Monday, April 21, 2008

Message from M Yusuf Ali:
Dear Paul,

Wonderful thinking, but I request you for more information on Hemp.

As an unknown person in this world my question is: Would we get it easily (food) either by exploiting nature friendly way? or by applying artificial means? like GMO?. How much a man need? Who is destroying natural balance and bringing disaster?. I hope through this exchange of thinking we would find an escape road.

M Yusuf Ali

BARI, Gazipur



Dear Mr. Ali,

Thank you sincerely for your praise, consideration and interest in hemp farming. I have found Cannabis to be an exceptionally valuable, versatile and adaptable organic agricultural resource.

Hemp is a very easy plant to work with, both in its cultivation and in its many uses. To begin with hemp seed tastes good, so it is not hard to get people to try it. Foundational to the world's oldest global culture, respect for Cannabis is inseparable from its utility. As familiarity with the exceptional characteristics of hemp grows, so does gratitude for this gift to all mankind, and the global market is responding.

I feel that to pervert Cannabis agriculture by genetic manipulation or application of chemicals is as anti-ethical as it is counter-productive. Grown organically or biodynamically (Demeter in Europe) Cannabis is a valuable tool for improving soil fertility and structure, which has been damaged and depleted by chemical agriculture. Below there is a report from the Journal of Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology that makes a convincing case for the advantages of farming with biointensive methods.

Here are several references that convey a solid strategy for the redistribution of natural wealth, and a ray hope for our common future.

Hemp Industries Association

Hemp Oil Nutrutional Profile, MaryBeth Augustine, RD,CDN

Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America*
Ernest Small and David Marcus

Bio-intensive Farming System: Economic
Transformation Achieved by the Farmers
Green Field, 2007, volume 5, issue 1
Journal of Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology
Pg 96

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Best wishes,

Paul von Hartmann
California Cannabis Ministry

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Genetically Modified Organisms and Food Security

"Those who are optimistic about [genetically modified organisms] argue for the need to increase food production and point to the possibility of addressing the problems of marginalised farmers."


The first question ought to be,

"Are GMOs the most effective way to increase food production and address the problems of farmers?"

As an ecologist and biodynamic agriculturist, I think not. Apparently there is reason to believe that GMOs are in fact a problem, not a solution. The uncontrollability of GMO technology alone ought to obviate it from reasonable consideration. It is important to be conscious of the effect of economic inertia, favoring development and distribution of GMOs, that has gained political influence. What has been called "conventional" [sic] agriculture (rather than being identified as chemical/GMO dependent farming) has more to do with selling expensive inputs than helping people. Chemical ag has had decades to become institutionalized, making viable, more effective alternatives and agricultural methods either unavailable or otherwise discouraged.

Over the long term, it has been proven that effective pest suppression and increased crop yields are a function of proper farming methods, not increased agronomic input.

So, if not GMOs, more pesticides & increasing application of chemical fertilizers, then what IS the best alternative for increasing production and reducing pest infestation? I submit that reintroduction of hemp, a critical "strategic" food resource removed from the agricultural mix in many parts of the world, is the most effective way to address not only problems of food security, but also addresses problems of nutrition, climate change and expansion of the arable base.

GMOs are a "loose canon on the deck" of our already battered ecosystems. Better to reconsider an historically proven, naturally evolved tool for repairing the Natural Order and creating sustainable abundance.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ultimate Perversion

*Lead poisoning due to adulterated cannabis *

In recent months several cases of lead poisoning were observed in
Germany, mainly in the region of Leipzig. Some cases also occurred in
other places, such as Munich and Vienna, Austria. According to a
report published in the New England Journal of Medicine 29 patients
were admitted to four different hospitals in the greater Leipzig area
with classic signs and symptoms of lead intoxication, which had not
occurred in Germany in recent decades. All patients were regular
cannabis users and lead was detected in cannabis of some patients.

A criminal investigation was begun to find the causer of the lead
adulteration. Lead was obviously added to the drug by drug traffickers
to increase weight and profit. An anonymous screening program for
cannabis users was started and further 95 subjects were found, who had
blood levels of lead that required treatment. The Drug Commissioner of
the Federal Government, Sabine Baetzing, issued a warning on cannabis
that may be adulterated by lead. Several German organisations called
for the possibility for cannabis users to grow their own for personal
use to reduce the risks of cannabis use.

