Big Weed: ten farms could supply all of America with marijuana

When Washington State legalized recreational marijuana three years ago, it created a licensing regime that was supposed to protect and encourage small growers, but the data shows that marijuana growing has consolidated into a few large suppliers, even as the price per gram has fallen — and that the industry’s embrace of exotic derivatives like edibles and concentrates is capital-intensive and inaccessible to small, independent providers.

Recreational weed will be legal in California as of tomorrow, and the state is already the country’s largest marijuana market, thanks to the loose rules around medical marijuana. With legal weed racing across the country, there’s a real risk of the whole industry being captured by a few major firms — the whole US market for THC could be provided with 10,000 acres’ of cultivation acreage, about 10 midwestern farms’ worth.

The market for legal weed was already structurally unjust, with legal restrictions on the ability of people with drug records to participate in it — and since the browner and poorer you are, the more likely you are to get convicted of drug offenses (even though rich white people are the most prolific American drug users), the market was off-limits to the population that was given the harshest treatment by the War on Some Drugs.

Current regulations keep pot farms from infinitely expanding, but as legalization marches forward, bigger farms could well be permitted. This summer, regulators in Washington expanded the maximum farm size from 30,000 square feet to 90,000. California plans on capping farms at 1 acre, or 43,560 square feet, when the market first launches. But the state rules do not currently stop farmers from using multiple licenses, which opens the door for larger farms.

What would happen if pot farms could be as large as wheat or corn fields? According to Caulkins, 10 reasonably sized farms could conceivably produce the entire country’s supply of tetrahydrocannabinol, pot’s most famous active chemical (usually shortened to THC).

“You can grow all of the THC consumed in the entire country on less than 10,000 acres,” Caulkins said. “A common size for a Midwest farm is 1,000 acres.”

Legal Weed Isn’t The Boon Small Businesses Thought It Would Be [Lester Black/Fivethirtyeight]

(via Naked Capitalism)

CONTINUE READING…

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS OF CANNABIS USERS

Image may contain: plant

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and unalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.

Whereas for too long now it has been observed that disregard and contempt for human rights has been allowed to exist in the body of politically motivated law that outlaws the possession, cultivation and use of cannabis by adults.

The signatories of this Declaration wish to live in peace in this society, have been engaged in constant communication with their elected representatives individually or as part of groups. The actions of the government in this regard demonstrates continued contempt and disregard that we the undersigned feel that we have NO RECOURSE but to regard our government and some of our fellow citizens as hostile towards our declared rights and indifferent to the tyranny, oppression and terrorism that we have too long had to deal with.

Whereas by this declaration we provide the opportunity and impetus for representatives to engage in good faith negotiations which will lead to peaceful co-existence.

Whereas we the undersigned do hereby declare that IT IS OUR RIGHT to cultivate, possess and use cannabis AND that any law that says otherwise will be treated by us as the tool of tyranny.

Whereas we the undersigned in declaring our desire to realize our liberties and our desire to live in peace also recognize that the point is near where our rights and liberties will have to be defended.

Whereas we the undersigned are willing to do all we can to avoid conflict we hope that this WARNING also provides our fellow citizens and our representatives the impetus to also seek peace and understanding within our society.

——————–

Please consider printing out copies, signing them and sending them to your elected reps and the U.N. along with your own cover letter.

Keary Prophet

SOURCE LINK

The following are links to Facebook Groups maintaining the fight for our rights as anti-prohibitionists!

Legal Cannabis VS Lawful Cannabis

Canadians For Repeal of Cannabis Prohibition

Freedom to Garden & Reclamation of Natural Rights Movement

Make It Lawful™

While you are reading the information you can listen to some music!  Click the link below.

Americans For Cannabis (Country) *De-Schedule *Exempt *Repeal *Reclaim - Keary Prophet

A look at Kentucky Cannabis Activists circa 2009

There are a lot of Cannabis Activists fighting the good fight here in the State of Kentucky.  They have been fighting for years – to no avail.  But we never give up!  We will keep fighting until we win!
It started with Gatewood Galbraith, Craig Lee   and many more, some of whom are in this video.  It has continued on through the years with so many people I could not name them all here.  There is a list of Kentucky Activists on both of the Kentucky Marijuana Party’s websites both here and also at http://kyusmjparty.weebly.com. It is only a partial listing of all the people who have helped fight this war in Kentucky, but it is dedicated to all of them!
In the YouTube Video below, filmed in 2009 Craig Lee is seen explaining the benefits of Hemp along with many other Activists, some of whom have since passed on, “fighting for the freedom from the prohibition of our freedoms”… REPEAL Cannabis Prohibition!

