Community

Australia: Hemp bags a design of the times

BY TINA LIPTAI, The Standard

HEMP bags featuring artwork by Port Fairy pupils will hit the streets next week after the designs were unveiled yesterday.

The See Change In Port Fairy Project is a community initiative which aims to eradicate plastic bags from the town by offering a unique reuseable alternative. The bags were launched at the opening of the four-day Victorian Landcare Network Forum and community expo at Port Fairy's Victoria Hotel.

Every pupil from Port Fairy Consolidated and St Patrick's primary schools submitted artwork with an environmental theme as part of the project.

Project co-ordinator Genevieve Grant said the designs on the bags were chosen at random.

"I just picked up where the children from both schools were heading with their studies," Ms Grant said.

"It really is about the children passing on their knowledge to the community about sustainability and promoting a better understanding of how we should protect and look after our home, where ever we live."

The bag also features the See Change logo, designed by Port Fairy artist Ess Warmuth.

The bags will be officially launched when pupils from both schools march down the town's main street with banners and the bags on Monday from 11.45am.

Source: http://warrnambool.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/hemp-bags-a-...

Oregon: Hempstalk 2008 Slideshow - Simple Ways

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

Featured is a short slideshow from Hempstalk 2008 in Portland, Oregon. It is set to the song "Simple Ways" by The Human Revolution and consists of speakers/performers from the event.

From Keith Stroup to Jack Herer, the Hempstalk 2008 speakers were educational and informative, discussing the merits of Cannabis and Hemp on the main stage as well as in the Hemposium pavillion. It is our hope that the Hemposium will continue to evolve and grow, providing experts and information from doctors and lawyers to local business people working to promote Hemp and Cannabis. Having a variety of speakers complimented the wide range of musical acts that took to the Hempstalk stage.

It was truly an honor to have the likes of John Trudell and Bad Dog, as well as The Human Revolution, State of Jefferson, and the ever popular Seattle Hempfest house band (one of our favorites) the Herbivores. To everyone who participated, volunteered, and helped make Hempstalk 2008 possible, we thank you and look forward to a fun and informative Hempstalk 2009!

http://www.hempstalk.org
http://www.myspace.com/hempstalk

Montana: Ex-Missoula neurologist pens paper on old stash

By MICHAEL JAMISON, Missoulian

A 2,700-year-old bowl of marijuana, the world’s oldest pot stash, has been unearthed from a tomb in central China.

“The evidence all indicates that there was intent to utilize this cannabis for psychoactive purposes,” said Ethan Russo. “What we’ve found here is the oldest, clear-cut and proven sample of psychoactive cannabis in the world.”

Russo, who for 24 years worked as a neurologist in Missoula and still serves as a pharmacology faculty affiliate at the University of Montana was lead author on a paper describing the find, published this month in the peer-reviewed “Journal of Experimental Botany.”

The tomb, Russo said, belonged to “a shaman, or a chief, someone of extremely high stature.”

Found alongside the skeleton and the 2 pounds of marijuana were several other items, including horse bridles, archery equipment and a harp. (No pipes were found, however, and Russo remains uncertain as to whether the marijuana was to be smoked or ingested in the afterlife.)

The site is located amid the Yanghai Tombs, near Turpan in China’s Gobi Desert region. Locals stumbled across the sprawling graveyard some two decades back, while digging irrigation wells, but it was not until 2003 that formal archaeological investigations were launched.

To date, Russo said, only 500 or so of the 2,500 graves there have been excavated.

Canada: Industries turning to soy, fibres

By Becky Rynor, Canwest News Service

It was Henry Ford, the American founder of the Ford Motor Company and a prolific inventor, who did some of the earliest work in developing biocomposites -- products that combine organic fibres from agriculture and forestry waste with petroleum-based materials such as plastic.

"He was at the forefront," says Ed Trueman, with JER Envirotech of Delta, B.C.

"If you go back to the early days of Henry Ford, in the late teens and early 1920s, he did an awful lot of development work with soy-based products -- soy-based plastics, soy-based polymers that actually ended up in auto body panels. He was brought up on a farm and he was very concerned about the environment."

Ford was stymied in getting biocomposites widely developed and accepted, Trueman says, by the technological limitations of the time and the ready availability of cheap petroleum.

But recent advances in technology, combined with industry's desire to reduce costs and be environmentally conscious, is moving the field forward,says christian Belanger with the National Research Council.

Belanger says this has a growing number of industries looking at biocomposites for everything from food packaging to car and airplane components.

Wisconsin: LEGALIZING, TAXING POT URGED TO RAISE CASH

By Chris Rickert, Madison NORML

Wisconsin - President Bush and the two leading presidential contenders were urging lawmakers to take one for the good of the country Tuesday and pass a highly unpopular Wall Street bailout package.

Some drug-reform advocates, meanwhile, were suggesting that a better way out of the current financial mess would be to toke one for the country.

