Public Education Campaign Aims to Allow Industrial Hemp Farming Again in the U.S.

Public Education Campaign Aims to Allow Industrial Hemp Farming Again in the U.S.
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp have announced plans for the 3rd Annual Hemp History Week to be held on June 4-10, 2012. A national grassroots education campaign designed to renew strong support for hemp farming in the U.S., Hemp History Week 2012 will feature events in cities and towns throughout all fifty states. The multi-faceted campaign will feature grassroots volunteer-led events, retail promotions, a restaurant program, a day of action and an online petition drive to encourage the Obama Administration and Congress to change federal policy and allow American farmers to once again grow industrial hemp. A new Web site, along with a promotional video for the 2012 campaign, is viewable at

www.HempHistoryWeek.com.

The theme of the 2012 campaign is Hemp for a Healthy Future: Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Economy, Healthy Planet. "As more Americans recognize the health and environmental benefits of hemp products, hemp farming promises job creation and economic opportunity for farmers and manufacturers and ensures that nutritious foods and sustainable goods are more accessible and affordable for consumers," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. "In turn, this means healthier lifestyles, a stronger economy and a more sustainable world. Through Hemp History Week 2012, we’re spreading the message that we need to change federal policy on industrial hemp to reflect today’s realities and ensure a better tomorrow for America’s families and farmers, the economy and our planet."

PETITION DRIVE

A primary objective of Hemp History Week is to advocate for a federal policy change while sending a strong, positive message to President Barack Obama and Congress to end the ban on hemp farming and let farmers grow the versatile and profitable crop. In 2010 and 2011, the campaign generated thousands of postcards and online petition signatures to the President and Congress. Representatives Ron Paul (R-Texas), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and many other members of Congress support legislation in favor of a federal policy change. A companion Senate bill is expected to be introduced later this year.

"There are several successful businesses in my state who are manufacturing healthy and sustainable products made from hemp," said Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon). "Currently these companies are forced to import their raw materials from Canada and other countries. Changing federal policy to allow American farmers the right to grow hemp right here at home will help these companies thrive, while creating new economic opportunities in Oregon and across the country. The Hemp History Week campaign is a good opportunity to educate other elected officials and the American public about the benefits that the ability to once again grow hemp in America can bring."

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS

Hemp History Week is endorsed by a long list of celebrities and high profile wellness experts, including Dr. Andrew Weil, Alicia Silverstone, Phil Lempert, Ashley Koff, R.D., Brendan Brazier, Elizabeth Kucinich, Ziggy Marley, Alexandra Jamieson, Dar Williams, Michael Franti, John Salley and Kevin Danaher.

GRASSROOTS EVENTS

This year’s campaign will double in size once again compared to last year’s event, which mobilized supporters of hemp farming nationwide, including hundreds of volunteers who organized over 500 events throughout all fifty states, and generated tens of thousands of letters and postcards to the President and Attorney General in support of hemp farming. Volunteers are being called upon once again to organize events in 2012, with specific details about those planned events to be announced in early April on the Hemp History Week Web site.

RETAIL PROMOTIONS

Hundreds of natural product retail outlets across the country have signed up to participate in Hemp History Week through promotions and in-store events. Hemp product promotions in retail stores will increase from 400 stores in 2011 to as many as 1,000 participating retail stores this year, including most Whole Foods Market locations in the U.S.

NATIONAL RESTAURANT PROGRAM

New to the 2012 campaign, this year’s effort will also feature a national restaurant program. Health conscious cafes and restaurants around the country are being invited to participate in Hemp History Week by featuring hemp-infused dishes on their menus during the week of the campaign. Some restaurants will also be hosting special events. "Candle 79 is looking forward to participating in the 3rd annual Hemp History Week this June. We use hemp in many of our favorite menu offerings, including our hemp seed crusted seitan and our famous hemp seed ice-cream desserts. Our chefs love working with hemp seeds, and our customers can’t seem to get enough," says Joy Pierson, owner of Candle 79 & Candle Cafe in New York City."

SHOWCASING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF HEMP

A renewable resource offering a long list of health and nutritional benefits, hemp is one of the fastest-growing categories in the natural foods industry. Hemp is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

(EFAs), providing both super omega-stearidonic acid (SDA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), highly-digestible protein and naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and iron, while being a good source of dietary fiber. It is a complete protein, containing all 10 essential amino acids, with no enzyme inhibitors, making it more digestible by the human body. Hemp seeds are also gluten-free.

