Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hemp vs. Coal?

I just saw the article below and am wondering if this can be true? Can hemp really compete with coal? I'll have to do some research into bio-charcoal because right now I don't know anything about it.

ALCP call for end to Coal Mining in NZ

ALCP call for end to Coal Mining in NZ
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party are calling for a permanent end to Coal Mining in New Zealand. "Coal is a dirty 19th century fuel, that is redundant in the 21st century. New Zealand currently produces half its electricity from coal and also exports coal internationally. As a result New Zealand contributes significantly to man made climate change," said spokesperson Julian Crawford.
The Party points to the fact that there are alternatives to Coal that can be produced and combusted without any adverse impact on the environment. "Cannabis Hemp is the only crop capable of producing carbon-neutral bio-charcoal in the same quantities as existing coal supplies. This would permanently end the need for dangerous and environmentally destructive coal mining," said Mr Crawford.

Monday, November 29, 2010

National Cannabis Industry Association

I just learned that there is now a national trade organization for the cannabis (marijuana) industry.

Their home page is here: National Cannabis Industry Association

The copy that follows is from their 'about' page.

The National Cannabis Industry Association was founded on the principle of power in numbers.  Thousands of American businesses are involved in some fashion in the cannabis industry, yet they are often ignored at the federal level. These businesses, collectively, are a tremendous economic force and should have a voice on the national stage. We are that voice.
  • NCIA publicly advocates for the unique needs of the emerging cannabis industry and defends against those aiming to eliminate the legal market for cannabis and cannabis-related products.
  • NCIA is the nation’s only industry-led advocacy group engaging in legislative efforts to expand and further legitimize the legal cannabis market in the U.S.
  • NCIA is the only national marijuana policy reform organization with a fully democratic process that allows its members to choose the board of directors through annual elections.

Of course the Hemp Industries Association has been formally advocating for the re-legalization of hemp since 1992. Their home page is here: Hemp Industries Association The following copy is from their website:

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is a non-profit trade group representing hemp companies, researchers and supporters. We are at the forefront of the drive for fair and equal treatment of industrial hemp. Since 1992, the HIA has been dedicated to education, industry development, and the accelerated expansion of hemp world market supply and demand.
The hemp industry has positioned itself over the past decade to once again become a major global economic force in the 21st century. Hemp is one of our planet's most important natural resources, and we advocate using it to its full potential.

If you are currently involved in the hemp industry, thinking of starting a hemp business, or support hemp commerce, please consider becoming a member.

