Friday, December 3, 2010

The Biotechnology of Cannabis Sativa

The Biotechnology of Cannabis Sativa
Written by Sam R. Zwenger, April, 2009


Marijuana, whose scientific name is Cannabis sativa, is perhaps the most famous plant ever discovered by humans. Since its discovery it has been used by millions of people for both inducing pleasure and alleviating pain.Cannabis has a rich history, complex biology and a fascinating physiology.

Molecular biology and plant biotechnology are only beginning to uncover the secrets of this plant. Scientists now have the opportunity to growCannabis plants in vitro (in a test tube or Petri dish), thereby being able to genetically modify these plants in dozens of ways. FluorescentCannabis, THC-producing roses,Cannabis that climbs like a vine, and phenomenal increases in branch number and flower size are only a few of the ways in which this plant can be enhanced through biotechnology.

The tools of biotechnology, such as DNA sequencing and gene cloning, are speeding up the reality that this highly controversial plant will continue to make an impact on human societies for generations to come. This book covers advances and techniques on how to grow plant tissue in vitro, genetically modify this tissue, and re-grow it in order to produce a transgenic Cannabis plant. Anyone who wants to know what the future holds for Cannabis sativa and marijuana should read this book.

A Cannabis callus that has been genetically modified with the GFP gene is shown growing in a Magenta box. When its roots, shoot and leaves have further developed, it can be placed in soil and moved to a growth chamber.

New GMO Plants Grow Pharmaceutical Drugs

New Genetically Modified Plants Grow Pharma Drugs

Chemists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a process of genetically engineering plants to produce synthetic compounds.

The team of researchers, headed by Associate Professor Sarah O’Connor, added bacterial genes to the periwinkle plant, which enabled it to attach halogens (such as chlorine or bromine) to alkaloids, a class of compounds that are normally produced in the plant.

“We’re trying to use plant biosynthetic mechanisms to easily make a whole range of different iterations of natural products,” said O’Connor. “If you tweak the structure of natural products, very often you get different or improved biological and pharmacological activity.”

The research was funded by the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health, and was published in the November 3rd online edition of Nature. This newly developed process creates plants that can literally grow synthetic pharmaceutical compounds, which pharmaceutical companies can then patent.

The implications and uses of such advanced genetic manipulation of nature are sure to be many, the effects of which are yet to be seen.


Killing Cannabis with GMO Fungi

Killing Cannabis with mycoherbicides

John M. McPartland
VAM/AMRITA, 53 Washington Street Extension, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA
e-mail:, phone: 802-388-0575, fax: 802-382-8845

David West
GamETec, 363 S. Warren Street, Prescott, WI 54021, USA

McPartland, John M. and David West 1999. Killing Cannabis with mycoherbicides Journal of the International Hemp Association 6(1): 1, 4-8. Last year, researchers were funded by the U.S. government to create fungi that destroy drug plants, including marijuana (Cannabis). The fungi will be genetically engineered. Controversies surrounding this "new solution" for the war on drugs are discussed, including the ethics of exterminating plant species that have occupied central roles in human culture for thousands of years. The importation of foreign fungi into new habitats is fraught with unpredictable environmental pitfalls; exotic pathogens can spread from their intended targets to other organisms. All known pathogens of marijuana also attack hemp; exterminating drug plants will probably spell the demise of the valuable and resurgent fiber and oil-seed crop. Genetically transformed fungi are genetically unstable and mutate easily. Fungi with recombinant DNA may reproduce with native fungi and create new strains of virulent, transgenic pathogens. Once these pathogens are released in the environment, they cannot be recalled. In summary, research involving transgenic pathogens of Cannabis is a dangerous misuse of biotechnology, and should be the subject of an immediate moratorium.

Figure 1. Healthy marijuana seedling (C) flanked by plants exposed to pathogenic fungi (P.g. and M.p.).

The U.S. Congress recently appropriated $23 million dollars to fund a "new solution" for the war on drugs. The new solution attacks drugs at their source — the drug plants. Researchers say they can eliminate drug plants with fungal pathogens. The fungi would be genetically engineered to kill only coca plants (Erythroxylon sp.), opium poppies (Papaver sp.), and marijuana (Cannabis sp.).
Rep. Bill McCollum, who introduced the appropriation bill, described the tactic as "a silver bullet in the drug war" (Fields 1998). The development of transgenic coca and opium pathogens began several years ago, but previous appropriations were relatively small (the 1998 budget was $2.58 million). This year McCollum expanded the program to include marijuana, and moved the budget’s decimal point to the right.
A fungal weapon (Fig. 1) for the war on drugs is not new. Millions of dollars were spent in the 1970s in a world-wide search for fungi which would attack coca (Lentz et al. 1975), poppies (Schmitt and Lipscomb 1975), or marijuana (Ghani et al. 1978). It was a strange era for plant pathologists. While researchers around the globe attacked the pathogens of poppies and hemp, US-funded scientists reversed the strategy — they attacked poppies and hemp with these same pathogens (Doctor 1986).
Renewed interest in fungal pathogens for the "war on drugs" is of great concern. The law-enforcement lobby wishes to exterminate three plant species that have occupied central roles in human culture for thousands of years. Are the targeted plants inescapably evil? Are there no alternative means for reducing their dangers to humans? Reported herein are the ethical and scientific controversies pertinent to this issue, framed for consideration by academia, state and federal government agencies, and others interested in genetically engineered organisms, biological control, and the drug war (Cook et al. 1996).

Killer fungi
Experiments with fungi to control plants began in the late 1960s. The initial targets were noxious agricultural weeds that had been accidentally imported from one region of the world into another, where they became more aggressive because their natural enemies were often absent. Hence, the classical strategy for biocontrol of weeds involves the importation of natural enemies from their native ranges. Classical biocontrol generally enjoys wide approval and is used by organic agriculture, although the strategy does have its critics (Howarth 1991).
Classical biocontrol of marijuana was originally envisioned by Arthur McCain in 1970 (Shay 1975). McCain, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, suggested, "Just introduce a couple of pounds [of a pathogenic fungus] into an area, and while it wouldn’t have much of an effect the first year, in several years it would spread throughout the country with devastating results" (Zubrin 1981). In reality, however, classical biocontrol rarely extirpates a weed, it merely reduces the weed population to a low level (Watson 1991). Reduction without eradication is acceptable for most agricultural weeds, but is unacceptable for "zero tolerance" drug control, which seeks the complete eradication of a crop.
The other biocontrol strategy, inundative release, is also called the mycoherbicide approach. This strategy releases massive amounts of fungal spores upon target plants. The mycoherbicide approach can totally eradicate a field of drug plants. This approach, however, utilizes a delivery system similar to that of chemical herbicides — such as hovering over clandestine fields in a helicopter while releasing the control agent. Thus the mycoherbicide approach, compared to the current herbicide strategy, is equally expensive, exposes pilots to equal danger as they hover over fields, and may require retreatment of annual crops. The mycoherbicide approach is not the suggested "silver bullet."

Fear of foreigners
The importation of foreign fungi into new habitats is fraught with controversy. Once a self-perpetuating fungus has been released, it is impossible to recall or control (Lockwood 1993). Despite host-range testing to identify potential nontarget hosts, exotic fungi can spread from their intended targets to other plants. The entire flora of a continent may ultimately be exposed, especially if the fungus produces wind-borne spores (Auld 1991). Because of this concern, only two exotic fungi have ever been intentionally imported into North America—Puccinia chondrillina and Puccinia carduorum.
Fear of "collateral damage" to nontarget plants is justified. When Puccinia xanthii, considered a selective pathogen of Xanthium weeds, was imported into Australia from North America, the fungus spread to sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) and Calendula officinalis (Auld 1991). Native fungi sold as mycoherbicides may also spread to new hosts after release. For example, Colletotrichum gloesporioides f. sp. aeschynomene (Collego®), one of only three mycoherbicide fungi commercially available in the U.S., has a wider host range than originally determined, including several economically important legumes (TeBeest 1988).
The situation with insects is comparable to that with fungi. Turner (1985) estimated that 21% of biocontrol insects intentionally introduced into North America have spread to non-target native plants. For instance, the beetle Chrysolina quadrigemina was imported into North America to kill weedy St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), but it subsequently moved to the ornamental species Hypericum calycinum (Turner 1985). Howarth (1991) described nearly 100 cases where errant biocontrols have driven non-target hosts to extinction, mostly in island ecosystems. Howarth claimed that more species extinctions have been caused by biocontrols than by pesticides.
Non-target hosts at greatest risk to exotic biocontrol fungi include:


plants phylogenetically related to the target species,

plants with secondary compounds or morphological features similar to the target species,

plants attacked by fungi related to the biocontrol fungus,

plants never exposed to the biocontrol fungus,

plants whose fungal pathogens are unknown (Watson 1991).

