Monday, January 31, 2011

Hemp Farming in Bakersfield?

Leno To Reintroduce Hemp Bill: If Passed, Dr Bronner's Pledges Bakersfield Soap Factory, Rebirth of California Agriculture and Industry

from the SF Appeal Online Paper

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Great ‘Marijuana’ Debate: What’s In A Word?

The following is an excellent blog post by Steve Elliott from his News Junkie Post blog.

The Great ‘Marijuana’ Debate: What’s In A Word?

The exotic-sounding Mexican Spanish word "marihuana" was used as part of the 1930s scare tactics which led to the plant being declared illegal in 1937. But should that mean we can never use the word again? Not unless we're willing to forget the counterculture of the 1960s.

I love the cannabis community. Most of the people working in it have the best intentions and laudable goals. So it hurts me to see the community damage itself with pointless infighting. The challenge facing those who wish to re-legalize cannabis is difficult and daunting enough without those in the movement inadvertently placing additional roadblocks in our own path. One of those has recently come to my attention because it happens more and more often — and that’s arguing over word etymology and usage, of all things, rather than working to legalize the plant.

Yes, I’m talking about the great “marijuana/cannabis” controversy. Some activists get quite worked up about it, but any pejorative baggage surrounding the term “marijuana” is, at this point, really nothing more than an increasingly irrelevant historical footnote from the distant past.

There are those within the cannabis movement who will tell you with a straight face that the reason the plant is still illegal is because it is called “marijuana.” That’s overreaching wildly. And you have to ask yourself: How much chance do we stand of changing the minds of the general public about cannabis, when we spend most of our energy fighting amongst ourselves about what to call the damn stuff? Yes, I personally know of activists that spend way more time and energy attacking other activists — with whom they should be strategizing — for using the word “marijuana”!

This creates another problem, as well. When members of the public at large see some members of the cannabis community shushing and shaming other members for using the word “marijuana,” that sure makes the whole enterprise look iffy to an outsider. And to someone who has no particular emotional investment either way, it can make it seem exactly as if the community is “hiding” something.

“If there’s nothing wrong with marijuana, why can’t you just call it what it is?” is not an uncommon reaction.
Yes, “cannabis” is the proper scientific term. But in reality, the word “marijuana” a more commonly used — and, to many ears, less stuffy-sounding — synonym for cannabis.

Persistent Misinformation
Contrary to persistent misinformation in the cannabis community, Harry Anslinger, Randolph Hearst et. al., didn’t “create” the word marijuana. Yes, there are those who believe that — in fact, I saw it repeated as fact on Facebook twice just this morning. Yet, distressingly, there are still websites like that keep the misinformation going by flatly stating the word was created in the 1930s expressly to “tarnish the good image… of the hemp plant.” There’s absolutely nothing inherently wrong with the word marijuana itself — unless you are prejudiced against the Spanish language or Mexicans. Whatever potency the word must have had to Americans of the 1930s has long dissipated and faded away as Hispanics have become a part of the mainstream.

It’s true that Anslinger, Hearst,, simply appropriated and misused the slang term “marijuana” because it sounded more sinister — to Anglo ears — than “cannabis.” But obviously, the fact that they used a “Mexican-sounding” word for racist reasons does not render the word itself inherently racist. The term, originally spelled variously as marihuana, mariguana, etc., originated in Mexican Spanish, according to American Heritage Dictionaries. The ultimate derivation is unknown; it may come from the Nahuatl mallihuan, meaning prisoner, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Traditional association with the personal name MarĂ­a Juana (“Mary Jane”) is probably a folk etymology, according to Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. The original Mexican Spanish used forms with the letter ‘h’ (marihuana). Forms using the letter ‘j’ (marijuana) seem to be an innovation of English, though they later appeared in French and in Spanish, probably due to English influence, according to Oxford. The word entered into English usage in the late 19th century. According to Oxford, the first known appearance of a form of the word in that language is in Hubert Howe Bancroft’s 1873 The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America.
Through the early 20th century, however, both the drug and the plant were more commonly known as “cannabis” or “hemp”. “Marihuana”‘s usage in American English increased dramatically in the 1930s, when it was used by prohibitionists as an exotic-sounding alternative name during the debates of the drug’s use — the ugly assumption being, of course, that anything “Mexican sounding” would automatically be suspect.
And that, my friends, is the silly story of how marijuana became a pejorative.

Herer Throws Down The Gauntlet
When author/activist Jack Herer was writing his hemp opus The Emperor Wears No Clothes, he noticed the manipulation of racial/cultural prejudices and how Anslinger’s and Hearst’s popularization of the exotic-sounding term “marijuana” was used in that regard, and he issued a call for activists to stop using the word.
Here’s where I’m going to commit what to some fundamentalists in the movement is a cardinal sin — I’m going to disagree with Herer. Jack was a good man who accomplished more than perhaps any other writer in the 20th Century in getting the facts about cannabis before the public — but he was also very opinionated and single-minded once he’d made up his mind about something, and he made up his mind that none of us should call it “marijuana” anymore, because of what happened way back in the 1930s. Well, I beg to differ. There were lots of things happening in the 1930s, and as a matter of course, while I try to learn from them, I don’t let any of them control my language or thinking today — and that certainly includes the word marijuana.

Don’t Forget The Sixties!
The hippies of the 1960s made the word "ours" again.
Whatever cultural significance it may have once had as a racially loaded word was eclipsed in the 1960s, when marijuana was lovingly embraced by the hippie culture and was cast in a positive light. And that’s the real reason why some people seem to have an irrational prejudice against the word — because that happened within living memory for quite a few of us.

For both those who quaked in fear at the changes represented by the hippie counterculture, and those who celebrated and created it, “marijuana” was one of the battle line words that marked the difference between “straights” and “stoners,” between “Feds” and “heads.” To pretend that the word “marijuana” is still all about the anti-Mexican prejudices of the 1930s is to pretend that the 1960s never happened — and that’s something I’m not willing to do. The 1960s changed America forever, and any worldview which attempts to gloss over the societal changes — including consciousness expansion — that occurred during that decade is missing a crucial part of our cultural zeitgeist. To give up a word so central to the history of the counterculture would be to let the opposition set the parameters of the debate, and to define our terms for us. I’m simply not willing to do that. Here’s the truth, and don’t forget it: The word “marijuana” was pulled from the 1930s gutter in which it had resided, and elevated to the status of a cultural icon, a hippie touchstone, in the 1960s, and I, for one, will never give it up. That’s why it will never change my mind when true believers tell me over and over,  ”The most insulting word for cannabis is marijuana!”

