At the time I photographed this ‘Sail-less Ship,’ as I call it, in the 60's, I had no idea just how meaningful it would be for me in my later years.
Or how ironic. It's what is not in my image, what doesn’t meet the eye, what wasn't aboard this ship that day, that should have been; that makes it so ironic for me. You see; this had to be on board or else it could not sail. But I had to wait for years afterwords to grasp it, for it to finally sink in and ‘meet my eye.’ I was pretty dense.
It may seem only a picture of a sail-less ship but there's more. This ship is now lost in the ages with just it's memories to hold. How it once cut through the seven seas, the pattering feet of the many deck-hands that cared for her and the captain that steered her. (Maybe he had a wooden leg) These are the same memories now, mind you, that keep this ship afloat. Sadly, this great ship’s only function now is to please the tourists, in it's Boston dock. Like an old bird, clipped of it's wings and stuck in a somewhat of a zoo, disguised as a dock. It is now held back from feeling it’s hull cut through the sea and the salty air sting it's face and fill it's mast as it used to. Now caught in a harbor for the rest of it’s life - famous for it's "Tea Party," no less.
"It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority."
— Benjamin Franklin
Hemp Field -2009 (in Canada)
Like the teenager I was; and I was pretty dense ....
....my ascetics were just developing, as was my grasp of history. As time progressed, as did the blooming of my artistic flower - I came to realize just how different life was, when those few stars of the flag flapped over this old ship, and, in many ways, how better things were then, in that grand time when this ship rocked in the waves of freedom.
Other than all the discoveries, since then, that were realized and developed, and all the precious inventions that their patient scientists carved out for us, making our lives so much easier; there was one natural product, more of an ancient commodity, that did not need "fixing," or replacing, or did it need proof that it worked, or did it need to be advertised, or did the farmers need permission to grow it. It was as helpful when this flag flew above this ship, and many years before, as it remains so today. Or, as so it should be. How could we have forgotten about it, something this precious? Or did we? Or was it just up-staged by it's wild cousin?
Our liberty loving for-fathers would not only spin in their graves if they knew of our antics, how we have bastardized most of what they held so dear. And the government that preceded them that is more like a bully now that scares the American people into believing that security is more important than their liberties and that whatever they say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They would surly pop out of their grave, while spinning, or probably just die again, if they knew how their creation, their fine-tuned Constitution; what they committed treason for; has now been edited, or amended! And they surly would be mightily upset if they knew how this government, supposedly for the people, have lied and led their people in the wrong direction concerning the most multi-useful plant on Earth. Hemp.
As then, so there is now; patriots fulfilling their duty, swimming against the current of misguided adversity; who are reminding the people of their blessed freedom their country once provided and of the seemingly endless uses for this plant. And how it could help our Planet, our economy, and our health and still have room for more uses and miracles, but they to, like our forefathers in some respect, are treated like they are committing treason. As if they are the criminals that should be strung-up, drawn and quartered for threatening life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For these are the very people, patriots no different than our wise forefathers, that regret only having one life to give for their country. These patriots are merely following in the footsteps, and thank God for them:
Our Jack Herer, Tom Forcade, Marc and Jodie Emery,Ed Rosenthal, Tommy Chong, Allen St. Pierre, Keith Stroup, Less Stark, Steve Bloom, Rob Kampia, Bob Newland, Chris Conrad, Steve Hager, Gatewood Galbraith, Don Wirtshafter, Bob Marley and family, Willie Nelson, Renee and Chris Bennett, Dennis Peron, Angel Raich, Loretta Nall, Ron Paul, are just a few of the patriots of our time.
"Plant the seeds of FREEDOM .... overgrow the government." -Marc Emery (on the way to prison)
Who would have ever thought that what made the sails of this ship, the rope that held them up to the wind, and possibly even the dear flag that flapped overhead; would one day cause such an upheaval. And, with the gravity of this commodity’s multi-usefulness, much, much more than just sail canvas, rope and clothes, with even an abundant of medical uses; oddly enough acts as a fueling agent that heats hostile fires; furthering an aggression by some, while denying decades of truth. And, in the middle of their self-inflicted war, denying this blessed commodity to the people. That, I feel, is a sin.
