Reposted here since it was deleted from it's original release site. As far as I can tell, there is no research activity being openly funded by tax dollars at the moment.
FOR RELEASE: June 10, 2004
U.S. Congress Heads Up ARS Project:
"World's Most Useful Plant" targeted for Biological Attack
Even as medical 'marijuana' patients and the hemp foods industry are racking up Supreme Court victories against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); even as Canadian and European farmers are cranking up Cannabis production to keep pace with public demand for industrial hemp oils, resins, fiber and cellulose; even as Cannabis is being recognized as being "the world's most useful plant," researchers at U.C. Davis are indulging in "Reefer Madness," preparing to infest North America with insect pest species from Eurasia.
Since 1999 the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Research Service (ARS) has been preparing to attack the 'marijuana' plant, targeted for "classic biological control" in 2005. "Secure facilities" have already been built in California, where scientists will grow 'marijuana' in order to study the eating habits of various Eurasian agricultural pests.
According to the ARS annual report for 2003, "The problem is quite serious as marijuana is a controlled substance in the United States and is often grown and sold illegally. It is relevant to local and national law enforcement agencies and was initiated through Congressional mandate." The Department of Agriculture's report continues, "Research was initiated on this project at the request of Congress and the State Department to identify new biologically based methods of controlling marijuana. Cooperating foreign institutions in Italy, Russia, China and Kazakhstan conducted both field and literature surveys for natural enemies of Cannabis sativa and selected two primary candidates, Psylliodes attenuata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Cardipennis rubripes (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to begin further host-specificity and biology research on."
According to the ARS report, "walk-in plant growth chambers" were constructed at Davis last year, that "allow 'marijuana' to be grown under secure conditions and used in quarantine." DEA certification was expected to occur in the fall of 2004. "These plants will be used in the final stages of testing for the effectiveness and environmental safety of selected biological control agents. This should lead to the availability of new biological control agents for this narcotic plant." [sic]*
Faced with such monumental conflict of reason, and accelerating deterioration of our environment, at some point people must ask themselves several questions. First, it seems imperative to question the underlying motivations of a drug policy that, after almost seventy years, has had only tragic, counter-productive results for the Earth's environment, human economics and social evolution.
Creation of a black market economy is the most obvious and predictable result of any prohibition. "Forbidden fruit" is always more expensive, leading inevitably to violence and corruption of police and politicians. When a critical agricultural resource is prohibited for three generations, the destructive illusion of a "free market economy" is even more dangerous, insidious and persistent. Industries that would otherwise succumb to the laws of fair economic competition, have become institutionalized, dominating the evolution of human values. Our generation is approaching the end of that dead end road, fighting for limited energy resources when we could have been farming biofuels all along.
By devaluating the most useful and potentially abundant organic agricultural resource on the planet, and inducing a prolonged condition of essential resource scarcity, mankind has been diverted from a course of sustainable energy development. After three generations of Cannabis prohibition, degenerative, anti-natural imbalances in economics have steered a toxic course for our social and political structures as well. Teetering precariously on the edge of synergistic collapse, the very real possibility of extinction looms in our foreseeable, predictably tragic future.
The absence of balancing influence, inherent to a free market, has institutionalized anti-natural values to desperate extremes. Such mad science as is happening at Davis, being directed against humankind's best hope for sustainability, is clearly agricultural espionage carried out by a chemically vested government, subverting the best interests of its own people. Unsustainable values, combined with the unpredictable instability of atmospheric carbon imbalance, are no longer theory, capable of being characterized as "gloom and doom" scenarios. Scientists agree that global warming is a real and present danger, even if political frontmen for toxic industries would have us believe otherwise, in the interest of protecting the short-term bottomline.
Corporate influence of political leadership, the economics of punishment at home and abroad, and the market dynamics of chemical industrial food and fuel production, has engendered corruption blurring the lines between industry and government. At U.C. Davis, government science is being employed by hemp's economic competitors to strengthen the advantage that chemical industry already enjoys, over agricultural solutions and common sense.
