Cannabis Growing in Australia

18 02 2010

Richard Friar growing hemp cannabis australiaRichard Friar, a 66-year-old farmer from Australia, and his wife Wendy are the proud owners of Australia´s first licensed industrial hemp crop to be grown in an urban area.

With permission from the Department of Primary Industries, they are in the first stages of a pilot project aimed at teaching farmers how to grow hemp and commercialise its countless byproducts.

The Friars are hemp evangelists, firm believers in the world-changing potential of this most versatile of plants, which can be used in everything from food to fabrics and building materials.

With permission from the Department of Primary Industries, they are in the first stages of a pilot project aimed at teaching farmers how to grow hemp and commercialise its myriad byproducts.

The Friars’ crop, a mix of Chinese cultivars known as Yellow River and Lulu, is a fine example: the stalks can be used in the textile and construction industries – “they even use it, instead of steel, to reinforce concrete” – while the seeds can be eaten.

In December the couple applied to Food Standards for permission to sell the seed for human consumption, with approval expected early next year.

“They are a real superfood,” Wendy says. “It’s 23 per cent protein, and has more Omega 3 and Omega 6 than virtually any other source, including fish.

”In the early 1800s, Australia was twice saved from famine by eating virtually nothing but hemp seed for protein and hemp leaves for roughage.”

But the couple also plan to become brokers for hemp products, importing seeds and matching overseas and local producers with those undertaking retail or construction projects.

“We want to kickstart consumer demand,” Wendy explains. “It’s hard, though, because hemp has for so long been vilified as a dangerous drug.”

A film-maker, farmer, former horse trainer and grade rugby union player, Mr Friar has long been interested in permaculture and recycling; his company King Poo was one of the first to sell worm farms in the early 1990s. But it is hemp that has him raving.

“As a grandfather several times over, I am championing this now as the answer to a lot of our sustainability problems. We just have to lose the baggage we have about hemp, and approach it in a more mature way.”

Source: farmonline.com.au





Houses made of hemp could help combat climate change!

27 10 2009

professor pete walker - university of bath

We have recently come across this very interesting press release from Professor Peter Walker at the University of Bath (U.K) who is leading the research into the use of hemp-lime in construction.  Buildings and other infrastructure currently accounts for almost 20% of the UK’s eco-footprint.  This is another example of how this wonderful plant can help save reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Recently we brought you the news that Hanes – one of the worlds biggest consumer brands – has been investing in a new hemp technology called Crailar which requires only a fraction of the water needed to make cotton; and we are very happy to announce that it is the subject of another of our articles, a Dutch company called Hempflax who has won the contract to supply the raw materials to Hanes – i.e. the HEMP!

Here’s the press release:

Houses made of hemp, timber or straw could help combat climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of building construction, according to researchers at the University of Bath.

Currently the construction industry is a major contributor of environmental pollutants, with buildings and other build infrastructure contributing to around 19% of the UK’s eco-footprint.  Researchers at the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials are researching low carbon alternatives to building materials currently used by the construction industry.  Although timber is used as a building material in many parts of the world, historically it is used less in the UK than in other countries. Researchers at the Centre are developing new ways of using timber and other crop-based materials such as hemp, natural fibre composites and straw bales. Their work using straw bales as a building material has already been featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs series.

Professor Peter Walker, Director of the Centre, is leading the research. He said: “The environmental impact of the construction industry is huge. For example, it is estimated that worldwide the manufacture of cement contributes up to ten per cent of all industrial carbon dioxide emissions.  “We are looking at a variety of low carbon building materials including crop-based materials, innovative uses of traditional materials and developing low carbon cements and concretes to reduce impact of new infrastructure. As well as reducing the environmental footprint, many low carbon building materials offer other benefits, including healthier living through higher levels of thermal insulation and regulation of humidity levels.”

Their research is being presented at the Sustainable Energy & the Environment showcase at the University of Bath.  The exhibition will be opened by David Willetts MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities & Skills, and will be attended by industrialists, research councils, local and national government representatives and other key stakeholders from across the South West.  The exhibition coincides with the launch of the Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment (I-SEE) at the University of Bath, which will bring together experts from diverse fields of science, engineering, social policy and economics to tackle the problems of climate change.

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Top 10 Cannabis Movies

16 12 2008

We have compiled  a list of our top 10 Marijuana related movies. Hopefully you will enjoy these movies as much as we did.