The sails have fallen, keeping this ship docked, unable to transport anything, except maybe the dreams that a few tourists will harbor, that have unsteadily walked on her over the years. Or, possibly the dreams some teenager with a camera will have, who, firing it up through the empty masts at the flag, will harbor years after he prints his image.
Some of the dreams and aspirations will come true. Others, no matter how ideal and safe, will not; continuing how ironic it is to me; this image of a Sail-less Ship.
Hemp Making a Comeback Despite Idiotic Pot Laws
By Scott McKeen, Edmonton Journal - Friday, November 6 2009
The symptoms and side effects of reefer madness are now clearer than ever. Politicians, even those who never inhaled, suffer paranoid delusions. Over the past century, Canada's ludicrous and draconian marijuana policies wasted billions in criminal-justice resources.
Crime gangs got rich and recreational marijuana users--about as dangerous as contented cats--were fined and jailed by the thousands.
But that's only half of it. What we now know is that the government's marijuana paranoia cost this country a cash crop of boundless potential. I don't mean marijuana, though some of us wish pot was grown and taxed by government so the windfall could enrich society instead of gangsters.
I refer instead to hemp, a benign super-plant and casualty of the Canada's war on drugs.
Fortunately, hemp is finally making a comeback, in part because of the work of the Alberta Research Council. ARC plant physiologist Jan Slaski is as keen on hemp as he is tired of reefer jokes. Slaski isn't laughing, he says, because the jokes only perpetuate a bad myth.
Hemp, or industrial hemp as Slaski calls it, is not marijuana. Two different plants.
Slaski says the hardy hemp plant has been cultivated for more than 8,000 years. Its plant fibres were used in everything from clothes to shoes to rope. Its seed oil is rich in health Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. When Ukrainian settlers came to Canada, they brought hemp seeds. One record in the archives talked about pioneers using hemp to create a soothing tea.
But while industrial hemp has some of the psycho-active THC found in marijuana, the amounts are far less intoxicating than all-ages, de-alcoholized beer.
Slaski says THC concentrations in hemp are a fraction--one per cent or less--of that in marijuana. You'd die of smoke inhalation trying to get high. Still, one of the research council's aims is to breed a hemp plant with no detectable THC. Why? Because of marijuana paranoia.
In 1998, 60 years after the feds prohibited the growing of hemp as part of its war on drugs, controlled plots were again allowed. Modern hemp growers had to jump through high hoops, including a criminal record check and detailed license application to Health Canada. The lingering hemp hysteria is summed up nicely by one of Health Canada's rules: No hemp can be grown within one kilometer of a school.
So why is the research council working so hard to redeem hemp? Well, because of its potential to not only give Alberta farmers an economic edge, but also help save the environment.
Hemp literally grows like a weed. It can reach or exceed three meters in height during our short growing season. It produces biomass--usable plant material--like nothing else. Researchers have yet to identify a pest threat to hemp. It's early season vigor allows it to out-compete weeds. So unlike cereal crops, hemp is organic, requiring no pesticide applications.
"It truly is a super crop," Slaski says.
Forget hemp's healthy food-oil potential for a moment. That may come if people can get over the fear of taking a trip on hemp-fried foods. But the fibre from hemp could be used in everything from pulp-and-paper to textiles. Alberta is only one of many jurisdictions in the world that clear-cuts forests for pulp. Forest companies must travel further and further from the pulp mill to retrieve feed stock, which then takes at least 60 years to regrow.
Put enough hemp in production and you'd get an annual, renewable fibre supply for paper production.
Hemp could also replace cotton, which requires large applications of pesticides. Hemp could also replace glass fiber, which is used in the making of composite materials, like plastics for the automotive industry. Glass fiber requires high heat and energy in its industrial production. Hemp? Rain and sun. Glass fibers aren't biodegradable like hemp. Hemp fibres are lighter. Lighter cars require less fuel.
The use of hemp in composite plastics is being studied in earnest by the ARC. Slaski has talked to automakers who say they'll sign contracts if hemp composites meet strict requirements. And if production levels can be guaranteed. The first requirement is being met ARC labs. But we're a long way from widespread hemp farming, largely because of its undeserved reputation.
But then again, marijuana also has an undeserved reputation. It's obvious to anyone who looks objectively at the facts that marijuana causes less harm than alcohol, both to the individual and society.
