Source; Greenworld

Issue: 29

Pub Date; Autumn 2000

PUB LTE: The real dope on hemp

Author: Alun Buffry, Legalise Cannabis Alliance,


49 York Road, Aldershot, Hants, GU11 3JQ

Tel / Fax: +44 (0)252 330506

Notes: 'Greenworld' is a publication of the UK Green Party


Whilst pleased to see the article "Hemp: for a greener, better planet" in the summer 2000 issue of Greenworld, I was also very disappointed to see that the article then attempts to distinguish between the low-THC producing varieties of the cannabis plant from those with higher concentrations of THC in the flowering tops (heads and buds), by labelling THC as a "narcotic."

The article said: "Commercial hemp is not a narcotic. Narcotic cannabis plants have poor fibre content, and industrial hemp plants have very low narcotic content. Commercial cultivation of hemp is not a 'back door'

method of legalising cannabis."

That sort of nonsense is precisely the same as spread during that dreadful 'reefer madness' campaign of the 1930s in the US, mentioned earlier.

Cannabis is not a narcotic. THC is not a narcotic. Cannabis is not THC and THC is not cannabis.

It is true that all of the commercial hemp grown in the UK produces very little THC. By law it is not permitted to grow the plants to maturity and the cultivation from only government-specified seek stock is licensed. On the other hand, cannabis grown illegally for use medicinally or as a relaxant is grown from seeds selected by the growers and known to produce higher yields of THC. However, all the plants produce superior fibre when mature.

Throughout history, as the article explains, cannabis has been grown for its fibre and for its seed (food); also for its medical and uplifting qualities. For the former uses THC is unnecessary; for the latter uses it is. But until the late 1920's it was all legal. Cannabis - erroneously classified as a narcotic in the Geneva Opiates Conference of the 1920's - was banned as a medicine and a fibre crop in 1971 after claims that it was being 'abused' as a recreational drug. Its cultivation was allowed again, under Home Office license, in 1992.

So, one of the supposed reasons for banning industrial hemp was the 'abuse' of the plant as a 'narcotic drug.' Perpetuating that myth is unlikely to have any positive effect whatsoever.

The Legalise Cannabis Alliance is fighting for the FULL re-legalisation AND UTILISATION of the cannabis plant; that is for all its beneficial uses. It is clear to us that it is only the inclusion of cannabis in the Misuse of Drugs Act that is slowing down the more widespread use - this slowing down on the decreased use of industrial, synthetic and polluting alternative.

Commercial hemp production is not a back door to legalisation. rather, legalisation is the front door to increased production and usage.

Alun Buffry