Why J/W Mariceuticals Matters – January 4, 2016
When I was approached with this opportunity, I had to wonder what could possibly place this hippie-at-heart activist on the stage today. It was because of a realization I reached twenty years prior. It was that day I looked in my son’s eyes, and then sadly surveyed the world we were leaving for him.
Climate change, or global warming as it was once called, grabbed my attention. It was an impossibility we all faced, attempting to toe the tiny global footprint while industries carpet bombed what we hoped to preserve. I attended rallies and took a step towards activism. The problem soon became apparent that in those meetings, we were ‘preaching to the choir’. The minds we hoped to change were not attending.
I wanted to change the world, realizing I had been doing that when I was a teacher. Education is a means to spread understanding and help fellow humans navigate an ever more complex world. When I changed a mind, the world changed with it. The next step was to understand our culture, thereby finding the weaknesses in the problems and find the best path to mending it.
This alone is no small feat. I’ve spent over a decade studying the ecology of our contemporary culture. Throughout, I’ve been asking what is driving this madness that has us devouring our home. Why do we let our world get destroyed? My readings led me on a path, telling me a story intertwining our economy, politics, media, industry and sciences.
In the end, it all came down to how we utilize what each presents. Sadly, the majority of it came down to consumerism. The complexity of our institutions grew to a need for specialization, inevitably leading to communication breakdown. While this increased the precision in each field, there were few studies on how each were interacting and relating to each other.
Our job was to become consumers, shedding our citizenship for credit cards. Our leadership was provided via the media. They brandished the shield of materialism with big flashy lights and enticing narration. It seemed like all our problems were solved.
This molded us into an instant gratification society, where we can soothe our media-bred dissatisfaction with disposable things and pharmaceuticals. Our food has become essentially poison, fortified with additional chemicals to bring it up to FDA standards. Our life of convenience, with a dose of ‘You’re Not Good Enough’ commercials, has produced a very sick society.
Where was I ever to begin if I wanted to change the world? From my studies on biology, it came down to what we choose to ingest. We have a neverending ling of processed food, pharmaceuticals, narcotics, alcohol and nicotine that help grease the economic gears. We also have whole foods, which don’t count for much unless they’re polluting our water, air or land. In the end, our diets have a lot to say about how our minds work. If I wanted to work on solving our bigger problems, we first need a society of sound, healthy bodies and minds.
When Brynn approached me to become a part of this company, I jumped at the chance. Our initial goal was to be providers for the MMPR program, but paths led us on a detour to attend to cannabis’ cousin, industrial hemp. Together, these plants provide a synergy of health. For the ill, cannabis can steer you back towards health. With hemp, you can stay that way.
In no way am I saying that hemp alone will keep you healthy, though Buddha is reported as living on one hemp seed a day. But no, I saw my participation in the health food sector as a platform to educate people on the way to a healthy diet.
My interest in hemp goes well beyond health food, though. From the seed there are many avenues to solving our world’s problems. Its growth can clean out heavy metals from the soil, while providing more oxygen than any other agricultural crop. Author Doug Fine calls hemp a dual crop, in that its seed and stalk can fuel separate industries.
Imagine a car made of material that’s lighter and stronger than steel, but built from a field instead of mined from the ground. Suppose that vehicle ran on fuel from that same seed. Henry Ford built that car in the 1940s. In addition, the original combustion engine was designed to run on hemp ethanol. How different would our world be if we stuck to that bath? How different will it be once we return?
The same fibres can be used to create concrete that doesn’t require 1300 degrees Celsius to create. It’s mixed with lime and water at room temperature, and ready to form. It is stronger and more flexible, as well as sound-proof. This same fibre can form studs to frame a building, and make fibre board to cover it. This material is fire-, fungus-, rodent-, and termite-resistant.
We can clothe ourselves in it, opposing the cotton industry that uses the majority of our world supply of pesticides. Top that off by replacing our cardboard and paper products with hemp paper, which is pliant, tough, fine and waterproof. Add in chemical-free skin creams and cosmetics, and the picture of the future looks much brighter. It makes my inner activist smile.
Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting existing reality. To change something build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Everyone in our industry, both cannabis and hemp, are activists. We all have a passion for what these plants can do, and most of us have an idea of where we’re going wrong.
As cannabis faces legalization, our jobs are not yet done. We are framing the new model to make the old one obsolete. We are the change makers and we have a lot at stake. Sitting on the sidelines while the policy is worked out by government officials is a route to many possible wrong turns.
Now is not a time of competition for our industry, but one of co-operation, becoming one unit to guide our industry towards legitimacy. We must don our activist hats and start hounding our officials, to ensure that the system works for the vendors, customers, patients, and the law. Contact your city counsellor, MLA, MP and party leaders and discuss how the outcome will affect things. What works now and what can be tweaked? We are in a position of knowledge equalling power, and must make the best use of it.