LETTERS

Congratulatory

Congratulations on a journal, well done. The Journal of the International Hemp Association is the world’s first authoritative organ on the economic botany of hemp. A peer reviewed journal offering a balanced blend of scholarly and newsworthy information, JIHA is destined to become the main vehicle of information critical to the renewed industrializaton of hemp. I recommend it as essential reading, whether one’s interest is medical, economic, agricultural or general.

Kenneth Jones,
Director of Armana Research,
Gibsons, BC, Canada.

Australian

Australian Hemp Recource and Manufacture (AHRM) is a business recently formed in Brisbane, Australia. The ultimate objective of this business is to pave the way for broad acre planting of fibre hemp throughout the country.

In all the states and territories of Australia, Cannabis is classified as an illicit drug and as a consequence, Cannabis sativa seeds, plant material and various by-products are subject to legal prosecution. Slowly, Australians are waking up to the fact that selected varieties of Cannabis sativa have a very high agricultural value with absolutely no drug value.

Past endeavours to start a hemp industry in Australia have been clouded over by the highly volatile drug debate involving the decriminalisation or legalisation of marijuana. This debate has been running for several decades and appears to be no closer to a united resolution.

In the meantime, any importation of Cannabis seed is illegal and subject to extensive scrutiny (as experienced in the Tasmanian experiments, see JIHA, Vol. 1, #1).

As an initial step in the development of a hemp industry in this country, AHRM aims to challenge the blanket drug status of Cannabis sativa. We are asking the governments to distinguish between the drug and fibre varieties of the plant. This is certainly not a novel approach, as both the United Nations and the E.C. have recognised Cannabis sativa as an agricultural crop for a number of years. Understandably seed would be sourced by authorised bodies from registered fibre hemp seed companies that comply with international standards.

Once the two types of Cannabis sativa have been officially distinguished and recognised hemp industry on a major scale will be the same as introducing any other major crop into this country. Fibre hemp will finally be disentangled from the drug debate where it logically does not belong.

Carolyn Ditchfield,
AHRM, Brisbane, Australia.

Serious

I have received the premier issue of the Journal, and I am pleased to note the serious approach that you are taking; we certainly need much more solid research than we now have.

It is shameful that our approach to hemp use and abuse remains so puerile, ignorant and vindictive. We do need truthful information about responsible drug use and irresponsible drug abuse, of both licit and illicit drugs. We need to change the entrenched bureaucratic policies so totally committed to zero tolerance that police state environments are created. We need to change from repressive responses (police arrest, prosecution, and prison) to positive responses (education, decriminalization, treatment and rehabilitation) - no easy task, for it entails demonstrating that existing policies are counterproductive and only exacerbate a very sad situation. We seem unable to learn from history, but perhaps the generations to come can learn. And perhaps the Journal of the International Hemp Association can play a major role in effecting needed change of national and international policies. Good luck!

Dr. A.C. Germann, Prof. Emeritus,
Dept. of Criminal Justice,
California State University, USA.


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