The study of fungus-host specificity is site-dependent. That is, each potential release site has its own unique flora, fauna, and climatic conditions. Sites with a high degree of biodiversity, such as Amazonia, are teeming with potential non-target hosts. Studies of tropical sites are very complicated and become susceptible to errors of tremendous consequence. The potential spread of fungi away from release sites must also be taken under consideration. Biocontrol agents do not recognize international boundaries, yet host specificity studies rarely consider non-target hosts in neighboring countries (Lockwood 1993).
In the case of pathogens of Cannabis, the non-target host at greatest risk, because of its close phylogenetic relationship to Cannabis, is hop (Humulus lupulus). At least 10 fungal pathogens are known to mutually infect Cannabis and Humulus (McPartland 1992). The next closest relatives are the Urticaceae (members of the nettle family) and the Moraceae (mulberry family), with which Cannabis shares at least 20 fungal pathogens (McPartland 1992).

The species debate
The non-target host at greatest risk is Cannabis itself. Within the genus we find plants cultivated for drugs (marijuana), or for fiber or seed (hemp), as well as feral plants. How closely related are these plants? Some taxonomists describe marijuana and hemp as completely separate species (Schultes et al. 1974), whereas other taxonomists say they are the same species, Cannabis sativa (Small and Cronquist 1976).
This "species debate" achieved semantic importance during the 1970s (Small 1979). Drug libertarians promoted the polytypic approach and cited marijuana as Cannabis indica to argue that statutes written against Cannabis sativa did not apply to marijuana. Conversely, law enforcement agencies have maintained that the genus is monotypic. Now, to rationalize the mycoherbicide approach, law enforcement appears to have reversed its position. Semantics aside, most fungi that attack marijuana also attack hemp (McPartland 1995b, 1995c, 1997, McPartland and Cubeta 1997).
Clearly, the greatest concern surrounding biological control is host specificity. Consider Pseudoperonospora cannabina, a marijuana pathogen promoted by biocontrol researchers (Zabrin 1981, McCain and Noviello 1985). P. cannabina may be identical to Pseudoperonospora humuli, a pathogen of hemp and hop (Hoerner 1940). McPartland (1995d) investigated several fungi that were originally described as specific pathogens of Cannabis, but under closer scrutiny, turned out to be misidentifications of widespread pathogens that attack many hosts (for example, "Pleosphaerulina cannabina" turned out to be Leptosphaerulina trifolii, "Stemphylium cannabinum" = Stemphylium botryosum, "Sclerotinia kauffmanniana" = Sclerotinia sclerotiorum).

Genetic engineering
Wishing to improve host specificity and toxicity of fungal pathogens, researchers are now turning to genetic engineering (Brooker and Bruckart 1996). The use of transgenic organisms, however, elicits a new set of concerns (Levin and Israeli 1996). These are concerns that resulted in the Asilomar moratorium on genetic engineering of human pathogens.
Genetic engineers have recently been investigating a coca pathogen, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. erythroxli (Sands et al. 1997, Nelson et al. 1997). F. oxysporum f. sp. erythroxli was selected for coca eradication because it caused natural epidemics in Peru and on the former Coca-cola plantation on Kauai, where "containment of the fungus proved challenging" (Sands et al. 1997). Fusarium oxysporum is well known to bioengineers, and previous researchers successfully inserted toxin genes into the species (Kistler 1991). Nevertheless, Gabriel (1991) considered it "unwise" to clone a toxin gene into a necrotrophic pathogen (such as F. oxysporum). He argued that such a pathogen might gain unexpected fitness and radically expand its host range, "a potentially dangerous experiment." Fusarium species can produce a variety of toxic metabolites known as trichothecenes, which gained some notoriety for their reputed use in biological warfare ("yellow rain"). F. oxysporum is known to cause systemic infections in humans (Rippon 1988).
Genetically transformed fungi have unstable genotypes, making mutations more likely. Experiments have shown F. oxysporum spontaneously mutates its transgenic DNA (Kistler 1991). Furthermore, F. oxysporum utilizes parasexual coupling, and at least 5% of its genome consists of transposons, or moveable pieces of DNA (Kistler 1997). Parasexuality and active transposable elements would facilitate the transfer of recombinant DNA to native fungi, potentially creating new strains of virulent pathogens. The wheat pathogen Puccinia graminis, for instance, hybridizes with other fungi on wild grasses, giving rise to offspring with increased virulence (Luig and Watson 1972, Burdon et al. 1981). This fact is not cited by proponents of biocontrol with rust fungi (Cook et al. 1996).
"Gene flow" has been more thoroughly studied in plants than fungi. Levin and Israeli (1996) documented five examples of spontaneous gene flow from crops to native plants, which resulted in new or worse weeds. The introgression of engineered genes from transgenic crops to related weed species has been demonstrated (Brown & Brown 1996), and may arise after just 2 generations of hybridization and backcrossing (Mikkelsen et al. 1996).
Currently, testing for gene flow is not standard procedure during the evaluation of transgenic organisms. This could be accomplished by crossing engineered fungi with related fungi (particularly if the fungi reproduce sexually, and especially if they are heterothallic fungi). Several generations of crossed hybrids are evaluated in serial host studies. Testing for gene flow is especially imperative for biocontrols which have been genetically manipulated to resist fungicides. Researchers have transformed Colletotrichum gloesporioides f. sp. aeschynomene (Collego®) with a gene for fungicide resistance (Brooker and Bruckart 1996). Imagine if this fungicide-resistant gene introgressed into Histoplasmosis capsulati or other human pathogens commonly found in agricultural areas!

The species question, round two
Another Fusarium species, F. oxysporum f. sp. cannabis (Fig. 2) is the primary candidate to kill marijuana (Hildebrand and McCain 1978, Noviello et al. 1990) and feral hemp in the American Midwest (Shay 1975). Researchers promote F. oxysporum as a marijuana mycoherbicide because they claim that hop, (Humulus lupulus), is not susceptible to fusarium wilt (McCain and Noviello 1985). However, they overlooked "Hops wilt" caused by F. oxysporum in Australia (Sampson and Walker 1982).
F. oxysporum f. sp. cannabis was originally isolated from hemp cultivars in Italy, by researchers who believed "...the wilt disease and its pathogen have not been previously described" (Noviello and Snyder 1962). In fact, these researchers missed many previous descriptions of this wilt disease (Dobrozrakova et al., 1956, Rataj 1957, Ceapoiu 1958, Czyzewska and Zarzycka 1961, Barloy and Pelhate 1962, Serzane 1962). All previous descriptions attributed hemp wilt disease to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum. This fungus is morphologically identical to F. oxysporum f. sp. cannabis, but has a very broad host range (e.g., cotton, mung beans, pigeon peas, rubber trees, alfalfa, soybeans, coffee, tobacco and many other plants).
McPartland (1995a) proposed that F. oxysporum f. sp. cannabis may be a misidentified pathotype of F. oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum. Similarly, the fungus causing tobacco wilt, originally named F. oxysporum f. sp. nicotianae, proved to be a race of F. oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum (Armstrong and Armstrong 1975). According to Kistler et al. (1998), F. oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum consists of at least 10 vegetative compatibility groups (VCGs). Comparing F. oxysporum f. sp. cannabis with the genotype of F. oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum can be accomplished with VCG studies using nit mutants.

Figure 2. Microscopic spores of Fusarium oxysporum, a potential mycoherbicide of Cannabis.