UNPRECEDENTED INDUSTRY-WIDE EFFORT

Going into its third year, Hemp History Week is an industry-wide effort made possible by the support of leading natural product brands that are known for manufacturing the highest-quality hemp products. Hemp can be used in a wide variety of products, including foods, cosmetics, clothing, building materials, auto parts and many others. The sponsors of Hemp History Week 2012 are Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Living Harvest Foods, Food Should Taste Good, Manitoba Harvest, Nature’s Path Foods, Nutiva and Vega. Sustainable hemp seed, fiber and oil are also used by major companies such as Ford Motors, Patagonia and The Body Shop.

Arran Stephens, founder/CEO of Nature’s Path Foods, North America’s independent, #1 brand of organic breakfast foods, says "We believe our hemp-based cereals, bars and waffles exemplify all of the goodness that hemp has to offer as a nutritious, gluten-free, non-GMO superfood. Nature’s Path is proud to have been part of the growth of the hemp industry since the beginning. This June, we look forward to celebrating America’s rich history with hemp farming, while educating consumers about the benefits of hemp foods. If hemp production was good enough for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (note that the Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper), then it’s good enough for us."

Other U.S. hemp manufacturers have been relentless in their struggle for the right to buy hemp from U.S. farmers. "For nearly ten years, the Bronner family has financially supported efforts to lift the ban on non-drug industrial hemp farming because it is an environmentally-sustainable crop," states David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, the top-selling brand of natural soap in the U.S. "Despite our efforts, we are forced to continue purchasing the twenty tons of hemp oil that we use annually from Canada. This is a lost opportunity for American farmers and businesses, a situation that is becoming more absurd and outrageous with each growing season that passes."

The HIA estimates that U.S. retail sales of hemp products exceeded $419 million in 2011, yet American companies making hemp products have no choice but to import their raw materials, due to the federal government’s outdated and misguided ban on hemp farming. While demand for hemp products continues to rise, it is becoming a challenge for Canadian growers and processors, currently the primary suppliers of hemp seed and oil to the U.S. market, to keep up and meet that demand.

"Nutiva’s sales have grown at an average annual rate of 42% since 2006. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, we were named by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing businesses in America," says John W. Roulac, founder and CEO of Nutiva. "By allowing U.S. farmers to grow and sell hemp seed, it will help the entire industry to meet the growing demand for hemp products."

Living Harvest Foods is a global leader in hemp food products. "Our mission is to pioneer delicious hemp foods that are good for people and planet," says Cathy Hearn, President of Living Harvest Foods. "Hemp is a truly remarkable plant that’s packed full of essential nutrients that can improve the way Americans eat. Sourcing hemp from outside the U.S. adds unnecessary costs, which translates into higher retail prices. We want to make this superfood accessible to everyone, and to do that we need Congress to recognize the benefits of a domestic hemp program. There are no valid arguments against it."

To date, thirty-one states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and seventeen have passed legislation, while eight states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia) have already authorized the licensing of farmers to grow the crop. However, despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive varieties.

"My co-founders of Manitoba Harvest and I are proud to have successfully petitioned our government to legalize hemp in Canada over a decade ago. We are very appreciative of the Canadian government’s support and hope that the U.S. government will soon see the opportunities with industrial hemp as well," says Mike Fata, co-founder and CEO of Manitoba Harvest. "With consumer demand for hemp products growing, why shouldn’t American farmers also be allowed to benefit from this huge opportunity?"

For more information on Hemp History Week 2012, please see the completely re-designed campaign Web site at: www.HempHistoryWeek.com.

SOURCE Hemp Industries Association

Panel approves religious freedom amendment

FRANKFORT, KY. — Kentucky courts would be required to allow people to opt out of obeying some laws that run counter to their religious beliefs if a constitutional amendment that passed a Senate committee Wednesday becomes law.

Senate Bill 158 would require the government to exempt people from laws that contradict their religious beliefs unless there is an overriding reason why those laws should be enforced.

Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, said he sponsored the legislation for the Family Foundation of Kentucky. The Catholic Conference of Kentucky also backed the measure.

Martin Cothran, a policy analyst for the Family Foundation, said it was concerned that Kentucky has never acted to restate the religious rights of individuals afater a 1990 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it believes chipped away at religious rights.