"Society could get a great deal of funding by bringing cannabis into our society," said Gary Storck, co-founder of the Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

More specifically, legalizing and taxing marijuana and industrial hemp could open up a lucrative revenue stream and help offset a $700 billion taxpayer outlay to save the country's financial system.

"Why not look at it?" said Storck, who likens the idea to President Roosevelt's support for ending prohibition during the Depression. "We need the money. How else are we going to get it?"

The possible fiscal boon of legalizing marijuana has long been an argument put forth by NORML and like-minded groups, who point to studies showing that the government could be billions of dollars to the good if it taxed the plant and ended its marijuana-related law enforcement efforts.

Bruce Mirken, director of communications with the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, said legalization and regulation could mean between $10 billion and $40 billion a year to state and federal budgets.

The Netherlands: Hemp Instead of Cotton

By Thijs Westerbeek

Cotton cultivation is a disaster for the environment and the farmers who grow cotton don't see many benefits from their labour. However, if researchers at the Netherlands' University of Wageningen get their way, things will be very different in a few years' time thanks to the new varieties of hemp they have created.

There's a small field of hemp less than ten kilometres east of Wageningen, but it doesn't look very promising. The plants have all been chopped down and have been left, exposed to the elements, rotting on the ground.

Even though the hemp field doesn't look very prepossessing, the investigators from Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) are extremely pleased with the crop, as this new hemp variety may be able to break cotton's monopoly position as the textile crop of choice. Leaving the hemp to rot is simply part of the production process.

Visitors to Dr Ton den Nijs' office - a plant researcher at WUR - are invited to try on the jeans that are draped over the desk. At first glance, the jeans do not appear to be particularly unusual. However, the fabric is strong yet supple and once you have them on, they are remarkably comfortable.

Fibre crops

The secret behind these jeans is that they are almost entirely made from hemp. It's not the hemp variety that you get high from but hemp as a fibre crop. The plant is doesn't contain a single milligram of THC, the main psychoactive substance found in hashish and marijuana.

Oregon: Enforcement Vs Regulation

By Hannah Guzik, Tidings correspondent

By the 1930s, using marijuana was illegal in Oregon and it has remained that way -- except for medicinal use -- ever since. A group of local residents is aiming to reverse history.

The Legalize Ashland organization hopes to make adult marijuana use the lowest law enforcement priority and legalize the production of industrial hemp by May 2009.

Eventually the activists want to make legal recreational use of pot, giving it a similar status as alcohol, according to their Web site and MySpace page.

"It is time for Ashland's laws to reflect the priorities of its citizens. The majority of the citizens of Ashland believe that spending money on the enforcement of misdemeanor possession of marijuana is a waste of budget resources, and that public policy should reflect this," the group's Web site states.

Group members did not respond to e-mail messages sent to the address listed on the Web site.

The site states that the group held a meeting Sept. 13 at the Ashland Public Library to discuss putting an initiative on the city ballot next year.

A handful of cities across the country, including Seattle and Oakland, have passed similar laws.

Dan Rubenson, an economics professor at Southern Oregon University, said he would like to see a serious discussion about the implications of legalizing pot.

"I see us spending huge amounts of money for prosecuting and especially for incarcerating people for what I see as victimless crimes and so, from that perspective, I say, 'Let's talk about this,'" he said.

Texas: Advocates gather to promote change in marijuana laws

by Rachel Meador, Daily Texan Staff

High above the Pecan Street Festival, Texans for the legalization of marijuana showed their support Saturday night at the Third Annual Sixth Street Smokeout and 2008 Global Marijuana Music Awards at Momo’s.

The Texas branch of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, hosted the event with proceeds funding efforts to decriminalize recreational marijuana use by responsible adults. The diverse lineup ranged from spoken poetry to swing music, country to reggae, but all advocated legal change.

The Broken Poetz drove their expertly spray-painted van five hours from McAllen to contribute their hip-hop-psychedelic sound to the lineup. The group addresses the problems surrounding current marijuana laws in their original songs. “Mr. Weedy” and “Two-Time Offender” received cheers of support at the smokeout.

“Too many people are in jail right now just for marijuana charges,” said Jason Salas, member of The Broken Poetz. “We want to help expose what’s really going on. It’s real messed up when an adult can’t possess just for personal use.”

The patio overlooking the Austin skyline was lined with information booths, artists selling blown glass pieces and miscellaneous pro-pot regalia while roaming advocates dispensed free gear and information to attendees. NORML members and vendors were eager to answer questions and shed some light on marijuana misconceptions.

California: Beauty that's relevant

By Dinna Chan Vasquez

The Body Shop has always believed that business has the power to make the right kind of difference in the world.

Over 50 percent of the company’s products contain Community Trade ingredients or are produced through the Community Trade program. The Body Shop’s target for the year is an ambitious 65 percent. This program creates sustainable trading relationships with disadvantaged communities around the world and provides income to over 25,000 people across the globe.