Conflicting interests
U.S. regulations have prevented the testing of bioengineered fungi in the field (Brooker and Bruckart 1996). But regulatory oversight is lacking in Peru and Colombia (Levin and Israeli 1996). Exigencies generated by the drug war metaphor could dangerously rush these fungi into deployment.
Moreover, saboteurs or irresponsible scientists could breach regulatory barriers, as occurred in Montana where several bioengineered organisms were illegally released around 1987 (Roberts 1987). In Australia, saboteurs illegally introduced the fungus Phragmidium violaceum to control European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus). Weedy R. fruticosus was spreading across pastures and impeding Australian cattle ranchers. The government had previously rejected ranchers’ requests to import P. violaceum, because of economic objections from commercial blackberry growers and beekeepers. Wind-borne spores of illegally introduced P. violaceum dispersed rapidly across the continent, and the fungus now infests at least four Rubus species (Watson 1991).
The Australian debacle illustrates how biocontrol may impact competing interests. The first U.S. drug czar, Carlton Turner, recognized that target plants may be considered noxious weeds by one group, and valuable crops by another group (Turner 1985). St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an excellent example. H. perforatum was previously branded a noxious weed. But now it has become the second-best-selling herbal medicine in the U.S. — $121 million dollars of H. perforatum was sold last year, and producers are predicting a severe shortage of this raw material (Brevoort 1998).
Consultants to the European and Canadian hemp industry face a dilemma. Ecologists endorse classical (non-engineered) biocontrol organisms as potential replacements of chemical pesticides (McPartland 1984, Doctor 1986). Physicians praise the safety of biocontrols over paraquat and other synthetic herbicides (McPartland and Pruitt 1997). Nearly 20 years ago, these reasons guided the decision to search for classical biocontrols against marijuana (McPartland 1983). But times have changed. Hemp cultivation has resurged in western Europe, the former USSR, and China. Last year the Canadian government allowed farmers to grow hemp for the first time in 50 years — 251 farmers successfully harvested 5,930 acres (Cauchon 1998). Have our neighbors to the north been explicitly informed of the "Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act" spearheaded by Rep. McCollum? The development of transgenic mycoherbicides against marijuana would endanger hemp cultivation, permanently. Hemp is usually a pest- and disease-tolerant crop requiring little or no pesticide for cultivation. It has been characterized as "an environmentally friendly crop for a sustainable future" (Ranalli 1999). Hemp should not be endangered, and research involving transgenic pathogens of Cannabis should be halted. Moreover, the use of genetically engineered pathogens as a weapon in "the drug war" should be re-evaluated.

We thank David Morris and two anonymous phytopathologists for reviewing and improving our manuscript.



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Editor’s Note

For additional reading on this timely subject see; Kleiner, Kurt 1999 "Operation Eradicate" in New Scientist Sept. 11 with the accompanying editorial and Hogshire, Jim 1998 "The Drug War’s Fungal Solution?" in Covert Action Spring issue.

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and the Birth of a Synthetic Economy

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and the Birth of a Synthetic Economy
Written and Copywritten by KT Botanicals

The date was August 2nd, 1937 whereby a relatively empty 75th congress instituted the “Marihuana Tax Act of 1937,” after a mere 30 minutes of debate. While this act did not criminalize cannabis or hemp as it is commonly thought, it did call for heavy taxation, strict regulation, and introduced harsh penalties for those who did not adhere to it. Nonetheless, the key figures that advocated for the passing of this act had strong social, political, and economic motives towards eliminating hemp altogether. This paper will discuss the social, political, and economic motives of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and will demonstrate how the key figures behind this act paved the way for the new synthetic economy of the 1950’s which has forever changed the American way of life.

Before the synthetic boom of the 40’s, and the pharmaceutical boom of the 50’s, much of the world including America, depended upon natural products like hemp for their everyday needs such as foods, medicine, building materials, clothes, paint, and even fuel. Jack Herer, author of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” the number one best selling hemp book of all time, writes:

“In fact, eighty percent of our economy depended on hemp for paper, fiber and fuel, 125 years ago. At that time, it took 300 man-hours to harvest an acre of hemp, but with the invention of the brand new hemp decorticator in the 1930s, it only took 1-1/2 to 2 hours. This is equivalent to reducing the labor burden from $6,000 down to $40 per acre, in today’s money. Keep in mind that the cotton gin of 1793, reduced the man-hours from 300 hours down to 2 hours to harvest and clean an acre of cotton.” [1]

Armed with the invention of the hemp decorticator, America was staring in the face of the 20th century industrial revolution; the great depression was fading, alcohol prohibition was repealed, and now an already billion dollar industry was about to explode on the already good wartime economy.

The hemp-based economy was looking very bright, optimistic, and extremely profitable for Americans. However, in 1937, the largest ammunitions manufacturer in America, DuPont Industries, had announced exciting new developments in the chemical-based synthetic field. These developments included plastics made from coal and oil, a sulfur based paper making processes, as well as the man made textile, Nylon. DuPont Industries had just one problem: Hemp already had a tight grip on the markets for plastics, paper, textiles, fuels, medicines, and with the invention of the hemp decorticator, their relatively expensive synthetic products would not stand a chance in the American marketplace. A law such as the Marihuana Tax Act would eliminate hemp from the competition by heavily taxing all medical and non-medical sales of hemp from the farmers to the end users. As DuPont had predicted in its 1937 annual report, “Radical changes from the revenue raising power of government would be converted into instruments for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganisation.”[2] Indeed, America was unknowingly well on its way to being forced to accept a radical new economy, as well as a radical change in their ideas of industrial and social organization. It was as if DuPont Industries had known something that the rest of America did not.

DuPont Industries’ primary financial support came from the 6th largest bank in America, Mellon bank, which was owned by the United States Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon.[3] Andrew Mellon invested very heavily into DuPont’s patented sulfur –based process of converting wood fiber into usable paper. According to a 1938 article that appeared in both Popular Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering magazines entitled “New Billion Dollar Crop,” hemp produces 4 times as much usable pulp per acre than trees.[4] Not only do hemp fields outperform trees in pulp production, hemp is also a renewable resource (unlike trees), as hemp can grow up to 20 feet tall or more in one growing season.[5] The article also states that paper alone was a billion dollar industry in America at the time, and that 80% of American paper was imported.[6] Despite these facts, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, and owner of the 6th largest bank in America, Andrew Mellon continued to invest in DuPont’s sulfur-based paper making process. It was as if DuPont Industries and Andrew Mellon had known something that the rest of America did not.

In 1930, Andrew Mellon had appointed his niece’s husband, Harry Anslinger, to be the first director of the Federal narcotics Bureau.[7] Anslinger had previously been the Assistant Prohibition Commissioner for the Bureau of Prohibition. However, when Mellon saw that the Alcohol prohibition days were numbered, Mellon used his power to appoint Anslinger to a new office for the sake of his niece’s financial security. Anslinger eventually went on to secretly write the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 for two years before he sent a copy to Rep. Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina, who introduced the Act in Congress on April 14, 1937.[8] Anslinger secretly worked on the act without consulting the American Medical Association or law enforcement agencies for fear of having it shot down by doctors, farmers, law enforcement, and businessmen. At the hearings, congress called upon William C. Woodward of the American Medical Association to be present for the hearings. Woodward opposed the act saying, ”We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any initiative, even to the profession, that it was being prepared”[9] Indeed the act would have been shot down, had congress and the American people known that they were about to outlaw the number one cash crop of the American economy, hemp. Woodward goes on to explain, “No medical man would identify this bill with a medicine until he read it through, because marihuana is not a drug, simply a name given to cannabis.”[10]
Anslinger, with the help of William Randolph Hearst, had effectively duped the American people as well as the United States congress into outlawing cannabis hemp by simply renaming it ‘marihuana’.

William Randolph Hearst is arguably one of the most powerful men in American history. Hearst who owned almost every major newspaper in the country had a heavy investment in the timber industry to support the trillions of pages in his newspapers and did not want to see hemp ruin his investments.[11] Hearst began a new form of political and social influence called ‘yellow journalism’, which he used against hemp in 1898 when he lost 800,000 acres of timber land to Poncho Villa in the Spanish American War.[12] Hearst then, had a hatred for Mexicans and through the use of his media monopoly, associated marihuana usage with lazy Mexican immigrants which in turn shaped American’s negative views on both Mexican immigrants and ‘marihuana’. In the 1930’s Hearst’s campaign shifted from the lazy Mexican who abused marihuana, to the violent Negros that abuse marihuana, rape white women, and create the satanic music that Americans now appreciate as jazz and soul.[13] The Hearst smear campaign was one of the worst and most inaccurate campaigns in history. It was also one of the most effective. By the time Anslinger’s bill was sent to congress, even congress believed that marihuana was a powerfully addictive and very dangerous narcotic that should be outlawed for the sake of public safety. Little did they know that they were about to outlaw hemp, the billion dollar cash crop that would have began the 20th century equivalent of the industrial revolution.