That ruling came in a case in which two members of the Native American Church were denied unemployment benefits after they were fired from their because they tested positive for the hallucinogenic drug peyote, which is used in some native American religious ceremonies.

The court ruled that the state could deny benefits even though their “misconduct” occurred because of their religious beliefs.

That decision essentially overturned previous rulings that found that the government couldn’t enforce laws against people acting on religious grounds unless it showed a compelling interest in enforcing the law.

“Before 1990, the government had to show a compelling state interest,” Higdon said during a meeting of the Senate State & Local Government Committee.

Higdon’s bill would restore the “compelling government interest” and it would require the state to use the “least restrictive” means to further that interest when enforcing laws against those who claim a religious exemption.

Higdon said SB 158, which passed 6-0, would have avoided two situations in Western Kentucky in which several Amish men were charged and sent to jail because they wouldn’t put red and orange safety triangles on their buggies for religious reasons. Instead, Higdon said, the amendment would have allowed them use reflective tape that wouldn’t violate their religious beliefs.

Cothran said Alabama has adopted a similar amendment to its constitution and several other states have approved statutory changes that essentially do the same thing.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it needs approval from three-fifths of its members to move on to the House.

Reporter Joseph Gerth can be reached at (502) 582-4702.

CONTINUE READING HERE …

Medical marijuana backers try to make their cause heard

Written by Caitlin Bowling

 

Margaret Wakefield is not a college student nor does she sport dreadlocks and Birkenstocks while chatting about how the world should focus more on peace and love.

Wakefield has short dark hair, pink fingernails and silver heart-shaped earrings. Wearing a printed shirt and sweater, the Cherokee resident is dressed as if she was going to a nice restaurant with a friend or just coming from church.

Despite her clean-cut appearance, Wakefield is a vocal leader for, what some may find, a surprising cause — medical marijuana.

Wakefield’s mother died from cancer a year ago, and the life-changing event has made her very open and passionate about allowing people suffering from chronic illnesses to use cannabis as a form of treatment.

“If I had known then what I know now … (my mother) would have had some to smoke everyday,” said Wakefield, a member of the North Carolina Cannabis Patients Network, a nonprofit with the end goal of passing a medical marijuana bill. Medical cannabis is legal in 16 states and in Washington, D.C. Another 17 states have seen bills introduced.

The N.C. Cannabis Patients Network has about 700 members, most of whom range from age 30 to 60 and beyond, Wakefield said. Members are also allowed to remain anonymous.

“We are just wanting to be able to grow our own medicine,” she said. “We are trying to get our rights back.”

There is currently a bill in a N.C. House of Representatives committee, which NCCPN hopes will be voted on either during the upcoming short legislative session in April or when the newly elected General Assembly leaders meet next year.

House Bill 577, a.k.a. the Medical Cannabis Act, would allow people with debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis (to name a few), to receive prescriptions for medical marijuana from their doctors. Studies have shown that cannabis can increase one’s appetite and offer pain relief.

The state would also profit from the legalization of medical marijuana. Within four years, the state would realize about $250 million in revenue from the production and sale of cannabis each year, according to the bill.

However, Wakefield understands that the organization is in for a tough fight in this Bible Belt state, especially since some are hesitant to sign their name in support of such a controversial bill. When asked what the biggest obstacle to the bill’s passage was, Wakefield immediately spouted the Republicans.

“They tend to be a lot more conservative than Democrats,” she said.

But even when the General Assembly was under a Democratic majority in previous years, similar efforts went nowhere.

While marijuana carries a stigma for its use as a recreational drug, allowing medical marijuana is not tantamount to opening the floodgates of illegal use, supporters claim. Many synthetic pharmaceutical drugs are abused in street settings but are still legal for their perceived medical benefits.

One Democratic state representative from Buncombe County has already put her support behind the Medical Cannabis Act.

Patsy Keever, who is serving her second term of office in the N.C. House of Representatives, said her husband suffered for three years before he died of cancer, and his pain medication was in pill form.

“He couldn’t swallow,” she said.

If medical marijuana was available, her husband could have inhaled it in a vapor form, Keever said.

“Medical marijuana has been proven to treat the pain,” Keever said. “Anything that will just help somebody in pain and not harm them or anybody else seems like a no brainer to me.”

The bill being considered in North Carolina is much stricter than the one in California, Wakefield said.