The History of Cannabis

8000 BC: the first woven fabric is made of hemp
2727 BC: China begins using marijuana as medicine
105 AD: the Chinese make the first paper from mulberry and hemp
500 AD: cannabis reaches Europe by way of India and Africa
1484: the Pope declares that smoking cannabis is sacrilegious
1492: Christopher Columbus brings cannabis sativa to the New World
1619: Jamestown colony law requires all settlers to grow cannabis
1776: the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper
1789: Napoleon discovers Egyptian lower class smokes pot habitually. He bans it in France
1797: Washington’s primary crop at Mount Vernon is cannabis
1859: US domestic production of hemp peaks just before the civil war at 40,000 tons
1876: The Sultan of Turkey gives the US marijuana as a gift
1880: Turkish smoking parlors open up all over the Northeast US
1891: Queen Victoria is prescribed marijuana to relieve menstrual cramps
1908: Henry Ford’s first model T is made with hemp plastic and runs on hemp ethanol
1914: El Paso Texas passes a city law banning possession of marijuana
1919: The Dutch pass the Opium Act, the road map for Holland’s tolerance of soft drug use
1920 – 1933: US prohibition on alcohol
1928: the UK bans the recreational use of cannabis under the Dangerous Drugs Act
1935: Henry Ford’s Farm Chermugic Council Report plans to ‘grow’ both car parts and fuel from the land using hemp, as an attempt to merge urban industry with the farmer
1937: Federal law bans marijuana via the marijuana tax act
1937: America makes first pot arrest. Samuel R. Caldwell gets four years for possession
1941: Henry Ford introduces a car made with plastic hemp panels (also sisal and wheat straw)
1942: the US Military uses marijuana as truth serum
1942: The USDA releases “Hemp for Victory” and 200,000 pounds of seeds to the American farmers
1943: my grandfather grows “Hemp for Victory” for the USDA
1944: The Laguardia Report (NYC) found no reason to keep marijuana illegal
1944: Harry Anslinger threatened to jail any doctors who researched marijuana
1947: the federal ‘war on marijuana’ 1937 to 1947 costs taxpayers $220 million
1951: my grandfather’s aging, uncollected, federal ‘victory’ hemp pile burns to the ground
1951: US passes the Boggs Act which imposes strict mandatory minimum sentences on all drug crimes. Marijuana is lumped together with all narcotics for the first time.
1956: US passes the Narcotic Control Act, further escalating all drug penalties
1961: at the United Nations, 100 countries agree to make marijuana illegal around the world via the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs
1963: war on marijuana, 1948-1963, costs US taxpayers $1.5 billion
1060’s: the average THC concentration of cannabis is less than 1%
1961: The U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs effectively outlawed marijuana all around the world
1964: Lowell Eggemeier challenges current marijuana laws in San Francisco and started the first legalize marijuana organization, LEMAR
1965: one million Americans had tried marijuana
1968: The Wootton Report (UK) concludes that marijuana should be decriminalized
1969: Senate hearing on Marijuana Legislation; congress passes the Controlled Substances act which reduced mandatory minimum penalties for possession in 1970
1969: War on marijuana, 1964 to 1969 costs US taxpayers $9 billion
1970: The LeDain Report (Canada) concludes that marijuana should be decriminalized
1972: 24 million Americans had tried marijuana
1972: The Schafer Report (for Nixon) recommended marijuana be decriminalized
1970’s: Hawaiian pot growers are the first to grow marijuana hydroponically
1972: Ann Arbor, Michigan is the first city to decriminalize simple marijuana possession
1973: Nixon established the Drug Enforcement Agency
1973: Oregon is the first state to decriminalize marijuana
1974: Medical College of Virginia study “Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids,”finds evidence that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia. The report is surpressed.
1975: Ganga in Jamaica report found medical benefits to the use of marijuana
1976: on the campaign trail, Jimmy Carter comes out in favor of decriminalization
1977: War on marijuana, 1970 to 1977, costs US taxpayers $76 billion
1980’s: the Regan administration begins its war on drugs
1980: Cannabis in Costa Rica report finds no reason for marijuana to be illegal
1980: War on marijuana, 1980 to 1998, $214.7 billion
1980’s: every 38 seconds someone is arrested for violating cannabis law
1989: California’s governor Dukmejian recommended that marijuana be decriminalized and allow cultivation for personal use
1993: the UK licensed the growing of industrial hemp
1994 (spring): Chris Boucher’s industrial hemp crop in the Imperial Valley, California is permitted by the USDA
1994 (fall): Chris Boucher’s industrial hemp crop is confiscated by the feds
1985: Jack Herer publishes his underground classic “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” which may have saved hemp from oblivion.
1996: Proposition 215 passes in California, medical marijuana is legal
1998: Canada re-legalizes industrial hemp
2000: researchers in Madrid announce they have destroyed incurable brain cancer tumors in rats by injecting them with THC. This research report is ignored and supressed
2002: Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy (Senate) report finds no reason for marijuana to be illegal
2003: Canada is the first country in the world to offer medical marijuana to its patients
2004: Oakland passes Measure Z which demotes marijuana to the lowest legal priority
2005: (August) Los Angeles dispensary count: 11
2006: (August) Los Angeles dispensary count: 93
2006: (December) Los Angeles dispensary count: 237
2008: the average THC concentration is 9.6%
2008: the UN reports that 172 countries or territories worldwide grow marijuana
2009: Los Angeles dispensary count: 'guesstimated' at 1,000 +
2010: Los Angeles dispensary count now allowed by law: less than 130
Today: marijuana is America’s # 1 cash crop at $36 billion per year
2010: California’s Prop 19 fails to legalize marijuana for all adults for all purposes. Hemp would have been legalized as well.
2010: Arizona’s Prop 203 passes, protecting medical marijuana and a dispensary system