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 solidified the foundations for the new synthetic economy of the mid 40’s to early 60’s by eliminating hemp from the marketplace. The heavy taxation and strict fines made it a risky business to cultivate, distribute, prescribe, or manufacture hemp based products forcing many farmers, businesses, and consumers to accept the new wave of a synthetic based economy. The future of the American economy was now in the hands of a select few unscrupulous elitists, DuPont, Mellon, and Hearst. As a result, the synthetic market exploded as synthetics became popular in almost every application imaginable replacing their natural predecessors. In an article that appeared in Popular mechanics, the president of DuPont explains, “Synthetic plastics find application in fabricating a wide variety of articles, many of which in the past were made from natural products… the chemist has aided in conserving natural resources by developing synthetic products to supplement or wholly replace natural products.”[14] These were truly the golden years of synthetic science. Scientists were well funded and well paid, synthetics were proving to be reliable and cost effective, and the American people were open and accepting to the synthetic movement.During the 1940’s the United States Armed forces were tremendously invested in synthetic markets in an effort to make their war machines cheaper, faster, lighter, and more reliable. After Pearl Harbor, the rubber supply lines from South East Asia were constantly being disrupted and other exporters of natural rubber such as South America could not fulfill the wartime need for rubber.[15] It came to a point where the United States Military was going to have a graveyard of useless and tireless cars, trucks, and planes.[16] As time was dwindling to correct the American rubber shortage, the United States Government met with the industry leaders, including the Goodyear Tire Company, to formulate a cost effective synthetic rubber that could meet the high demands of the military.[17] By 1945, the American government had shelled out more resources developing synthetic rubbers than they had developing the atomic bomb![18] Not only was the Government concerned about their military program, but they were also concerned with the average American family who had come to depend on rubber tires for their automobiles. If Americans could not drive to work due to a shortage in rubber tires and gaskets, the American economy would fail at a very inconvenient time. The American military also relied very heavily on synthetic lubricants for their increasingly complicated highly refined aviation engines. Synthetic lubricants could withstand higher temperatures for longer periods of continuous use without losing viscosity, allowing the air force to evolve from small turbo-props to jet fighters that could travel faster than the speed of sound.

The 1940’s and 1950’s also saw an immense increase in the usage of synthetic pesticides such as DDT. Prior to the 1940’s, pesticides were limited to a few botanicals such as pyrenthium and rotenone, as well as a few inorganic pesticides such as copper, sulfur, and arsenic.[19] All of which proved to be both effective and generally well tolerated with a high safety rating and very few incidents. The ‘second generation pesticides’ of the 1940’s, were mostly synthetic because they were cheap to synthesize, more effective against a wider range of pestilences, and had a perceived low toxicity to mammals. DDT was often called the miracle pesticide due to its ability to increase crop yields.[20] Soon the petrochemical companies found the pesticide market to be a very profitable way to dispose of their toxic byproducts such as hydrocarbons and organophosphates, which became the dominant chemicals for controlling pests over the next several decades.[21] As the market became dominated with synthetic pesticides, the research and development of organic pesticides came to a standstill and organics were unable to compete in the open market with their synthetic counterparts.

Medicine was also rapidly adopting the synthetic approach during the 1940’s and 1950’s. Up until the early 1950’s, several of the leading pharmaceutical companies continued to market and sell botanical medicines, which had been effectively employed for thousands of years by every culture throughout recorded history. However, botanical medicines like hemp were quickly on their way out as their synthetic pharmaceuticals counterparts began to overtake the market. In the early 1950’s, pharmaceutical manufacturers shifted their primary focuses from selling botanical medicines to researching, developing, and marketing potent synthetic chemicals. For example, by the end of the 1950’s, Smith Kline & French, a large pharmaceutical firm, had cut their line of botanical products down to less than 60, whereas in the 1920’s they had stocked over 15,000 botanical products.[22] However Americans were enjoying many of the positive aspects that the new synthetic medicines had to offer.

James Harvey Young, PhD, author of The Medical Messiahs: A Social History of Health Quackery in Twentieth-Century America, explains the tremendous immediate heath benefits that synthetic medicines had made available to the American people:

“Life expectancy at birth in the United States had been 60 years in 1937, when sulfanilamide appeared. By 1956 it had risen to almost 70 between 1938 and 1950 as between 1921 and 1937. Infants, children, and young adults had benefited most. The death rate from childhood diseases had tumbled 90 per cent. Almost as dramatic were declines in the death rates for influenza-pneumonia and for infectious diseases.”[23]

Austin Smith, the scientist that is recognized today as the pioneer of human embryonic stem cells, rhetorically asked in 1959, “How much value can we place on 3.2 million American lives?…These are the lives that can be attributed in large part to the chemical revolution in medicine.”[24] The synthetic economy was beginning to change every aspect of the American way of life, it was even saving lives.

Through pharmaceuticals, synthetics were changing the way that Americans looked, lived, felt, thought, and behaved. Synthetics were revolutionizing industries, strengthening the military, increasing agricultural productivity, saving lives, while simultaneously rocketing America’s economy to an all-time high. By the early 1960’s, natural products were a thing of the past and synthetics now had now absorbed the markets of its natural predecessors. As DuPont Industries had eerily predicted in 1937, “Radical changes from the revenue raising power of government would be converted into instruments for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization.” For better or for worse, the economic, political, and social motifs of DuPont, Andrew Mellon, and William Randolph Hearst, resulted in the birth of the synthetic economy had left America forever changed.

[1] Jack Herer, The Emperor Wears No Clothes Ah Ha Publishing Company; 11th edition (November 2000) pp 23.

[2] Ibid. pp 29.

[3] Colby, Gerard. DuPont Dynasty. (Secaucus NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1984) pp. 238-239

[4] "New Billion-Dollar Crop" Popular Mechanics Feb 23. 1938. pp. 238-239.

[5] Lower, George A., “Flax and Hemp: From the Seed to the Loom”, Mechanical Engineering, Feb. 26, 1937. pp. 282-283.

[6] Ibid.

[7] “Harry J. Anslinger” All Experts: <> Last Accessed 10/21/2006.

[8] N.O.R.M.L. “Still Crazy after all These Years, Marijuana Prohibition 1937-1997” August 2, 1997

[9] Ernest L. Abel Marijuana The First 12,000 Years (New York: Plenum 1980) Pp. 244

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid. pp 29

[12] Ibid. pp 29

[13] Ibid. pp 28

[14] Lammot DuPont quoted in Popular Mechanics, June 1939. pp. 805.

[15] “The Synthetic Rubber Project” Science Reference Services (linked from library of Congress) Last accessed 10/21/2006.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Robert Hatherill, Ph.D, “Commercial Agriculture: Facts and Figures” Environmental Studies
Program, University of California at Santa Barbara. Last accessed 10/21/2006.

[20] “DDT Ban Takes Effect” The Environmental Protection Agency Website Last accessed 10/21/2006.

[21] Ibid.

[22] R.T. Stormont, “From Alchemy to Antibiotics,” FDC Law Jnl., 11 (Feb. 1956), 98-99

[23] James Harvey Young The Medical Messiahs: A Social History of Health Quackery in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1967) pp. 356-357.

[24] Ibid.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weeding out marijuana: Researchers close in on engineering recognizable, drug-free Cannabis plant

Weeding out marijuana: Researchers close in on engineering recognizable, drug-free Cannabis plant
Contacts: Peggy Rinard, College of Biological Sciences, (612) 624-0774
Patty Mattern, University News Service, (612) 624-2801 or

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (09/14/2009) —In a first step toward engineering a drug-free Cannabis plant for hemp fiber and oil, University of Minnesota researchers have identified genes producing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance in marijuana. Studying the genes could also lead to new and better drugs for pain, nausea and other conditions.

The finding is published in the September issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany. Lead author is David Marks, a professor of plant biology in the College of Biological Sciences.

The study revealed that the genes are active in tiny hairs covering the flowers of Cannabis plants. In marijuana, the hairs accumulate high amounts of THC, whereas in hemp the hairs have little. Hemp and marijuana are difficult to distinguish apart from differences in THC.

With the genes identified, finding a way to silence them—and thus produce a drug-free plant — comes a step closer to reality. Another desirable step is to make drug-free plants visually recognizable. Since the hairs can be seen with a magnifying glass, this could be accomplished by engineering a hairless Cannabis plant.

The researchers are currently using the methods of the latest study to identify genes that lead to hair growth in hopes of silencing them.

“We are beginning to understand which genes control hair growth in other plants, and the resources created in our study will allow us to look for similar genes in Cannabis sativa,” said Marks.

“Cannabis genetics can contribute to better agriculture, medicine, and drug enforcement,” said George Weiblen, an associate professor of plant biology and a co-author of the study.

As with Dobermans and Dachshunds, marijuana and hemp are different breeds of the same species (Cannabis sativa), but marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, which is a source of industrial fiber and nutritious oil.

Hemp was raised for its fiber — which is similar to cotton but more durable — in the United States until legislation outlawed all Cannabis plants because they contain THC. Today, marijuana contains as much as 25 percent THC, whereas hemp plants contain less than 0.3 percent.