The only trace of insult around the word “marijuana” is the insult to our intelligence from those who believe that racial and cultural prejudices from 74 years ago should still control civil discourse about cannabis policy today. The word “marijuana” is nothing to get emotional about — and it’s a very silly thing to divide the cannabis policy movement over. Picky, divisive, petty details are nothing to fuss about when people are being locked in cages for years or even decades. Just this week, Chris Bartkowicz, a medical marijuana grower in Colorado, was sentenced to five years in federal prison. That’s what we should spend our energy fighting — not each other.

It’s time to re-appropriate and celebrate marijuana. It’s time to remember that a word formerly considered a pejorative can be appropriated and celebrated by an oppressed subculture. Gorgeous mongrel that it is, the word “marijuana” can be a symbol of multi-cultural appreciation of the plant we’re discussing.

Steve Elliott is editor of Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media’s site of cannabis news, views, rumor and humor. He likes “marijuana.”

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Legalization Effort for 2012

Well here we go again. Veterans of the Prop 19 campaign to legalize marijuana and hemp in California are now starting the process of drafting a bill to legalize hemp and marijuana and are working to get it on the ballot in 2012.

California State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) noted, in a Berkeley meeting on Saturday, that he introduced a bill last week to prevent employers from firing most medical marijuana patients who test positive for the drug and pledged to reintroduce a bill to allow California farmers to grow industrial hemp. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) said that he would try again to move his bill to legalize marijuana sales, but that he was also considering a piecemeal approach.

Momentum is building already and the election is a bit less than two years away.  Prop 19 lost 46% to 54% last November. Maybe 2012 will be the year we finally get some common sense legislation about industrial hemp passed in California. Maybe even on a federal level but I have yet to see any movement on the topic at all on the federal level.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Initiative Drive Aims to legalize Marijuana (and Hemp) in Washington State

From the Everett Washington Herald: Legalize It!

By Jerry Cornfield, Herald Writer

OLYMPIA — After failing to get the measure on the ballot in 2010, activists who support legalizing use of marijuana by adults launched a new bid Wednesday to put the question before voters this year.

Members of Sensible Washington filed their initiative to erase all criminal and civil penalties for use of marijuana and make it legal for those 18 years and older to grow it, smoke it and sell it without threat of arrest.

The measure, which also would allow the legal growing of hemp, is very similar to one the group pushed in 2010. That effort didn't get enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

Douglas Hiatt of Seattle, an author of both measures, sounded confident that this year will turn out different because of what they learned last year as the initiative came up about 50,000 signatures short.

Douglas Hiatt and Philip Dawdy watch as Patrick McDonald, 
assistant to the Secretary of State, certifies receipt of paperwork 
for an initiative that would legalize marijuana in Washington at 
the Secretary of State's office in the Capitol on Wednesday. 

Mark Mulligan/The Herald

“We're better funded and better organized this year,” he said, adding that this year's effort is off to an earlier start which will give their volunteers more time to gather signatures.

And, he said, the measure was modified to make clear the state will need to enact rules if it is passed.

“We've changed last year's initiative to reflect concerns about civil regulations of marijuana and our new initiative has language that clearly directs the state Legislature to regulate the responsible adult use of marijuana,” he said.

Hiatt brushed aside suggestions that chances for success would improve by holding off until 2012 when there presumably be more young voters for a presidential election.

“The folks in Sensible Washington didn't want to wait,” he said. “They don't want thousands more people arrested. They didn't want our farmers to miss another year of planting hemp.”

To secure a place on the statewide November ballot, they must turn in valid signatures of 241,153 registered Washington voters by July 8.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Elizabethan Poem in Praise of Cannabis

Lets ye think the use (and high praises) of  cannabis is something new, check out this poem from 1640 by John Taylor, an Elizabethan poet of some note.

The post below is from an excellent book blog called Booktryst by Stephen J. Gertz.

The Elizabethan Poem in Praise of Cannabis

by Stephen J. Gertz

Frontispiece portrait of John Taylor,
engraved by Thomas Cockson,
from The Workes of John Taylor (1630).

“Sweet sacred Muses, my invention raise
Unto the life, to write great Hempseeds praise...”

So begins The Praise of Hemp-seed, a minor epic poem dating from 1620  by John Taylor (1580 - 1653), who, though all but unknown to modern readers, was a prolific writer with over 150 works published in his lifetime and was amongst the most popular poets of the Elizabethan Era.

Known as “The Water Poet” - his primary source of income derived from his profession as a waterman, the trade of boatmen who ferried passengers across the Thames - his poetry, while far from gemstone, was notable for its diamond wit and keen  observations of the contemporary social and cultural scene.

Of what use is hemp?

“This grain grows to a stalk, whose coat or skin
Good industry doth hatchell twist, and spin,
And for mans best advantage and availes
It makes clothes, cordage, halters, ropes and sailes.”

Taylor enumerates the many manufacturers and trades dependent upon hemp, not the least of which are pharmacy:

“Apothecaries were not worth a pin,
If Hempseed did not bring their commings in;
Oyles, Unguents, Sirrops, Minerals, and Baulmes,
(All nature’s treasures, and th’Almighties almes),
Emplasters, Simples, Compounds, sundry drugs
With Necromanticke names like fearful Bugs,
Fumes, Vomits, purges, that both cures, and kils,
Extractions, conserves, preserves, potions, pils,
Elixirs, simples, compounds, distillations,
Gums in abundance, brought from foreign nations.”