As conditions of imbalance increase it is critical to assess the impact that corporate/politcal hybridization is having in perpetuating a self-serving prohibition. After decades of conclusive studies and clinical reports in many countries, identifying Cannabis as "the safest therapeutically active substance known to man," which holds considerable benefits for mankind,
it is inevitable to conclude that government health concerns used to justify prohibition are not to be taken seriously. In fact, considering all available credible science, it is obvious that prohibition only serves to increase profits for multi-national corporations protecting chemical-industrial interests against competition from agriculturally-based industries.
It is common knowledge that there are many substances approved by the U.S. government, that are much more dangerous to people's health than 'marijuana.' Alcohol and tobacco are America's primary recreational drugs, far more lethal and addictive to both users and non-users than 'marijuana.' Chemical pharmaceuticals and even some foods that are commonly consumed with deadly result are readily available to people who choose to assume the risks associated with them. Even peanuts can kill. Obviously, realistic concerns for public health and safety have nothing whatever to do with 'marijuana' prohibition.
Cannabis prohibition is clearly motivated by industries concerned with the plant's potential to compete in a truly "free market" economy. More than ever it is essential to understanding which industries and corporations currently control the present "un-free market," exercising disproportionate economic influence, usurping control of the American government, leads to more questions.
The petroleum industry and the pharmaceutical industry are two of the most obvious competitors. Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world. Annual spending for pharmaceuticals, is up to $250 billion, doubling every five years. More than 120,000 people die every year in the U.S., from "legal drugs" taken in accordance with their doctor's prescription.
Virtually everything that is being made from petroleum hydrocarbons, can be made better, cheaper, and with less pollution using Cannabis, a carbohydrate. Less obvious, but equally powerful are the soybean industry with interests tied to biotech and chemicals for agricultural. Monsanto controls more than 80% of the biotech industry, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer pharmaceutical. These are the economic forces driving prohibition, through political influence and lobbying groups such as Partnership for a Drug Free America.
It's no secret that America's second generation oil president is the petroleum & pharmaceutical industry's favorite son. The CEO of Pfizer donated $200,000 to Bush's campaign this year. Other blatant examples, of government officials serving billions of dollars worth of prohibitionist interests on behalf of chemically-dependent industries, abound. In America's present administration there are no fewer than six top ranking officials, directly associated with Monsanto, including the Supreme Court Judge who put GW Bush in office (Clarence Thomas), the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (Anne Veneman), the Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld), the U.S. Secretary of Health (Tommy Thompson), Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee (Larry Combest) and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
"The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), a coalition of militant peasant groups, has called for a boycott of Monsanto products. KMP is attempting to block the use of the genetically modified YieldGard Bt-corn and is protesting Monsanto's interests in the United States-led war on Iraq. Rafael Mariano, KMP chair, said the program boycott on Monsanto products is part of a civil disobedience campaign to protest against US industry's attacks on the Iraqi people.
"The US military campaign to topple the Iraqi leadership was for the benefit of US war industries like the US-based Monsanto, the proponent of the genetically engineered Bt-corn in the country and manufacturer of Agent Orange...Monsanto is no less than a war industry," Mariano said.
Mariano further stated that it was a "clear mockery" that US President Bush launched the strike on Iraq under the pretext of disarming it of its weapons of mass destructio, because the US itself is the primary producer of weapons of mass destruction.
The forest products industry is another cash cow tied to chemical production. Recent estimates put the potential market for hemp paper at between $15 to $30 billion a year worldwide. About 20 paper mills around the world use hemp fiber, with an estimated annual world production volume of 120,000 tons. This represents about .05 percent of all paper. India and China dominate this potentially vast market. In the U.S., the "green" paper industry (including recycled and natural fibers) accounts for about $20 million in a $230 billion industry. Expanded use of agricultural crops and other tree-free materials for paper would not only spare trees but would also produce paper with minimal environmental impact from the chemicals used to manufacture paper.
