Recommend them to the magistrate


Hemp: The True Story
Produced by Gary Evans
Hemp for Victory
United States government (which later tried to destroy all copies) $29.95
Both available from Casper Publications, PO Box 255, Narrabeen 2101
8 page paper of the Help End Marijuana Prohibition Coalition
Edited by John Jiggens
$1 or donation from Po Box 326, Annerley 4103
Reviewed by John Tognolini

I showed a friend Hemp: The True Story and she remarked, "If I ever get busted, the magistrate is going to see this video".

There is indeed much knowledge to be obtained from this video, and from the US wartime Department of Agriculture film Hemp for Victory — which, the US government sought to destroy after the second world war. The latter video shows how essential hemp was in US war production after the supply of sisal was stopped by the Japanese occupation of the Philippines and Indonesia. A battleship, for example, had over 2000 tons of hemp rope on it.

HEMP is the newspaper/broadsheet of the Help End Marijuana Prohibition campaign. It is full of information and campaign material.

The current issue features the case of Dale Tonkison, a cook who suffers from epilepsy. She smoked and grew cannabis because it gave her no adverse effects, which prescribed medication did. Cannabis prevented her suffering convulsions or attacks of epilepsy.

Since she was arrested and charged, Tonkison has had four convulsions. She was fined in the Manly Court on January 6: $1000 for cultivation and $1000 for possessing a bong. The magistrate said that cannabis users are a "real menace".

Cannabis users are generally charged with use of a dangerous substance. However, researchers in Jamaica, India, the USA, Costa Rica and Greece have conducted long research into heavy use, comparing users to non-users, and found no evidence of intellectual or neurological damage.

Hemp has long been recognised for its use in easing pain, relieving stress and treating illness, from glaucoma to asthma to nausea induced by chemotherapy. Queen Victoria smoked it to relieve her period pain. Cannabis is also smoked or eaten for many religious purposes.

In Australia 60% of men and 45% of women aged 18-39 have smoked cannabis. It costs Australia $1.7 billion to enforce laws against cannabis, when all the associated costs are included.

The prohibition has led in New South Wales alone to nearly a third of the prison population, close to 2000 people, doing time for cannabis violations.

Cannabis could also contribute to overcoming the ecological crisis. Hemp paper can be produced without chlorine bleaching, so dioxins are not produced.

Hemp is the world's primary biomass producer, growing four times faster than cotton and requiring no insecticides or herbicides. Two hundred thousand hectares of hemp could replace Australia's woodchip exports industry. Hemp can produce from two to four times as much fibre per hectare as wood chipping.

Hemp can be recycled four more times than wood pulp.

Two or three seasons of hemp cultivation will clear a field of noxious weeds because of the dense leaves produced, and will aerate and stabilise soil through its deep taproot system. It has been used to prevent soil erosion after bushfires and floods worldwide. It can also be used to repair the damage to Australia's topsoil caused by hoofed animals and in bush regeneration to remove blackberry and other exotic flora.

Hemp leaves have been used to fatten stock in Borneo and other Asian countries for ages. Hemp is the strongest natural fibre known. Until 1870 hemp was the world's most cultivated crop.

Hemp seed contains the highest source of essential fatty acids in the plant kingdom, and is rich in easily digestible proteins.

This is just a small part of the information available from the sources listed. View and/or read for a real education.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.