All manner of physical complaint is relieved. “Most serviceable Hempseed but for thee, These helpes for man could not thus scattered be.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Know Your Drug War: US$ 15 billion in 2011

The following article is from the East Bay Express online. East Bay Express

Know Your Drug War: $15 Billion in 2011

David Downs —  Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:47 AM

The U.S. drug war runs on money, and until reformers understand how cash flows, ending prohibition will go nowhere. Kill the funds and any war dies. The U.S. government hasn't passed its budget for 2011, which was due last October. So we're funding things as is (printing money) while House Republicans work to roll spending back to 2008 levels. That'll mean less money for drug treatment, but more of the same ongoing war on the American public. Here's a look at some highlights of how your dollars are being spent, from the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Drug Control Strategy 2011:

Total Annual Drug War budget: $15 billion dollars.
That includes:
- $2.4 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration
- $2.4 billion for Customs and Border Protection
- Does not include cost of Federal prisons ($6 billion) where half of prisoners are in there for drugs.
But it will help fund:
- 9,236 D.E.A. full-time equivalent employees (75 percent of those, or about 7,500, are in domestic investigations)
- 10,000 Department of Homeland Security FTEs
- 2,480 Immigrations and Customs Enforcement FTEs
- 6,099 Coast Guard FTEs
And the D.E.A.'s “EPIC ESP”:
“The DEA requests $1.5 million to fund servers and software licenses to beef up the El Paso Intelligence Center’s (EPIC) System Portal (ESP) infrastructure since the current system capacity is insufficient to accommodate the estimated growth of users.Users access the ESP to report seizure incidents, query EPIC’s databases, obtain various reports in support of their investigations, share intelligence, and submit queries to and obtain results from the EPIC Watch Operations Section.”
(According to the Washington Post, the D.E.A. has 92 top-secret work locations.)
Last year the D.E.A. arrested about: 2,300 people.
The Strategy includes funding for 3,277 FTEs in the Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement, a super-group that busts heads using the U.S. Marshalls. ICDE claims it met its previous year's goal: intercepting one percent of the aggregate domestic supply of product from the most-wanted drug trafficking organizations.
Global War:
$1 billion will go to other countries for their drug war, including $177 million to Mexico, $32 million to the Caribbean Basin, and $250 million to Afghanistan, where it seems like the only thing that grows is poppies.
Road Carnage:
If House Republicans roll the budget back to 2008, say goodbye to a cool million to study drug-impaired driving. Interestingly, in 2009, the people who run the Drug Impaired Driving program were asked to develop and recommend methods for detecting major illegal drugs in drivers. They found:
“No technologies currently exist for detecting drugs. ... such technology was not feasible for roadside use in the near future.”
Death and Taxes ... and Weed: The Internal Revenue Service racked up 462 drug convictions last year, including the successful investigation of a pot kingpin sentenced to 20 years in Federal Prison and a $10 million judgment. “These drug trafficking offenses were part of a seventy-count superseding indictment related to his leadership of a conspiracy involving the distribution of over 30,000 kilograms of marijuana worth more than $33 million.”
Under the Influence — of CASH:
$165 million goes to "Other," which includes:
- $66.5 million for anti-drug messaging at America's youth.
- $88.5 million in matching grants to people the like the Coalition for a Drug-Free California.
Fun Fact:
One percent of DOE anti-drug grant winners reported a decrease in use.
The government's target: 76.7 percent.
Your money hard at work

  • Your money hard at work

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hemp Snowboard from Ride Society

A company called Ride Society has created a snowboard using hemp as a component in its construction. You can read a complete review of the board here: Ride Society UL Snowboard

An excerpt from the review is copied below the image.

"As if the Society’s UL construction wasn’t already light enough, to help further decrease the weight, the board’s top deck features Hempbrain technology, thus eliminating the traditional plastic top.  Instead, an ultra-thin layer of hemp that’s both lighter and more durable than traditional top decks is in place, with the added environmental benefits that hemp is both easily renewable and requires little processing to use."

I don't know what Hempbrain technology is but since I am in favor of pretty much everything that has anything to do with hemp, this brand is now my favorite snowboard. Doing a google search on 'hempbrain technology' only brings me back to Ride Snowboard's website and product reviews so it looks like a proprietary technology but good luck to them and remember that every hemp product you buy is a vote with your dollars in favor of industrial hemp.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kella Maxo

Below is a video of Kella Maxo speaking about the potential of hemp to solve America's energy problem. I don't know if she is accurate claiming that hemp oil and hemp biodiesel can replace 100% of oil products that we rely on today but we should be working to figure that out by getting started now with legalizing hemp and farming it on a massive scale.

The video can be found on youtube or on The Solutions Documentary website here:

Overgrow The Government

Cannabis fans unite on 4-20-2011 in Washtington DC! A march on the capital building is planned for the spring to call attention to the mighty but repressed cannabis plant. Full details from the Salem News website are below and are linked here:  A big thanks to the Salem News website for their excellent coverage of industrial hemp and all cannabis related issues. No other paper or online source provides better coverage of the evolving battle to free industrial hemp.

So if you are able, do your part and get out there and march on Washington DC in the spring. Let our government know that the people want to farm hemp. The fact that hemp is illegal to grow in the USA is absurd and the charade must end.

Jan-21-2011 16:20

Grassroots Activists Head to the Nation's Capitol to End Cannabis Prohibition

Millions to gather "in hopes to cease lies and propaganda in the cannabis world"
Marijuana Cannabis
Photo by Dexter Phoenix
(SALEM, Ore.) - Overgrow The Government, a group of grassroots activists, is calling on a million supporters, hemp farmers and protesters alike to join together for a protest march in Washington D.C. to demand an end to cannabis prohibition.
Consumption and sale of cannabis was legal in most American states until 1937. At that point, the plant became a hot topic for William Randolph Hearst, DuPont, Harry Anslinger, and the US Congress. Since then, cannabis prohibition has cost Americans billions of dollars, and over 800,000 people are arrested and/or incarcerated every year.
Overgrow The Government is making a tangible statement against this waste, and seeks an end to cannabis prohibition. On Friday, the organizers set up a logistical meeting with DC and believe that "the months of battling are over" and the permit needed for the event has been acquired.
The march will take place on April 20th, 2011 (4-20-11), beginning at 10:00 a.m. and running through the day. The starting location is to be announced, but the plan is for the march to end at the Capitol Stairs in Washington D.C.
Overgrow The Government is a movement of people tired of the lies and propaganda associated with cannabis prohibition and have taken a firm stand against it.
"The success of the event depends on everyone in the cannabis world coming together in D.C to demand an end to prohibition and continue to do so in the years to come until a change is made," said Jason Warf.
The unofficial organization was started when grassroots activist, Jason Warf viewed a protest at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) headquarters in which hemp farmers planted hemp seeds.
Jack Herer, 9/08 Photo: Austin King

