HOT OFF THE PRESS
Hemp has been featured a lot recently, including a mention in House & Garden, which talks about Jilly Cholmondeley's 100% hemp bedsheets. Jane Taylor of Positive News, who is always following hemp for her own paper, sent me a link to Ode Magazine which has a story on hemp in Canada. So far, so good, but then Steve Wishnia's article in AtlerNet.org on "debunking the hemp conspiracy theory" reads much like any other pro-MIC propaganda these days, he goes so far as to assert that Andrew Mellon and Du Pont had no links, and quotes three historians who say so; maybe if Wishnia took the time to read he would find that the dots do connect. His piece then claims that the people who believe the history of hemp suppression are 'pot head Ron Paul supporters'. OK, GOP dopeheads, not that the GOP lacks for dopeheads, paedophiles, and other assorted nutters, but I have never met anyone in the hemp moevment who is a Ron Paul pot head. Click here to view the piece, and then check out the comments, some of them very good rebuttals.
The much more diligent writer Proinsias O'Mahony did some digging into the world of ethical investments, and found that a lot of them are full of baloney, or shares in oil companies, mining companies, airlines, and McDonalds (Guardian, 21/Feb/08, p. 18 of G2 section). Paul Hawken notes that they have "no standards, no definitions and no regulations other than industry regulations." They also have no hemp! Somebody ought to educate these fund managers on the world's most useful plant.
Here in the UK someone is looking to start a coop in which hemp would feature prominently. Sagar Shah, who runs the hemp and natural fibres website has been travelling to India to have a look at hemp farming. Presently India's main textile is cotton, which is a pest crop. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently (Asia Lite, 8/Aug/07) noted: "Agriculture in many parts of the country is in state of crisis. The facts farmers are compelled to resort to suicides is a matter of deep concern for all." A large percentage of those committing suicide are on cotton farms. Recent trends to do 'organic cotton' have added to India's problems, as organic cotton uses up more water than regular cotton. In a country with nearly 1 billion mouths to feed, this is not good news. So hemp would be an ideal solution, and also an ethical investment.