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I just finished reading John Geluardi's book Cannabiz: The Explosive Rise of the Medical Marijuana Industry. It is a good overview of the evolution of the medical marijuana business and highlights some important issues, such as the following:
  • The total value of the marijuana business (medical and recreational) across the USA is anywhere from $35 to $120 billion annually, depending upon which data you accept. Of course, any estimates of a black market business will be wild guesses. 
  • 15 states now allow sales of medical marijuana although Arizona just passed their Prop 203 and the rules are just now being worked out. 
  • Oakland, California is at the vanguard of this new industry, working out regulations and taxes for patient IDs, dispensaries and is now working on industrial scale grow operations. The world's first "Cannabis College" was established in 2007 by Richard Lee in downtown Oakland and is called Oaksterdam University as an homage to Amsterdam and the decriminalization of soft drugs that the Dutch have pioneered. 
  • Both the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association are calling for more study and agree that marijuana should no longer be a Schedule 1 controlled substance which is defined as having no medical use whatsoever. 
  • Statewide Insurance is now offering policies for the cannabis industry.
  • With reference to Richard Nixon's Shafer Commission study in 1972, which recommended that marijuana be decriminalized but was ignored by Nixon as he upped the budget for the War On Drugs, Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan says that Nixon's handling of the Shafer Comission report is one of the greatest government injustices in American History. "I was only two years old when the Shafer Report came out, but I can see the result of Nixon ignoring it. You have millions of people in prison, huge racial disparities, huge social costs, and it's all based on lies," she said. "Another thing that is amazing is the cult of silence that surrounds the hypocrisy. Everybody in government knew the war on marijuana was unwarranted, but they kept silent while millions of lives were destroyed and families ruined. It's an outrageous example of an unethical and destructive government act." 
 I think that last comment by Rachel Kaplan is key to the whole debate about re-legalizing cannabis. The cult of silence has been an impediment to change for over 70 years. Politicians usually have nothing to gain by speaking out in favor of marijuana or industrial hemp but may have much to lose since so many voters are so misinformed of the history and uses of the cannabis plant. So they just say and do nothing when the subject comes up. Finally we can see this starting to change.

Recall that this blog is supposed to be focused on hemp and not on marijuana, but since the two are so tied together it is difficult to ignore marijuana on a hemp blog. Plus the only real progress that is happening these days is all around medical marijuana. Eventually industrial hemp will be legalized, but for now progress will come from the female plant.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Senate Judiciary Committee Likely to Confirm Michele Leonhart Today

The Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to confirm Michele Leonhart today. In the past she has proven to be hostile towards both hemp and medical marijuana so her nomination is opposed by progressives in both movements.

Senate Judiciary Committee Likely to Confirm

"And she is being opposed as well for her DEA's recalcitrance when it comes to industrial hemp. In a July letter a to the committee, the industry group Vote Hemp said it opposed Leonhart's nomination because under her tenure DEA continues to block hemp production in the US, has failed for more than three years to respond to several applications from North Dakota-licensed farmers to grow hemp, and continues to maintain the ridiculous fiction that hemp is marijuana."

The Uses of Hemp

Seven primary uses of hemp:
  1. Fuel
  2. Paper
  3. Housing
  4. Inspiration
  5. Textiles
  6. Food
  7. Oil

Monday, November 15, 2010

Arizona's Prop 203 Passes

Good news from the East! Arizona finally finished tabulating all the ballots and Prop 203 passed. That means that medical marijuana is protected in Arizona. The details will be worked out by the Arizona Department of Health Services between now and April of 2011. Their website is here: Arizona Department of Health Services

Note that the passage of Proposition 203 is not final until the Statewide Canvas on November 29, 2010.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hemp Community Business Model

Cannabis has been free for 99.999% of human history. It is arguably the single most beneficial plant on earth for humans and for the environment. The fact that a natural plant is outlawed is a testament to hubris, ignorance and corruption of the highest order and history will look back on its prohibition with shame and awe.

Cannabis will be free one day soon because reason and the will of the people will prevail over the encroachments of politicians, injustice, corporate greed and the Codex Alimentarius.

Cannabis must be free because we need both marijuana and hemp to heal an ailing populace and our wounded world.

And finally, cannabis must be free because I am an aspiring American hemp farmer and I want to get to work now. My grandfather grew “Hemp for Victory” in the war effort and I plan to carry on the family tradition.

My plan is to start farming hemp in limited quantities in Oakland under the provisions of the medical marijuana laws and also start farming on an industrial scale on the US-Canada border using the maquiladora model where the hemp is legally grown on the Canadian side of the border and processed on the USA side. By building my expertise now I will be well positioned to expand production in the USA when prohibition falls.

I also aim to teach a hemp class at Oaksterdam when Richard Lee decides to expand the curriculum. As a member of the Hemp Industries Association I can draw on the best experts in the field and will develop an Oaksterdam Hemp course and a hemp based community business model that can quickly be replicated across the country at the ever-growing Oaksterdam campus network as soon as hemp is legalized.

