Friday, February 25, 2011

Medical Marijuana and its role in Permaculture

Recently I was subject to moderation of my 1st Amendment of freedom of speech on the Internet while trying to ascertain knowledge regarding the use of Medical Marijuana in the role of permaculture on someones permaculture forums. It was the forum owners right to moderate his forums and use them as he wishes. I honor him for trying to keep a drama free forums.

Sadly, what was truly lost was knowledge due to the angst of one individual, or was it? I refuse to let doors of knowledge close since I treat everyone on the square. So everyone, here is a small window into some knowledge that just came to light.

Medical Marijuana, is the plant C. Sativa both legally and scientifically inter & nationally. There are 4 sub species, but none of these are a sub-variation that can be called "Hemp" or even "Industrial Hemp." They are one in the same plant.

Now with that understanding, it is YOUR legal obligation to seek counsel on weather or not it is legal for you in your area via what ever means. For people here in Oregon, it can only be ascertained via a legal medical prescription verified by the State of Oregon Department of Home Services (DHS). The plant is 100% legal in some other countries, Mexico for example, and decriminalized in others, Amsterdam, Holland would be the most common example.

Here is what I know about Medical Marijuana / Hemp and its use in Permaculture. First off, it was common in Europe to use it as a border plant for the garden to help protect cabbage from White Cabbage Butterflies.

"Hemp, we know now, has a protective effect on plants grown near it because the volatile substances it excretes inhibit growth of certain pathogenic micro-organisms"
-Source "Carrots Love Tomatoes" by Louise Riotte.

in another part of the book she goes on...

"Hemp grown in the neighborhood of potatoes helps protect against phytophthora infestans, the cause of late blight."

That's huge! There is definitely a lot of areas to research regarding that little tidbit of information. There is ever expanding room for further permaculture research using this plant, be it plant guilds or making rope to move logs.

Also, don't fret, the last 4,000 years of information on this plant has not been erased, & information on it is constantly being upgraded and quantified from doctors like Dr. Frank Lucido who is helping educate both law enforcement, and the medical community.

1 comment:

  1. Where I live, it's not legal yet to grow hemp (or whatever I'm supposed to call the generic Cannabis-whatever-it's-called plant) but it is decriminalised, and the plant does seem to have an awful lot of useful properties, so I'm keen to learn what it has to offer and how it could be grown in a permaculture setting so that when it *is* legal to grow it here I'll be able to put it to full use. For now, I'm only interested in non-medicinal uses, but I'm acutely aware that anyone, any time, could need some serious pain control, so I'd like to have a few ideas on how to use the plant for that, too.

    The sort of stuff I'd like to know is, can it be grown outside successfully in a mediterranean climate? Does it need particularly rich soil or will it be able to muddle along in my not-so-good soil interspersed with the cabbages and potatoes? Or is there a better place to put it? Which bits of it can I eat, bearing in mind that I really don't want any medicinal effects unless I'm in dire need? How difficult is it to extract fibres on a domestic scale? Can I use the bio-mass as bedding for chickens? Or will the donkey eat it if I put it in her stable so I end up with an even crazier critter than normal?

    When I've found a suitable strain for my climate, is it likely that strain will be equally suitable for fibre and seed production? Or will I have to choose special strains, or breed my own strains, to ensure I have a nice multi-function plant?

    Any thoughts anyone?