The Buzz on Hemp

The Buzz on Hemp
Posted by CN Staff on January 13, 2004 at 17:47:24 PT
By Mike Strobel
Source: Toronto Sun 
The big pot bust in Barrie brings back heady memories. Lazy August afternoons. Bees abuzzin.' Crows cawing on a soft breeze. My old man checking the cannabis crop. "Lookit how tall it is," he would say, head back in wonder. It was 10, 12 feet high. The corn no longer hid it. The OPP cruised by regularly, peering in from Talbot Rd. "The cops were really suspicious," my dad chuckles down the line from Maple Manor, in Tillsonburg.
In 1994, he had North America's first experimental licence to grow cannabis, on 10 acres of the family tobacco farm. It drew many curious people to skulk in the treelines. Sometimes, my dad found plants missing. One thief left a bottle of wine in the mailbox, apparently in gratitude for the juiciest cannabis plant he'd ever stolen. "The wine was really good," my dad says. "But I don't think he got much out of that plant." Dad's strain of cannabis, you see, took you no higher than lawn grass. It had the same leaf, the same weedy smell, but only a trace of narcotic. Your lungs collapsed long before you got a buzz. It was industrial hemp, outlawed with the rest of the cannabis family in North America since Reefer Madness days. Dad got nearly as much publicity as the Barrie bust. The L.A. Times came to call. There was a TV feature, complete with The Ballad of Joe Strobel. The CBC report of the harvest showed dad on his tractor pulling a hay mower, then panned to an OPP cruiser poised mid-field. Reporters had to swear to keep the location secret, though any local would draw you a map. The harvested bales were stored in secret, my dad said, though frankly, they were piled in the neighbour's garage. "People flat-out didn't understand the difference," says Geof Kime, 37, an engineer who was dad's hemp partner. "I tried to explain marijuana and our hemp as Great Dane and Chihuahua. They're both dogs, but not the same at all." Still, in those days, every time he or my pop tried to pitch hemp for paper, or clothing, or garden mulch, or horse bedding, or concrete filler, or fence posts, or whatever, the comeback was usually: "Yeah, but can ya smoke it?" It was, says Kime, "the giggle factor." So, as cops stare agog at the former brewery in Barrie, where has hemp come since that summer on the old farm? Well, a series of strokes took my old man out of the movement. Any hemp crusader knows his name. Any marijuana crusader, too, though he politely steered clear of the dope side. The Canadian hemp business peaked at nearly 700 licences in 1998, after the feds saw the sky didn't fall when my dad grew his impotent pot. But growers' ranks dwindled to 82 by 2002, 16 in Ontario. Firms like Hempola prosper. They make oil products and food, which are easily processed with seed machinery. But clothing makers can't compete with the cheap labour of China and other hemp powers. And infrastructure hasn't kept up with demand for such things as fibre for car door panels. That's the kind of hemp product made by Kime's Hempline Inc., out of Delaware, up the road from Tillsonburg. Big production takes big dough. "The (hemp fibre) industry is ready to go," says Kime. "Capital is the missing ingredient." Hemp, however, is happenin' on Queen St. W., at the Friendly Stranger Cannabis Culture Shop. "You're Joe Strobel's son?" says owner Robin Ellins, 37, with some reverence. The front of his place looks like The Gap. Walls covered in groovy dress shirts, jackets and jeans. Wallets and belts of hemp. Soaps, candles, power bars, hairwax, lip balm, soda pop, potato chips. He doesn't carry hemp "ice cream" but you can buy it at supermarkets. In back, hemp's flip side: Pipes, paper, other paraphernalia. $8.8 BILLION UNDERGROUND How 'bout that big bust, Robin? "Funny it was in a brewery that closed down. Didn't 400 people get laid off? You could have given them new jobs" in the grow operation. "Marijuana is an $8.8-billion underground economy. It's an industry dying to be legitimate. The general public now knows pot is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. "And it's easy to regulate: Permits for growers and retailers, inspections, age limits, taxation. What's the problem?" I dunno, Robin, ask my dad. Being a hemp warrior is never easy. Note: Dad's cannabis crop stood taller than corn.Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)Author: Mike StrobelPublished:  January 13, 2004Copyright: 2004 Canoe Limited PartnershipContact: editor sunpub.comWebsite: Articles:Getting Rid of Unwanted Weed of Hemp - Toronto Star
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Comment #14 posted by RasAric on January 14, 2004 at 21:51:13 PT
My Source was emailed from Americans for Safe Access.As FoM had posted earlier here's the link again:
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Comment #13 posted by JustGetnBy on January 14, 2004 at 11:12:38 PT
Post # 4 Alaric
.  My apoligies RasAric, got the name wrong. Please excuse my inattention.
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Comment #12 posted by JustGetnBy on January 14, 2004 at 11:09:09 PT
Post # 4 Alaric
This is the kind of devious under=handed behaviour I have come to expect from our "Public Servants" I don't have any details about the case, and will postpone my complete outrage until we have all the facts.
  I did a search of Tehema county, and Sacramento papers and came up with ZERO. Alaric, can you give us a source for more details?
  Thanks for bringing the outrage to our attention, I wait with bated breath.
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Comment #11 posted by The GCW on January 14, 2004 at 08:47:06 PT
RasAric -#4,
I see Your post!Thank You for the update, please help see that We are informed further.This is cause for more alarm, but also time to make room for more advocates of the medical use of cannabis because this will increase support.
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Comment #10 posted by goneposthole on January 14, 2004 at 07:49:04 PT
God himself couldn’t sink that ship.