“To me this was a metaphor for what I see that needs to happen; I knew that with science, medicine, and numbers on our side now is the time to change these laws," said Warf.
Following the protest, he took his idea and posted it as an event on Facebook to see what kind of feedback he would get. Within the first week, the protest received an overwhelming response from various organizations which proved he had to turn his idea into reality.
He took on small group of activists as board members and started planning the event in the nation's capitol.
With a guest list now expanding over 10,000 and nearly 2,000 already expected to attend, the showing at our nation's capitol is bound to be impressive.
Lest we forget, 4/20 has been designated as "Jack Herer Day". Jack, the Emperor of Hemp, dedicated his life to sharing the truth about hemp/cannabis, so it is very fitting that his dream of ending cannabis prohibition would move forward on this special day.
Jack would say, "Hemp will save the world!" and if given a chance, it just may. April 20th could be a giant step in that direction.
For more information and updates on Overgrow The Government, visit:, Or!/event.php?eid=146753865351662&ref=ts
Source: Overgrow The Government

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hemp Oil

Of all the products derived from the cannabis plant, my favorite is hemp oil. I have been taking hemp oil for almost a year now and I just love it. I take a shot straight from the bottle first thing in the morning every day and throughout the day I often take another shot just because I can feel my body craving the taste and the immediate health effects on my GI system. When I first tried pure, unrefined, cold-pressed hemp oil, I did not care much for the flavor but within 48 hours I was hooked. I'd find myself craving another shot of the cool green goodness and head straight for the bottle when I got home (sounds like the siren song of the whiskey bottle to an alcoholic).

I have tried all the brands I can find around here (primarily Nutiva and Natural Harvest) but my favorite is Prairie Emerald Oil from Manitoba that I sampled at the Green Expo in San Francisco last fall (thanks, Aandrea!). I can't find it for sale at Whole Foods, Sprouts or Trader Joes, so I have to order it online but it is much cheaper than retail anyway. You can order yours here: Hemp Oil Canada

A great summary of the benefits of consuming hemp oil is below and is copied from the website Fushi UK an organic and healthy food and beauty products company.

Hemp seed oil is one of the most nutritious oils and has numerous health benefits. It is known as one of natures superfoods. Hemp seeds contain the most balanced and richest natural single source of Essential Fatty Acids for human consumption.

It contains all the essential amino acids meaning it provides complete protein. Hemp seed oil has 3 unique nutritional factors. It has an ideal balance of Omega 3 and 6, and it has a massive trace mineral content.

 Hemp Seed oil is most beneficial for skin health, Omega oils are required for healthy skin and hair. Omega oils are nourishing both on a cellular level, and Hemp oil is easily absorbed by the skin and those EFA's begin to work immediately.

Research says that Hemp Seed oil may be beneficial for hormonal balance, Hemp seed contains GLA thus it makes a suitable choice in PMS conditions. The magnesium rich chlorophyll contained in hemp seed oil is also beneficial in PMS conditions.

Hemp Seeds are widely used for maintaining cardiovascular health. Omega 3 oils have been shown in hundreds of studies to lower cholesterol levels. The omega 3 fatty acids in hemp are effective in decreasing blood pressure.

Hemp Seed oil is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical studies have shown good results in using Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) in the treatment of many chronic allergic and inflammatory diseases e.g. eczema, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis.

Hemp seed oil also provides the key fatty acids for long term support and maintenance of arthritic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. EFAs have been found to enhance immune function and improve cellular energy for removing waste materials within the body. With a pleasant nutty flavour, Hemp Seed Oil is ideal for use in salad dressings... (or taken straight from the bottle like this blogger).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

EIHA conference with composites focus

Biocomposites will be the key theme of the 8th Conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) to be held from May 18th-19 in Wesseling near Cologne in Germany.

Like bioplastics, composites made from natural fibres such as hemp are achieving double-digit growth in the field of reinforced plastics, says the association, and participants at the conference will range from cultivation consultants, primary and further processors, traders, mechanical engineers and investors, numerous small and medium-sized enterprises and international automotive companies and their suppliers.

Proposals for further papers are currently being invited for the conference.


Thus, the author argues, the exercise of power by covert means, or parapolitics, often metastasizes into deep politics - the interplay of unacknowledged forces that spin out of the control of the original policy initiators.

-- and --

Kimberly Miller, who points out that "Americans have been consuming, growing and distributing pot from the time settlers set foot on this land, with or without the approval or guidance of anyone else but themselves. ... And those who don't understand or care about the remedies marijuana has to offer, guess what? "You don't have to use it." —Amsterdam, Jan. 13, 2011

  -- and -- 

Recent years have been good to hemp foods, which have gonemainstream, sitting alongside flax and soy in health food stores and appearing in the form of hemp oil, hemp milk and hemp butter, as well as in salad dressings, nutrition bars, breads, cookies, waffles and frozen desserts. It's also in personal care products like soaps, shampoos and lotions.

Sales of hemp grocery and body care products in the U.S. were $37.9 million in 2009, up 11 percent from the previous year, according to market research company Spins Inc., which specializes in the natural products industry (hemp grocery sales surged 42 percent between 2007 and 2008). Those figures exclude data from Whole Foods Market and several other large stores, so the Hemp Industries Association estimates sales are closer to $113 million to $129 million.


Here's another reader, Justin Kline: "I recently had a friend serve up the idea that 'prohibition' was due to Henry Ford manufacturing cars with newer engines that ran on corn liquor (ethanol). Prohibition was contrived to force the farmers to keep using the output of the fledgling oil industry. i.e., protecting a special-interest group [that] was an entire industry.

"Next, my friend claimed that marijuana was declared illegal nearly to the day that nylon was invented. The grand obfuscation was to word the law with the name 'hemp' as the general scheme of the scam, which is a general category that merely includes marijuana. Almost nobody knows, even now, that the law reads 'hemp.'
"Thus, the true mission was cloaked right from the beginning, i.e., protecting a special-interest group — nowhere close to the claims of health or morals. ... Let me know if this starts to look like something worthy of your time and not just another rant from the 'conspiracy theory squad.'"