Kentucky Duby Day Run For The Reefers Marijuana March 2009

therealjamesbud

Published on May 24, 2013

A grass roots group of medical marijuana patients in the spirit of true blue freedom fighters, rumble through the city of Paducah, Kentucky shouting exciting news for the people inside The Jail, The Federal Courthouse, The Police Department, The Churches, and The Paducah Sun Newspaper.

They march to protest the media blackout of hemp and cannabis issues in front of their buildings on a beautiful day in May 2009. Then they give a knock out punch to the church, the politicians, the local Sheriff’s office ,the State Police, even the Governor gets a public “tongue lashing” from these few brave warriors fighting the War on Drugs. All while trying to educate and enlighten the public about what is going on inside of the Industrial Hemp Movement, as well as the medical marijuana movement.

This 2 hour heartwarming, live action film will delight both the marijuana activists, and the non-toking hempsters who want a green economy to save the world! Filled with critical information for doctors and farmers, these Kentuckians try their very best to fire you up with laughter and love as they beg you to help make our world a better place to live. As a viewer you will be included in this virtual experience of the cannabis freedom fighter. Filmed and edited by HemprockTv .

This film includes appearances of nationally known activist’s like Craig Lee from the Kentucky Hemp Council who has co -stared in movies like “Hempsters Plant The Seed” and the award winning Documentary “Standing Silent Nation” seen on PBS. Ms. Cher Ford McCullough“, President of “The Women’s Organization For National Prohibition Reform” … Humanitarian care giver and marijuana comic Ronnie Lee Smith AKA…The Reverend Rolland A. Duby .”Medical Marijuana patient” Reverend Mary Spears, High Times Freedom Fighter and living ‘Marijuana Comic book character’, Jess Williams AKA. The Real Fat Freddy, and an Ex US Army Infantry Veteran (Chers’ inseparable husband) Brian McCullough … as they fearlessly lead the way for the next generation of Kentuckys’ marijuana activists.

So get ready to accept a challenge to get active..’Interactive’,…. The challenge is simple. Know Pot / Know Peace ….or is it… No Pot / No Peace? Pack a bowl and every time you laugh..take a hit! You’ll be glad you did!


CONTINUE READING…

 

Legalize marijuana for the state's sake

legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300

Editorial Board

In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Since then 28 more states have approved the drug for medical use, with another eight, including California, allowing adults to use the drug recreationally. Unfortunately, Kentucky has been slow to adapt, despite the many benefits legalizing the drug would provide.

Back in the day, Kentucky used to thrive growing tobacco. That same land, rich for growing tobacco, is ideal for growing marijuana, which can also be used to produce hemp, a versatile product which can be manufactured into paper, textiles, clothing, food, plastic, and a multitude of other products. 

Marijuana would also be useful as a medical alternative for many in the state who are dependent on prescription drugs. 

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kentucky has the highest cancer rates of any state in the country, largely due to our large dependence on the coal and mining industries, which has left countless hard-working Kentuckians with lung cancer. The U.S. National Cancer Institute has said that marijuana kills cancer cells along with alleviating the nausea and other symptoms associated with chemotherapy, which poses a much more effective alternative to prescription drugs. 

With so much of our state crippled by a dying coal industry, legalizing marijuana would be an enormous jobs creator for people looking to farm the crop and others looking to get into the business side of the industry with dispensaries. 

While stigmas still exist surrounding the drug, the issue of marijuana legalization is slowly becoming more of a bipartisan issue that draws support from both Democrats and Republicans, including Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who has said in the past that he plans to sign a medical marijuana bill into law during his time in office.

 

It has become a trend in the mainstream media to avoid one of the most pressing issues, not …

States that have approved the drug for recreational use, such as Colorado, tax the drug, and use the money in a variety of ways, from helping the homeless, to improving infrastructure and education. In 2016 alone, Colorado is expected to bring in over $1 billion in tax revenue from marijuana. 

If a similar system of policy was applied in the Bluegrass, money could be used for better education throughout the state, a hot-button issue under Bevin’s administration due to his proposed, but unsuccessful, cuts to higher education. Revenue could also go towards helping revitalize eastern Ky. along with infrastructure, homeless, and veterans, following in the footsteps of Colorado’s successful endeavor with the green. 

According to a 2012 poll by Kentucky Health Issues, 78 percent of Kentuckians support the legalization of medical marijuana. It’s time for our lawmaker’s throughout the state to come together and enact a policy to reflect the will of the people. The longer we wait, the more potential tax revenue we miss out on that could go to benefitting Kentuckians in need. It’s time to

“Make Kentucky Green Again!”

