Saturday, September 16, 2006

Why do so many journalists use the word 'hemp' when they are clearly reporting a marijauna bust? Do they take their cue from William Randolph Hearst? This month there have been a number of such reports, including one on 16 Sept. for Karkala, India, in which 3 acres of land had been found to have illegal cannabis plants in Kudrekmukh National Park.
In Azerbaijan the Head Dept. for Fight with Drugs destroyed cannabis plants totalling 3933 kg in the south region, with a further discovery of 5,300 plants in Goranboy District. In Nigeria, septagenarian Tijari Matego was detained by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Oyo State for dealing in 'Indian hemp'.
Ironically, a drug sting was conducted in the US under the name 'Operation Hemp', which netted 113 plants in Michigan. The US is the country that encouraged hemp cultivation for centuries, and made a film titled Hemp for Victory in the 1940s, from which I derive the title of my book.
The confusion stems from William Randolph Hearst's use of the word marijauna to mean hemp and vice versa, but one would think some journalists just might rise above this idiot?
Even the UK's Independent seems to be confused, not only have they not gotten around to a good story on hemp yet (what kind of environment editor can ignore such an issue - hint, hint, Michael McCarthy), but they keep using the leaf on drug stories, such as their front page story on Wednesday this week. Not surprising, as they take ads from the cotton industry, and host opinion mongers such as Bruce Anderson, who thinks the shooting of an innocent man on a tube was justified because the man, in his opinion, did not keep up with the news...
One way to support hemp is to educate your local journalist, a few calls and e-mails to the 'environment editor' can go a long way. BTW, the number for the Independent in London is 020 7005 2000.

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