Just back from New Orleans, Uncle Weed shares anecdotes from a stop on hi-jinks-laden drive-away car delivery journey from Miami to Dallas and recounts recent culinary forays including turtle soup, Po’boy sandies and crawfish ettouffee, along with social observations about the French Quarter and Frenchmen’s street including the joy of brass bands and convenience of “go” cups. Recorded on a backyard in Squamish, BC on the late Jerry Garcia’s birthday.
In a collection of transitory reminiscences, Dave O rolls on from rainy North Van by taxi down venerable Granville St. down the spine of to YVR with indigenous dioramas. Then travels by plane to Gatwick Airport, continuing via train to Victoria Station, then by another taxi to Piccadilly Circus passing notable London sites along the way. And recapping visits to New York neighbourhoods, San Jose developments, importance of stimulating road literature, podcast faves, outstanding Vancouver activities, worthy podcasts, street music, thoughts on going with the flow, healthy breakfasts and provocative TV in London.
Mayor Sam Sullivan called former provincial attorney general Geoff Plant’s report “very impressive” and his fellow NPA councillors joined in the praise. The minority Vison/COPE faction continued to worry the project could criminalize poverty and called Plant’s work a waste of time and money.
The Civil City project passed last year calls for the elimination of homelessness, the open drug market and aggressive panhandling, starting with 50 per cent reductions in all three by 2010.
Wrapping up the White Poppies for Remembrance series with a narrative late-night wander through Westminster, London, DaveO meanders past military monuments, victory squares, cenotaphs, palaces, royal parks, war museum, war chambers, riot fences, war protesters, churches, parliament and finishing at St. James park for a sitdown under a weeping willow to consider monarchy, individual rights and responsibilities, and the role of class division in waging war as London’s sirens, trains, and Big Ben fill the night.
In Camden Town London, Uncle Weed visits Hemp for Victory author Kenyon Gibson to discuss his motivations and influences for writing the book, using hemp for fuel, fiber and food, unique modern hemp products, the political pressures surrounding re-mainstreaming cannabis hemp, activism tips for emerging hempsters, his research for UK Parliament on hemp as a replacement crop for opium in Afghanistan, plus conversation on contemporary hemp production in the United Kingdom and around the globe.
“The talented researchers and writers assembled by Kenyon Gibson have gone above and beyond the call of duty by creating a phenomenally documented compendium on cannabis hemp. Paralleling the numerous uses of cannabis hemp, Hemp for Victory details its social, political and economic impact over the years. Historical and current information covering a wide range of relevant topics makes Hemp for Victory especially useful for an equally wide range of readers. Environmentalists, farmers, patients, and manufacturers will all benefit from Hemp for Victory.
From the budding hempologist to the seasoned activist, Hemp for Victory is a must have.”
John E. Dvorak, Board Member and Treasurer of the Hemp Industries Association, founder and curator of the Boston Hemp Co-op’s Hemp History Library and Museum
“My interest in hemp was started when my younger sister told me about the benefits of the plant. After reading up on her remarks, I was not surprised to see that major corporations and politicians have kept this information suppressed and tried to give hemp a bad image. As our climate deteriorates and our economies suffer, it is time to put the foot down and demand a change for the better. With hemp, we could make a safer, fairer and cleaner world. Writing about this for the last seven years has finally produced “Hemp for Victory”, and I hope that it will awaken the reader to the opportunity we have to make a change. There was such a plethora of information on hemp that one book could not contain it, and as events are unfolding daily, it is good to be able to blog about it; otherwise, I’d never have finished writing, as the temptation to add just one more bit was part of the reason for the long gestation period for “Hemp for Victory”.”
For decades, UK farmers were banned from growing a plant wrongly associated with potheads. But this versatile member of the cannabis family is moving back into the agricultural mainstream.
The hemp community insists that it is moving hemp away from its associations with drugs and the people who smoke them, but tensions still remain.
“I loathe the fact that there are still people who think the hemp industry is run by a bunch of potheads trying to legitimise their own drug habits,” says Kenyon Gibson, hemp researcher and co-author of Hemp for Victory, a new book on the history and uses of hemp. “It could not be further from the truth, but there are people out there who benefit from keeping the link between hemp and marijuana alive and kicking.”
He believes the misrepresentation of hemp as a dangerous narcotic has been pushed for decades by international conglomerates, who are well aware of the threat that the plant poses to their trade.