Email [email protected]

CONTINUE READING…

Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly

Link to video: https://youtu.be/rye7J6jnVeE
Produced By Navdanya International and FINCA
Direction, footage and editing by FINCA and ESC

The Monsanto Tribunal and the People’s Assembly were held in The Hague from 14th to 16th October 2016.
Over the last century giant agribusiness interests which came out of the war industry have poisoned life, our ecosystems, destroyed our biodiversity and pushed farmers off the land. As these corporations become bigger, they gain more power, more immunity and more rights.

Using free trade neoliberal policies and deregulation of commerce to enlarge their empires, these corporations are attacking life on earth and biodiversity. They have broadened their control over our seed, our food and freedom, robbing us of our human rights and democracy. They have established monopolies and threatened farmers’ rights to seed and people’s rights to affordable medicine through patents and IPRs.
Across the world people are rising, democratic governments are responding to stop this ecocide and genocide. These giants have responded by attacking laws and policies of governments that take action in response to people’s movements and call to protect the earth and people’s rights.

The process of holding the Poison Cartel accountable for its crimes is the culmination of 30 years of scientific, legal, social, and political work by movements, concerned citizens and scientists. Since the ground for the tribunal was laid by the movement, a parallel People’s Assembly was created to allow for movements from across the world to gather together, sharing problems, political strategies and visions of the future for a sustainable agriculture. This is the coalition that has got together to organize the Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly.

The Tribunal aimed to synthesize the existing crimes and violations for which Monsanto is in courts across the world— in India, Europe, US, Mexico, Argentina, as well as to expand the scope of criminal activity to include the crime of ecocide, the violation of the rights of nature. The judges will issue an advisory opinion, they will verify whether Monsanto’s activities are in compliance with the laws as they exist in the UN, along with other legal instruments. It is an educational tribunal, that can influence international human rights law.

The People’s Assembly was a gathering of movements, seed savers, seed defenders, farmers and growers and civilians to address the crimes against nature and against humanity perpetrated by chemical and biotechnology corporations. The People’s Assembly included different aspects of the movements defending the corporate assault as well as positive people’s stories of the movements building the alternative.
After listening to witnesses and lawyers from the Tribunal, as well as to organizations, farmers, activists and common citizens from the People’s Assembly, the evidence is clear: “The poison cartel, which includes toxic makers such as Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, and the like, are together destroying both our bread and our freedom. They are corrupting governments, violating nations’ sovereignty and imposing on our planet a model of greed, poison and corruption”. Monsanto and the Poison Cartel are guilty of crimes against our planet and against humanity. This is the verdict from the People’s Assembly stated in the final press release.
Dr Vandana Shiva: “If you consider the attack on nature and the rights of nature that’s what’s called ecocide. If you take attacks on human beings in large numbers knowing that you chemicals will cause disease, knowing that your patents and royalties collection will create debt and farmers will commit suicide, in the UN definition that is called genocide.”

Andre Leu: “The reason why we have a People’s Assembly as well as the Tribunal is because while the Tribunal is a proper legally constituted trial, the real punishment is the one of public opinion.”

Nnimmo Bassey: “Coming to the People’s Assembly and the Monsanto tribunal is very important for me because we are going to build a platform for actually getting people to stand for their own rights and to fight against industrial toxic agriculture based on genetically engineered crops and toxic chemicals.”

Marie-Monique Robin: “This is really like a nightmare to be quite frank. When you see how toxic these products are and what Monsanto did to maintain its products on the market, it is really very difficult to believe. Along with the total lack of sense of responsibility and the impunity that is going on.”

Hans Herren: “Good food, quality food for the long term it’s absolutely not in the picture of these corporations. It is actually a scandal and it’s very tragic that short term profit – and the example is in all these mergers – trumps over long term sustainability and survival for humanity. We know for sure that we can produce enough quality and diverse food to nourish a populations of 10 billion with sustainable agriculture practices”

Ronnie Cummins: “Now we’ve got these massive corporations like Monsanto who are trying to control everything, including our food, our health and if we work together internationally, we can make it, we can be much more powerful.”


www.peoplesassembly.net
www.monsanto-tribunal.org
www.seedfreedom.info

 

SOURCE

Kentucky Congressmen Seek Clarification on Federal Hemp Rules

By Matt Markgraf Oct 27, 2016

Three members of Kentucky’s U.S. Congressional delegation joined 16 other members of Congress in a letter Wednesday seeking clarification from federal agencies regarding industrial hemp guidelines.