  -- and --

Cannabis seeds were brought to the New World on board the Mayflower and also to America by African slaves.


The Chinese character for hemp is below. The image is a bit like hemp stalks drying. The character is called 'ma' which means plant with two forms (the male and female form). The Chinese people were cultivating hemp over 10,000 years ago.

There is an excellent history of the character here: antique cannabis book

The word 'Cannabis' comes from the  Babylonian word 'canna' meaning stalk or cane and the Babylonian word 'bis' meaning twice, another allusion to the two forms of the plant, male and female.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here Comes the Hemp Car (Again!)

. Didn't we see this back in the 1940s from Henry Ford?

Well it is about time the next generation of hemp cars is finally in production. To be fair, BMW has been using hemp panels inside the doors of their 300 and 500 series cars for some time, but Kestrel is moving up to the next step and is making the entire shell from hemp fibers.

The article below is from the Salem Oregon online newspaper and is all about the new car with a body shell made from hemp. The article was written by Diane Walsh. 

Jan-17-2011 23:06

Canada's Herbal Remedy to the Auto Crisis: the Kestrel Hemp EV

Kestrel paves the way for sustainable transportation with hemp as a construction material.
Photos courtesy: Motive Industries

(VICTORIA, B.C.) - Environmentalists speak often, and prophetically, about the need for more industry impetus for cars with low or—even better yet—zero emissions. What’s not centre-stage, and should be, is the fact that hemp fibre can be used effectively as a construction material for a vehicle’s shell. Move over Hybrid. The Kestrel is now the trend setter. (See picture)

Not only is this vehicle fully electric, answering the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) demand, it sports the all—green-to-manufacture—hemp based body panels to boot!

Groundbreaking? Indeed it is. Motive Industries Inc., out of Calgary Alberta, is changing the face of car manufacturing by simultaneously employing Hemp and electric for the vision for the industry’s future in Canada.

The Kestrel was showcased for the first time in Vancouver at last September’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Conference and Trade show. We’ve caught up with Nathan Armstrong, President of Motive Industries, who says this: "It went very well. Huge response and the internet visits went viral. We did get some flack internally for aligning with hemp, but they got over it."

That’s music to our ears. Clearly seeing enthusiasm all around him—needless to say, especially among fibre hemp promoter, Armstrong wants to educate people about what we can hope to see developing into a mainstay trend.

"We’re hoping it will demonstrate Canada’s abilities in technology and vehicle development. Something that hasn’t been highlighted internationally—ever. If successful it will generate a whole bunch of jobs and general industry activity," says Armstrong.

"We had the scale model there [at the trade show] with the first body panel, but not a finished vehicle. We are still in the manufacturing stage and hope to have a finished vehicle by March 2011."

But even in these early days there’s no question the Kestrel answers a number of needs. It is a major shift in thinking that will add more green jobs, creative innovation, and most importantly the key use of our Canadian advantage—the fact that by the year 1998 the Feds declared the legal use of mature hemp stalks for manufacturing, construction, textiles and products, etc. Interestingly, the U.S. is more backward, in not allowing the use of industrial hemp. This lack of vision is good for Canada. The Kestrel demonstrates a new message coming from the auto industry in Canada both economically and environmentally.

"This project was largely started by a group in Ottawa that was calling for the start of a Canadian OEM [original equipment manufacturer]," explains Armstrong. "They were looking to go the traditional route and were looking to raise $500MM to start the project. I came along and said ‘if Canada is going to do this, why not do something advanced to demonstrate our abilities?’ They all agreed hence the direction this program took."

The Kestrel is part of Project Eve, created by MII and Toronto Electric, with the purpose of enhancing electric vehicle production across the country. With the first 20 Kestrels being built by polytechnic schools in three provinces it’s clear the Kestrel is switching it up—moving the auto-industry in a new bold and creative direction.

"We decided to use the schools for two reasons. They’ve been getting amazing investments from Government to expand on applied research facilities, which are essentially the best workshops we could ever hope to find. We’re better off using them than anything else. The second reason is student outreach and education. This is a very important part for us and we hope to inspire many students to go build their own stuff," says Armstrong.
But let’s get right into the facts about hemp as a structural material. It’s thought to have more than twice the strength of other plant fibres. But in addition to not requiring much water, little pesticide, and the crop being high-yielding, is it not part of the green economy by offering ideal sustainability at its best? Armstrong gives a resounding "Yes!"

Hemp is a fibre that has many advantages over other materials. There are numerous merits to processing and then employing a hemp bio-composite.

"Compared to fiberglass, for the same performance, it’s 10 percent lighter and 20 percent less expensive (in the current market) which will swing further in the coming year. It’s also nice and healthy to work with."
"It comes in mat form (kind of like) stiff cardboard. This is processed by the Alberta Research Council using essentially a paper-making process. It is all very green and low energy."

It requires less heat and fewer chemicals to produce the fibres, and uses the natural energy of the sun for what it does need, as opposed to, say, a furnace. Instead, with natural hydro the process is clearly more environmentally friendly—a key point Armstrong and Motive Industries is making with the introduction of the Kestrel.

Armstrong adds that "The true cost of synthetic fibres isn’t known, as the whole industry is subsidized and based on huge economies of scale. To make fiberglass a massive furnace is needed and to make carbon fibre all sorts of nasty chemicals and acids are used—plus big furnaces. Natural fibres = seed+water+sunlight."

In the past, our auto industry’s steel dependence existed largely because it was thought to be the strongest material to use in vehicle production. Hemp bio-composite’s specific merits may well alter this traditional thinking. It has the impact resistance of fiberglass, but its bio-composite is cheaper to produce and presents fewer health risks for workers. Armstrong confirms this.

"It’s not stronger than steel—not even close. It is tougher though, and will not dent. We use the material selectively to provide strength where we need it and aluminum for the main chassis structure. Steel has the stranglehold because of volume. Parts are quick to make. Composite parts are a bit more of an art form and production is slow (at least by Detroit standards)."

For electric-car manufacture, steel’s not exactly light-weight. To make ultra-efficient vehicles (obviously a desired feature) hemp bio-composite fits the need. Plastics are based on oil, and we know the challenges faced there. Composite materials, such as carbon fibre, present challenges both cost-wise and in terms of manufacturing and repair. Hemp solves these problems.