The story of Titanic is one that’s pure fact will send shivers done your spine, but there was also many haunting instances that some say predicted the Titanic’s fatal demise. In the year 1898, a book was released called Futility, written by Morgan Robertson. It is about a gigantic, supposedly unsinkable British ocean liner named the Titan. On it’s maiden voyage it strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic on it’s way to New York and sinks. Sound familiar? Coincidentally, both the Titanic and the Titan sailed in April, had about the same number of lifeboats and passengers, and sank in around the same spot. Robertson even correctly predicted which side of the ship the iceberg would strike. What is even more disturbing is that of a dying orphan girl named Jessie. At 11:00 p.m. on April 14, 1912, Salvation Army caption W. Rex Sowden was sitting at her bedside as she predicted that tragedy that would unfold in a few short hours. “Can’t you see that big ship sinking in the water?” she said. W. Rex Sowden tried to calm her by telling her it was just a dream, but she persisted. “Look at all those people who are drowning!” With that she fell into a coma and died shortly thereafter. don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that prohibition one day will strike an iceberg and sink. One calved from the icy artic waters north of Canada.
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Comment #9 posted by gloovins on January 14, 2004 at 02:09:40 PT
More on Michigan
Hi all -- just a courteous reminder that 300,000+ signatures is very possible. The Mich amendment got 265,000 (see for the last Mich proposed amendment results. We are not far off people, alot more organized this time, and hell if Ontario can go for industrial hemp -- Michigan can/should too! The state NEEDS the revenue now more than ever and to work within federal law, the proposed amendment only regulates cannabis grown & sold & bought IN Michigan. The wording may change slightly as the recent pro Med MJ rulings are taken into consideration I'm told. To twist the quote from Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, "We ain't in Nevada no more...";), this looks good & likely people...2004 IS a year of change!
Michigan residents who want to end the war on cannabis there ck this out!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on January 13, 2004 at 22:12:29 PT
Right Here! On the top of CNews we have rotating banners and ASA is one of the banners we have. They do great work. To receive ASA alerts, email asa-subscribe lists.riseup.net
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Comment #7 posted by SystemGoneDown on January 13, 2004 at 21:57:16 PT
Is there any source for information on when any marijuana advocacy demonstrations will be? Sort of like a million man march thing?
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 13, 2004 at 21:56:11 PT
John Tyler 
Thank you! The poll results are wonderful. It was only in the 2000s when I voted. I'm impressed!
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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on January 13, 2004 at 21:39:07 PT
Poll Results
1/13/04The Globe and Mail Poll Results to the question:  If marijuana growers were licensed and all sales taxed, would the economic benefit outweigh the social harm?Yes	69%	15056No	31%	6900Total Votes: 21956
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Comment #4 posted by RasAric on January 13, 2004 at 21:16:18 PT
Attention: Feds back at it again!!!! 
Today in Sacramento, two medical marijuana patients in their 50's were sitting in a California state court for cultivation charges. Then it went federal.Please join us for an emergency response action in front of your closest federal building at noon on Friday, January 16!!
 We Contact your local ASA contact person, but to organize it we need to get the word out that the Bush/Ashcroft assault on patients' rights has not ceased.
Their attorneys for the two medical MJ patients were filing motions for dismissal on the basis of their legal medical status, which the prosector agreed to, and were called into judge's chambers to work out the details. Once there, the prosecutor (Lynn Strom, Tehama Co) told them she was agreeing to a dismissal of state charges ONLY because federal marshalls were at that minute arresting the defendants while they were sitting in the courtroom! 
 This was an egregious misdirection of the prosecution, and an unacceptable handing over of a case to the feds by state officials. These were individual patients, growing medicine to take care of their needs. ( I will release their names tomorrow)
 Their attorneys are rightfully shocked and dismayed by this outrage, and our support is needed. Please, get some people together, bring out your signs, send out a press release to local media, and let's spread the word. Please let us know what you are planning so we can publicize them all and maximize our impact.
 This is all the more reason to join in on the national day of action at congressional district offices during Medical Marijuana Week (2-15 to 2-22) on Tuesday, Feb. 17 and demand Congress change the law to protect patients. 
 Hilary McQuie
Campaign Director
Americans for Safe Access
1678 Shattuck Ave. #317
Berkeley, CA 94709
Join the fight for medical marijuana rights!
To receive ASA alerts, email asa-subscribe
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on January 13, 2004 at 20:09:07 PT
setting world records
If a person wanted to set a world record for the largest hemp pancake or pizza or whatever, now would be a good time while the levels are attainable. It would be a good thing for Loretta Nall to do. I say that mainly because she did an interview with Kucinich in Texas. It is mentioned in the pot-tv show dated yesterday- I think the show went up today and I have not seen the show but read about the interview when Loretta Nall was interviewed by already mentioned wood sugar that is in a family between the sugars and the alcohols that can be made from hemp. I have no idea about cost, but since it does not invoke an insulin response is is equal to table sugar in sweetness it may figure into future use by diabetics and people trying to avoid diabetes. I just wanted to mention that Subway is running the heck out of commercials for their wraps that only have 11 carbs. The boomers are going on one big diet. Hemp pancakes with hemp wood sugar please with some enhanced soup, heavy on the enhanced.
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Comment #2 posted by SystemGoneDown on January 13, 2004 at 20:07:08 PT
It's all connected. Even the part of cannabis that DOESN'T get you high is still illegitimate. Why?Because Cannabis/Hemp/marijuana is NOT PROFITABLE. 
That's why it's became illegal. That's why it will stay illegal. If it were'nt prohibited, no large corporations would profit from anything because anyone can grow it.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 13, 2004 at 17:55:11 PT
A Nice Article
Now this article makes me smile.
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