Is marijuana safe? Any psychoactive substance can be abused. But marijuana doesn't kill brain cells or inspire violence like alcohol does.
So when you consider how this society promotes and celebrates the use of a more dangerous drug, alcohol, our marijuana policies appear silly. But even sillier is that industrial hemp got caught up in the madness.
In case you're wondering, the answer is no. I don't smoke pot. I tried it as a teenager but I found it made me paranoid.
- Article from the Edmonton Journal.
Hemp Farmer (in Canada)
Ron Paul Hopes Hemp History Week Will Reap More Co-sponsors for Legalization Bill
By Ron Brynaert, Raw Story - Wednesday, May 12 2010
Groups hope to collect 50,000 signed post cards urging Obama and Holder to put end to industrial hemp ban.
Jack Herer, passed away nearly a month ago, but that doesn't mean his dream died with him.
Roll Call reports, "Hemp History Week might not earn anyone time off work, but Rep. Ron Paul still thinks it’s worth celebrating."
The Texas Republican and erstwhile presidential candidate on Thursday submitted a statement to the Congressional Record recognizing next week, May 17-23, as Hemp History Week and urging his colleagues to pass legislation legalizing hemp farming. In the statement, which hemp advocates are touting as a big endorsement for their cause, Paul notes that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both grew the leafy crop.
Paul’s arguments focused on the potential economic effect of legalizing hemp — probably making for a stronger case than the beauty of those hemp necklaces found on the necks of half the attendees of any given Widespread Panic concert. “Unfortunately, because of a federal policy that does not distinguish between growing industrial hemp and growing marijuana, all hemp products and materials must be imported,” Paul said. “The result is high prices, outsourced jobs, and lost opportunities for American manufacturing.”
A post at VoteHemp.com details activists' plans for the week: "A joint project of Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association, Hemp History Week is looking for patriotic Americans to participate in and attend events in their state as part of a national grassroots, media and public education campaign."
Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry to remove barriers to industrial hemp farming in the U.S. through education, legislation and advocacy. We work to build grassroots support for hemp through voter education, registration and mobilization, as well as defend against any new laws, regulations or policies that would prohibit or restrict hemp trade.
Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed and fiber varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp has absolutely no use as a recreational drug.
The groups "hope to collect at least 50,000 signed post cards urging President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to end the status quo and let farmers grow versatile and profitable industrial hemp."
"Madam Speaker, I rise to speak about Hemp History Week," Paul said last week on the floor. "To celebrate the American heritage of growing industrial hemp, the Hemp Industries Association, Vote Hemp, several American manufacturers, and allied companies and organizations have declared May 17 to May 23 to be Hemp History Week. Throughout the week, people will recognize America’s legacy of industrial hemp farming and call for reinstating respect for farmers’ basic right to grow industrial hemp."
Industrial hemp was legally grown throughout our country for many years. In fact, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew industrial hemp and used it to make cloth. During World War II, the federal government encouraged American farmers to grow hemp to help the war effort.
Despite industrial hemp farming being an important part of American history, the federal government has banned cultivation of this crop. In every other industrialized country, industrial hemp, defined to contain less than 0.3 percent THC–the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, may be legally grown. Nobody can be psychologically affected by consuming industrial hemp. Unfortunately, because of a federal policy that does not distinguish between growing industrial hemp and growing marijuana, all hemp products and materials must be imported. The result is high prices, outsourced jobs, and lost opportunities for American manufacturing.
Reintroducing industrial hemp farming in the United States would bring jobs to communities struggling in today’s economy, provide American farmers with another crop alternative, and encourage the development of hemp processing factories near American hemp farming.
Paul noted that he introduced his Industrial Hemp Farming Act (HR 1866) [To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.], "five years ago to end the federal government’s ban on American farmers growing industrial hemp."
Last April, RAW STORY's Stephen Webster reported, "The legislation, if passed by the House and Senate, would amend the Controlled Substances act and overturn a portion of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act which decimated America's industrial hemp industry by simply lumping the plant in with its high-inducing counterpart, marijuana."
Jack Herer, as the LA Times noted last month, "was a longtime marijuana activist and the author of the landmark book 'The Emperor Wears No Clothes: The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana.'" He passed away on April 15, at the age of 70, still ill "[f]ollowing a heart attack he experienced after leaving the Hempstalk festival stage in Portland last fall."