The hemp community business model (or Hemp Campus) will be designed around the farmer’s market and community garden models for rural and urban environments, drawing people out of the cities and back to the land as well as developing vertical farms and urban gardens in the city. This business model will offer work to the unemployed, it will teach a sustainable life path, it will provide food, clothing, shelter and fuel for all, it will build strong communities by drawing people together in a collective effort while revitalizing family farms all across America and it will localize commerce and dollars liberating enlightened people from the dehumanizing and toxic corporate driven consumption lifestyle.

The Hemp Campus will be built adjacent to the hemp fields with business, study and training centers for all of the primary hemp products clustered around a community center. People would be encouraged to live and work in the vicinity, especially as we learn to build affordable green housing on site.

The various hemp disciplines established at the Hemp Campus could include any or all of the following, depending upon what expertise and businesses the community collectively decides to develop:
  • Hemp seed oil and foods, cooking oil, food supplements, hemp beer
  • Personal hygiene products, soaps shampoo, cosmetics, balms, lotions
  • Hemp biodiesel, paints, varnishes, inks, solvents, putty and coatings
  • Textiles, rope, canvas, nets, carpets, wearing apparel, fabrics, shoes, fine fabrics
  • Paper, newsprint, cardboard, packaging, filters
  • Building products, fiberboard, insulation, cement, stucco and mortar
  • Molded hemp plastics, automotive parts, agro-fiber composites
  • An Oaksterdam campus for research and education

And finally each hemp campus would have a greenhouse for marijuana to provide the community with medicine and with recreational herb because marijuana builds community and reduces violence and stress.

Just as men and women have always worked together both the male and female cannabis plants should be cultivated and studied together to bring out the best qualities in each and to establish a solid foundation for a new, healthy and responsible community. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

I am listening to the Cannonball Adderly Quintet play Joe Zalwinul's classic "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" as I mourn the failure of Prop 19 here in California. Not that I am really all that surprised. What was surprising was how close we came to legalization of both marijuana and hemp. It was a tremendous effort and raised awareness across California, America and all around the world. Thank you Richard Lee and Oaksterdam for your leadership position on this issue. Cannabis will be free one day.

Here is a link to the song on YouTube: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Tony Budden of Hemporium in Cape Town, South Africa (Hemporium.com) was right on target when he said that the cannabis plant has a special energy because so many people across the planet are fighting for its liberation.

Note that the photo above looks more like the female marijuana plant than the male hemp plant, but whatever. It is a great photo anyway. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exploring the Future of Hemp in America

Today is Tuesday, November 02, 2010. Election day. Possibly Hemp Freedom Day.

If the voters in California approve Proposition 19 on today's ballot, not only will medical and recreational marijuana become legal statewide (subject to local jurisdiction) but so will hemp, the earth's number one renewable resource.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for discussion around my plans and ideas about hemp so I can easily communicate with other people who are working in the same direction.

Hemp is going to be a very big and very important crop in California and all over the world just as it was prior to the industrialization of Europe and North America and I plan to do what I can to educate people about the plant as well as promote it's legalization. It is absurd that a plant is illegal in America in this day and age--especially a plant that has so much to offer mankind and mother earth. Industrial hemp has only trace elements of THC so it cannot be used for medical or recreational purposes. It is easy to distinguish industrial hemp (the male cannabis plant) from the medical/recreational female cannabis plant so any argument against industrial hemp that claims that officers and/or agents would not be able to tell the industrial plant from the recreational plant is an insult to the men and women of law enforcement.

Below is an image of both the male and female cannabis plants. The male on the left is much taller and thinner than the female (plants are not shown to scale). The female is much denser and shorter than the male.

Industrial hemp has many, many uses and at one time was the single most widely cultivated crop in the world. Below is a diagram that lists some of the uses of this wonder plant.

I recently found out that my grandfather grew hemp on his farm back in the 1940s as part of the federal "Hemp for Victory" program. My father told me a great story of how the feds provided the seeds and paid grandpa to plant many acres of the hardy fiber crop for the war effort. Grandpa dutifully planted, raised, and harvested the crop and stacked it at the edge of the field for the feds to pick it up for processing. Well I guess the feds just had too much hemp on their hands and they never came to pick up the harvested crop. And that massive stack of hemp stalks just sat there in the sun and rain, through the fall and winter, spring and summer, providing a haven for field rats (and probably a shooting gallery for my father and his brothers) for several years until the stack caught fire and burned to the ground in 1951. That must have been a hell of a fire to witness.