitable inclusion in any crop rotation. Hemp grows well in a moderately cool, temperate climate with a neutral or slightly alkaline soil pH. In fact only the bare essentials are required i.e., soil, water, sunlight and air. Hemp is a self-seeding, self-weeding and self-fertilizing plant, hence takes care of itself and can be grown in almost any country in the world.
Companies such as Mercedes,BMW, Ford etc are using hemp in components such as gaskets, seat covers, floor mats and interior panelling. Indeed hemp fibre is currently being tested as a replacement for fibreglass in the industry.
Health and Beauty
Use in this sector is not entirely new but is being increasingly used for massage oils, lip balms, soaps and shampoos. Hemp oil is high in vitamin and essential fatty acids, which can assist in the human body's ability to heal naturally. It can also be used in animal feed and other foodstuff and dietary supplements.
Interestingly the first pair of Levi jeans were made from hemp. It can be used to create blankets, mattresses, carpets, draperies, furniture, towels, hats, shoes, luggage bags, sails and tents. Hemp fibres are longer, stronger, more lustrous and less susceptible to rotting or mildew than many of its competitors. Paper Hemp paper has existed since 150 BC when the Chinese produced the first one hundred percent hemp paper. It has a yield-per-acre which is several times higher than that of trees. It can resist decomposition and does not fade or turn yellow but is more costly than paper processed from wood.
"Why use up the forest which were centuries in the making and the mines which require ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the fields."
• Farming 6% of the continental U.S. acreage with biomass crops would provide all of America's energy needs.
• Hemp is Earth's number-one biomass resource; it is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in four months.
• Biomass can be converted to methane, methanol, or gasoline at a cost comparable to petroleum, and hemp is much better for the environment. Pyrolysis (charcoalizing), or biochemical composting are two methods of turning hemp into fuel.
• Hemp can produce 10 times more methanol than corn.
• Hemp fuel burns clean. Petroleum causes acid rain due to sulfur pollution.
• The use of hemp fuel does not contribute to global warming.
• Hemp seed can be pressed into nutritious oil, which contains the highest amount of fatty acids in the plant kingdom. Essential oils are responsible for our immune system responses, and clear the arteries of cholesterol and plaque.
• The byproduct of pressing the oil from hemp seed is high quality protein seed cake. It can be sprouted (malted) or ground and baked into cakes, breads, and casseroles. Hemp seed protein is one of mankind's finest, most complete and available-to-the-body vegetable proteins.
• Hemp seed was the world's number one wild and domestic bird seed until the 1937 Marijuana prohibition law. Four million pounds of hemp seed for songbirds were sold at retail in the U.S. in 1937. Birds will pick hemp seeds out and eat them first from a pile of mixed seed. Birds in the wild live longer and breed more with hemp seed in their diet, using the oil for the feathers and their overall health.
• Hemp is the oldest cultivated fiber plant in the world.
• Low-THC fiber hemp varieties developed by the French and others have been available for over 20 years. It is impossible to get high from fiber hemp. Over 600,000 acres of hemp is grown worldwide with no drug misuse problem.
• One acre of hemp can produce as much usable fiber as 4 acres of trees or two acres of cotton.
• Trees cut down to make paper take 50 to 500 years to grow, while hemp can be cultivated in as little as 100 days and can yield 4 times more paper over a 20 year period. Until 1883, from 75-90% of all paper in the world was made with cannabis hemp fiber including that for books, Bibles, maps, paper money, stocks and bonds, newspapers, etc.
• Hemp paper is longer lasting than wood pulp, stronger, acid-free, and chlorine free. (Chlorine is estimated to cause up to 10% of all Cancers.)
• Hemp paper can be recycled 7 times, wood pulp 4 times.
• If the hemp pulp paper process reported by the USDA in 1916, were legal today it would soon replace 70% of all wood paper products.
Rag paper containing hemp fiber is the highest quality and longest lasting paper ever made. It can be torn when wet, but returns to its full strength when dry. Barring extreme conditions, rag paper remains stable for centuries.
• Hemp particle board may be up to 2 times stronger than wood particleboard and holds nails better.
• Hemp is softer, warmer, more water absorbent, has three times the tensile strength, and is many times more durable than cotton. Hemp production uses less chemicals than cotton.
• From 70-90% of all rope, twine, and cordage was made from hemp until 1937.
• A strong lustrous fiber; hemp withstands heat, mildew, insects, and damage by light. Oil paintings on hemp and/or flax canvas have stayed in fine condition for centuries.
• Deaths from marijuana use: 0
• From 1842 through the 1880s, extremely strong marijuana (then known as cannabis extractums), hashish extracts, tinctures, and elixirs were routinely the second and third most-used medicines in America for humans (from birth through old age). These extracts were also used in veterinary medicine until the 1920s and longer.