The Cannabis Sativa plant can be used to produce a whole host of different items such as rope, fabric, paper, oil, fuel, building material, high-protein foods, food packaging; medicinal remedies for nausea, glaucoma, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. But before you begin to conjure up images of digging a chunk out of your living room wall and smoking it, I should explain that to produce fibres and foods the plant is cultivated in a very different way to the drug-producing plant. The fibre crop, commonly called hemp, is grown as a tall, spindly plant with few leaves, whereas the drug crop, known as marijuana, hashish, ‘pot’ or ‘grass’ is grown much shorter with an abundance of the drug producing leaves.
The history of cannabis as a domesticated crop spans several centuries. It has been used as a medicine for over 2000 years and the world’s navies were entirely reliant upon it for both rope and sail cloth right up to the 1940’s. The first Levi’s jeans were made from recycled sail cloth which was made from hemp; all the first papers for printed books were made from hemp fibres (the American Declaration of Independence was even written on hemp paper) and many of the world’s finest paintings were created using hemp-oil based paints. Until the end of the 1800’s all farmers in Britain were required to grow hemp and in America there were even financial penalties for not growing enough!
It is therefore incredible to find that by the end of the 1940’s hemp production was almost phased out worldwide. And it is here that the story takes a sinister path that will no doubt sound uncomfortably familiar to those of you who have read previous Truth Campaign magazines.
The American industrialists who owned the oil, textile and paper companies were constantly looking for ways to line their pockets with as little effort and expense as possible and it proved fatal to hemp production that, during the 1800’s, it was still laborious and expensive to grow and process. Paper mill owners such as William Randolph Hearst and Lamont Dupont realised that paper could be made from wood pulp fibres and there sure were a lot of trees in America, and hell, no one seemed to want them all. Why pay good money for crops to be grown when you can cut down existing trees? Thus America’s deforestation began in earnest.
Next came the textile producers. They didn’t want to pay for hemp processing either, especially when they could pay African workers next to nothing to pick cotton and the invention of the cotton-gin had dramatically speeded up production.
And lastly, but by no means least, were the oil companies. As time rolled on into the early 1900’s, businessmen like Andrew Mellon (owner of Gulf Oil) had begun to build their empires on the exploitation of the planet’s natural resources and saw hemp as a potential threat to their plans. Oil, by then, had forged the petro-chemical/pharmaceutical industries, filling the world with synthetic and inorganic fuels, chemicals, plastics, drugs and paints, many of which, in turn, were then relied upon by the paper and textile companies in the form of wood pulp treatments in the paper mills and pesticides and fertilisers which were vital to cotton growing, not to mention the fuel to power their factories. It was not in their interests for hemp growing to resume despite the invention of the Schlichten Decorticator, a machine to process hemp crops which was perfected by the 1930’s – a piece of progress that arrived too late to save hemp production.
Their fears must have boiled over when Henry Ford managed to produce a car built from hemp oil plastic and fuelled by refined hemp oil alcohol (or ethanol). This ethanol was similar to the very first car fuels and was far cleaner than the regular petrol which the oil companies refused to refine, thus necessitating the addition of lead (a cumulative poison) to prevent incomplete combustion (knocking). The oil and paper companies declared war on cannabis, playing upon its pharmaceutical effects and calling for the production of this ‘dangerous’ drug to be banned. Hearst used his newspapers to disseminate both misleading and racist propaganda against cannabis and the blacks and Hispanics who smoked it. ‘Information’ films such as “Reefer Madness” declared that cannabis was more deadly than drugs like heroin and cocaine and could incite people to commit murder. The plant was soon being referred to as marijuana instead of hemp in the newspapers, drawing people’s attention away from the fact that it was also a fibre crop so that when it was finally made illegal in America everyone had conveniently forgotten about its benefits. Once the battle was won in the US, pressure was put upon other countries to follow suit.
This persecution of cannabis users has continued just as vehemently during the following decades. 20% of all US criminal convictions are for marijuana use, making huge amounts of money for the Justice Departments and the law firms. In 1994 nearly half a million people were arrested for marijuana use in the US. Pressure also continues on the few remaining countries who have not stopped production. The Gulf War in 1992 conveniently forged a friendship between the US and Syria which resulted in the US supplying Syria with tanks to help them stop cannabis production in the Lebanon by military force. And yet these American industrialists had achieved their goal by the end of the 1940’s. So what are they still afraid of?