In California, it is widely claimed that anyone can get a medical marijuana prescription by simply walking into a doctor’s office and saying you have a problem. In North Carolina, patients looking for a prescription would have to have a relationship with their physician, which includes a full medical assessment and the doctor’s willingness to provide follow-up care to determine the efficacy of the drug.

People who wish to grow or sell marijuana or marijuana-infused products, such as cookies or butter, will be required to pay a $5,000 licensing fee each year. That amount could increase to $10,000, pending possible amendments to the bill, Wakefield said.

Get involved

The North Carolina Cannabis Patients Network will hold a meeting at 2 p.m. on March 10 at Tribal Grounds Coffee Shop in Cherokee. Discussions will revolve around allowing the use of medical marijuana in North Carolina and educating people about the benefits of prescription cannabis. The meeting is open to the public.

828.497.9045.

CONTINUE READING HERE…

SB 129 Medical marijuana, Legislative Concerns

February 29, 2012

Now that Kentucky’s Senate has proposed a bill allowing for the medical use of marijuana, Senate Bill 129 The Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act filed by State Senator Perry Clark, legislators will have to seriously consider the proposal. I’m pretty sure the majority of Kentucky’s legislators have not done this before. In truth, one can find out everything known about marijuana, good and bad, by going to two sources. The Marijuana Policy Project, MPP, has in it’s library an extensive list of studies, reports, state by state comparisons and general knowledge regarding marijuana and especially information on medical marijuana. MPP can be accessed at MPP.org, click on issues and a list of the various aspects of marijuana will come up. The other clearing house for all things marijuana is The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, NORML, which also has an extensive library which can be accessed at NORML.ORG. One can get a ton of government information from the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Drug Czar’s office but with the governments 40 year history of misinformation about marijuana and the current government pronouncement that there is no medical value to marijuana, anything they say on the subject is certainly suspect.
Currently 16 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana and all of Kentucky’s neighbors are currently working on their own medical marijuana laws. This means that medical marijuana has passed 16 senate and 16 house judicial, public safety and health and human services committees. In addition Congress, in voting to allow the District of Columbia to have medical marijuana, may have inadvertently allowed it for the whole country!
What might be the concerns of legislators considering medical marijuana? Certainly teen access to marijuana would be a concern. So far studies have shown a decrease in teen use in states with medical marijuana laws, regulation making it harder for teens to acquire. Another concern might be drugged driving. Laws are currently in place regarding DUI, however, on an anecdotal level, I read the paper every day and watch the local news. In the last 10 years I have only seen 1 story of a marijuana caused accident on the news and the story changed 2 days after it ran. On top of that, an estimated 22 million people in America smoke marijuana on a regular basis. If driving is a problem with marijuana, where are all the reports of marijuana related accidents? Some concerns were raised in California about increased crime in neighborhoods where marijuana pharmacies and facilities are located. Studies on the issue showed that because of the facilities’ security measures, cameras and such, crime in the vicinity of these facilities is lower because they are there. Kentucky has an extremely bad problem with prescription drugs and especially opioid pain killers like oxycontin. As a legislator my concern would be how medical marijuana laws impact this problem. So far studies show that medical marijuana users decrease their use and dependence on prescription drugs. Veterans in Medical marijuana states have reported stopping pain meds completely when using marijuana or only needing minimal amounts to cope with their conditions. Finally as a legislator considering medical marijuana for my state I would be concerned about Federal raids on state medical marijuana facilities. One can only rely on the Justice Department’s word that they only raid facilities that are not in compliance with state law. Given the challenges to prohibition policy with 6 states having full legalization on the ballot in November, the government might have to finally reconsider prohibition entirely.
On the pro side of the ledger medical marijuana has alleviated the pain and suffering of thousands of patients, and created thousands of jobs in states with controlled distribution like California, Colorado and Michigan to name a few. It creates large sums of revenue for the State, has decreased costs for police and courts, has spread a wave of economic activity thru the states that have it and decreased the use of prescription painkillers.
As a legislator, (if I were one), would I vote to allow medical marijuana in Kentucky?
Given all available information I would have to vote a resounding yes!

CONTINUE READING HERE…

Senator Ken Winters’ Frankfort Report

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 28, 2012

Senator Ken Winters’ Frankfort Report

FRANKFORT – After a pause for President’s Day, the Legislature moved into the second half of the 2012 General Assembly Session. I had visits from groups representing adult day health care providers and developmental disabilities. Many Boy Scout troops came to Frankfort for the annual Boy Scout Day at the Capitol. It was a pleasure to see these civic-minded boys and young men and their dedicated troop leaders and parents.

