Published in: Issue #26 of Hemp Today (formerly Hemp Magazine) January, 1999, Pages: 1, 4-5
CHRIS CONRAD - TRUE HEMP COLLEAGUE
By John E. Dvorak & Cal X. Kender
In this first issue of Hemp Today, we have put together a tribute to one of the hemp industry's leading proponents, Chris Conrad. Recently, I e-mailed the hemp community asking for testimonials about how Chris has affected them. Many of the heartfelt responses have been interwoven into a chronological retrospective of the last ten years of Chris' work.
1999 will mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of BACH, the FCDA and the American Hemp Council. The next ten years are sure to produce even more dramatic results as Chris Conrad continues to spearhead the hemp revolution. Viva Chris!! -- John E. Dvorak, Editor
From Mary Dominguez, Sun Coast Hemp:
"Chris has been a champion for individual freedom not just a cannabis crusader. Anyone with a mind of their own should be able to look past the politics and see that there are more important things being accomplished here. Unfortunately, activism has not been the same for years and people are only concerned when a matter directly affects them.
"Chris has broken stereotypes and has proven that someone intelligent, productive, decent, and moral can represent a view that for years has been sold to the public as harmful. But perhaps more importantly, he has helped pave the way for a billion dollar industry that has given many of us an opportunity to make a living from something that is more of a lifestyle than a business. And if you really think about it, the hemp movement has been one of the most positive and ethical businesses to thrive in the 90s.
"Congratulations Chris, for we truly follow in your wake!"
We now follow in the wake of Mary's eloquent testimonial to bring you
Hemp Magazine's tribute to Chris Conrad.
Chris Conrad harvesting Cannabis legally in Switzerland, 1997.
Christopher P.M. Conrad has been politically active since the late 1960s on behalf of ecology and social justice issues. Chris has edited a series of progressive newspapers and newsletters and he was the production manager at the fifth largest weekly newspaper in California. Throughout his career, he's applied his computer and graphic skills to bring people together with professional quality educational and organizational materials.
Chris Conrad has been a presenter at conferences sponsored by NORML, the Harm Reduction Coalition, DPF, European Coalition of Cannabis Organizations, the ACLU, Chapman University, Cal State Northridge, Stanford University, and numerous other organizations. He is a regular guest on talk radio shows, from blazing liberal to rigid conservative, and is very effective in communicating with a broad range of audiences, finding common ground, and persuading them of his point of view on cannabis and the Drug War. He has also appeared on numerous television and cable access shows.
"This movement offers realistic hope for our youth today, in the form of long term solutions to society's major problems," Chris recently told Hemp magazine. "One thing I have really appreciated over the last ten years has been that some of the nicest, most talented people on Earth are involved with this amazing plant. I have absolute respect for all the courageous people that Mikki and I are fortunate enough to engage as allies."
In 1988, Chris focused his attention on cannabis. Because he felt that the activist community was lacking a cohesive strategy, he devised a 3-point plan to restore hemp and re-legalize cannabis in America. After founding the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH), Chris researched and developed a generation of literature and fact sheets on the many uses of hemp, medical marijuana, and industrial ecology. In order to diversify the base of support for reform, he systematically sent his findings to selected persons around the country who were involved in industry, agriculture, environmentalism, libertarianism, and other targeted political movements. In his efforts to 'de-demonize' marijuana, Chris undertook to mainstream the issue by changing the way cannabis is talked about. He is basically responsible for re-introducing the word 'hemp' to America, and by translation, to the rest of the world. He stressed patriotism, encouraging people to take pride in their honorable heritage of cannabis usage. Chris has given people an effective, new way to talk about cannabis without triggering a knee-jerk, negative reaction.
Although Chris has been at the forefront of the industrial hemp revolution, he's done so by keeping in the background. For example, he has published a free list of hemp product sources since 1989, and he wrote a report on hemp as a resource for island sustainability that was adopted by the Jamaican government in 1996. (Thanks to U.S. pressure, this measure is yet to be implemented.) He's constantly providing data and language to legislative staff members and academic researchers. Chris is a networker who provides scores of personal contacts for people each week. He is the un-cited source of background information for hundreds of news reports and thousands of college term papers and speeches. He even provides free clip art services for the reform movement, including an ubiquitous seven-point leaf, to move away from the stereotypical five-point marijuana leaf.
In 1989, Chris published his flyers, "The many uses of hemp," "Hemp for the Economy," "Hemp for Ecology," "Hemp for Health", and "Five things you can do right now to help". Over the last several years, the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition has distributed thousands of these hemp brochures. Chris widely publicized the customs code and legal exemption that allows hemp companies to import and distribute their wares. Rather than market his own hemp products, Chris promoted the industry. He provided introductions and gave abundant free consultations and networking support to help many "hemptrepreneurs" launch their businesses.