Hemp was once a popular crop in the upper Midwest because it tolerates a cool climate and marginal soils that won’t support other crops but, after drug legislation, hemp fiber was replaced by plastic and other alternatives. Recent popular demand for hemp products has led some states to consider the economic and environmental benefits of hemp. North Dakota legislation aims to reintroduce it as a crop, and Minnesota is considering similar legislation. At the same time, California and other states permit the medicinal use of marijuana.

“I can’t think of a plant so regarded as a menace by some and a miracle by others,” says Weiblen, who is one of the few researchers in the United States permitted to study Cannabis genetics. In 2006, Weiblen and colleagues developed a DNA “fingerprinting” technique capable of distinguishing among Cannabis plants in criminal investigations.
Tags: College of Biological Sciences

National Grange wants only GMO hemp — with strong-arm enforcement

National Grange wants only GMO hemp — with strong-arm enforcement
By Adam Eidinger - March 18th, 2010

One of the nation’s leading farming organizations passed a bizarre new policy statement in support of industrial hemp farming, but only if it is genetically modified (GMO) and retains cannabis prohibition with very heavy law enforcement.

The National Grange of the Order of Patron of Husbandry, known simply as “The G r a n g e , ” made the statement in November at its annual m e e t i n g , against the urging of advocacy groups such as Vote Hemp that GMO hemp is offensive and unnecessary because varieties of the cannabis with low THC are widely available in Canada and elsewhere.

The Grange policy statement states: “The National Grange supports research, production, processing and marketing of industrial hemp as a viable agricultural activity. We do not in any way support or condone the growth or use of marijuana as a hallucinogen.

“We support strict enforcement of all laws that currently ban the production and sale of marijuana or that classify all species of cannabis as a Class 1 controlled substance in the US. We oppose amending these laws as the primary means of promoting industrial hemp production.

Instead we urge further research and application of existing biotechnology techniques to develop genetically modified industrial hemp that will be biologically incompatible with all other forms of cannabis or marijuana.

We further urge that genetically modified industrial hemp contain distinct chemical markers that will quickly and easily identify industrial hemp varieties using low cost and accurate on-site testing methods for the purpose of contract compliance, law enforcement and as evidence in court.”

Since organic products must not be made with GMO crops, Vote Hemp is concerned that GMO hemp envisioned by The Grange would undermine the already strong demand for certified organic hemp seed while alienating organic consumers who make up the core of demand for hemp food and body care products produced in North America.

Furthermore, no GMO hemp has been developed and with the prospect of the Dept. of Justice finally recognizing state hemp farming laws as they recently did with medical marijuana laws, the GMO hemp envisioned by The Grange would be irrelevant to the current market demand for hemp seed, oil and fiber now valued at $360 million in annual sales according to the Hemp Industries Association.

Vote Hemp representatives speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue, say “If GMO hemp were developed to be ‘biologically incompatible’ with marijuana it would only benefit marijuana growers who have real concerns of cross pollination between high THC marijuana and low THC hemp.” Outdoor marijuana growers fear cross pollination and ultimately seeding of their crop. “Ironically, The Grange states it does not support changing marijuana laws and is arguing for a policy that ostensibly would protect marijuana growers from cross-pollination while alienating their customers in the natural marketplace who want non-GMO hemp,” says the Vote Hemp spokesperson.

Vote Hemp has worked with members of National Farmers Union (NFU), The Grange, and the American Farm Bureau to get pro-hemp resolutions passed. NFU members will be presenting pro-hemp resolutions at their annual meeting this March, which already passed on the state level. New NFU president Roger Johnson is the former Agriculture Commissioner from North Dakota and a strong supporter of hemp farming. Vote Hemp worked closely with Roger Johnson and North Dakota state legislators to pass bills, promulgate farming regulations, and issue the first state hemp farming licenses in 2008.

As a result of those North Dakota state licenses being issued to state Rep. Dave Monson and Wayne Hauge, Vote Hemp was able to assist them in filing for Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) licenses and then later filing suit for the right to grow hemp under state license without permission from DEA. The decision on the farmers appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was not in favor of the farmers who are currently weighing their options and plan to push for DEA approval of their license applications.

March 18th, 2010 | Category: HEMP, NATIONAL, WORLD NEWS

High Times, (DEA) Operation Green Merchant & the Cannabis Cup

Written by Joseph R. Pietri - Wednesday, November 24, 2010


On March 20th 1985 David Watson was busted for growing in Santa Cruz, California, Watson a junior member of the Sacred Seed collective. The Sacred Seed bank collective was created in the 1940’s, most original members long gone or well into there 70’s, a generation or more older than I, I’m 63, and have been in Cannabis trade 50 years and I can only speak from my 50 years experience of fighting the drug war.

A month later, Watson, now traveling as Sam Selezny arrived in Amsterdam in the company of Ed Rosenthal. In his baggage, were the research from the sacred seed collective, and 250,000 cannabis seeds. Ed Rosenthal introduced Sam Selezny as David Watson to everyone who was anyone at the time on the Dutch scene. Which was very small compared to what it is today.

Surviving members still question how Watson managed to pull this off? A collective member states that Watson was a junior member, had nothing to do with creating Skunk or`haze strains attributed to Skunk-man as he is now known. Original Skunk had the real skunk spray smell, impossible to mask.

The first time I met Skunk-man at the 2007 cup his first comment to me was that I blew his cover due to a chapter in my book King of Nepal The Ice Wars edition? He even put up wanted posters for me at the cup calling me a snitch. On the scenes I came from if was a snitch I’d be dead long ago.

By the time you finish this article you may realize that Sam Selezny aka David Watson aka Skunk-man started as a DEA undercover agent, whose undercover career makes Donnie Brasco pale when compared, since he finally became a DEA licensee and ”private contractor” with the power to make the agency move against competitors and anybody in his way and to cut deals with Bayer, Monsanto, and the Dutch and English Government. Ed Rosenthal’s duped by Watson as well? Rosenthal was the cultivation expert at High Times at that time.

Was Watson/Selezny working undercover to bring Sacred Seed collective down? Then used Ed Rosenthal to develop his Skunk-man cover and go deeper undercover in Amsterdam?

Did Rosenthal make his fortune from selling our scene to the Dutch due to Reagan drug war policy, which shut down ol skool, and any High Times competitor upstart? At what point did Ed Rosenthal realize that Skunk-man was DEA undercover?

Neiderweit went from shit to shineola with the introduction of the sacred seed collective’s seed bank, now renamed Cultivator’s Choice.

In 1987 Steven Hager was named the new editor for High Times. Operation Green Merchant was also created in 1987 the brainchild of DEA agent Jim Stewart. The target being High Times, and Sensimilla Tips, as well as the blossoming Indoor grow industry. Sensimilla Tips, the all time best grow magazine was put out of business. In 1989, raids were conducted in 46 states on grow shops and wholesalers. The only one to remain unscathed was High Times, amazingly?

Operation Green Merchant worked many angles. One that they pulled off in Hawaii was they opened a grow store in Kona, partied, smoked and got to know some growers,. They offered growers a deal, we will give you seeds, nutrients, what ever you need, you grow the product and bring it here where we will ship it to your people, you collect the money and pay us a share. Only a few went for the deal at first, that went super smooth, all packages arrived safely, monies paid, and the share given to grow shop. 2nd year everyone jumped on board, they busted people from Kona to Brooklyn, You can only imagine the numbers, 100’s of folks lost everything, many went to prison.. Nearly all busted in 46 States came from information seized from High Times and Sensimilla tips, hell all they needed to do was read the magazine, which is how DEA Jim Stewart came up with the idea for Green Merchant, shooting fish in a barrel. At this point was High Times compromised? Or?

In 1987 Hager went to Amsterdam to interview Nevil of the Seed Bank, while there he meets the Skunk-man, who relates tales to him about harvest festivals in Santa Cruz and suggests having a Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam as a yearly event. The Skunk-man spins his web and Hager is taken in, from this point on everything stated by either Skunk-man or his partner Robert C Clarke is taken as fact, Remember Rosenthal is cultivation editor, and Clarke used to write under R. Connoisseur at High Times as well. Hager being a newbie was enthralled by the lies coming from this trio. At this point cannabis history starts to be rewritten by High Times.

In 1988 the first Cannabis Cup was held and lo and behold Cultivators Choice wins for Skunk #1. Imagine what an intelligence bonanza the Cannabis Cup, where every grower comes to judge the best strains and buy seeds. The database created a DEA agent’s wet dream. Funny things started to happen around Amsterdam, seems as if a lot of Cultivators Choice competition were being busted, and even Skunk-man’s own warehouse grows are busted as well but he remained untouched, took his money to Luxemburg and returned to go on, while everyone else went to jail.