Of the bills we focused on this week, two were of particularly high profile. Senate Bill 1 would restrict the legislature to appropriating no more than 6 percent of General Fund revenues to bonded indebtedness. This is a level generally accepted as the standard by bond rating agencies, as well as a threshold the legislature has historically attempted to operate within. As long as I have been a member, the Senate has always passed a budget with less debt than either the Governor’s or the House’s proposals. We cannot continue paying off the Visa with the MasterCard.  I voted for the bill because setting the limit in statute will provide an additional safeguard against high debt levels in the future, as well as make it easier to prioritize critical programs and services when determining budget allocations.

The measure excludes debt for universities, the Kentucky Housing Authority, and other agencies using funds outside the General Fund, including the stand-alone Road Fund. It also contains a provision allowing the General Assembly to exceed the cap by a majority vote if the Governor declares a state of emergency that would require additional funds. Senate Bill 1 will now go to the House for their consideration.

Much has been reported about Senate Bill 151, a bill that would have placed on the November ballot for voter ratification a constitutional amendment authorizing casino gambling in Kentucky. However, the bill also included language that would constitutionally protect one industry over others. Many felt troubled by the vague language of where the revenue would go. And others were simply opposed because they felt that basing the state budget on the ability of their own citizens to be on the losing side of a slot machine or blackjack table is wrong and bad public policy. The bill was defeated 21-16.

Small group sessions continue studying the budget. We are waiting for the House to take action on the budget as they are constitutionally required to do first. But their apparent delay has not stopped the Senate from looking closely at what the Administration is requesting.

Even though there are less than 30 working days left in this legislative session, there is still plenty of time to get involved and have your voice heard on the issues that matter to you.  I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts and concerns.

To learn more about the Kentucky General Assembly and the work of the 2012 Regular Session, visit our home page, www.lrc.ky.gov.  You can also call 1-800-633-9650 for a taped message containing information on legislative committee meetings.  To check the status of a bill, you may call the toll-free Bill Status Line at 1-866-840-2835.  To leave a message for me, or any legislator, call the General Assembly’s toll-free Message Line at 1-800-372-7181.

###

Note: Senator Ken Winters (R-Murray) is the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee.  He also serves on the Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee, the Agriculture Committee, and the Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee.  Sen Winters is also a member if the Budget Review Subcommittee on Education and the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee.  He represents the 1st Senate District which includes Calloway, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, and Trigg counties.  For a high-resolution .jpeg of Senator Winters, please log onto www.lrc. ky.gov/pubinfo/ephoto.htm.

Open Seeds: Biopiracy and the Patenting of Life by grtv

 

Open Seeds: Biopiracy and the Patenting of Life

by grtv

As the world begins to digest the implications of intellectual property for online censorship, another IP issue threatens an even more fundamental part of our daily lives: our food supply. Backed by legal precedent and armed with seemingly inexhaustible lobbying funds, a handful of multinationals are attempting to use patents on life itself to monopolize the biosphere.

Find out more about the process of patenting life and what it means for the food supply on this week’s GRTV Backgrounder.

Transcript and sources:

The oft-neglected legal minefield of intellectual property rights has seen a surge in public interest in recent months due to the storm of protest over proposed legislation and treaties related to online censorship.[1] One of the effects of such legislation as SOPA and PIPA and such international treaties as ACTA is to have drawn attention to the grave implications that intellectual property arguments can have on the everyday lives of the average citizen.

As important as the protection of online freedoms is, however, an even more fundamental part of our lives has come under the purview of the multinational corporations that are seeking to patent the world around us for their own gain. Unknown to a large section of the public, a single US Supreme Court ruling in 1980 made it possible for the first time to patent life itself for the profit of the patent holder.

The decision, known as Diamond v. Chakrabarty, centered on a genetic engineer working for General Electric who created a bacterium that could break down crude oil, which could be used in the clean-up of oil spills.[2] In its decision, Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger ruled that:

“A live, human-made micro-organism is patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101”

With this ruling, the ability to patent living organisms, so long as they had been genetically altered in some novel way, was established in legal precedent.

The implications of such a monumental ruling are understandably wide-reaching, touching on all sorts of issues that have the potential to change the world around us. But it did not take long at all for this decision’s effects to make itself felt in one of the most basic parts of the biosphere: our food supply.