"First, you don’t want to get too light with a car. 2000 lbs is a good spot which works well for bio-composites. Through our research into very advanced materials (nano/crystalline/ceramics) we hope to increase the strength of natural fibres to the point at which they are truly competitive. Their advantage then will be low cost of entry and the ability to make advanced forms." It’s interesting to know from (e.g. a business start-up standpoint) that Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF), under license from the Canadian government, is behind this move in a more forward-thinking direction. "The government supports many programs that get a technology to a prototype phase. Any industry group can access these technologies given maturity and cash."

Most people don’t know this, but the hemp that is turned into a composite material is grown "all over Alberta, B.C., and Manitoba" Armstrong explains. Motive Industries, however, chooses to source from Vegreville, Alberta (near Edmonton).

According to Armstrong, the reason that hemp for auto manufacture hasn’t taken off in a bigger way, considering it has been legal since 1996, is "lack of industry interest and vision." The reason this innovation hasn’t formed the baseline for next year’s electric car body shells is because, as Armstrong puts it, the "supply chain isn’t really in place— yet."

That’s where we, the consumers, come in. It’s up to the people to make the demand for the supply chain. It’s obvious that the Kestrel will be influencing the future of electric-car building, but are there still stumbling blocks and wrongly-placed stigmas operating (a resistance to hemp use) preventing more companies from following suit? That stigma must be busted wide-open—through education.

Motive Industries Inc. is still working with the original scientists from the project in the testing procedures, so there is a good degree of follow-through and safety consistency. The timeline for delivery of the 20 Kestrels is fast-approaching—said to be Q2-3 next year. When asked which Calgary-based energy distribution company is to be the lucky inventory holder, Armstrong answered "I can’t say directly, but they’re the only deregulated utility."

The car will be available "in Canada initially, then other countries. We’re working on distribution models with a few groups."

The burning question for many is: Is it possible to be added to a wait-list? "Not yet," says Armstrong. "We hope to put out a survey to generate public interest next year. You can fill out and help promote our existing survey though." You got it. 

For more information about the history of the industrial hemp campaign in Canada, start with the creative online booklet published by the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) in collaboration with the former leader of the Ontario Green Party at 
For Ontario sources, try
Darren McKeage is the designer behind the car and you can read his vision for the car on the MII blog It carries four passengers including driver, can speed up to 90 km/hr, and boasts a range is 40 to 160 kilometres before recharge is required. Depending on the type of battery, the better the battery the further the range. Battery technology hence is key to EV technology.

Crailar Organic from NAT

...could revolutionize the processing of natural fibers for textile and composite applications.

Naturally Advanced Technologies

This technology just may represent the process and path to allow hemp to displace water-hogging and pesticide-sucking cotton in the North American (and global) wardrobe for the health of us all. But can it be economical for a modest family farm?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oregon Marijuana Activists Make OCTA 2012 Official

The interview of Paul Stanford, Executive Director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, was done by Bonnie King and was published in the Salem News website on January 14, 2011. The link goes to the article on the Salem (Oregon) website:

The 2012 Oregon Cannabis Tax Act would give new zest to the old mantra, "Keep Oregon Green!"

(SALEM, Ore.) - Paul Stanford, Executive Director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation walked 2200 signatures in to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office on January 4th, 2011, officially sponsoring OCTA 2012- the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act. It could prove to be a historic turning point for a state well known for its grass roots movements. 

Next, the signatures will be verified, and as long as 1000 are from registered Oregon voters, the Office of the Secretary of State will certify a ballot title with the Attorney General, proposing a statutory initiative for the 2012 General Election. “If all goes as expected, activists will hit the streets in March,” said Stanford. “We need to turn in about 140,000 more signatures, or 90,000 registered Oregon voters' signatures, by July 2012 to qualify for the ballot in November 2012.”

If the measure is passed by voters, OCTA 2012 will legalize the sale, possession and personal private cultivation of marijuana in the state of Oregon. People who want to cultivate and sell marijuana, or process commercial psychoactive cannabis, would be required to obtain a license from the state.
Adults could grow their own marijuana and the sale of all cannabis strains' seeds and starter plants would be legalized with no license, fee nor registration.
The profits from the sale of cannabis to adults is projected at hundreds of millions of dollars to add into Oregon's state general fund, as well as drug treatment and education; two percent of the profits from the sale of cannabis in adult-only stores will be set aside for two new state committees to promote Oregon industrial hemp biodiesel, fiber and food.

I spoke to Paul Stanford about the proposed Oregon ballot measure, addressing some fears and misnomers, and discussed in-depth his personal cannabis-driven journey of the last 30+ years.

BK: How do you think OCTA (Oregon Cannabis Tax Act) will change the dynamic here in Oregon overall? 
PS: Regulating cannabis and restoring hemp for fuel, fiber and food will put Oregon on the cutting edge of new businesses and industries, creating tens of thousands of jobs. We will, eventually, change the whole economic system by returning local wealth and control. Marijuana produces more fiber, food and fuel than any other plant. Our farmers need this valuable crop.

BK: What is the most important thing for the general public to understand about OCTA?

PS: It will protect our communities and wipe out over 90 percent of drug crime and gangs, and allow authorities to concentrate on real crime. People need to know that marijuana is safer than alcohol and if just 25 percent of people with alcohol problems use cannabis instead, we will save billions in health care, accidents and crime. We should stop driving our kids to drink and have a safer alternative.

BK: Will OCTA make access to marijuana easier for minors?

PS: No, kids are selling cannabis now. This will control this market and take it out of the hands of kids and substance abusers.

BK: Is it a step toward ending marijuana prohibition overall?

PS: Yes. This is a huge first step to ending global cannabis prohibition and restoring industrial hemp. In Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries, people are being sentenced to death and hung for small amounts of marijuana. Marijuana produces more fiber, food and fuel than any other plant. Prohibiting the plant that produces more fuel, fiber, food and medicine is evil.

BK: Will OCTA give the police/authorities any rights that they don't have now?

PS: No, except they will have the right to sleep more easily knowing they are no longer enforcing an unjust law.

BK: That’s a benefit that I bet law enforcement hasn’t fully realized yet! So what’s the big risk, do you think, since it’s been proven that there are no harmful effects to your health for using marijuana?

