The War on Weed: Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for “Corporate Cannabis”

Of relevance to ongoing developments, initially released in July 2016

California’s “Adult Use of Cannabis Act” (AUMA) is a voter initiative characterised as legalizing marijuana use. But critics alert that it will really make access a lot more tricky and costly, squeeze household growers and little farmers out of the market, heighten felony sanctions for violations, and open the doorway to patented, genetically modified (GMO) versions that must be procured 12 months soon after yr. 

As comprehensive in Part I of this post, the overall health gains of cannabis are now very well founded. It is a cheap, normal choice productive for a wide assortment of disorders, and the non-psychoactive form regarded as hemp has countless numbers of industrial makes use of. At a single time, hashish was a single of the world’s most important crops. There have been no recorded fatalities from cannabis overdose in the US, compared to about 30,000 fatalities on a yearly basis from alcoholic beverages abuse (not counting car accidents), and 100,000 deaths per year from prescription medications taken as directed. Still hashish continues to be a Plan I managed compound (“a deadly hazardous drug with no health care use and high probable for abuse”), unlawful to be sold or grown in the US.

Powerful corporate pursuits no doubt experienced a hand in holding hashish off the market. The question now is why they have instantly gotten on the bandwagon for its legalization. In accordance to an April 2014 posting in The Washington Moments, the large money behind the new force for legalization has occur, not from a grassroots motion, but from a handful of really wealthy men and women with inbound links to Big Ag and Massive Pharma.

Foremost the cost is George Soros, a big shareholder in Monsanto, the world’s largest seed corporation and producer of genetically modified seeds. Monsanto is the biotech giant that introduced you Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, dioxin-dependent pesticides, aspartame, rBGH (genetically engineered bovine growth hormone), RoundUp (glyphosate) herbicides, and RoundUp Completely ready crops (seeds genetically engineered to face up to glyphosate).

Monsanto now appears to be producing genetically modified (GMO) kinds of cannabis, with the intent of cornering the market place with patented GMO seeds just as it did with GMO corn and GMO soybeans. For that, the plant would need to be legalized but nonetheless tightly plenty of controlled that it could be captured by big corporate interests. Levels of competition could be suppressed by restricting accessibility to homegrown marijuana bringing manufacturing, sale and use inside monitored and regulated field rules and legislating a definition of industrial hemp as a plant owning these kinds of small psychoactivity that only GMO variations qualify. All those are the types of situations that critics have uncovered buried in the wonderful print of the latest initiatives for cannabis legalization.

Individuals who use the hashish plant in large quantities to recover significant disorders (e.g. by juicing it) find that the organic plant grown organically in sunlight is much more powerful than hothouse vegetation or pharmaceutical cannabis derivatives. Letitia Pepper is a California legal professional and activist who takes advantage of health-related cannabis to command multiple sclerosis. As she places it, if you really don’t have an irrevocable ideal to expand a purely natural, therapeutic herb in your yard that a corporation equipped to find the money for large license costs can mature and market to you at top quality costs, isn’t that nonetheless a war on persons who use marijuana?

Stick to the Money to Uruguay

Monsanto has denied that it is functioning on GMO strains. But William Engdahl, author ofSeeds of Destruction: The Concealed Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, presents powerful circumstantial evidence to the opposite. In a March 2014 write-up titled “The Relationship Among the Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay, Monsanto and George Soros”, Engdahl observes that in 2014, Uruguay grew to become the to start with nation to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of cannabis. Soros is a major player in Uruguay and was instrumental in finding the regulation handed. He sits on the board of the New York-primarily based Drug Plan Alliance (DPA), the world’s most influential organization for hashish legalization. The DPA is active not only in the US but in Uruguay and other Latin American countries. Engdahl writes:

Experiments exhibit that Monsanto with no a lot fanfare conducts exploration projects on the energetic ingredient in cannabis, particularly THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), in get to genetically manipulate the plant. David Watson of the Dutch organization Hortapharm has given that 1990 produced the world’s major collection of Cannabis seed varieties. In 1998, the British company GW Prescription drugs signed an arrangement with Hortapharm that provides GW Pharma the legal rights to use the Hortapharm cannabis for their research.

In 2003 the German Bayer AG then signed an settlement with GW Pharmaceuticals for joint research on a cannabis-based extract. In 2007, Bayer AG agreed to an exchange of technologies with . . . Monsanto . . . . So Monsanto has discreet obtain to the operate of the hashish plant and its genetic modification. In 2009 GW Prescription drugs announced that it had succeeded in genetically altering a hashish plant and patented a new breed of hashish.

Monsanto could have even bigger accessibility to the Bayer/GW research soon. In March 2016, Monsanto approached the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer AG with a joint enterprise proposal regarding its crop science unit. In Could, Bayer then designed an unsolicited takeover bid for Monsanto. On May well 24th, the $62 billion bid was rejected as too very low but negotiations are continuing.

The future merger would produce the world’s major supplier of seeds and chemical substances. Environmentalists be concerned that the overall farming business could quickly be searching at sterile crops soaked in perilous pesticides. Monsanto has sued hundreds of farmers for merely saving seeds from calendar year to year, a little something they have finished for millennia. Natural farmers are getting it increasingly hard to reduce contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s GMOs.