In the years following the Diamond v. Chakrabarty decision, an entire industry rose up around the idea that these new patent protections could foster the economic incentive for major corporations to develop a new class of genetically engineered foods to help increase crop yields and reduce world hunger.

The first commercially available genetically modified food, Calgene’s “Flavr Savr” tomato, was approved for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration in the US in 1992 and was on the market in 1994.[3] Since then, adoption of GM foods has proceeded swiftly, especially in the US where the vast majority of soybeans, corn and cotton have been genetically altered.

By 1997, the problems inherent in the patenting of these GM crops had already begun to surface in Saskatchewan, Canada. It was in the sleepy town of Bruno that a canola farmer, Percy Schmeiser, found that a variety of GM canola known as “Roundup Ready” had infected his fields, mixing with his non-GM crop.[4] Amazingly, Monsanto, the agrichemical company that owned the Roundup Ready patent, sued Schmeiser for infringing their patent. After a years-long legal battle against the multinational that threatened to bankrupt his small farming operation, Schmeiser finally won an out-of-court settlement with Monsanto that saw the company agree to pay for the clean-up costs associated with the contamination of his field.

In India, tens of thousands of farmers per year commited suicide[5] in an epidemic labeled the GM genocide.[6] Sold a story of “magic seeds” that would produce immense yields, farmers around the country were driven into ruinous debt by a combination of high-priced seeds, high-priced pesticides, and crop failure. Worst of all, the GM seeds had been engineered with so-called “terminator technology,” meaning that seeds from one harvest could not be re-planted the following year. Instead, farmers were forced to buy seeds at the same exorbitant prices from the biotech giants every year, insuring a debt spiral that was impossible to escape. As a result, hundreds of thousands of farmers have committed suicide in the Indian countryside since the introduction of GM crops in 1997.

As philosopher, quantum physicist and activist Vandana Shiva has detailed at great length, the effect of the invocation of intellectual property in enabling the monopolization of the world’s most fundamental resources was not accidental or contingent.[7] On the contrary, this is something that has been self-consciously designed by the heads of the very corporations who now seek to reap the benefit of this monopolization, and the monumental nature of their achievement has been obscured behind bureaucratic institutions like the WTO and innocuous sounding agreements like the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Although the deck appears to be stacked in favour of the giant multinationals and their practically inexhaustible access to lobbying and legal funds, the people are by no means incapable of fighting back against this patenting of the biosphere.

In India itself, where so much devestation has been wrought by the introduction of genetically engineered crops, the people are fighting back against the world’s most well-known purveyor of GMO foods, Monsanto. The country’s National Biodiversity Diversity Authority has enabled the government to proceed with legal action against the company for so-called biopiracy, or attempting to develop a GM crop derived from local varieties of eggplant, without the appropriate licences.[8]

Although resistance to the patenting of the world’s food supply should be applauded in all its forms, what is needed is a fundamental transformation in our understanding of life itself from a patentable organism to the common property of all of the peoples who have developed the seeds from which these novel GM crops are derived.

This concept, known as open seeds, is being promoted by organizations around the globe, including Dr. Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya organization.[9]

PLEASE CONTINUE READING HERE…

Gatewood Galbraith: Messages from Rainbow Farm

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5moSy-Ooouk]

Uploaded by on Jan 24, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 1997 Featuring speeches from Gatewood Galbraith, (The Last Free Man In America), Jack Herer (Godfather of The Hemp Movement), Chris Conrad, (Hemp Guru), & Elvy Musikka, (Federal Medical Marijuana Patient & advocate)& Master of Ceremonies Derrik DeCrane. Music by Teddy Woodward & The Hemptations. Rainbow Farm was located in Vandalia, Michigan & was a cannabis friendly community. They had great concerts & speakers. The government came in later & killed the owners & stole the farm from the legal birth right of the son, Robert 1 week before 9-11 (September 3rd & 4th,2001). Tom Crosslin & Rollie Rolhm were the owners & each one of them were systematically gunned down & tortured after being out numbered 300 to 1. In order to stop a memorial day concert, that was to start a signature campaign to legalize cannabis in the state of Michigan. God Bless Robert & keep him safe. Our Government in the name of,” The Drug War”, is committing crimes against citizens of this country on a daily basis. We must never forget those who have paid the ultimate price for freedom. We must hold those accountable who did this. Zero Tolerance makes zero sense.