In 1990, Nevil Shoenmakers who was also targeted by Green Merchant for his seed bank, was not extradited by Holland but was arrested in Australia, where his lawyer in court records noted that the police had dossier on Nevil as well as everyone who was anyone on the Dutch scene, and that they were complied by Sam Selezny, now known as David Watson AKA Skunk-man. This is public knowledge in Amsterdam, noted by Dutch crime investigator Mario Lap. Lap investigated Selezny/ Watson as well as Ed Rosenthal. Skunkman according to Hager in High Times article sold seeds to Nevil.

You have to wonder if the Cannabis Cup an idea the Skunk-man proposed, had been an operation of Green Merchant? How best for DEA to get information on growers than to open a seed bank in Holland, create a cannabis cup, and even win the 1st cup awarded?

Every top grower in the world goes to Amsterdam for the Cannabis Cup, a bonanza of information for DEA and law enforcement around the globe. One has to wonder when Rosenthal and Hager realized that Skunk-man was DEA undercover? Without a doubt Skunk-man had his claws in High Times, who printed his every word as if gospel.

Everyone busted but High Times, the smell of sulfur coming to my nose, certainly not true skunk. Had a deal been struck between Government and High Times and so they could remain in business? Since this time much of what has been written by High Times is in fact fantasy made up by the Skunk-man to build up his mystique as well as his cover. The Haze brothers a figment of Skunk-mans imagination, a play created for stoners in order to hype their products. Frankly I shouldn’t blame the Dutch so much for fraud as Skunk-man was the one who taught the Dutch the ropes and they fear him, as we fear DEA here. It’s beyond question that the Skunk-man has been a source of information to police agencies around the globe.

1994 David Watson/ Selezny was issued a cannabis research license for Hortapharm R & D along with his partner Robert C. Clarke aka R. Connisseur, above legitimate Universities and PHD’s due to the strong endorsement of DEA, instead of extraditing him back to Santa Cruz for that grow bust in 1985? To this day he is one of two companies allowed to import cannabis products into US, and the only supplier licensed by DEA to supply seeds of predictable quality for research. In a 1998 interview in UK Journal, he stated that Hortapharm only wants to produce sterile females, to protect the genetic copyright? He has sent botanist’s around the globe to contaminate and collect inbred landrace strains, in order to confuse origin in order to claim intellectual copyright. Now he claims to have the largest library of medicinal cannabis seeds in the world. In other words he patented the munchie effect amongst others. Wherever you go on the planet you will find skunk gene pool, this is a war crime, to contaminate the original medical strains so as to be able to call them your intellectual property is obscene. Just as the making of Mother Nature’s healing plants illegal is a war crime, so is the research Hortapharm is doing. Instead of extraditing Watson back to Santa Cruz for his 1985 grow bust, he was praised and supported by DEA.

In 1997 the inventor, Reinhard Delp introduced the Ice Water Method at the 97 Cannabis cup and it was off to the races, the most copied and ripped off formula in Cannabis history, and who designed and created the fraud? Skunk-man with Clarke, Mel Frank and High Times. He did this in order to confuse the origin of the patent.

During the 97 Cup Reinhard had offers promising the world for an exclusive license for the method patent pending by “an English Pharmaceutical outfit”, he did a comparison test for them with a bigger machine, where he trashed a Pollinator as to quality and quality, but finally refused the “exclusive” and insisted on real “publishing”, for immediate use for everybody.

At the end of the 97 Cup Hortapharm set up a meeting with Reinhard where Clarke demanded “we can’t publish that” and asked why, responded “the people can not handle it, it is too strong.” Unaware of the “powers” of Hortapharm, the inventor told Clarke that he was full of it and they had a “fall out”. Reinhard never wanted to play monopoly with characters like Hortapharm, Bayer or Monsanto.

The meeting happened at Bill Barth’s place, a much liked, very outspoken fellow, equally unimpressed by Clarke at the meeting. The inventor was later told that Bill passed away in his sleep.

Crazed by their money and the power they had due to their DEA connection, High Times and most European Cannabis publications in their pocket, Hortapharm’s Watson and Clarke set out to erase the introduction of the Xtractor 420 and the Ice-Water-Method on the 97 Cannabis Cup from Cannabis history. One year later Mila, who just broke a license contract with Reinhard was now the proud owner of the Hemp Hotel, received a government grant to develop her invention and Clarke was marketing Mila and her new invention: the Ice-O-lator. But Mila was stupid enough to sell her “new creation” with the instructions she received with the XTR 420.

Another glitch in the scam: some journalistic conscience managed to record the event from 1997, simply explaining the new Method in High Times May 98 issue.

In his book Clarke spins the Ice-Water-Method back to the old unsuccessful “Sadu Sam Secret” Recipe, which Ed Rosenthal did not mention anymore in a 96 High-Times article about Hash, even though he was selling the recipe on a 900 fax years earlier. Clarke streamlined the recipe for his book, cold water became “chilled”, Mila was introduced as the Lady Of Hash and the 1997 XTR 420 was otherwise blacked out of the Media. “No limit”- Skunkman approaches the inventor in e-mails, boasting about 10 000 square meter grows, claimed to have designed Mila’s and the Canadian “Bubble man’s”, Mark Richardson’s inventions and threatens legal action, “prior artwork” and “what have you”.

In May 2009 Reinhard’s financial lifelines and got busted by the DEA, the company and home vandalized, company inventory destroyed, all private and company money taken. (, issue 19 “Update”) He does not stop to sue them for patent infringement. Also taken was the Cannabis Collective’s seedbank, ten pounds high quality Cannabis seeds from landrace strains -sounds familiar?

Skunkman stole the method like the strains he had stolen, created GW Pharmaceuticals on the promise of the Ice-Water-Method and hoped to control all cannabis based medicines. In fact Sativex was created from Thai genetics, I wonder how the Thai government feels about that since cannabis has 8400year history as medicine in Thailand?

Watson due to his control of information has been able to pull scam after scam as an endorsement from High Times is all you used to need in this business. He knows that young stoners and medical patients have no cannabis knowledge and that he can sell anything he wants, the frauds have had a tremendous effect on the quality of medicine produced. At the same time he has been a mentor to the Dutch who now play from the same deck of control of information.

I know by now you have reached the WTF moment in this article, how much more stinky is this going to get? Let’s face it no corporation has more at stake that cannabis continues to be illegal, so that only they can produce cannabis based medicine than GW Pharmaceuticals, now part of Bayer. GW not only bought strains from Hortapharm but also funds botanical research. They paid to collect medicinal strains around the globe while contaminating them with skunk strain to confuse origin. By doing this they legally could shut down all medical grows for infringing on intellectual property of GW and Hortapharm. Does the GW stand for Guy &Watson? When asked now, that GW made it, they inform that Watson and Clarke are no longer with them.

WTF, talk about quantum leap, from being wanted for a grow bust in Santa Cruz, to being the CEO of Hortapharm, with 5 DEA licenses and partners with GW and Bayer.

Dude, not only did the the DEA seedbank win the 1st cannabis cup, but last year Danny Don’t Know, the new cultivation expert at High Times, named the DEA seed-bank Cultivators Choice as the all time greatest seed-bank. Then went on to state that Skunk-man was the founder of Sacred seeds, when that collective can be traced back to shortly after prohibition in 1937. There is no foundation of truth from Danny Don’t Know nor from High Times when it comes to Skunk-man, they were duped, hoodwinked, bamboozled, led down a trail of tears.

From setting up grow shops to operating seed banks in Holland is no quantum leap in information gathering during Operation Green Harvest. Or that some of their assets from that time, continue to provide information to this day.

Worse thing of all is that for the past 22 years or more everything written on cannabis is written in support of frauds these people created. So they have you spending more for growing less. That the quality of cannabis and cannabis seed has gone down from what ol skool medical imports were originally is without doubt. The best cannabis was grown during the golden age of Cannabis 1840-1940, when it was legally farmed for medicinal use, Sacred Seeds sought to preserve those strains.

September 2010, Danny Don’t Know states that High Times has no connection to Skunk-man. Wow has he changed his tune, but is it the truth? No, Robert C Clarke, partner of David Watson - Skunk-man in Hortapharm and GW Pharmaceuticals, continues to promote fraud.

In a special issue of High Times that basically introduces new products to consumers. Clarke brought the bubble bag fraud full circle again, calling it a new innovative technique, basically using the same information they used when they introduced these frauds in 1998-2000. They have a new generation of young stoners and medical patients with no cannabis knowledge to cheat.