He founded the Family Council on Drug Awareness (FCDA) and continued creating educational literature. His "Ten Things Every Parent, Teenager, and Teacher Should Know About Marijuana," began its wide circulation. He got master copies of dozens of new pieces of literature into other people's hands, who made copies and used it for local organizing. This particular brochure has been translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and other languages. Also in 1989, Chris founded the activist coalition, the Los Angeles based American Hemp Council. The American Hemp Council was a model that was used to form activist groups all over the country. That fall, Chris met Jack Herer and encouraged him to start emphasizing the "h-word" instead of the "m-word" as a way to eliminate bias and open up the discussion.
From Umberto Iorfida, President, N.O.R.M.L. Canada:
"I am glad that Hemp Magazine is taking the time to pay tribute to Chris Conrad. I first encountered Chris in 1989 through a phone call in my search for information and the truth about cannabis/hemp. Chris Conrad had some answers to my questions, and the research that was complied was instrumental in my rewriting of the N.O.R.M.L. Canada Mandate toward the struggle of the Liberation of Hemp.
"In May of 1992, Chris attended a closed Marijuana convention of about 50 aspiring and determined hemp industrialists, retailers, agronomist and activists in Toronto. His speech moved right to the heart of the benefits and necessity of the wonderful Hemp Plant. His knowledge of and resources regarding the many uses of Hemp is endless, matched only by his determination to accomplish wide spread acceptance and understanding. We were more than pleased at his attendance at the event.
"Chris, keep up the great work, you are one of North America's best assets in the Hemp Movement."
In 1990, BACH was represented at more than 60 major Earth Day events and was written up in the Wall Street Journal. Chris won over a group of ministers on the Today's Religion show, and portrayed Johnny Marijuanaseed in the popular PBS series, the Nineties. He edited and designed the landmark edition of Jack Herer's popular book, Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy: The Emperor Wears No Clothes. The "Emperor" redefined the concept of cannabis reform as a patriotic and economic necessity. He provided literature and promotional support to tours by CAN, HEMP, numerous Hemp Councils, BACH representatives, and uncounted independent projects. He began the 'Marijuana Prisoners of Conscience' campaign, and led the outcry against LA Police Chief Daryl Gate's calling for marijuana smokers to be "taken out and shot", which helped lead to Gates' ouster after the Rodney King beating. Chris also contributed to the uproar around the Partnership for a Drug Free America's fraudulent "brain wave" anti-marijuana ad and helped get it pulled off television.
In 1991 and again in 1994, Chris Conrad and Jack Herer teamed up as chief proponents of the California Hemp Initiative, which called for BACH's comprehensive goals. These volunteer efforts gathered 75,000 signatures in 1990 and 200,000 signatures in 1994. While neither initiative qualified for California's ballot, thousands of Californians were educated about marijuana/hemp/cannabis.
In 1991, Chris and his ever-supportive wife, Mikki Norris, took their first national BACH tour to meet and network with representatives and activists around the country. They would discuss regional concerns and strategize regarding the most effective ways of having an impact on reform. He again fine-tuned his literature, this time creating an essay entitled, "Save America's Farms". He developed and wrote many letters, articles, and reports for people as needed. BACH now had about 80 representatives working towards its goals.
By 1992, many people expressed the opinion that a new book was needed to catalyze the movement. Living abroad that year, Chris arranged to curate the Hash Museum, and wrote the first draft of his book, Hemp, Lifeline to the Future. Chris and Mikki began networking in Europe to stir up local interest when possible. While they were in Spain, activists back in the US used BACH literature to organize the response to the Texas Drug War Summit. Returning to America that fall, they reorganized the American Hemp Council and Chris updated a new generation of BACH and FCDA literature for national distribution.
In 1993, Hemp, Lifeline to the Future was released and sold 5,000 copies in its first month. Encyclopedic in scope, "Lifeline" has inspired many people to start hemp businesses. It has also formed the basis of many student papers and reports.
Photo: Chris Conrad with his wife Mikki Norris at Hemp in the Hollow store in Laguna Beach, 1998
From Steven Farmer, Hemp in the Hollow:
"I was so glad to hear about Hemp Magazine honoring Chris Conrad. I'm not sure I have anything useful to say or write, but I do know that "Lifeline to the Future" literally changed my life. I became enthused from reading one book enough to dive in and open a retail hemp store, Hemp in the Hollow in Laguna Beach. I realized that I had to not only get informed but stay informed about the story of hemp. Chris' book showed up, I read it and was so impressed not only with the clear writing style, but also with the annotated footnotes, which suggested that it was well researched. It made me feel like I could quote a true authority and could trust any facts that were presented therein. When I met Chris a few months later as one of the board members of the Hemp Industries Association, I was impressed with his leadership, his unpretentiousness, and his amazing capacity to weave together facts and stories using irrefutable logic in favor of stopping the political and governmental insanity regarding this remarkable plant.