In the U.S., hemp food products are a small but fast-growing sector of the natural foods industry, with annual sales of about $5 million. Canadian farmers seeded 3,800 acres of hemp in 2002 and harvested about two million pounds of the crop. In 1994, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12919, specifically identifying hemp as a "strategic food resource" subject to "essential civilian demand."
Consider that the nutritional value of Cannabis seed makes hemp the most nutritious and healing food on Earth. This is an inarguable fact, since Cannabis is the only common seed with three essential fatty acids (EFAs) in proper proportion for long-term consumption. Cannabis seed is also the best available source of organic protein on the planet.
Consider that neither the U.S. government, nor the United Nations, has any research projects, anywhere in the world, where Cannabis is being considered as a source of vegetable protein. Even in countries where it is perfectly legal to grow Cannabis, (even subsidized by the European Union in some places), there are no U.N. Food & Agriculture investigations being carried out. Not one.
Instead of growing organic Cannabis, humankind is growing soybeans for protein. This is a relatively poor choice, since there are several good reasons not to eat soybean, unless it is properly fermented. Also, from an agricultural perspective, soybean is much more difficult to grow than Cannabis, requiring substantial chemical application to suppress competition from weeds.
Cannabis naturally defends itself against most insect pests, and crowds out competition from most weeds. This and many other beneficial agricultural characteristics make Cannabis an excellent rotational crop, useful as a companion plant to help with cultivation of other crops, re-mineralization of nutrient-depleted soils, for preventing soil erosion, as a seasonal windbreak, and to break up compacted soils.
Cannabis is such a valuable plant, capable of producing so many products, that it may not
be possible for mankind to achieve sustainable existence on this planet without it. Certainly, without hemp the United States of America as we know it would not exist. As most people know by now, all of the founding fathers of this country were hemp farmers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton.
"Make the most of the hemp seed and sow it everywhere."
--George Washington (1794)
"We shall....want a world of hemp more for our own personal
consumption." --John Adams (1783)
"Hemp is of first necessity....to the wealth and protection of the
country." --Thomas Jefferson (1791)**
"Hemp is an article of importance enough to warrant the employment of
extraordinary means in its favor."--Alexander Hamilton (1791)
Cannabis is capable of producing more food, fuel, medicines, fiber, cellulose,
and resins organically, sustainably than any other plant on Earth. Not
only is it imperative to stop the waste of money and obviate the destructive impact of the research being done at U.C. Davis, it is as important to ask why this research has been allowed to continue for five years, in light of what is common knowledge about this critically important agricultural resource.
Such obvious abominations as the importation of invasive insect species from one continent to another, serve to make the absurdity and economic motivations of prohibition that much more blatant. As nothing else could, this plan to self-inflict a bio-terrorist attack on the world's best hope for sustainable agriculturally-based industry, should finally wake up America to the sinister character of corrupt economic forces that are running our government.
Unless people recognize (before the election) the insidious predation of impacted economic forces, perverting the human economic structure, treasonous influences imbedded within our political fabric will continue to impose essential resource scarcity, capitalize on, and exaggerate the imbalances which result from it.
Walt Kelly is as right as he everlovin' was, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
* Note: While Cannabis can be "psychoactive" it is non-narcotic.
** Thomas Jefferson even smuggled hemp seeds into the U.S. from China.
Paul von Hartmann is an international freelance photjournalist, Cannabis scholar, and Natural rights activist.
This essay may also be found posted at the P.E.A.C.E. blog entitled
"Cannabis and Iraq: Why Prohibition Leads to War"
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Paul J. von Hartmann
12931 85th Avenue NE
Kirkland, WA 98034 USA
Planet Ecology Advancing Conscious Economics
or firstname.lastname@example.org (for files larger than 1Mb)
(c) PvH 2004
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