Here are 3 photographs that show the fraud for what it is:


1.Here you see resins glands at bottom of glass, valuable oils and terpenes floating on top, and on top of that water floating, clear separation seen. You lose immediately 30-40% using either 25 or 33 micron catch bag. From this point you should have gone to coffee filter 5 micron, but you don’t make money selling paper coffee filters. Everything about bags works against and retards the Ice Water technique, the US patent was granted in 2000, but for Europe and Canada only in 2006 (!). Every time you add a bag on top of the 2 bag system you can add a dilution, in a 9 bag system you have diluted formula a dozen times. What they neglected to tell you is that Mother Nature does all the work for you. The ice method made sieving and all forms of processing cannabis obsolete.

2.In Clarke’s article he states nylon sieving bags as new innovative technique. Well thank Soumi La Valle for leaving us his great work on Hashish. Here circa 1979 you see a Lebanese cannabis worker holding her 70- micron sieve. This is the final sieve used in making the finest Lebanese hashish, they started with metal window screen to remove seeds and stems and that material they processed threw 3 sizes of nylon sieves the 1st being 150 micron –120 micron-70 micro being the last sieve used to make 00 hashish the finest. . They attached this Lebanese technique to the Ice Method and called it new innovative technique, when reality the Ice method made sieving obsolete. They told you to grind up your material, why? As in the ice water environment leaves become flexible, fiber matter stays intact, and resin glands fall off with simple agitation. What they don’t tell you is that the method releases the oils in trichomes, and that the bags have no way of collecting them, flavor, taste, aroma lost. Clarke calls it a new innovative technique, when sieving of Hashish goes back to Alexander the Great in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, and is one of the oldest techniques used by Chinese farmers in Asia going back 1000’s of years, before nylon they used silk, metal sieves were introduced in the 19th century and are still in use in Afghanistan to this day. What’s funny is that all the grow gurus never show you the Lebanese technique, as that would expose the fraud.

3.This is a photo of the back of a Lebanese hash factory and those mounds are leftover cannabis from the hash making process. I can reprocess that left over material, and give you more and better hashish than you made to begin with, because everything under 70 micron was left behind. I can do the same with any material run threw any bag system, flavor, aroma, taste I will recapture using correct technique.

All these years the same people have profited enormously due to the illegality of cannabis.. The very people who claim to be Free Da Weed are actually working to keep it illegal so only they can profit. The learning curves and misinformation these people have put out never ceases to amaze me.

Treating Yourself recently did an interview with Nevil, who is now living in Perth. Navil stated that not only had Skunkman written a dossier on him for DEA, but was recently offered a deal from his bail jumping charge from 1990, stemming from Operation Green Merchant. Auzzies would drop charges if Nevil would allow Skunkman access to his genetics, so that he could get their DNA and track crops around the globe. He refused.

The Cannabis Cup has the stink of Skunkman and operation Green Merchant, who knows how many folks have been arrested and sent to prison due to intelligence gathered at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.

By Joe Pietri

Editor's Note: This article was originally written for Treating Yourself Magazine. It was pulled from publication, however for various alleged reasons. Treating Yourself takes the position that the article brought "serious legal risk". Author Joseph Peitri claims the Publication has fallen prey to "Dutch Marketing Fraud". Peitri published the article on his Facebook page, referenced below, for the education of others, and later asked it to be published by this editor and others. It has raised a lot more questions about the origins about some of the deepest Drug War Criminals, as well as, some of the most respected cannabis industry Proponents, and their connections claimed above. There is no doubt that additional research needs to be completed on many of the issues contained within. Below is a list of references that will help you get started on your search for the truth. Feed your mind, and don't be selfish. Please share your discoveries and help educate others about the evermore secret plant, cannabis.


Article Prop 19 Monsanto and GMO Terminator Cannabis

The Octopus Conspiracy , S. Hager

Investigative Reports by
Bas Barkman and Gert Hage, Holland
Mario Lap, Dutch Alcohol and Drug Institute archives!/note.php?note_id=151508324895363!/jpietri


Feminized Seed: The Terminator Technology of Cannabis

Feminized Seed: The Terminator Technology of Cannabis
Researched and Written by Conrad Justice Kiczenski - September, 2010

We live in a very pivotal point in time that will lay the foundation for the future of the Cannabis plant.

The so-called Cannabis legalization movement has become divided into two main groups of interest.

The first group consists of most people in the grassroots movement. They are sincere in that they would like to see Cannabis absolutely legalized and free for all to access.

On the other hand, the second group is made up of some of the most powerful individuals and corporations in the world. This spans through a wide range of economic interests which include international banks, military intelligence, petro-chemical industries, pharmaceutical monopolies, and especially transnational bio-tech seed companies whose main goal is to corner the Cannabis market and build a patent monopoly over every aspect of Cannabis from plant varieties, medicinal compounds, to even Cannabinoid ratio’s and breeding techniques. Further control is being intentionally implemented by disseminating patented varieties of the Cannabis species that have been artificially manipulated to genetically block the reproduction of seeds, protecting genetic copyrights and forcing growers to be dependent on a seed monopoly. Government and industry are working together to control and regulate the Cannabis species through a process of prohibition, regulatory, tax and licensing schemes, artificial plant breeding, Genetic Engineering, and patent monopolies.

The core players in this second group are the HortaPharm R&D Company, GW Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Incorporated, Monsanto, Drug Policy Alliance, billionaire financier George Soros, as well as the United States Government via the Drug Enforcement Agency and numerous other individuals, organizations, research labs and universities around the continent.

Billionaire George Soros is the financial muscle behind the modern Cannabis reform movement, he is credited for being instrumental in the creation of organizations such as the Drug Policy Alliance, in which he is a standing director of, as well as many Cannabis reform organizations and efforts across the U.S.. Soros has been so influential in this movement that the Founder of NORML has expressed the deep gratitude that the movement owes to Soros for his finances.

The fruition of this Cannabis reform movement is embodied in the upcoming California initiative called Proposition 19: the control, regulate and tax Cannabis act of 2010. On the Drug Policy Alliance website, they state that they are a leading advocate for prop 19 in California. DPA’s board of directors has included a president and chairman of the federal reserve bank, deputy directors of the defense department and the CIA, members of the Carlyle Group, IBM, the Rockefeller Foundation, and of course George Soros who is a major shareholder in the Monsanto corporation as well as other major petroleum industries.

This act is being hyped as the Cannabis legalization act when in fact this initiative allows prohibition to continue subtly under both federal and state law; implementing strict regulation, taxation, and controls over the common people; while granting a licensing monopoly for various corporate interests to corner the Cannabis market.

For example, under proposition 19, it is still prohibited to sell Cannabis strains, medicines and/or seed unless you are a licensed dealer.

This gives a monopoly for the major distribution of Cannabis seeds to those who have acquired a dealers license.

An article bunking many of the myths of prop 19 states the following:

“Myth: Anyone can obtain a license to legally sell cannabis and compete in the market."

"Fact: Few people will be able to compete in the multibillion-dollar marijuana market if the initiative passes. This is because the licensing process, engineered in Oakland, is exceptionally restrictive. Of the more than a thousand dispensaries operating in California until a recent L.A. crackdown, only a handful were licensed. In Oakland, the city that’s setting the precedent in the tax cannabis push, a license costs $30,000. Per year. Not to mention the rigorous application process, in which even well-established, law-abiding dispensaries have been denied."

"Furthermore, Oakland has started a trend of capping the number of licensed dispensaries allowed to operate (in Oakland, that number is four). This all but guarantees that the average, small-time Cannabis grower will be shut out of this multibillion-dollar industry, concentrating the profits of the potential economic boon in the hands of a small minority of wealthy entrepreneurs who are already making moves to monopolize the industry. Under this initiative, the Cannabis industry will not be a free market in which everyone has a chance to compete. Instead, the initiative could mark the beginning of the corporatization of Cannabis.”

One has to wonder, if proposition 19 is to create a statewide Cannabis commercial industry under these terms, where are the majority of seeds going to come from that will initiate this new industry?

Its interesting to note that under federal law, which is superior to any State initiative and which county governments are subject to by way of DEA subsidy contracts, the only seeds that could be attained legally in the U.S. for this newly regulated industry are from those entities which have acquired a DEA license to import and/or produce Cannabis within the U.S..

DEA Cannabis import licenses have been monopolized by a relatively few number of entities. The entities that can legally provide medicinal Cannabis seeds are limited to the University of Mississippi’s Cannabis research program, HortaPharm R&D Company, and GW Pharma. These are the only legal sources to attain medicinal Cannabis seeds from within or without the U.S.. A little research into these entities shows that they are heavily influenced by the bio-tech seed industry. Mainly from the corporations known as Bayer and Monsanto.