Senator Rand Paul and Representatives Thomas Massie and John Yarmuth signed a letter to The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Drug Enforcement Administration and Food and Drug Administration looking to revise the ‘Statement of Principles’ issued in August.

The Congressmen say there is confusion over pilot programs approved in the 2014 Farm Bill allowing state ag departments and universities, including Murray State, to grow the plant for research. Guidance also could have a limiting effect on sales and transportation, the letter argues. Federal law prohibits farmers growing for commercial profit, but retail sales of products made with hemp are legal.

Kentucky’s Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles sent a letter to the USDA last month objecting to the rules, saying they “could hinder industrial hemp’s economic potential.”

Read the letter sent Wednesday

 

CCONTINUE READING…

From Growing Tobacco to Growing Hemp

Jane Harrod, a farmer in Kentucky, talks about transitioning to a different crop after the U.S. soured on cigarettes.

Image result for kentucky hemp

Bourree Lam

 

Since the 1960s, the number of Americans who smoke has decreased significantly; in 1965, more than 40 percent of adults reported smoking, compared to around 17 percent in 2014. During that same period, tobacco production has dropped precipitously as well.

Still, in 2012, the U.S. produced some 800 million pounds of tobacco, and Kentucky—the state with the second-largest tobacco harvest in the U.S. (North Carolina’s comes in first)—is responsible for almost a quarter of that output. Yet even in Kentucky, tobacco farming has waned, forcing many farmers to look into other crops.

Jane Harrod runs a small farm in Kentucky. Her family used to grow tobacco, but she’s since switched over to growing hemp, a somewhat controversial plant—what with the federal ban on marijuana and medical marijuana still being illegal in Kentucky—that the state is currently testing out with pilot programs. For The Atlantic’s ongoing series of interviews with American workers, I talked to Harrod about her family farm, the recession, and why she decided to shift production to hemp. The interview that follows has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

We could probably be called hippies at the time. We weren’t big spenders; we grew our own food and raised our two daughters there in Owen County. There were a lot of young people that had moved into the area, because the farmland was cheap. We had an intentional-community situation where we had like-minded people set up a feed co-op and do tobacco together with other crops.

CONTINUE READING…

On 23 Acres of hillside placed in the Appalachian Mountains…

 

 

Image result for appalachian farmstead

 

If I Never Farm Another Day: What ‘Sometimes’ Farming has Given Me. . .

Maybe I am A ‘Sometimes’ Farmer, frankly.

I love a fancy heeled shoe, flash and traveling around for food I didn’t prepare.

For six long and short years, I have dreaded drought and snow. I have carried milk up and down my little mountain in both – 9 and 102 degree weather. I have said goodbye to cows and goats I’ve loved. I’ve raised and cared for what fed my sons. I’ve felt forlorn, like a massive failure. I’ve struggled with being a 20 year vegetarian and raising animals for meat and dairy. I’ve laid that struggle to rest. I’ve researched, used trial and error and learned how to do better. I’ve wondered if it is worth it many times. I’ve pondered if pushing this degree of work on a husband that works off the farm and taking this much time up that could be spent running my boys around to parks and lessons or play dates instead is selfish, ludicrous, even.

I’ve heard from folks that cannot understand the reasons to keep dairy goats, chickens, meat rabbits and cattle when we do not have to do this. It isn’t as if we raise enough to make "life off the land," after all.

That is true enough.

We do not depend on farming to earn an income, to support us economically. We work to allow us to farm, and while we often break even in monetary investment or make a couple bucks now and again, we have never attempted to survive solely working off the land.

On 23 Acres of hillside placed in the Appalachian Mountains, sustainability from this place would prove improbable, but in so many ways, it has sustained us in mind and body, though not through primary sustenance.

Oh, to be sure, it has provided a purpose beyond all I could have imagined.

It is fashionable to try one’s hand at the land these days. It seems every twenty years or so, based on my reading of archaic Mother Earth Magazine volumes, a generation of younger folk give the homestead life a try. Few turn their attempts into an occupation, yet I venture to say, far fewer leave the life without deep lessons that stay with them forever.

I admit I’ve struggled with being a farmer or homesteader when so much of what I do and enjoy is still so conventional.

Then I realized what I’ve learned seems of no less importance. . .despite my "sometimes" farming. . . .

and I believe if I never "Sometimes" farmed another day in my life, the lessons I’ve learned are the most priceless of my lifetime and will endure long past my body’s ability to play "Sometimes FarmHER."