PS: Marijuana prohibition isn't about drugs or health either, it is about money and power, and the fact that marijuana produces more fuel, fiber, food and medicine than any other plant. We have to stop the lies about cannabis that cause so much suffering in the world! 

BK: Paul, your personal battle with prohibition has been published different times, but it’s pretty clear that only part of the story is told. How’d this all get started?

PS: Let's go back for a moment. Please allow me to digress way back, in fact. Thirty-two years ago, in 1978, just a week after my 18th birthday, I attended a rally, a protest for marijuana, the White House smoke-in, in Washington DC, organized by the Yippies and Dana Beal. Then, almost 30 years ago, from 1982-1984, I was the director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws state chapter in Washington state. Twenty-eight years ago, back in 1982, while I was visiting Los Angeles, I first met Jack Herer and his partner, Captain Ed Adair. Later, I read about the wonders of industrial hemp in an article called the 'California Marijuana Initiative White Paper', written by Jack Herer, which was printed by Dana Beal and the Yippies in their newspaper called Overthrow.

On March 22nd, 1983, I was arrested in Washington state beside the Puget Sound at the gate of the Bangor Naval Submarine Base for blocking a train carrying hydrogen bomb warheads from the Pantex Corp. in Amarillo, Texas to the Trident Submarines and I was one of what was then called the Bangor 6.
Jack Herer
In August 1984, I moved to Oregon to help the Oregon Marijuana Initiative, then, a couple of months later, Jack Herer moved from California to Oregon, also to help the OMI. Jack moved in to a house that was just a couple of blocks away from my house in Portland, Oregon. All these years later, I can admit that Jack and I both enjoyed growing some pretty good marijuana in our basements in Portland way back then.

In 1985, Jack Herer was working on his book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, and he needed a place to work, away from his young children. This was in the day before computers and printers, back when cut and paste was done with scissors and glue and lots of stacks of paper. I did some research on Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and found quotes from our nation's founding fathers that were included in Jack's book, and, later, as the final chapter of Chris Conrad's first book, Hemp: Lifeline To The Future. Jack came and took over my house in 1985 and put together the first edition of The Emperor... right there in my living room. That and the rest is history.

BK: Did you see an immediate difference in cannabis advocates? There must have been a wave of people coming out of the cannabis closet!

PS: Absolutely, that catalyzed us all. Though I little realized it at the time, Jack's book would go on to motivate untold scores of people around the world to work for global cannabis freedom and to restore industrial hemp. Jack Herer, through the power of his personality, dedication and work for hemp & cannabis, endlessly proselytizing the benefits of cannabis hemp, brought the whole picture into focus for millions about hemp and cannabis. Now we know. Now we can see. Jack is gone now, but his legacy lives on.

BK: Very true, his legacy does live on, especially through those that carry on the message that hemp will save the planet. But over thirty years ago, you were already aware and active in terms of cannabis advocacy, which is pretty progressive for the time. What made you take up this fight for hemp and marijuana?

PS: Marijuana catalyzed me. Marijuana motivates me. I studied Chinese and went to school in China so I could import hemp and I started a hemp paper company called Tree Free EcoPaper. I started and continue to produce and host a television show called Cannabis Common Sense, and we have produced 550 episodes of Cannabis Common Sense TV shows since 1997. I also started and today, I run THCF, The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation. Not only does THCF sponsor many events and organizations, from putting on our annual Hempstalk Festival and THCF is the presenting sponsor of the world's largest pro-cannabis protestival, the Seattle Hempfest for several years too, but, perhaps most importantly, THCF Medical Clinics have helped over 150,000 people across the USA become legal medical marijuana patients who can legally possess, use and grow their own medicine.

BK: Right, those hemp events are a great way to bring cool people together and share factual information at the same time. Education is key, of course. I hope the people that attend are interested in the movement, and not just the trendy clothes or specialty gifts.

PS: Yes, it goes much deeper than that. Cannabis hemp is deeper than its long tap root. Marijuana is deep in every sense of the word.

Cannabis hemp catalyzed civilization itself. Marijuana jump started human civilization. All archeologists agree that hemp was among the first crops purposely cultivated by humans, and it may be the very first.
Over 12,000 years ago, people began growing hemp and its cultivation spread from its indigenous home, high in the Himalayas of Tibet, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan & Kashmir, to the opposite flanks of its natural home, to the cradles of agriculture itself, the first human settlements that began cultivating their own crops, to the Yellow River, or Huang He, valley in China and the Tigris/Euphrates River valley in Iraq. Humans began planting marijuana so they could have their own stash, a supply of this sacred herb and its fiber, food and fuel. Marijuana could very well be the whole reason our ancestors gave up our hunter/gatherer way of life and began farming and agriculture, starting us down the road to civilization and knowledge.

BK: That’s more than ‘deep’, that’s almost spiritual. Hemp is an integral part of our history, but how does that play into the future? 

PS: I believe that cannabis is the most sacred gift of the Creator to humanity, the holiest of the holy gifts from our Mother Earth. Every part of cannabis hemp is highly useful for a diverse multitude of our needs, and the needs of human civilizations. There is only one plant on this planet that is capable of taking care of most of human civilizations' needs. Marijuana will take care of most of our needs. 

When we restore cannabis hemp to its rightful place, marijuana will produce a great deal of our fuel and energy, without toxic side effects, unlike these fossil fuels we rely on today. Marijuana seeds will produce a great deal of our food and wipe out world hunger. Marijuana stems will produce most of our fiber for clothing, paper and building materials, stopping deforestation and ending a great deal of our pollution.

BK: Jack’s book was 1000% in agreement with everything you are saying. The benefits are so far reaching. What about the oil?

