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Suggestions for UNESCO recomendations concerning hemp production in the P. R. China

The United Nations Education and Science Committee (UNESCO) and Yunnan University cosponsored an international symposium entitled "Training Workshop on Transmission of the Traditional Technique of Costume-making of the Miao/Hmong People Living in China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam", held from June 26 - July 7, 2000 in Kunming, Yunnan Province, P. R. China. The conference was attended by Miao (Hmong) citizens and other international experts. One topic of considerable discussion amongst the delegates was the future of hemp cultivation for the Miao and other minority ethnic groups.

Following are proposed suggestions to UNESCO concerning the cultivation of Cannabis hemp in the P. R. China.



Cannabis sativa L. plays a particularly important role in the lives, culture, and cosmology of ethnic Miao and other minority peoples, and



there is no evidence of historical or current use of Cannabis sativa L. as a psychoactive drug by Miao and other minority peoples, and



current policy prohibiting Cannabis sativa L., intended to combat high-THC Cannabis use as a drug, is threatening the Miao and other minority peoples’ practice and culture.


Let it be noted that;

1- The governments and peoples of Southeast Asia have a vital interest in avoiding the public health and social risks associated with controlled substances, while simultaneously respecting and upholding ethnic culture, protecting and nurturing the environment, and advancing the rural and agricultural economic and material base of the region.

2- Southeast Asian hill tribes, particularly the Miao, have thorough and detailed experience and knowledge of Cannabis sativa L., especially for textile, nutritional, and medicinal use.

3- Cannabis sativa L. falls into two distinct chemical varieties, depending on its genetic predisposition for production of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

4- Cannabis sativa L. used by Miao and other minority peoples generally falls into the low-THC, non-drug category.

5- Cannabis sativa L. cultivation and use offers a consistently positive range of economic and environmental benefits.


The IHA suggests that:

Cannabis sativa (hemp) is of general environmental benefit, and greater cultural and economic value to the Miao and other rural ethnic minorities; than it is a threat to domestic drug policy, and

• In this regard, the cultivation of Cannabis sativa for hemp fiber and seed should be allowed throughout the P. R. China.

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