The paper produced from hemp fibres is stronger and smoother than that made from wood pulp. Even its shortest fibres are at least as long as those produced by wood so every scrap can be utilised for different grades of paper, all of which contain natural resins which make it able to resist deterioration far better than wood. The crop turnover is obviously far quicker, yielding 3-4 times more paper per hectare than wood and needs fewer chemicals in its production. But the paper producers don’t want to change. They’ve made their fortunes cutting down 97% of the world’s forests, depriving the world of much needed oxygen, destroying plant and animal species, adding to the greenhouse effect and polluting rivers and lakes with their chemical effluent. They have made millions for themselves yet they say it would be too costly to change.
Hemp fabric is much stronger than cotton and lasts longer. The plant yields 2-3 times more fibre than cotton and is no longer as labour intensive to grow as it was in the 1800’s. It can be grown very densely to choke out weeds which is ideal for organic farming as it needs little or no spraying with insecticides either ( 50% of America’s pesticide use is in cotton farming). Nor would it require large quantities of fertilisers. Unlike cotton which exhausts the soil, the roots and leaves of the plant, still high in nutrients, can be ploughed back into the soil as a natural fertiliser. In fact, hemp crops have been used in the past to repair soil after erosion occurs. The roots actually help to bind the soil together.
Its other major product is oil which as previously mentioned can be distilled into ethanol fuel. When burned, this fuel gives off only two substances, water and carbon dioxide. No lead, cancer-causing benzenes, dirty smoke or deadly carbon monoxide – just water and CO2. Consider for a moment the pollution caused by burning drilled oil – the acid rain, the oil spills devastating marine life and coastlines, the exploitation of third world countries by the oil companies such as Shell’s recent activities in Nigeria, the wars fought to protect oil fields and the ever growing mountains of waste plastics and unnatural chemicals, paints and drugs which are not biodegradable. Yet anything that can be made from drilled oil can be made from hemp oil! Plastics, paints, toiletries and fuel have all been successfully manufactured from hemp oil. No wonder the oil barons are so concerned. A French company has also created a concrete substitute using a hemp chip, water and lime mix which has been used to build 250 homes at a fraction of the normal cost. The compound weighs only 1/7th of the weight of concrete and is a better insulator than brick, thus also reducing fuel bills.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the seeds from the hemp plant, containing only negligible traces of the drug, contain proteins and vital amino acids in a balance which makes them perfect for human consumption. Their protein content is on a par with soya beans and has the highest concentration of essential fatty acids especially omega 3 and 6 which have been found to lower cholesterol and help combat degenerative diseases such as AIDS, cancer and TB. Modern processing is able to turn the seeds into flour, cooking oil, textured protein, cheese and even ice cream. One company, experimenting with edible hemp products, has produced a fast-food style hemp burger which comes in an edible, flavoured hemp carton eliminating waste packaging altogether. An alternative to this was a carton which could be broken up and used to fertilise your garden. A far better option than those polystyrene cartons we so often see littering our streets.
This brings us round to the question of cannabis as a drug. The chemical that all the fuss is about is called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The British Medical Association’s “Guide to Medicines and Drugs” describes THC as a central nervous system depressant, a hallucinogen and an anti-emetic (i.e. prevents vomiting) and goes on to list its effects as promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being, enhancing visual and auditory perception, increasing talkativeness and increasing appetite. It also states that it can impair short term memory and co-ordination, cause lethargy, apathy and occasionally confusion and emotional distress but that it rarely causes hallucination which begs the question why then call it hallucinogen? There are no recorded deaths by over dose (“more deadly than heroin and cocaine…” I don’t think so!). And there are less unwanted side-effects and withdrawal symptoms than those experienced by users of the more common, and entirely legal, drugs: alcohol, tobacco and caffeine!
However, under the heading of “legitimate uses” it states that marijuana has been used for over 2000 years and has been used to treat a whole range of complaints such as anxiety, insomnia, rheumatic disorders, migraine, painful periods, strychnine poisoning, opiate withdrawal, asthma and contractions during child birth. In recent years it has been used to relieve the nausea and vomiting experienced during chemotherapy; it has been found to release the build up of pressure in the eyes of glaucoma sufferers; it reduces painful muscle spasms and restores bladder control in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS); can reverse weight-loss in AIDS patients; and can be used as a topical antibiotic. It is also a natural painkiller, yet it remains listed as a Schedule 1 drug in the Misuse of Drugs Act, above heroin and cocaine, which are listed as Schedule 2 drugs. Several bills have been put through US congress in an attempt to legalise cannabis for controlled medicinal use but none have been wholly successful. Last year in the US only eight people were granted permission to use marijuana as a treatment for their medical conditions, proving it can be done but the legal battles for this permission can often be long and costly.