Other then the University of Mississippi’s Cannabis research program, which is tied through contract with an affiliate of Monsanto to develop patented Cannabis compounds, as well as allegedly deriving its Cannabis seeds from Monsanto (SEE: the only other legal source to import medicinal Cannabis seeds in the U.S. is from a partnership between GW Pharmaceuticals and HortaPharm.

R.C Clarke is a co-founder of HortaPharm, who in 1981 wrote in Marijuana Botany: An Advanced Study:

“At this time it seems unlikely that a plant patent would be awarded for a pure-breeding strain of drug Cannabis. In the future, however, with the legalization of cultivation, it is a certainty that corporations with the time, space, and money to produce pure and hybrid strains of Cannabis will apply for patents. It may be legal to grow only certain patented strains produced by large seed companies. Will this be how Government and industry combine to control the quality and quantity of "drug" Cannabis? (pg.38)”

Clarke also wrote the following:

"Does the slight recombination of a plant's genetic material by a breeder give him the right to own that organ- ism and its offspring? Despite public resistance voiced by conservation groups, the Plant Variety Protection Act of 1970 was passed and currently allows the patenting of 224 vegetable crops. New amendments could grant patent holders exclusive rights for 18 years to distribute, import, export and use for breeding purposes their newly developed strains. Similar conventions worldwide could further threaten genetic resources. Should patented varieties of Cannabis become reality it might be illegal to grow any strain other than a patented variety, especially for food or medicinal uses. Limitations could also be imposed such that only low-THC strains would be patentable. This could lead to restrictions on small-scale growing of Cannabis; commercial growers could not take the chance of stray pollinations from private plots harming a valuable seed crop. Proponents of plant patenting claim that patents will encourage the development of new varieties. In fact, patent laws encourage the spread of uniform strains devoid of the genetic diversity which allows improvements. Patent laws have also fostered intense competition between breeders and the suppression of research results which if made public could speed crop improvement. A handful of large corporations hold the vast majority of plant patents. These conditions will make it impossible for cultivators of native strains to compete with agribusiness and could lead to the further extinction of native strains now surviving on small farms in North America and Europe. (pg.4)"

Its ironic that after Clarkes prophetic words in the 1980’s, he went on to partner with David Watson to start HortaPharm, who in partnership with GW Pharma and Bayer incorporated, are building patent monopolies on Cannabis compounds, processes and plant varieties, as well as developing and patenting Cannabis strains that block the reproduction of viable seeds.

GW Pharma adopts an aggressive approach to securing intellectual property rights to protect techniques and technologies involved in the development program. Protection is sought in the areas listed below:

• Plant variety rights
• Methods of extraction patents
• Drug delivery patents
• Patents on compositions of matter for delivery of cannabis
• Methods of use patents
• Design copyright on devices
• Trademarks”

GW States on their website:
“In the last few years our intellectual property portfolio has developed considerably. The patent portfolio has more than doubled in size and comprises 42 patent families, within these families there are numerous granted patents both in the UK and in various territories around the world. GW has also developed a trademark portfolio of 21 UK registered trademarks with equivalent marks registered in many other territories around the world. GW also holds nine registered design rights and nine plant variety rights.”

It appears that "Patents on compositions of matter for delivery of cannabis" means "Patents on cannabinoid ratios".

Their ratio is 51% CBD and 49% THC

Under current U.S. law, A plant patent can be granted by the Government to any inventor who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced practically any distinct or new variety of plant. The grant, which lasts for 20 years from the date of filing the application, protects the inventor's right to exclude others from asexually reproducing, selling, or using the plant so reproduced.

A small handful of Cannabis varieties literally make up the pillars in which the entire cannabis industry is built upon. Its easy to see how a partnership between DEA enforcement and federal licensing laws, State licensing laws, HortaPharm R&D Company (which holds the largest Cannabis strain library in the world), and the streamline patent machine known as GW Pharma, Bayer and Monsanto could easily lead to a patent monopoly over Cannabis strains within the U.S., Bringing the words written by R.C. Clarke in the 1980’s to a frightening reality.

This is especially true with the introduction of Cannabis seeds and pollen similar to Monsanto’s terminator seed technology, which is being developed and patented by GW Pharmaceuticals. These seeds are commonly known as feminized seeds, and represent the beginning of David Watsons vision to create varieties that produce only “one-off sterile females” which can not reproduce viable seeds. It works like this:

Prohibition and regulation of Cannabis in the U.S. leaves growers with a very small space to grow Cannabis for medicine. The best medicine comes from female plants. On the average, 50% of Cannabis seeds will be female, the rest will be male which do not produce the desired medicine and are therefore usually removed. This process wastes valuable growing space to the grower. So in order to get the most out of a small space grow, there is an incentive to increase the number of female plants so that growing space can be used more efficiently. Dutch seed companies have exploited this incentive and claim to have developed seeds which will have a higher percentage of females. The companies who market these seeds call them ‘feminized seeds’ and describe them as follows:

“Female marijuana seeds have been created to satisfy the need to have only female plants out of seeds. Below we will give you a technical explanation of how we do this."

"The X and Y chromosomes naturally determine the sex of a plant. Male plants carry xy chromosomes while a seed with xx chromosomes will become a female plant. To produce seeds carrying only xx chromosomes a selected female plant is forced by chemicals to produce male flowers. The pollen from these flowers contain only x chromosomes. When this plant then inbreeds with itself through self-pollination, the plant will produce 100% female seeds."

Dutch Passion says "it's a lot harder to produce feminized seeds than regular cannabis seeds, and has to be careful about feminizer technology and its resultant pollen. As with Terminator Seed technology utilized by greedy corporations like Monsanto (the company has designed food crops that produce sterile seeds, forcing farmers to buy new seeds from Monsanto every year), plants grown from feminized seeds cannot reproduce naturally; at best, they can be cloned."

"If you are growing Cannabis so you can produce your own seeds, Dutch Passion's feminized varieties are not for you. “

These kinds of seeds are not marketable in places like Amsterdam because there is less regulation of Cannabis cultivation, and therefore no need for these types of growing methods. With proposition 19 allowing a mere 5 by 5 square feet of growing space per residence or parcel, this is an ideal environment to pressure growers to rely on feminized seeds.

One article on this subject wrote the following:
“The concern that should be made aware is the fact that natural male plants and their pollen will be moving out of production in lure of chemically treated female inbreeding. This will cause repercussions with breeding in the long run and possibly cause serious diseases or infertility to future generations. At this stage there are no long term studies so it is impossible to foresee or predict. But for the moment people run to buy feminized seed “

“The future repercussions of serious diseases and infertility, based on the increasingly popular trend of feminized seed is not something one should take lightly when dealing with a plant that, prior to the feminized seed trend, was successful in spreading itself across the globe for thousands of years via means of natural male to female sexual reproduction.”

An investigation into the origin of feminized seeds leads to the Dutch seed industry, particularly to David Watson and HortaPharm, the article goes on to say:

“One has to wonder just how deep Hortapharms connections run in the marijuana industry itself in connection with cornering the Dutch cannabis seed industry and ultimately providing lines of alleged highly select varieties through the feminization seed trend in an effort to stifle the global cannabis seed trade with varieties of cannabis which may open the door for genetic bottlenecking through means of inbreeding depression, which may also lead to serious diseases and even infertility later down the line!”

“With the increasing demand for feminized seed, which leads to intersexed or hermaphroditic varieties which can theoretically easily pollinate localized and indigenous populations of cannabis through anemophily, the opportunity for agricultural interest to then seize control over crops accidentally or otherwise pollinated by genetically patented strains becomes another tool in which corporative interest use to further monopolize an already shrinking gene pool. A reality which has already played itself out in courtrooms across Middle America with other popular agricultural crops such as maze, where cultivators are sued and suffer financial hardship due to the discovery of genes on their property from crops protected by genetic patent which one way or another managed to find themselves into the seed these unsuspecting farmers used to plant their garden or farm with that season. So Just say no to feminized seed!”

The feminized seed phenomena is being fueled by two incentives, one is the pressure put on growers through strict prohibition and regulation of Cannabis cultivation, the other is to block the reproduction of seeds to protect genetic copyrights in patented varieties.

The real threat to Cannabis and Cannabis growers is not merely prohibition through Drug Enforcement and licensing laws, but prohibition through plant variety patent laws which serve to create legal monopolies over the Cannabis industry.

The real tenants that the legalization movement should be striving for is not only absolute legalization and free access, but an abolition of plant patent laws. This is the only path to attain true legalization and freedom of access to the Cannabis species. Yet because the legalization movement has been heavily financed by major shareholders in the global bio-tech seed patent industry, this has fueled a trend far removed from legalization, and heavily towards an absolute private corporate monopoly of the Cannabis genome.