In Seeds of Destruction, Engdahl rates Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of Point out. Kissinger notoriously stated, “Control oil and you regulate nations regulate food and you command the persons.” Engdahl asserts that the “Green Revolution” was aspect of the Rockefeller agenda to damage seed range and thrust oil- and gas-primarily based agricultural products in which Rockefeller experienced a key curiosity. Destruction of seed diversity and dependence on proprietary hybrids was the 1st phase in foods management. About 75% of the foodstuffs at the grocery retail outlet are now genetically manipulated, in what has been known as the world’s greatest biological experiment on humans.

Genetic engineering is now relocating from foodstuffs to plant-centered drugs and plant-centered industrial fibers. Engdahl writes of Monsanto’s do the job in Uruguay:

Given that the cultivation of hashish vegetation in Uruguay is permitted, one particular can effortlessly envision that Monsanto sees a massive new marketplace that the Group is capable to handle just with patented cannabis seeds this sort of as now is taking place on the market place for soybeans. Uruguay’s President Mujica has created it clear he wants a unique genetic code for hashish in his region in purchase to “keep the black market underneath command.”

Genetically modified cannabis seeds from Monsanto would grant these regulate. For many years Monsanto has been expanding gene-soybean and GM maize in Uruguay also. George Soros is co-proprietor of agribusinesses Adecoagro, which planted genetically modified soybeans and sunflowers for biofuel.

Other commentators convey identical problems. Purely natural well being writer Mike Adams warns:

[W] ith the hashish industry predicted to crank out above $13 billion by 2020, becoming 1 of the greatest agricultural marketplaces in the country, there should really be very little doubt that providers like Monsanto are basically waiting around for Uncle Sam to eliminate the herb from its current Agenda I classification before getting into the business.

In a 2010 short article about Proposition 19, an before legalization initiative that was defeated by California voters, Conrad Justice Kiczenski observed that criminalization of cannabis as each industrial hemp and medical cannabis has served a multitude of industries, including the jail and military services market, the petroleum, timber, cotton, and pharmaceutical industries, and the banking field. With the decriminalization of hashish, he warned:

The next stage in continuing this control is in the regulation, licensing and taxation of Cannabis cultivation and use by way of the only functional implies obtainable to the corporate program, which is via genetic engineering and patenting of the Hashish genome.

AUMA: Wolf in Sheep’s Outfits?

Suspicions like these are aiding to gas opposition to the Grownup Use of Cannabis Act (AUMA), a 2016 initiative that would rewrite the healthcare cannabis legal guidelines in California. Though AUMA purports to legalize marijuana for leisure use, the bill will come with so quite a few restrictions that it essentially makes acquisition extra hard and costly than under current regulation, and would make it a legal offense for anyone under 21. Critics contend that the Act will basically throw accessibility to this medicinal surprise plant into the waiting around arms of the Monsanto/Bayer/petrochemical/pharmaceutical advanced. They say AUMA is a covert endeavor to preempt California’s Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215, which was passed in 1996 by voter initiative.

Prop 215 did not legalize the sale of marijuana, but it did give ill or disabled individuals of any age the suitable to develop and share the plant and its derivatives on a not-for-earnings basis. They could see a physician of their option, who could approve healthcare marijuana for a vast panoply of situations and they had been confident of safe and sound and inexpensive accessibility to the plant at a nearby cooperative not-for-gain dispensary, or in their individual backyards. As clarified by the 2008 Lawyer General’s Guidelines, Prop 215 allowed reimbursement for the labor, costs and ability important to expand and distribute healthcare cannabis and it authorized distribution by way of a “storefront dispensing collective.” Having said that, the sale of marijuana for corporate profit remained illegal. Significant Pharma and affiliates ended up thus blocked from coming into the subject.

At the stop of 2015 (helpful 2016), the California condition legislature over-rode Prop 215 with MMRSA – the Healthcare Cannabis Regulation and Basic safety Act of 2015/16 – which successfully rewrites the Overall health Code pertaining to medical marijuana. Opponents contend that MMRSA is unconstitutional, considering the fact that a voter initiative cannot be adjusted by legislative motion except if it so presents. And that is why its backers want AUMA, a voter initiative that validates MMRSA in its good print. In mixture with stricter California Healthcare Association regulations for enforcement, MMRSA efficiently moves health care cannabis remedy from the wholistic plant to a pharmaceutical derivative, just one that have to follow an AUMA or American Pharmaceutical Association method of shipping. MMRSA turns the proper to cultivate into a revocable privilege to improve, contingent on regional procedures. The right to select one’s own medical doctor is also eliminated.

Critics note that of the hundreds of millions in tax revenues that AUMA is predicted to crank out from cannabis and marijuana-similar items, not a penny will go to the California basic fund. That indicates no cash for California’s general public universities, faculties, universities, hospitals, streets and other infrastructure. Instead, it will go into a big slush fund controlled by AUMA’s “Marijuana Manage Board,” to be expended 1st for its have administration, then for its own law enforcement, then for penal and judicial system expenditures.

Law enforcement and penalties will keep on to be big small business, due to the fact AUMA legalizes marijuana use only for persons above 21 and will make entry so hard and highly-priced that even adults could be tempted to transform to the black market. “Legalization” via AUMA will mainly provide a petrochemical/pharmaceutical complicated bent on controlling all farming and plant life globally.

Ellen Brown is an legal professional, Founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve textbooks, which include the best-selling World-wide-web of Debt. Her most current e book, The Community Bank Alternative, explores successful general public banking models traditionally and globally. Her 300+ weblog articles are at She can be listened to biweekly on “It is Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM. ellen Brown is a repeated contributor to World-wide Study

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The War on Weed: Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for “Corporate Cannabis”

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