PS: That's a multi-level question. Hemp seeds produce more and healthier oil and protein. Hemp protein and oil are rich in the essential fatty acids, or EFAs, that our brain and cardiovascular system need. Marijuana seeds make Omega 3, 6 & 9, in the perfect ratio for optimal human health. Hemp protein, from marijuana seeds, has all 8 amino acids, again, in just the right balance to meet humans' nutritional needs.
John Trudell, HempStalk 2010
Then, when marijuana seed oil ages and goes rancid, it is no longer useful for food, but it is a productive source for biodiesel fuel. Did you know you can take the pure oil, cold pressed from marijuana seeds and it will run any diesel engine? You can.
Pure marijuana seed oil is not only healthy for us, it will run all diesel engines, with no conversion to the oil nor modern diesel engines. Hempseed oil, marijuana seed oil, will make just about everything that we make from petroleum today. The oil from marijuana seeds is diesel fuel and will make plastics, gasoline and everything else.
I truly believe this is the main reason marijuana is illegal today, so the petro-chemical companies don't have to compete with hemp fuel and can sell us capital intensive petrochemical poisons.
The War on Marijuana is not about drugs, it is about money and the continued centralization of political and economic control.
Hemp stalks produce two types of fiber, the bast fiber, or the outer bark, and the hurd fiber, or the inner woody core of the stalk. Per acre, hemp is the most productive fiber on earth, making 10 tons of bast fiber, for canvas, rope, lace and linen, and 25 tons of hurd fiber, for paper and building materials.
The US Department of Agriculture's own Bulletin No. 404 said that the waste product from making canvas, rope, lace and linen from cannabis hemp, this waste product, the hurd fiber, is more than 4 times more productive than trees for fiber production for paper and building materials. The USDA produced a movie during WWII called "Hemp for Victory" that promoted hemp farming for the war effort.
And that is just from the seeds and stems of marijuana, cannabis hemp. Forget what Cheech and Chong said on their first album about stems and seeds that you don't need. We need these stems and seeds! Our Mother Earth needs us to restore hemp.

The two top hemp fest organizers of the NW:
Vivian McPeak (Seattle) and Paul Stanford (Portland)
BK: Beyond the industrial value of the hemp plant and all those stems and seeds... what about the medical side of cannabis? It’s all part of the same plant, but the blooms have special properties that go back 5,000 years or so.

PS: That’s right, the flowers. Hemp flowers, or buds, make human brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, and medicines that help fight cancer, multiple sclerosis, neuro-degenerative diseases, and gastro-intestinal disorders; it relieves chronic pain, helps glaucoma, seizures and spasms, and restores homeostasis, or restores balance in our bodies. Marijuana increases longevity and using it as an edible food additive will make you live longer. The flowers of hemp also make people laugh, feel good and relieve depression, post traumatic stress, anxiety and much more. Cannabis is truly a cure for many forms of cancer. It is the non-toxic miracle drug for an incredible array of physical and mental ailments, and, when we return cannabis hemp to its rightful place, for our planet's ailments too. As my friend, Native American activist, poet, song writer and, in my humble opinion, a true American hero, John Trudell says, ‘hemp is Earth medicine’.

BK: A lot of people don’t consider that prohibition affects them, but in the big picture, it matters not whether someone even uses cannabis for their lives to be impacted. And the more you learn, the more frustrating it is that this failure of a law is allowed to continue. Why? 

Marc Emery is in US Federal prison
PS: The forces of ignorance, evil and darkness are afoot. The laws against marijuana are wrong. Marijuana prohibition is a conspiracy from the rulers of this world today, the very wealthy, the oligarchy, to keep the wealth in their hands. Petroleum is capital intensive, hemp is naturally decentralized. Very few people in this world have enough capital, enough money, to compete in the petrochemical industries. You can buy 10 hemp seed presses for the price of one small car. It takes billions of dollars to build an oil refinery, and they are incredibly toxic. Hemp will create untold multitudes of jobs and return economic control to the people. No more wars for petroleum when we start to use hemp again, instead. Hemp can lead the way to economic and ecological sustainability, and help save the remnants of our biosphere's precious heritage, the diversity of life that we should bequeath to future generations. Cannabis freedom is dawning with votes and hard won freedoms across Western North America. California's Prop 19, both in 1972 and 2010, was a groundbreaking step to legalize possession & cultivation of a small amount of herb and allow California cities to legalize and regulate the newly legal sale of cannabis to adults, and has greatly advanced our cause and its debate. We must continue to expand upon this work with education and political and economic activism. Eventually, with persistence, truth and justice must and will prevail.

BK: Why is this common sense answer so difficult for people in power to accept?

PS: Freedom of consciousness and thought should be a fundamental liberty, yet this is what truly frightens those who favor the drug war. Cannabis is a powerful tool in exploring consciousness and reality, one that is healthy and safe for the vast majority. Those who would punish and imprison us for cannabis have been lied to and misled. Our task is to educate them with truth and love. The key to so many problems in our world today is cannabis, which may be the ancient Tree of Life. If any plant on our planet is sacred and of spiritual significance, it is surely cannabis. Cannabis hemp will displace the petrochemical & pharmaceutical corporations that dominate our politics today, and hemp will decentralize wealth and influence at a time of growing technological advancement.

BK: What is your response to the cannabis prohibition-caused personal security issue that hundreds of thousands of Americans are facing, even today? 

PS: Stop the drug war before they kick in your door! We must stand together for what is right. This is what I ask: For those facing execution for anti-cannabis laws in Malaysia and elsewhere, work for global cannabis freedom. For those languishing in jails and prisons for anti-cannabis laws everywhere, like Roger Christie, Marc Emery, Eddy Lepp and untold hundreds of thousands more every year, work for global cannabis freedom. For our forests, the web of life and our Mother Earth, which suffers from extraction of her resources and poisoning of our environment, work for global cannabis freedom. For economic and political justice, work for global cannabis freedom. For our brothers and sisters and all that have fallen along the way, like Jack Herer, Dr. Tod Mikuriya and so many others, work for global cannabis freedom. With the exponential growth in technology and artificial intelligence, establishing and protecting each natural individual’s right to privacy and freedom of consciousness are critical for humanity's future. Please, work for compassion and evolution to a more just and free future for our biosphere and for the diversity of life and culture.

BK: 'Humanity’s future'. That’s something to pay a lot more attention to than we have, that’s for sure. Kudos to all the cannabis freedom fighters, past and present, including Dana Beal, who is facing new charges for cannabis, and Dr. Phil Leveque, whose license to practice medicine was his sacrifice for the cannabis cause. They join over 800,000 Americans who are jailed, imprisoned or sanctioned every year, while prohibition stays in force. Here’s to a smarter, more enlightened, healthy and secure future for us all. Thanks to Paul Stanford for his straight-forward answers to some tough questions, and good luck to OCTA 2012.