Legalise Cannabis Australia has a single focus, but it is anything but a single issue party.
Cannabis law reform can have major positive impacts in many aspects of all our lives.
Did you know that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ‘hemp’ was the world’s most grown crop and hemp fibre was the world’s most traded commodity? Most sail, rigging, cordage, clothes and paper were made from hemp or Cannabis sativa L.
In 1937 the DuPont corporation introduced the first synthetic fibre, nylon. They enacted the “Marijuana Tax Act” to criminalise cannabis and eliminate competition from natural fibres.
The hemp stalk contains long and short fibres and can be used to make any grade of paper, including best archival and technical papers. Its long bast fibres are ideal for reinforcing recycled paper pulp. One hectare of hemp can produce as much paper as four hectares of forest.
The cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes has many benefits. Its long tap root aerates the soil and accesses subsoil nutrients. Hemp, when properly grown, can effectively smother weeds. It can be grown with minimal to no chemicals and requires less irrigation water than most other crops. Crops grown on land following hemp show 20-30% increase in yield due to this soil conditioning.
The populations of western countries have shown an alarming increase in chronic diseases including but not limited to cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseased, strokes and heart attacks. Much of this is due to dietary deficiencies and imbalances, especially the critical omega 3/6 balance. Hemp seed is a unique food. It has more protein than beef, more omega 3 than seafood, more B group vitamins than whole grains and generous quantities of minerals and vitamin E.
Australia was the last country on Earth to legalise hemp seed, but now they are available, they can be of immeasurable benefit for young and old alike. We have poisoned the oceans and humanity desperately needs a sustainable source of omega 3. There is none better than hemp seed.
In 1941 Henry Ford made a car body from a hemp biocomposite plastic. It was one sixth the weight of steel but had ten times the impact resistance. Imagine what this could do for the transport sector? Due to the lighter weight there would be significant fuel saving. Panel beating and rust would be things of the past, with great savings in insurance and repair bills.
Anything made from petrochemical plastics can be made from cellulose such as hemp fibre, without the need for the dangerous endocrine disrupting chemicals currently in use. Hemp cellulose cement or hempcrete, is a hypoallergenic cellulose cement product that is fire and termite proof, with better thermal and acoustic insulation than masonry.
The international authorities banned cannabis claiming it was a dangerous drug with no medical uses, whilst at the same time taking out patents for the medical uses of cannabis, including CBD.
Many millions of people have suffered and died unnecessarily as a result of this prohibition. They have been forced to take toxic pharmaceuticals which harm as much as they assist. The current medical cannabis supply schemes are difficult to access and expensive, while important clinical research to optimise the therapeutic outcomes with medical cannabis is not being done.
The legalisation of cannabis for private adult use has shown great social benefit in those jurisdictions that have taken this step. Despite the naysayers predictions, the legalisation of cannabis actually led to a reduction in teenage cannabis use. There was also a measurable decrease in suicides and domestic violence. In Canada, legalisation has led to billions of dollars being diverted from organised crime to state revenue, where it could be applied to projects of Earth repair and social uplift.
The prohibition of cannabis is estimated to cost the Australian community up to $2 billion dollars annually in police, court and prison costs. This estimate does not include the tens of billions of dollars out-flowing to foreign pharmaceutical corporations each year for medical drugs that could be replaced by locally produced cannabis medicines, with better health outcomes.
Imagine what our country could look like after we remove the prohibition.
Large scale hemp cultivation could greatly assist farmers establish low chemical use systems and improve soil fertility. The post prohibition windfall could be used to establish the infrastructure needed to transfer production from dangerous petrochemicals to natural fibres. hemp paper mills, hemp textile mills and diverse hemp plastic factories could be established across the states, bringing long term technical career employment and prosperity.
Australia and the entire planet are experiencing severe problems many of which have accrued as a result of banning cannabis, arguably the world’s most versatile plant.
Show your support at the next election and allow hemp to begin the planetary healing that is so long overdue.
Dr Andrew Katelaris
Legalise Cannabis Australia