1. Fortitude

Even a year of raising livestock or growing vegetables will change a person’s version of sticking "with it." Nothing except parenting could rise to the level of commitment raising a garden that flourishes, milking a cow through winter or hauling the first home grown steer to be processed requires. You dig in your heels, you refuse to give up and it begins to carry over in all areas of your life outside of the land.

2. Hope

If you tend to seeing a glass half empty, you will find yourself revolutionized while delving into your farm. You will not last 3 months if you can’t dig up hope somewhere. Over and over and over again. You will hope that cow took when you hauled her 2 hours to a bull after chasing her around your property before finally coaxing her into that trailer, hope the rain comes for your heirloom corn’s sake doesn’t wither and for your children when they lament ever having a farm and when you hope your dairy goats do not give you another buck kid crop of 20 or more. You find hope all over the place, in the most unlikely spots, and you will become a person able to cling to the smallest shred of optimism when no one except a farmer could see the glimmer.

3. Sadness

I’ve laid in a stall with a dairy doe I loved greatly waiting for a vet we called too late in January when my hands turned blue, but I was too lost in grief to realize it. I’ve ran out to aid pig farmers when a sow couldn’t farrow only to see the sow and most of the piglets lost at 4am. Little will render you broke and broken in shorter order than a farm venture. You will face that moment your first pig or calf, loved and made into a pet, is old enough be part of circle of feeding your family and finally realize what farming costs. You will wonder how you will make ends meet now and again when winter approaches and hay stores are low or a hay season ran too short. You will watch a cow carry a calf for 9 months only to slip the calf and need to wait another year to see offspring from her. Loss comes in waves, and you stop and consider how you can ever get past it all, and through tears, you do.

4. Perspective

I know what it takes to produce food, so I really know what food should cost. I know good food verses poor quality food. I take little for granted. My children learned the facts of life the old fashioned way. They know food comes at great cost, that no matter where we it comes from, labor and life went into the making. I have learned all the ways food arrives to us: the ethical way, the ideal but unattainable way and the cruel way. I work incredibly hard to make sure some of what we have is from our own hands, land and kindly produced, even though I do not have to do so. When you do not count on your farm to produce your sole income, you know at any moment, you can give it all up. You stay thankful for the milk machine your grandmother wouldn’t have had when milking a cow giving 8 gallons of milk a day, too. You work even when your regular job is done to avoid the fast, cheap and easy lifestyle American has become known for all around the world. You want to be faced with giving up only to opt to keep on because the rewards for the soul are still too valuable to miss.

5. Skill

I know how much land it takes to give quality care to cattle, goats and poultry. I know how much water growing and raising livestock consumes. I know how hard a garden is to maintain. In so many ways, few of us know how to do anything useful when removed from land. Removed from electronics, a car and a grocery store, we have no idea how to do much of anything. I know what has to go into soap to make it lather. I can AI a goat and give IM/IV and SQ injections to animals 10 times my size. I understand how vital moderation in medication, vaccinations and antibiotics are across the board. I see the power of selective breeding, survival of the fittest and how we have ruined so much by making a soft environment. We lack the most basic skills. I discovered what children will do, even in a modern home of video games, phones and apps when you turn them out on 20 acres to be just boys. . .they learn to build forts, to ride ponies, to milk goats. They know when to yell, "Mom, Dutchie is in heat. Time to bring out a buck," and they know when to note a horse is off feed and needs a second look to make sure all is well. We can pull calves, piglets and goats when labor is amiss I know what minerals the soil lacks in my area. I can milk goats and a cow for an hour straight without breaking a sweat, and I can turn that milk into butter, cheese and yogurt. A short time with livestock and growing your food will give you more useful skills than you would find in an entire modern life lived without this connection.

6. Community

Prior to farming, I had no real sense of community, not in a positive light. But a year into farming, I saw how people on a similar walk in life came together, lent / loaned / labored to help another in a way I figured had died out a century ago. If you need a pressure washer, a bull, tr
actor and an arm smaller than your own to pull out piglets, your local farmer has that for you. In the Snow. At 4am. Twice.

7. Connection

Taking the land or animal lives for granted ever again is not likely. You look at the ground with a new consideration. You think about your impact. The impact of others and mull this over everywhere you go. At night. In bed, You think about how the Livestock Guard Dog works to earn his keep, you think about how the dairy goat produces 8 lbs of milk a day to earn hers. You see this huge portrait where everyone gives their part to make the place run, and it is gives a whole new respect for everything that grows, be that children, hay or goat kids. Your kids talk constantly about how eggs end up on their plate and what it means to not waste sausage when it is served.

