Tuesday, 16 July 2013



Agriculture has always been political. At least in the Caribbean.

From slaves fighting the plantation sugar power complex to dasheen and limes being illegal to  today's battles for approval  to grow hemp for a real textiles industry....Chatoyer and La Croix fed their 1790s revolutions with illegal dasheen. The British learned slowly how to starve us into submission.

They've always been afraid of us growing and eating our own food.

Father of Vinci Excellence and Ass-kicking
Allowing us to have gardens was the first mistake  the plantation system ever made and they have regretted it sincerely ever since. In fact,  they have done everything in their power to ensure that we remain blissfully distracted from creating a true nation-building agriculture, wasting our resources on cash crops like bananas and ganja.

Both bananas and ganja have their place in the future of Eastern Caribbean agriculture. They  just can be the be-all-end-all anymore. Food has to be the basis on which we rebuild these  nations from the ground up. But because marijuana is the one non-banana cash crop that is actually working  and growing its market share right now,  SVG finds itself in the position of  the being the leader of the 21st century Eastern Caribbean Agricultural  Revolution.

Unenviable. But that's where the power lies.

SVG is one of those countries where you can see the marijuana both from the sky and from the street. No lie. From factory sites to communities, you can look up into  the hills and either see  ganja  growing or  the scars of land where ganja  was just harvested. 

Vincentians are not pretending with anyone that they are not the marijuana capital of the Eastern Caribbean. The only thing they haven't done to their benefit is base a successful tourism industry on it. (I can see the posters now - COME TO SVG WHERE THE GANJA IS SO PLENTIFUL, IT'S PRACTICALLY FREE. You guys would corner a piece of the spring break market and then make these college kids come back for the summer if you did  that...more subtley than was suggested, of  course.)

And after you actually  meet Vincentian ganja farmers, you will understand that  these people can't be criminal. It must be the law that's wrong,  because most of these farmers are very cool and have relatively high ethical  and moral  standards compared to the people around them. Who, in turn, have high standards compared to the people around them (i.e. Grenadians, Bajans and of course, the moral scourge of the Windward Islands - Lucians.)

SVG may have 'gangs'. But it is  one of  the few places left in the world  where the Rastas still outnumber the  gangstas.

We're the masters, they're the slaves - understand?
When the story of our nascent agricultural revolution is told 50-100 years from now, some smart-assed little masters candidate may note that while the revolution was started by farmers, its real rebellions were started by RSS cops from the late 90s who saw first hand the injustice of US-aided regional efforts to make marijuana a scapegoat in their War on Drugs.

Stunning? Maybe. But true.

The Lucian cops who went on those raids that repeatedly destroyed SVG's marjuana stock came back  livid. For the first time in their lives, many admitted that theirs was 'dirty work'. cutt

After doing their duty of destroying their brothers' crops for the sake of a gainless,  fruitless Shiprider Agreement, they saw the Americans gathering up the best weed and packing nicely in specially made bags. These bags were tagged for research and medical use.

"Research? They made us come and cut Vinci weed so they could take it themselves....for research?"

At this point, some honor came back to men, who if they lived 200 hundred years ago, would basically be the kind of sell-outs who hunted escaped slaves  for a living. They realized that the American soldiers had not cut a stroke. In fact, if you looked at the scene from the outside,  it looked like a bunch of white overseers managing a bunch of negro field hands. Only  the costumes were different.

Burn bags. Researc and medical bags look much better.
When the time came to burn the stock,  the Americans took what they wanted and ordered the slaves....that is,  the RSS paramilitary cops, to burn the rest. The good soldiers did what they signed up to do - respect the chain of command.

But they did something else, too. They filled their boots and pockets with the new green gold.

"My left boot full of research  and my right boot is for medical use," one conscientious cop later reported, way off the record. The zombes who cleaned and polished the officers boots in St Lucia reported  that even after the cops  cleaned out their 'research and medical' stock, they could get as much as $20 worth of  smelly ganja dust per boot. Real stinky sock-skunk weed.

From that time on, both St Lucian police and the courts seem to have lightened up a bit on the ganja-men. The  inherent tyranny of the Shiprider Agreement and the shame and degradation it exposed regional police officers to did more to liberalize and decriminalize marijuana than anything before - with the possible  exception of the passive  permissions of successive Princes of Hairouna.

The time has come again for an agricultural revolution.
SVG from the sky...

This time, St Lucia cannot be counted on to lead as she did with bananas. Both major parties are too chickenshit yellow to approve a hemp growing project much less pursue  the prudent passive policies on ganja that Dr Gonsalves gladly inherited from Sir James.

Dominica cannot be counted on to even be part of a revolutionary new agriculture that sees marijuana as a crop, not a crime. Because where in SVG and SLU, Rastas were persecuted in the 70s, in DCA, they were not persecuted. They were shot. Killed. Persecuted. Prosecution was a good deal for them, while it was a lamentation for us.

And Grenada - let's admit that Grenada is the political psych case of the  Eastern Caribbean family and needs more time to recover before any great leadership responsibilities  are placed on them.
SVG has led  the way in diversifying agriculture by maintaining that they're not going to spend any significant resources fighting marijuana farmers while there are real problems in the world. SVG has done this consistently, over decades, regardless of the political weather..

SVG from the street...

Occassionally, the chessmen of government must allow a foreigner or two to come raze the soil. But in the big picture, those are temporary setbacks. Nothing that a little back-breaking work can't cure.

SVG now  has an opportunity to take  the regional leadership role in the birth of a new agriculture and a new, more realistic Eastern Caribbean nation. The agri-partners in SVG have toi be able to reason together, set the aims and plot the courses that the other islands don't have the guts to. The smarter organizers, farmers and business people in SLU,  DCA, GDA and maybe even some Leewards and French Antilles will be drawn in by your gravity and add to the collective strength.

They already  recognise your agricultural supremacy.

They already recognise that in spite of some mind-bending concessions to foreign capital, SVG is probably the island in the Eastern Caribbean most well-positioned and well-suited to a food security and export agriculture initiative.

Now,if only you,yourselves, would accept this as your duty and start thinking about the future, you could maybe get out of the  rut you're in where all you worry about is Ralph.
LOVE, PEACE & CANNABIS....The Vincentian Way


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