Ironically, the drug companies, never wanting to be left out, have actually created a synthetic THC marketed as Marinol which mimics the effects of the natural THC but with toxic side-effects!
However, putting their potential lost drug, oil, paper and textile revenues aside, there is perhaps another reason why the chiefs of the New World Order don’t want us to use marijuana. Many people smoking (or eating) it experience increased perception, both physical (visual and auditory) and mental. It can speed up some mental processes and increases the individual’s capacity for creativity and imagination, allowing users to expand their consciousness out of everyday, media-controlled thought processes into pure, original thought. The last thing the New World Order wants is for us to be able to think for ourselves. Cathy O’Brien, whose horrific revelations about secret mind control projects appear earlier in this magazine, has suggested that marijuana can actually physically re-open the neural pathways in the brain that are closed down during trauma-based mind-control programming.
So when you see the politicians and the scientists and the businessmen on the TV shouting about their “War on Drugs”, and the risks of using marijuana, and the dangers of your children being offered it in the playground, and how much money they’re going to donate to help the situation, you can be sure that even if they really believe that marijuana is dangerous, they are not showing a genuine concern for your welfare or the welfare of your children. Their concern is for their businesses, their empires and their bank balances, the plans they have for the New World Order and their continuing ability to suppress the rest of the human and animal races for their own ends. These are concerns so important to them that they are prepared to go on digging and logging and polluting and building and burning until they have destroyed every living thing on this planet including, ironically, themselves.
And the saddest thing about all of this is that we let them get away with it. We vote for them. We give our power away to them. Some of us even still trust them to do their best for us. We buy their products and support their companies. We invite them to build more factories and processing plants on our green land because they tell us it will be good for us which is simply not true. The only people it is good for is them.
It’s time to change.
It was time to change way back in the 1930’s but we made the wrong choice and now we have lost our forests, poisoned our lakes, polluted our skies, the animals and ourselves. We have lost thousands of plant and animals species, destroyed the ecosystem, exhausted the soil. And time is running out.
But I don’t want to finish this article on such a bleak note. We do have the chance to make that choice again. Several European countries have begun small scale hemp production for paper and textiles, and while it is still illegal to grow it in America (who says America leads the way?), US companies are able to import hemp for processing. Australia too has begun production. Top fashion designers like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein have begun using hemp fabrics and the sportswear company Adidas have recently launched a hemp training shoe. High grade papers are being manufactured in Scotland and Oregon. Hemp fabric production has continued in the Ukraine for decades utilising 60,000 hectares every year.
Several companies now exist which sell a range of hemp products from writing paper and clothing to hempseed oil shampoos and massage oils. The size of hemp crops are increasing each year and in some areas it is even subsidised.
One day soon I would like to be in my hemp-brick home, wearing hemp clothes, sitting on a hemp covered sofa, writing to you on hemp paper, or eating a hemp seed meal, while I look out of my window at the forests re-growing, the soil washed free of pesticides, the rivers, oceans and skies teeming with new life. The expression “pipe-dream” comes to mind but it can so easily become a reality. The Cannabis Sativa plant has already shown us what it is capable of. Its up to us now to make it work.
“Fibre Hemp – the plant of the future” by Dr. A. J. Katelaris. Nexus magazine Vol 2 No. 15 Aug-Sept 1993 pp 16-18.
“Hemp – Just Say Yes!” by Rowan Jacobsen. Kindred Spirit magazine issue 37 Dec-Feb 1996/97 pp27-30.
“The Hemp Revolution” video by Anthony Clark, Conscious Light Productions, 1995. (For further information: Visual Corporation Limited, Premier House, 77 Oxford Street, London W1R 1RB)
- On Hemp and Hemp products contact: Hemp Union Ltd., 24 Anlaby Road, Hull, HU1 2PA Tel: 01482 225328 Send an SAE with a first class stamp on it for their free mail order catalogue or a cheque for £5 for their information and sample pack.
- An audio tape “Hemp, Kombucha and the Pharmaceutical Racket”, is available from Dave Starbuck, 52 Lancaster Avenue, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 8RQ, UK at a cost of £7.00.
Visit Daves website http://www.revelationaudiovisual.com/ for further details.
Pure Hemp Seed Oil 500mls, Virgin cold pressed, Grown without the use of artificial fertilisers or herbicides is available from ‘Harmonik Ireland’.
- 028 677 22902 from the UK
- 048 677 22902 from Eire
- 0044 28 677 22902 for International calls.
Harmonik Ireland, 9 Kilmacrannell, Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea, Fermanagh, BT92 0HH, Northern Ireland.