1. Blow (2001)

George Jung is the son of a struggling small business owner. Seeing his family struggle to make ends meet and failing, George vows never to share a similar fate. Moving to California, he starts his own pot pushing operation in which he finds both success and imprisonment. In prison, he meets a cellmate who introduces him into a partnership to the lucrative new market in cocaine.

2. Up in smoke (1978)

Cheech and Chong meet up by chance on the highway somewhere in California. They go in search of some dope and are accidentally deported to Mexico where in their desperation to get home they agree to drive a van back to the States so they can get back in time for a gig they are due to play. Unaware of the properties from which the van is constructed they make their way back having aquired a couple of female hitch-hikers whilst all the time avoiding the cops whom they are not even aware are following them.

3. Grass (1999)

This film explores the history of the American government’s official policy on marijuana in the 20th century. Rising with nativist xenophobia with Mexican immigration and their taste for smoking marijuana, we see the establishment of a wrong headed federal drug policy as a crime issue as oppposed to a public health approach. Fuelled by prejudice, hysterical propaganda and political opportunism undeterred by voices of reason on the subject, we follow the story of a costly and futile crusade against a substance with questionable ill effects that has damaged basic civil liberites.

4. Hemp for Victory (1943)

An informational film produced to encourage farmers to grow hemp for the war effort during WW2. The film details the many industrial uses of hemp, including cloth and cordage, as well as a detailed history of the plant’s use.

5. Easy rider (1969)

The partners and friends Wyatt and Billy buy drugs in Mexico and deal in Los Angeles, raising money to travel to the Mardi Grass in New Orleans in their bikes. They cross their country disclosing a period of counterculture and intolerance through spectacular landscapes.

6. Bill & Ted’s Excellent adventure (1989)

When best friends Bill S. Preston and Ted “Theodore” Logan are in danger of being seperated and having their band, Wyld Stalyns broken up because they’re failing history, a time traveler from the future gives them a telephone booth so they can travel through time and ace their history report.

7. Half baked (1998)

After Kenny accidentaly kills a cop’s diabetic horse by feeding it the food he purchased from a munchie run, he is put in jail and is given a 1 million dollar bail. The rest of the group must bail Kenny out before Nasty Nate gets to him. The group decides to sell marijuana that Thurgood gets through his job as a janitor at a pharmaceutical lab.

8. Harold and Kumar – Go to white castle ( 2004)

Harold Lee and Kumar Patel are two stoners who end up getting the munchies. What they crave the most after seeing a TV advertisement, is a trip to White Castle. So from here, follows a journey for the burgers they require. On their way they will encounter many obstacles including a raccoon, a racist officer, and a horny Neil Patrick Harris.

9. Reefer Madness (1936)

This movie was never intended to be funny, but more then 70 years after it was made it looks more like a slapstick then a serious movie. This old propaganda film relates the story, as told by high school principal Dr. Carroll to parents at a PTA meeting, of the scourge of marijuana. The lives of all who are involved with this menace are inevitably shattered. One man becomes so addicted to the killer weed that the guilt over framing a teen for murder causes a judge to order him to be committed for life to a mental hospital!

10. Popeye – Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1939)

Popeye is one of the world’s most well-known and beloved animated characters. Since his creation, the pipe-puffing Popeye has become a global phenomenon, with millions of kids heartily munching on spinach in the hopes that it will make them as strong as the legendary sailor-man. Yet is the spinach which gives Popeye his super-strength really a metaphor for another magical herb? Have children around the world been adoring a hero who is really a heavy consumer of the forbidden weed ?





Quotes from the people that made marijuana illegal

10 12 2008

These quotes are too ridiculous to even consider taking serious, however most of our current drug policies are based on the opinions and efforts of these same people.

Harry J. Anslinger

anslinger1Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity — a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn’t be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level.Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. Some of his quotes regarding marijuana…

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.“…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.” Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

And he loved to pull out his own version of the “assassin” definition:

“In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason: the members were confirmed users of hashish, or marihuana, and it is from the Arabs’ ‘hashashin’ that we have the English word ‘assassin.’”

Yellow Journalism

hearst1Harry Anslinger got some additional help from William Randolf Hearst, owner of a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had lots of reasons to help. First, he had invested heavily in the timber industry to support his newspaper chain and didn’t want to see the development of hemp paper in competition. Second (and perhaps most importantly), he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, so he hated Mexicans. Third, telling lurid lies about Mexicans (and the devil marijuana weed causing violence) sold newspapers, making him rich.Some samples from the San Francisco Examiner:

“Marihuana makes fiends of boys in thirty days — Hashish goads users to bloodlust.” “By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….”