8. Strength

You’re strong. . .I’m talking a strength that comes from inside and outside. It isn’t the type we gain from 45 minutes a day in a Gym we pay a membership fee to, it is not the kind to sculpt a body for visual appeal; true enough. It is the kind that makes the body a functional, strong machine that can carry 100lb bags of feed up a mountain in the snow when you only weigh 138lbs yourself. The type of strong that lets you swing 75b hay bales up on a trailer 100 times while working on your natural "tan." I’m also talking about emotional strength. The small stuff suddenly is just that: Small. You are too busy with things worth your while to worry about the nonsense that creates personal drama, thankfully. And if the drama makes it to you, your response is usually going to be: "Meh, whatever. I have goats to milk." You realize what makes the world go round isn’t snarky nonsense or failing to have a clean floor or even clean children. You are better able to deal with real crisis, think fast and ignore the nonsense.

9. Family

Without farming, I’d still have a really great spouse and good kids, but with our ‘sometimes’ farm, life is such a team effort where skills and experiences will last a lifetime and apply across the board, it takes everything a step further. I need my oldest to feed the goat kids while I milk. I need the little ones to gather eggs because I forget. I depend on them to see the things I miss, a chicken who limps, a goat gone wandering to the neighbors or whatever else that I fail to note. They know that the heavy responsibilities here mean time is short and of great value. We have learned life isn’t about just Us, by a long shot. We are conscientious caregivers, and we are Thankful all of the time.

In a world where so little is real, where almost no work is required and the spirit is left void and wanting. . . even producing or nurturing one thing that, in turn, feeds you or otherwise nourishes you is of more value than I ever expected those 6 years ago when I began a ‘Sometimes’ farm that requires work all of the time.

The idea of walking away leaves me feeling blank and desolate, even though there isn’t a lot of tangible reason as to why.

But one day, if I find myself without cows, chickens and goats in my yard, the lessons I’ve learned, the values and skills my children will have, will always make every single moment worth it. I’ve finally become very sure.

http://www.thevegetarianhomesteader.com/…/if-i-never-farm-a…

SOURCE

Seed Freedom Call to Action 2016

Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly
The Hague 14-16 October

We are happy to inform you that Navdanya – along with multiple civil society organizations – is co-organizing a People’s Assembly for the future of food and the future of our planet at the Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague from 14th to 16th October 2016.

The Monsanto Tribunal will hold Monsanto and Co. accountable for their crimes against humanity, human rights violations and ecocide, regardless of what name and form they morph into.

In the last century big agribusiness of today with roots in war have poisoned millions of people, destroyed biodiversity, pushed small farmers off their land, and attempted to take over every aspect of our life. The potential of this harm increases as these corporations become fewer and bigger. An example is the recent bid by Bayer to buy Monsanto. (and once again join hands to make poisons as MoBay and becoming the IG Farben of our times.)

Using free trade neoliberal policies and deregulation of commerce to enlarge their empires, these corporations are attacking life on earth and biodiversity. They have broadened their control over our seed, our food and freedom, robbing us of our human rights and democracy. They have established monopolies and threatened farmers’ rights to seed and people’s rights to affordable medicine through patents and IPRs.

The People’s Assembly will be a gathering of movements, seed savers, seed defenders, farmers and growers and civilians to address the crimes against nature and against humanity perpetrated by chemical and biotechnology corporations. We will also chart the road to our future based on Seed Freedom and Food Freedom, agroecology and farmers rights, our commons and economies of sharing, rights of nature and earth democracy.

Learn more: http://seedfreedom.info/campaign/peoplesassembly-at-mt-the-hague/

Should you want to participate, create a workshop and/or put up a stand, please send a request to info [@] peoplesassembly.net

See People’s Assembly draft program HERE

See Monsanto Tribunal draft program HERE

International Monsanto Tribunal Official Website: http://www.monsanto-tribunal.org/


Seed Freedom Call to Action 2016

People’s Assemblies for the Future of our Food and the Future of our Planet  — 2nd – 16th October 2016 — Everywhere

It is with the same spirit which led us to co-organise the actions at The Hague, that we invite you to organise People’s Assemblies – wherever you are – as this year’s actions for Seed Freedom and Food Freedom; and both, do a public trial of Monsanto as well as create a system of our food free of the poisons and the poisons makers.

From the 2nd of October to the 16th of October, organize People’s Assemblies everywhere, to stop a century of ecocide and genocide, so we can re-begin to start living with peace on the earth.

