Repeal classification of industrial hemp

first_imgDear Editor,Guyana’s farmers, manufacturers, students and other citizens are demanding the repeal of the classification of industrial hemp as “a controlled substance”.The ban has been heavily criticized by the residents of Linden in Region 10, Mahaicony Branch Road in Region 5, and Mon Repos in Region 4, at meetings held last weekend by the United Republican Party (URP).According to an official of the URP, “We’ve got to get to President David Granger and his APNU/AFC administration that hemp is an agricultural commodity, but not a controlled substance”.Jaipaul, a farmer of Wash Clothes, Mahaicony Branch Road, said hemp would give farmers a chance to diversify their operations and share in a new market opportunity.Farmers countrywide are coming forward with formal support for policy change in favour of hemp legalization. This is a huge step forward, and President Granger should follow their lead and pass the legislation to allow hemp cultivation and processing.Hempchand, a small rice farmer, has expressed that most farmers want to cultivate hemp; for it’s a cash crop that is easy to cultivate, it does not need that much water, it grows in all soil types, and can be used to make over 25,000 products — from food and clothing to car composites and airplane parts, and even dietary supplements.When hemp is legalized, we can truly make Guyana great, he declared.The Leader of the Healing the Nation Theocracy Party, Alfred Parks, has said hemp has boundless potential, and can be a sustainable alternative to plastics and other environmentally harmful products. It can be used in everything — from construction materials to paper, to lotion and even ice-cream.It’s past time that the Guyana Government eliminate the absurd barriers and allow the farmers and producers to get to work, create jobs, and grow this promising and historically important crop.That’s why I’m going to be the horn with my Parliamentarians to make sure that our hemp legislation becomes a reality. I would continue to hammer home the message that industrial hemp is an agricultural commodity, and not a controlled substance.Chairman of the Region 10 Industrial Hemp and Agricultural Farmers Group, Aaron Gardener, has said that for Guyana to prosper, we first need to decolonize our minds and be truly independent.For instance, the laws barring the cultivation of all forms of cannabis, of which industrial hemp is part, is of colonial rule.The resistance we are facing today by the APNU/AFC Government to repeal such laws is stemming from the colonial minds, so decolonizing the minds is a step in the right direction for our Government and leaders to make laws which are not a hindrance to development, he added.Mr. Gardener has stressed that our leaders should be independent, and be free to make informed decisions based on facts, which we are presenting to them on industrial hemp, rather than just accepting that the colonials said it is bad, hence it’s bad.We should be able to determine that for ourselves, he added.Yours sincerely,The Guyana HempAssociationlast_img read more