And other nationwide columns…

“Users of marijuana become STIMULATED as they inhale the drug and are LIKELY TO DO ANYTHING. Most crimes of violence in this section, especially in country districts are laid to users of that drug.” “Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim’s life in Los Angeles?… THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES — that is a matter of cold record.”

Source: legalizepot.wordpress.com





Famous painting made on Hemp

4 08 2008

The famous Dutch painters Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15, 1606 – October 4, 1669) and Vincent Willem Van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) are both famous painters who are known to have done most of their painting on hemp based canvas.

Hemp canvas is especially well suited for oil paintings.

These self-portraits of the great masters are made on hemp

Rembrant van Rijn Hemp Canvas

Rembrant van Rijn Hemp Canvas

Vincent van Gogh Hemp Canvas

Vincent van Gogh Hemp Canvas





5 Important historical figures that used Hemp

28 07 2008

George Washington

First U.S.A. President and hemp farmer.

“Make the most of the hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”

George Washington grew cannabis on his plantations. Actually one could even be jailed in America for not growing cannabis during several periods of shortage, e.g., in Virginia between 1763 and 1767.

An especially interesting diary post from George Washington mentions him separating the Female from the Male plants. The only reason someone might want to do this is if you want to smoke the buds. All other applications for hemp it is best to let the two grow together.

May 12-13 1765: “Sowed Hemp at Muddy hole by Swamp.”

August 7, 1765: “began to seperate the Male from the Female Hemp at Do — rather too late.”

Thomas Jefferson

Fourth U.S.A. President and also a hemp farmer.

Thomas Jefferson, like George Washington, grew cannabis on his plantations too. Actually Jefferson, while envoy to France, went to great expense — and considerable risk to himself and his secret agents — to procure particularly good hemp seeds smuggled illegally into Turkey from China. The Chinese Mandarins (political rulers) so valued their hemp seeds that they made their exportation a capital offense.

Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper, which allowed America to have a free colonial press without having to beg or justify paper and books from England. Furthermore, the rope that was used in his famous lighting experiment was a hemp rope.

Rudolph Diesel

When Rudolph Diesel produced his famous engine in 1896, he assumed that the diesel engine would be powered by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils. Rudolph Diesel, like most engineers then, believed vegetable fuels were superior to petroleum. Hemp is the most efficient vegetable.

Henry Ford

Experimented with hemp to build cars.

In the 1930s, the Ford Motor Company saw a future in biomass fuels. Ford operated a successful biomass conversion plant that included hemp at their Iron Mountain facility in Michigan. Ford engineers extracted methanol, charcoal fuel, tar, pitch, ethyl acetate, and creosote—all fundamental ingredients for modern industry, and now supplied by oil-related industries.





Hollands’ Hemp History

3 07 2008

Hemp is one of the oldest crops domesticated by man. The history of hemp in Holland also goes back for thousands of years. The stalk of the hemp-plant produces one of the strongest natural fibres that were used to make things like rope, textile and paper. Also the seed of the hemp-plant contains high-grade food oil that was also used for lamp oil, the production of paint and (green!) soap.

The Dutch Golden Age was also the golden age of Dutch hemp in Holland. Without hemp there would not have been too much golden age in the first place. A seafaring nation with ships going around the globe is a nice thing to be; however, to be able to build such ships, many tons of hemp was needed. Next to wood, hemp was the main component used to build a ship in those times. The replica of the famous 17th century Dutch ship ‘Batavia’ contains about 21 kilometres of rope. The sails are made of hemp and hemp-fibres were also used as part of a caulking that made the hull watertight.

Only after Czar Peter the Great learned about shipbuilding in the Dutch ‘zaanstreek’ (an area in the north of Amsterdam where a lot of ships used were build) — and as it seems also about hemp production — did Russian hemp start to compete with the Dutch. This was the beginning of a slow decline for hemp, a decline that continued into the 20th century when modern machines and artificial fibres finally conquered the market. The farmers, especially in the middle of Holland and along the big rivers, lost their winter-time work (peeling the fibres from the stalks) and started to make their own cheese. The hemp-market in places like Gouda became a cheese-market and Holland became a cheese-country.

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