Those who brought us the concentration camps, the poisons of the green revolution, GMO’s and patents of seeds, and now the new extermination tools of gene editing and drives, need to be tried for crimes against the earth and crimes against humanity.

As earth citizens, we have a duty to protect the earth and we have a right to protect our lives and that of future generations. And even while we trial them for their crimes we must celebrate life on earth, our capacity to work with the earth as co-creators.

Peace, love, celebration, diversity is what we hope in October you will organize wherever you are in your own way.

LEARN MORE ON HOW TO JOIN THE CALL TO ACTION: http://seedfreedom.info/campaign/call-to-action-2016/

Add your upcoming People’s Assemblies/events/actions to the Seed Freedom calendar http://seedfreedom.info/events/submit-your-event/

Watch Dr Vandana Shiva’s video messages:

  1. https://youtu.be/mdpFI_veT64
  2. https://youtu.be/EIOYm5dEHoc

Key Dates

15th – 16th October – The Hague, Netherlands: International Monsanto Tribunal

14th – 16th October – The Hague, Netherlands: People’s Assembly for the Future of our Food and the Future of our Planet.

2nd – 16th October – Everywhere: Local People’s Assemblies for the Future of our Food and the Future of our Planet.

16th October: World Food Day – Everywhere: Monsanto Protests/Marches against Monsanto.


Downloads

Seed Freedom Leaflet
Poison Cartel – Toxic Capital Poster
Seeding Freedom Poster
Monsanto Tribunal Poster

Also Read:


Dr Vandana Shiva’s recent articles:

By Dr Vandana Shiva – The Indian Express, 26 August 2016

By Dr Vandana Shiva – Scroll.in, 22 August 2016

By Dr Vandana Shiva – The Asian Age, 10 August 2016

By Dr Vandana Shiva, 7 July 2016

By Dr Vandana Shiva – The Asian Age, 16 June 2016

By Dr Vandana Shiva – Scroll.in, 31 May 2016

By Dr Vandana Shiva – The Asian Age, 19 May 2016

By Dr Vandana Shiva, 27 March 2016

By Dr Vandana Shiva, 20 November 2015

By Dr Vandana Shiva – Common Dreams, 20 May 2015


Build-up Events and Actions on the way to October 2016:

New Delhi, 17 August 2016

Allahabad, India, 10 August 2016

Berlin, 27 June 2016

Global Action, 21 May 2016

New Delhi, 21 May 2016

Greece, 6 – 8 May 2016 — Bulgaria, 14 – 15 May 2016

Paris, 3 December 2015


Further Actions for Seed Freedom

Join Seed Freedom online:
Website – http://seedfreedom.info
Twitter – https://twitter.com/occupytheseed
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/savetheseed
Facebook Event: http://bit.ly/SF2-16Oct15
YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/occupytheseed
Email: info [at] peoplesassembly [dot] com

Mike Lewis and the Growing Warriors

By Andrew Baker  – Sep 20, 2016

 

mike-lewis-and-the-growing-warriors

One of the things I love most about our industry is that it’s constantly being shaken up. Everywhere you look, there’s an individual or a company taking things to a previously unprecedented level. What’s even more amazing is the pace at which things are moving; a pace that’s only going to increase in speed as the industry becomes more open and recognized.

To help illustrate what I mean, think about this: If you have kids that are, say 5 years old or younger, there is a good chance that you won’t need to teach them how to drive. At least not the way you or I learned. It’s entirely possible that our kids will never have to grab a steering wheel or press a gas pedal.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait while you go ahead and put your brain back together.

But you see, these types of technological advancements aren’t being made in exclusivity. Strides like what I described above aren’t possible simply because the automobile industry is so advanced. The technology that would go into a self-driving car could be repurposed, tweaked just a little bit, and put to use in something like virtual reality. It can, and often does, work the other way around as well.

The cannabis industry is no exception, as we’re starting to see. I really enjoy tech — and I’m obsessed with entrepreneurship — so the flood of cannabis startups is an exciting thing to watch. Typing all this out makes me realize two things. One, I haven’t tackled this sort of topic in any of my previous posts. Two, I’m eager to do so for you guys.

But that’ll have to wait.

What? You thought all of that was to lead up to me covering some sort of futuristic weed tech? Nope. I just needed a good segue to what I’ll be talking about in today’s post. Who, actually, not what.

His name is Mike Lewis and he’s shaking things up in a simple but powerful way and he’s doing it with just his hands and his voice.

Mike Lewis! Who? Mike Lewis!

Aside from any readers I have out of Houston, who got the song reference?