Through the program, the company obtains sesame seed oil from Nicaragua, aloe vera from Guatemala, honey from an organic source in Zambia, shea butter from Ghana and bladderwack seaweed from Ireland.

How cool is it that your bottle of lotion helps provide a means of livelihood for communities?

In 2007, The Body Shop was the first company to have sourced sustainably harvested palm oil and introduce the ingredient into the beauty industry, working in partnership with a certified organic producer in Colombia.

Early this year, the introduced 100-percent post-consumer recyclate bottles while all polyethylene terephthalate or PET bottles contain a minimum of 30 percent recycled material, with a target to convert to 100 percent in the next 12 months.

The Body Shop also continues to raise awareness and funding for women affected by domestic violence. The Stop Violence in the Home campaign has run since 2003 and raised more than 2 million pounds.

CA: Attorney general's medical marijuana guidelines change little

By LORA HINES, The Press-Enterprise

Guidelines recently issued by the state attorney general have had little effect on the Inland's regulation of medical marijuana.

Last month, Attorney General Jerry Brown said licensed state cooperatives or less formal collectives are legal under California law. Operators of for-profit storefront dispensaries may be arrested and prosecuted, he said. Brown's opinion is nonbinding.

He issued the guidelines as the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors decided it would continue efforts to overturn the state's 2003 Medical Marijuana Program Act, also known as Prop. 215. The state has issued a little more than 23,500 medical marijuana cards since 2004, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Attorney General Jerry Brown's office says the guidelines clarify legal selling of marijuana.

Earlier this summer, the state's 4th District Court of Appeal in San Diego rejected claims by San Diego and San Bernardino counties that federal statutes outlawing marijuana pre-empt state law. The court also rejected San Bernardino County's argument that issuing medical marijuana identification cards violated the state's constitution.

San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert said Brown's opinion probably would not affect the county's decision to appeal.

"We're asking for clarification on the law," he said. "We're doing this on behalf of the sheriff's department. The county is prepared to abide by any law on the books. The Board of Supervisors has never taken a stance on medical marijuana or even on the cards."

Kansas: Debate over marijuana tries to clear the air

By Jesse Trimble

You couldn’t smell any marijuana in the crowd Monday night during the “Heads Versus Feds” SUA event, but there were plenty of tie-dyed, 1960s band shirts sprinkled through the crowd of 440 people.

Steve Hager, editor-in-chief of High Times magazine, and Robert Stutman, a retired special agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency of New York City, argued until they were both red in the face about the legalization of marijuana in front of an emotionally charged crowd, but they also inspired a few laughs.

Hager took to the stage first, and he listed five reasons why cannabis should be legalized:

- It is useful for medicinal purposes.

- Hemp is good for the environment.

- Criminalizing marijuana has led to crowded prisons, with 900,000 people arrested for possession each year.

Robert Stutman, retired agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration listens to the argument delivered by Steve Hager, editor-in-chief of High Times magazine about the legalization of marijuana. Nearly 450 people attended "Heads Versus Feds" on Monday night in the Kansas Union Ballroom.

- Keeping marijuana on the black market provides dealers and criminals a cut of the $500 billion-a-year industry.

- It’s part of his culture.

“That’s most important to me,” Hager, an Illinois native, said of his affinity for the counterculture of the 1960s. Hager said he first smoked marijuana at 15 and was one of the first in his high school to do so.

Oregon: HempStalk 2008 Gives Legalization Activists a Voice

By Bonnie King, Salem-News.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Bringing Oregon's hemp movement to center stage, HempStalk 08 created an environment where rational discussion regarding Cannabis legalization was the norm.

Thousands converged on Portland's Eastbank Festival Plaza last weekend for the fourth annual HempStalk, learning about the benefits of hemp cultivation and to support legalization of Cannabis for all adults.

Paul Stanford of the The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) is an organizer of the event. He introduced Dr. Phil Leveque as an integral force behind the success of medical marijuana in Oregon.

Leveque took the stage and addressed the enthusiastic crowd, "Good afternoon, you Potheads!", met with a resounding applause.

The emperor himself, renowned author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, activist Jack Herer came to share his story and promote hemp products. Jack first presented his anti-prohibition research in the mid 1970's and has sold nearly a million books since then.

"I thought it would be a good time to introduce the world to all hemp products, at an event like this," Jack said.

About Hemp News

Hemp News, a compilation of international news stories about hemp and cannabis, is a public service of Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH). This is intended for political and educational use on the subject of cannabis and the wide-ranging effects of drug prohibition.

The Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) goal is to educate people about the medicinal and industrial uses for cannabis in our global society in order to restore hemp cultivation and end adult cannabis prohibition.

This site is intended to be an avenue for the community to empower themselves with information about this diverse and wonderful plant called HEMP. There is a truth that must be heard!

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