“It was the large multinationals who helped ban hemp decades ago, and it’s the large multinationals who are still ensuring that natural alternatives to their products are being sidelined even in this time of environmental chaos,” Gibson says. “Look at how many trees we could save by investing in a global hemp paper industry. Look at its potential to contribute to natural ethanol, yet we’re lagging behind countries such as Brazil which are making great strides in creating fuel from domestic products.”
“We can’t let token investments from the government into niche hemp industries divert us from keeping on pushing for the true environmental potential of hemp to finally be exploited,” Gibson continues. “The true power of hemp will be unlocked only when we’re able to use it to challenge large-scale, environmentally-damaging industries, and this isn’t happening yet.”
It is a line that companies such as Hemcore are eager to distance themselves from. Hobson says that his company prefers to treat hemp as a sustainable but commercial product, rather than getting into arguments about corporate politics.
But for Gibson, Pugh and others like them, the two issues are inextricably linked. “As hemp once posed a threat to some investors, so it does again today – for which reason some would rather leave the issue of hemp alone,” Gibson says. “With such a commodity, many positive changes can be put in place from which we can all benefit. The battle to get this recognised still needs to be fought.”
On this extra-special Eightieth Episode Extravaganza, The Dopefiend is joined in the VaporLounge by podcasting legend, Cannabis journo and Hemp activist Uncle Weed for an hour-long exhaustive interview and vaping session covering subjects as diverse as where the world’s best weed comes from, the current Cannabis scene in Canada, how Vancouver has changed in relation to the Cannabis scene in Toronto, the spread of Compassion Clubs in the US and whether medical marijuana will ever be fully legal, Hemp and Cannabis use in Japan and the North American hemp revolution Uncle Weed discovered while making his documentary The Hempen Road, and how the hemp industry has changed since the film’s release, and lots more, including some extremely tasty bags of Hawaiian, Brainstorm and New York City Diesel.
Yes, yes i’ve been internationally chastised for my molasses pace of production so while i am toiling away for your aural pleasure, download it yerself to hear the grandeur of two podcasters managing compelling discourse amidst copious clouds of vapor.
Note to say i’ve fastidiously documented thick slices of my travels in London … Didn’t make it Scotland this time around but heaps of good times starting with staying at Piccadilly Circus in the midst of downtown chaos taking late night walks through famous sites, to lounging in a nice middle class neighborhood equipped with vaporizer to a proper English day trip to the seaside of free-wheeling Brighton and a herbal respite on a canal in Camden before an interview with an ex-pat author.
Around my toil, I managed dozens of hours of concentrated goodness in audio recordings including intrepid dark adventures past the new Globe Theater over Tower Bridge in the pouring rain en route to Cleopatra’s obelisk while Big Ben’s bonging 3AM – seems i didn’t record *allthatmuch* but ended up with a’ plenty – and even a decent stack of photos and video clips from the front row of a double decker bus. Yeah i am a sucker for thrill ride (heh).
A few quick shots before i head to Book Expo American in NYC (skyscrapers and everythang …) where i will be shilling the goods for the day job while soaking in some literary and otherwise atmosphere – hopefully meeting up with the filmmaker and illustrator of the Uncle Weed book, Brandon Kiggins of brooklyn, see the wild Alex Grey museum about the his trippy art and of course visit the mysterious haunted speakeasy pub in the village with a local amigo.
Taking Haruki Murakami collection of stories and Herman Hesse‘s Reflections – not the quintessential NYC lit but see what serendipity delivers – i am going to a book show – gotta be something worth reading (and i am admittedly somewhat stuck to older (dead-er) writers). Of course taking mobile podcaster-o-rator/recorder, notebooks and the snapshooter.
Then to San Jose for another day-job related trade show and since no time for San Fran hi-jinks- might be decidedly vanilla so to speak but will likely find some adventure. Will be catching Stanley Cup finals on the road (kinda need a sling box eh).
Back to beloved Vancouver for a couple days before London UK-bound. More podcasting for the job and then heading on a 4 day walkabout – likely to Dumfries (a home of Robbie Burns and one of his many loves – Jean Armour), Scotland and then mayhaps to a festival of sorts in Leeds. Gonna not get too hung up the deets here but i will be stuck with more than a backpack in London so might be a wee bit limited.
– really wanna bust out some more White Poppies for Remembrance episodes – next one will feature a track by Drive by Truckers and a chat with a disenfrancished soul at the New Amsterdam about the conceptual conditions of Vancouver’s downtown eastside