It’s high time …for hemp!!

Getting this hemp industry going is like one of those Cecil B DeMille productions that were always touted as “TEN YEARS IN THE MAKING”!! But DeMille was dealing with filming things like God speaking from behind burning bushes or Joshua stopping the sun!! It ain’t easy creating miracles!! Well, VP Jagdeo followed up with the PPP’s campaign promise to legalise hemp production when he spoke to farmers in Reg 10. So, what’s with hemp, which we’ve been told by all and sundry, is the biggest thing since sliced bread!! A limited list of products taken from Wiki include:
Food products – hemp juice, hemp milk, hemp protein; Construction and materials – fibre-reinforced plastic, hempcrete, Oakum; Medicine – cannabis (drug) CBG oil, medical Cannabis; Raw fibre – Fuel: hemp oil to make biodiesel, Alcohol fuel; hemp hurts, hemp jewellery, paper and sleeves for computers!! WOW!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?? Now if this isn’t a miracle plant for the ages – equivalent to the tree of life – what is?? So, the question is what’s the fly in the ointment…’cause there’s GOTTA be one, no?
Well, there it is! And it all has to do with hemp’s first cousin –marijuana/ganja/grass/weed/Bhang/pot/Mary Jane/ etc, etc. We know this baby’s classified as a drug and back in the day when America had gone on their prohibition binge, they included hemp along with marijuana as prohibited, illegal crops – not to be cultivated. That hemp has such a low concentration of the stuff (THC) that makes marijuana give that high (.03% compared to 4-12%!!) didn’t matter to them. It was banned by the Yanks and they had the power to enforce their bans in all countries!! Places like Bangladesh with one of their biggest industries in rope from hemp had to abandon it!!
Gradually, the Yanks couldn’t argue with a straight face against hemp per se — once its versatility was demonstrated. But since the two plants are IDENTICAL in appearance, they insisted if a country wants to cultivate hemp, they’ll have to guarantee that some smart aleck wouldn’t sneak in some marijuana plants among the hemp!! The incentives – money, BIG MONEY – of course, would be immense for hemp farmers to go that route!!
The challenge for our government will gonna be to have enough inspectors, who’re “unbribeable” to satisfy the regulations. In the meantime, the Americans have plunged into hemp production and its ancillary products – with the requisite infrastructure, of course!! Initially, our hemp will have to be exported most likely to the States and we’ll be competing with their farmers. So, don’t expect us to have an easy pass.
But nothing ventured, nothing gained, no?? Our production’s gotta be the HIGHEST standard!!

…we nix demon rum
While there’s justified apprehension about cultivating hemp since ganja can be snucked in – further debilitating Guyanese minds – the older concerns about the effects of alcohol have been raised again. And not a day too soon! The debate about the effects of demon rum is now in the press and your Eyewitness hopes the authorities will get off their haunches and do something about the scourge.
What can they do, you ask?? Well, the letters have identified quite a few suggestions. Like enforcing the laws not to have bars at every street corner in the villages. Yes…there are laws on the books specifying bars only on front streets. Then, the Government can raise the price of alcohol way beyond where it’s now at – like Ireland did to deal with their alcohol deluge!! And how about placing some of the responsibility on those who dispense the liquor in the rum shops.
Jail them if they sell their poison to underage kids.

…they negotiate
With the Ukraine War clearly pushing the entire world into another Great Recession, will some adults in the room take charge?
But hold it…the two protagonists are both defined as adults in the “room” – being in the UN Security Council!!