The article is available at:

(Source: Busse F, Omidi L, Leichtle A, Windgassen M, Kluge E, Stumvoll
M. Lead poisoning due to adulterated marijuana. N Engl J Med
2008;358(15):1641-2. - )


This report points out the dark extremes of human greed, engendered by inflated black market prices, made inevitable by the "drug war." Social poicy that is structured to enable contamination of a healing herb with poison in order to increase profit for the black market is ultimate perversity on a societal scale.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Drug policy, food security & nutrition

The relationship between drug policy and food security/nutrition is incalculable. I recently posted the following information to the UN forum on Food Security and Nutrition in an attempt to bridge the two discussions:

To some degree, rising food prices are the result of imposed protein scarcity, attributable in large part to the so-called "drug war." 'Marijuana' prohibition has effected food security and nutrition by restricting industrial hemp cultivation, limiting availability of the world's most nutritionally complete food resource, and editing awareness of the benefits of hemp agriculture. Emphasis on GM soy for protein production creates dependence on increasingly expensive agronomic inputs, characteristic of chemical-intensive farming.

The following report gives insight into the economic benefits of bio-intensive farming.

"Bio-intensive Farming System: Economic Transformation Achieved by the Farmers."
Journal of Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology
Green Field, 2007, volume 5, issue 1
Page 96

Now that the Executive Director of UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, has stated that the present drug policy is not "fit for purpose" I suggest there may be an opportunity to re-evaluate the impact of drug policy on food security and nutrition. Considering the unique and essential food value of hemp seed, the possible benefits of reintroducing hemp into the agricultural rotation cannot be understated. A return to bio-intensive farming would be much more feasible if hemp agriculture was not stigmatized by association with drug crops.

"Making drug control 'fit for purpose': Building on the UNGASS decade"* can be seen in full here:

Monday, April 7, 2008

Essential As Sacred

Cannabis agriculture has so many potential benefits that, considered as an integrated whole, the combined attributes of Cannabis make it a proximate, functional necessity for addressing climate change while establishing sustainable energy economics. Specific to both global warming and global broiling (increasing solar UV-B radiation), Cannabis is potentially the best choice for biofuels production/climate change mitigation for several reasons.

An essential rotational crop, Cannabis sequesters a ton of carbon per acre, per year, that the plant converts into a cellulose- and fiber-rich stalk. The stalk can be made into high grade building materials, cloth, paper and biodegradable plastics that serve as effective carbon sinks. The growth characteristics of Cannabis make it a useful crop for the production of oxygen, for expanding the world's arable base, soil re-mineralization, stopping soil erosion, breaking up soil compaction, and for the detoxification of contaminated soils.

Hemp also produces an abundance of "monoterpenes" which rise into the atmosphere, where they reflect solar radiation and seed cloud formation. The clouds that form around monoterpenes are brighter and last longer than other clouds, protecting the surface of the Earth from increasing UV-B radiation, while producing rain.

The fuel production potential of Cannabis includes methane, methanol, diesel seed oil, pyrolytic charcoal, and hydrogen.

"BIOMASS CONVERSION to fuel has proven economically feasible, first in laboratory tests and by continuous operation of pilot plants in field tests since 1973. When the energy crop is growing it takes in C02 from the air, so when it is burned the C02 is released, creating a balanced system."

In addition, Cannabis produces an abundance of protein-rich seed that contains three essential fatty acids, nutritionally significant amounts of all nine of the essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates.

The essential oils steam-distilled from hemp are being shown to have therapeutic effect for treating many illnesses including cancer, diabetes, viruses, infection, and much more. The essential oils also have pesticideal effect, which can be useful for protecting other crops and food stores.

Finally, because Cannabis adapts well to a wide variety of soil and climate conditions, hemp is potentially a globally distributed, sustainable organic feedstock, allowing for efficient, regionally-based economies.


Excerpted from "Energy Farming in America," by Lynn Osburn

Monoterpenes in Cancer Prevention and Therapy
Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, August, 2001 by Mark A. Brudnak