UVSS HEMPOLOGY 101 CLUB
LECTURE SERIES 2007/08

LESSON #3 : CANNABIS AROUND THE WORLD - Part 2 


 
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Although cannabis is now illegal one would not know it from its presence.  While at Koh Kong at a guesthouse referred to us by our travel booker on Koh Chang, Thailand, no more than 5 minutes had passed when a young guide named Bawn offered me a bag of cannabis.  The vacuum-sealed bag, containing about 10 grams was offered to me for $10.  I haggled with Bawn and ended up paying about $6 for it.  The bag, containing mostly dark brown airy buds of a Sativa variety had a fresh clean aroma to it.  I asked him where I could find a larger amount because I wanted to make some photographs of growing fields or plants or at least the bags of cannabis.  He looked up at me proudly and said, ďMy father grew it.Ē  Bawn was explaining that cannabis has a stigma of being an old-fashioned, old manís drug and with concern that Cambodians looking for a high are much more likely to drink alcohol or get involved in imported hard drugs like Ecstasy or amphetamines is why the government has made some crackdowns.  Bawn quickly put the smile back on his face about his fatherís cannabis farm and said that the harvest was finished but that there was many kilos still at the house that I could see.  Ed Borg, CAMBODIA; A TRAVEL GUIDE, Weed World #52.

There are many reasons why a study on cannabis in a Southern African country like Lesotho is relevant (and further research a necessity). Cannabis cultivation and use as a drug are deeply entrenched in the region. Indeed, they are part of the culture of many southern African ethnic groups, and archaeological evidence suggests that cannabis has been grown and used since before the 15th century. It would seem that this tradition is now used in the setting up of a modern commercial "agri-business" of cannabis production and sale on regional, mostly urban, mass markets. CANNABIS IN LESOTHO: A PRELIMINARY SURVEY, Laurent Laniel, 1997.

Marijuana is the most widely used and readily available drug in the United States. It is the only major drug of abuse grown within United States borders.  The DEA is aggressively striving to halt the spread of marijuana cultivation in the United States.  In 2004, the DCE/SP was responsible for the eradication of 3,200,121cultivated outdoor marijuana plants, and 206,896 indoor plants. In addition, the DCE/SP has attributed for 8,043 arrests and the seizure in excess of 31.1 million dollars of cultivator assets. DEA HOMEPAGE.

In 2003, the Government of Morocco and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime undertook the first survey of cannabis cultivation in Morocco.  While confirming the general extent of cannabis production in the Rif region, the 2004 Survey reveals a 10% decline in cultivation to 120,500 hectares- an encouraging step in the right direction. 

This yearís survey builds on the work of the 2003 Survey by shedding new light on the motivations for cannabis cultivation and highlighting possible motives for change- all of which could eventually contribute to the elaboration of a national strategy to fight cannabis cultivation.  The socio-economic findings presented here indicate that cannabis prices have been declining between 1999-2004. This has put pressure on the 800,000 people involved in cannabis production, whose income has dropped 26% as compared to 2003.

Income from cannabis production remains low relative to overall GDP per capita.  Unfortunately, although the disparity between incomes in the legitimate sector (US$1,478) and incomes in the illicit sector (US$400) is striking, there are very few alternatives to cannabis production in these isolated and service-deprived regions.  In localities heavily devoted to cannabis monoculture, traditional agricultural skills and practices have been lost as a result of the over-dependence on cannabis as a livelihood strategy.  This is particularly the case amongst the youth, who have experienced no other livelihood strategy and who view cannabis cultivation as the sole means to independence and prosperity.  Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, MOROCCO: CANNABIS SURVEY 2004.

This is a big issue in New Zealand because a lot of people use pot and grow it and it's become very much part of the culture. According to recent research, more than half the population between the ages of 15 and 45 admits to using or to having used pot. In fact, NZ has the highest per capita rate of use anywhere in the world. Julian Pettifer, BBC News, 03/09/00.

The 10,000 year co-evolution of cannabis and humanity has had a profound impact on both plant and humans.  Cannabis has affected our cultural history; we have affected the plantís biological evolution.  From small populations of ancient progenitors, hundreds of varieties or strains of cannabis have evolved. Frank & Rosenthal, MARIJUANA GROWERS GUIDE

Margolis & Clorfene, A CHILDíS GARDEN OF GRASS; THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK FOR MARIJUANA USERS, Ballantine Books, 1969
Mulgrew, Ian, BUD INC.; INSIDE CANADAíS MARIJUANA INDUSTRY, Random House Canada, 2005
Le Dain, Gerald, Chairman, CANNABIS; A REPORT OF THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THE NON-MEDICAL USE OF DRUGS, Crown Copyrights, 1972
CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY; REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS, 2002
Matthews, Patrick, CANNABIS CULTURE, Bloomsbury Publishing, 1999
Clarke, Robert Connell, HASHISH, Red Eye Press, 1998
Conrad, Chris, HEMP; LIFELINE TO THE FUTURE, Creative Xpressions Publications, 1994
Rosenthal, Ed, editor, HEMP TODAY, Quick American Archives, 1994
Jones, Nick, SPLIFFS; A CELEBRATION OF CANNABIS CULTURE, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers 2003
RosenthaL, Ed, editor, THE BIG BOOK OF BUDS, Quick American Press Archives, 2001
King, Jason, THE CANNABIBLE, Ten Speed Press, 2001
Andrews & Vinkenoog, editors, THE BOOK OF GRASS; ANTHOLOGY ON INDIAN HEMP, Penguin, 1972
Robinson, Rowan, THE GREAT BOOK OF HEMP, Park Street Press, 1996
Solomon, David, editor, THE MARIJUANA PAPERS, The New American Library Inc., 1968

International Hempology 101 Society
www.hempology.ca

Cannabis Buyers' Clubs of Canada
www.cbc-canada.ca