Posts tagged book
Business Of Cannabis: "Killer Weed" Review

Killer Weed by Susan C Boyd and Connie I Carter provided great insight into Canada and their war on the marijuana business. This was not just about any marijuana business however, this book focused on British Columbia a.k.a the war on “BC Bud” and the grow operations. These grow ops were thought to supplement not just Canada, but the entire US nation filtering through Washington. Killer Weed broke down the facts and provided key examples as to how the media portrayed the industry versus the actual statistics. The amount of energy put into busting grow ops, especially those within racialized communities, is quite astonishing.

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Where American government tends to racialize black and brown people in the war on drugs, Canada, to my surprise, racialized the Asian community above all others, specifically, Chinese and Vietnamese. Vancouver BC was portrayed and classified as the main hub for heroin dens and marijuana grow ops that filtered into the US. Washington State has stated their position by being very outspoken on the fact that the USA is being overrun by Canada’s drugs and forever claiming that “Canada, Mexico and South America has always been seen by the U.S. government as a threat.”

With pressure coming from the big bad U.S. to get their expansive drug runs under control, Canada’s law enforcement, the Mounties or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), began to switch gears and not bust your everyday average Joe marijuana user but start laying the law on the “major” grow ops that now “consumed” Canada. This was considered a $1-8 billion business. As pointed out by authors Boyd and Carter, the projected value of the market in itself is a large dollar amount with a very wide range. Carter also states that their projected numbers on the underground marijuana businesses are extremely unreliable, almost as if they are so unaware of the actual numbers and statistics that make up their War on Drugs.

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Throughout the book, you start to get the feeling as though the media and the Mounties worked together in an effort to spread fear. Citing examples on how just about every news station was only reporting on a wild marijuana bust that of course involved a person of Asian descent terrorizing an all-white community with their drug/trap house in white suburbia, or how someone was robbed at gunpoint and later was busted in the act of using the money they stole to buy pounds of marijuana for mass distribution.

One point made that I found very interesting was that Parliament would have many motions brought to the floor to increase harshness of penalties against people who poses marijuana and are involved in marijuana grow ops (over 80% of these incarcerations were people of Asian descent), but the evidence brought to the floor was in fact false evidence. The statistics ultimately did not support their claims as to why penalties should be increased, this led the bill(s) to be dropped. This fight still goes on to this day. The RCMP has had many claims against them, pointing out that their public relations department “fluffs the news/reports” to cause fear in others, as well as profiling and racializing. Feeding their mission to not regulate but discriminate. Sound familiar?

~ Stoney SPICE ~ 

Cannabis 101: "Cannabis: a history" Review

Time for another valuable lesson on the policies, politics, and history surrounding cannabis in the west. This book report comes from one of Stoney SPICE's papers for her college class, The Business of Cannbis. Read below for her partial assessment of Cannabis: a history by Martin Booth and cannabis's legal history in the USA.

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Cannabis: A History took me through a world that I had not realized existed. Sure, I knew that cannabis had been around in many cultures for many, many years. But little did I know the plant, solely used as a commodity, had such value to nations, particularly the U.S. That being said, I found it very interesting to learn the ins and outs of Britain’s forced trade with the New World settlers that began with a fiber better known as hemp.

When the colonizers ventured to the 'New World', Britain was at the time a major producer of hemp...or at least they were trying to be. Because hemp grew wild in so many places throughout southern Europe, it made it almost impossible to regulate a trade within the country and charge people when they could go gather what they needed in the hills themselves. But what about trading with the settlers in what was soon to be the United States? For hemp was not as abundant to them just yet. Or, what about forcing the new settlers to grow the hemp, ship it back to Britain for processing, and then ship the finished goods back to the settlers and sell it to them? Perfect!

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During the 15th century hemp was not commonly used for medical or recreational use by the settlers, but to make thread, rope, cloth, paper, and food. This made hemp an important commodity worth the struggle and man power to produce. Colonies that were in Maryland and Virginia were known to be the main producers of hemp. Cannabis Indica being known for more temperate climates was more popular in these areas, but the settlers surprisingly enough grew Cannabis Sativa, making them responsible for introducing her to these areas.

Talk about the recreational use of cannabis amongst the colonizers is still up for debate. Though many of the 'founding fathers' were known to grow the plant, rumors float around historians' mouths that George Washington, being a hemp farmer dabbled for pleasure, as well did Thomas Jefferson ( though if true, it seems the plant had no effect on their moral conscious as both were devoted slave owners). But that doesn’t change the fact that hemp is still thought to have been grown strictly for trade and the widespread use of the fiber. If settlers during this time period were looking to use a mind-altering substance, they were more likely to use opium before consuming the resin that the female plants produced.

Cannabis: A History has done an excellent job of opening my mind to the history of hemp and cannabis in the west. Taking me on a journey through time and explaining the importance of cannabis/hemp to cultures around the world, I'm finding that this book is a must read for any doubter of the impact this plant has and has had on the world today.

~ Stoney SPICE ~