In all seriousness though, Mike Lewis is a name you’ll come to know quite well if you don’t already. We’ll start with the basics. Mike is a proud husband, father, veteran of the United States Army and Kentucky farmer. In 2012, he established Growing Warriors, the first veteran-oriented food security organization. 

There are about one million veterans and active duty military personnel receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly referred to as food stamps. It’s also no secret that the unemployment rate among veterans is unacceptably high. (To be fair, it is declining at a considerable rate.)  Mike’s answer to this issue? Teach them how to grow and preserve their own food while banding together within their communities. This was accomplished by forming partnerships with cities, veteran hospitals, educational institutions, and community based organizations in order to provide veterans with hands on, curriculum-based learning opportunities. Since it’s inception, Growing Warriors has been able to help dozens of veteran families produce tens of thousands of pounds in organic produce.

Keep in mind that I’m just giving you a brief introduction. Mike’s, and the Growing Warriors’, efforts extend across multiple states and I could easily fill out the rest of this post by diving deep into everything they’re doing. For today, though, I want to bring your attention to what Mike and the Growing Warriors are doing for our industry, specifically the industrial hemp side of things.

Harvesting Liberty With Growing Warriors

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this short documentary film, Harvesting Liberty. Backed and presented by Patagonia, this film aims to address and shed light on the legalization of industrial hemp in the United States. Seriously, stop reading this, open that link in another tab, take the next 12 minutes of your day to watch it, then come back here to finish up and talk to me about what you think.

A couple of years ago, President Obama signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 — the Farm Bill — into effect. There’s a section of this act titled Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research. Basically, this section allows for universities and state departments of agriculture — in states where hemp is legal to grow — to grow hemp for research or pilot programs. Back in the 1800’s, Kentucky dominated the industrial hemp market. So, it’s quite fitting that a group of Kentucky farmers, Mike and the Growing Warriors, were given permission to cultivate 5 acres. 

As soon as they got their seeds, Mike “threw ‘em the ground really quickly before anybody changed their mind.”

American Hemp Flag

I found two things to be really interesting while watching that documentary and doing further research afterward.

First, the way Mike and his team go about processing the harvested hemp into useable materials. Get this: it’s done entirely by hand. When you think about it, that actually makes sense. Industrial hemp hasn’t been cultivated in America since it was listed as a Schedule I controlled substance, so of course there’s no hemp processing machinery just laying around waiting to be used. Even if there was, Mike wanted to use traditional methods to weave what he had in store. More on that in a moment, though.

They begin by using a process known as retting. Put simply, retting is the natural process of allowing moisture and microorganisms to remove the sugars in the stalk that hold all the fibers together. Once the plant has been retted completely, it’s moved to the barn for drying. What follows is called breaking, or decorticating. The hemp stalk is run through a hand powered machine that crushes the stalk and separates each of the fibers. Once separated, the fibers are spun together using spinners that are, once again, hand powered.

The second thing that really caught my interest (and by that I mean it had me grinning from ear to ear) is what they decided to make with the materials that came from this first harvest.

An American Flag. (Not sorry if I’m spoiling anything because I told you to stop and watch the documentary!)

“We made this American ingenuity with people from all walks of life. Life and society are not uniform or standardized in any way. This flag represents the bumps and ridges in our society and the great things that happen when we accept differences and work to solve problems. It represents all of us and our future.”

Nationwide Legalization of Industrial Hemp

On the 4th of July, Mike delivered that flag to Congress along with a speech in support of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015/2016. This act proposes the nationwide legalization of industrial hemp cultivation, something I’ll be digging into in a later article.

Mike takes a stance that you don’t see often in this industry and its activists. While he’s obviously in full support of legalization and bringing industrial hemp farming back to America, he also recognizes the need to take it slow. There’s a lot of mistakes left to be made and we need to let those kinks get worked out before attempting to blow up the market. Not only that, but there’s a ton of misinformation out there when it comes to hemp. Most of the public still doesn’t understand that hemp isn’t the same as its THC-laden counterpart cannabis.  

There’s a lot that can be said about Mike Lewis and all the work he’s puttin
g out into the world. If I had to pick one thing, it would be that he’s solid proof that you don’t have to be a high tech startup out of San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, or Denver to effect real change on the cannabis industry. Those types of businesses have their place and I’m rooting for them. I just think it’s important that you don’t forget that there’s a place for you outside of an office space, if that’s where you’d rather be.

Interested in growing hemp or getting involved? You can learn more over at the National Hemp Association and the Hemp Industries Association.

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