* Terrible tragedies like Rainbowfarm story have been happening on a regular basis every since it happened. It’s not the Rainbowfarm way to preach a negative message.We are peace loving individuals who want you to know that the only way we can stop these injustices to carry on in the name of the drug war, we must come together on this topic & not be divided by issues like race, sexual preference, or religion. We must vote for the change we want for our country. Tom & Rollie loved America & flew the flag everyday because they were RED, White, & Blue, Proud American Tax payers.

Introduction to Kentucky Marijuana Party

ShereeKrider w/Gatewood Galbraith
ShereeKrider w/Gatewood Galbraith in 2010

Why I Do What I Do…

I can never remember the details. The “detail” section of my brain just does not work very well. I’ve had Major Depression, and Chronic Anxiety as well.  I also, among other things, have had a “Cerebellar Vascular Accident (CVA) which is about the same as a ruptured aneurysm/stroke in 1998.

It does not matter though, because I can remember where to find the information that I need, when I need it!

At the same time, the philosophical portion of my brain tends to work overtime. I spend most of my waking day on the internet, scanning for more and more information for which I know I may not remember the details of…

…but I will always know where to go to find that information when I need it!

I do this by scanning the internet for anything and everything from Cannabis issues, political, social, economics, healthcare and the conspiracies thereof,  and then back to the daily news and beyond.

I never had the opportunity to go to college, and I received my education in “Little’s” such as our former President Abraham Lincoln, who, incidentally, was also from Kentucky.

I read, and read and read some more and then ask “why?” or “why not?”, and then I search for more.

I believe as George Carlin did when he said that “children should be taught to question”. Question everything. Nothing should be taken for granted nor at face value.

In the 1990’s my Father and I were discussing Hemp one day and he advised me that I should seek out Gatewood Galbraith and go see him.  That, “He knew all about it”.  At that time I was busy raising kids and working and taking care of Mom and Dad on the weekends.  I did not even have a computer!

I began about 2003 searching out marijuana information on the internet.

My Dad had died in 2001 and three months prior to that had called me one day and asked me if I could find him “a little pot”. As I was then ignorant of any kind of medicinal use of Marijuana, and he had COPD and Heart Disease. My only answer to him would be, “I’d love to Dad, but I’m afraid if you tried to smoke it at this point it could kill you.” His lung capacity was near zero.

At that time we knew nothing of the “healing oil”.  So in 2003 I was browsing one day and it came to my mind to search for “medical marijuana”.

The rest is history. Once I found how to access the information nothing was gonna stop me from trying to spread the message – through as many sites as I could possibly access. It suffices to say that in the last seven years or more I have learned a lot. The whole world has learned a lot.

I have been through many changes in my life and am thankful for most of them.

My only hope is that the Earth has a chance to recover itself before it is too late.

Much of that depends upon how we choose to “FREE” this God given gift of Cannabis, and what is done with it once it is.

I have seen so many abuses against humanity in general that I cannot ignore it.  So therefore, I not only am an activist for anti-prohibition, but I have very strong feelings concerning other issues as well.

Mountain Top removal, strip mining, coal ash and the illness and death as a result of it.  Human trafficking and the death penalty issue, prisoners rights and issues, including the “DRUG WAR” Prisoners as well.  Then there are Civil Rights, Human Rights, the Bill of Rights, Constitutional Rights, Religious Rights and the list could go on forever.

I never thought that I would be qualified to be a politician, nor a lawyer,  nor did  I ever think that I would want to be, mainly because I do not want to be put into a position where I can no longer say what I feel is right, but must succumb to the “for the greater good of the people” clause which they use in order to be able to lie to us with a straight face.

And since there are so many differing opinions within any given movement of Activists, I feel it is necessary to have citizen reporters and/or journalists.  That is where I felt that I would fit in, as I could bring the news of all of the important issues which affect our lives straight to the web.  I have an occasional opinions on a given subject, but basically I want to give you the information that you need in order to make up your own minds about what you think is right.

After all, It’s not about what I as a single being wish to have happen.  It is about a Democracy which believes in the right of the people to decide for themselves who they want in office and how these laws are carried out.  In the end, it is only YOU that can help save our Earth and bring it to peace by petition, voting rights, etc.,  After all, as Gatewood once said:  There are only two ways to win a war.  One is politically and the other to take it to the streets.  I damn sure hope the streets isn’t where we end up.

Peace and Prayer to You All!
Sheree Krider