"We will be hearing a lot more from Chris Conrad. So that's a few words about the impact this man has made on my life."
From Koichi Maeda, New Age Trading Company:
"His book; Hemp, Lifeline to the Future inspired me to open a hemp restaurant in Tokyo. The "Cafe Restaurant-Hemp" opened on July 15, with more than 50 menu items, including hemp milk, butter, noodle, bread, and so on. The dehulled hemp seed which I encountered at the 1997 Cannabusiness show in Germany also encouraged me. In the 22 seat restaurant, employees wear hemp clothes, and hemp paper, carpets and boards are used for interior designs. Videos about hemp's history and possible industrial uses are always being shown. Customers can also buy various hemp products including hemp coffee filters and hemp paper."
The Spring of 1993 brought Chris and Mikki back to Amsterdam to redesign and curate the Hash/Marijuana/Hemp Museum, making it the international center for people to come and learn about the versatility and value of cannabis. While working there, Chris networked with activists from around the world. He also spoke at the Premiere Journee Internationale du Cannabis in Paris, and other venues before returning to the US that fall.
Chris Conrad researching cannabis cultivation in Holland, 1993
"The Summer of '93"
(c) copyright August 1998 by J. P. Morgan:
I don't remember when I first met Chris Conrad. I had purchased a copy of his book "Hemp - Lifeline to the Future" from Richard Lee and Amy Doctor shortly after they opened Houston, Texas' first hemp store. I AM sure I met him in Amsterdam, and that's where I got to know Chris and Mikki.
Ben Dronkers had earlier purchased the Hash/Marijuana/Hemp Museum and he knew it needed some refurbishing. Ben saw the advantages of hemp farming early on, and went on to establish the HempFlax Corporation. At that time, the Dutch hemp industry was in its infancy. However, the possibilities of the U.S. market for hemp products was unfolding rapidly. Ben Dronkers wanted to display the combination of both old and new hemp technology in all its aspects. When he hired Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris to redesign the Hash Museum, he couldn't have found more qualified people.
I knew Chris was a hard-working activist and a fine writer, but a lot of work is also required to take care of the hundreds of odds and ends necessary to get a museum ready to receive the public. And I had no idea Chris was an artist, too. He painted a mural which portrays the cleaner, healthier, and safer world we could have if the U.S. government would ever relax its dogmatic prohibition on cannabis hemp. While the photographs, artifacts, and information assembled for display demanded much work and attention to detail, Chris always got things done. All the while, he kept BACH together and running back in California.
The couple stayed in the flat upstairs. It has since been remodeled and is quite comfortable, but then it was typical Amsterdam "primitive". With only the bare necessities, Chris and Mikki were still able to host a steady stream of friends and luminaries from all corners of the cannabis world.
Since their return to California, I've had the pleasure of seeing Chris and Mikki again on several occasions. They lent their support to the "Green Prisoners Release" effort during their visit to Amsterdam in late '96, and we exchanged the latest info at the 1997 Cannabusiness expo in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany.
If hemp is ever re-legalized in the U.S., and those imprisoned under unjust laws are ever set free, it will be due in no small part to the tireless working and educating carried on by Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris!
In 1994, Chris helped found and was elected the first president of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a trade association for hemp companies that now has over 200 member businesses. Chris & Mikki took a third national driving tour, speaking at events, colleges, and meetings about industrial hemp, medical marijuana, and regulating responsible adult use. Chris signed many copies of Lifeline and gave organizing workshops for local groups. That fall, he and Mikki moved to the San Francisco Bay area.
From Candi Penn, Board of Directors & Secretary for the HIA:
"Chris Conrad is THE Person who really turned me on to the possibilities of the hemp industry. Yes, I read Jack's book first and loved it, conspiracies and all. But, Hemp, Lifeline to the Future was the book I could show to my mother and academic friends. Fully footnoted and "normal looking", Chris's book - his style and no nonsense dedication to the cannabis plant - was what made it seem worth getting into. Then I met him and heard him speak. WOW!! He's handsome, loving, and so enthusiastic, as well as being a brain and a great speaker. His vision of the HIA as a trade group that was needed to coalesce the emerging industrial hemp companies was timely. Serving as President of the Board of Directors was hard work and I thank him for that.
"Once industrial hemp was on the way to acceptance, Chris wisely focused on the medical aspects of cannabis. Thank you for your work on Prop 215 in CA and for writing Hemp for Health.
"None of us would be here now without you, Chris. WE LOVE YOU!"
From Chris Boucher, Founder and President of the Hempstead Co.
"Chris Conrad has given almost every hempster a positive influence for engaging in the hemp business. He has a great knowledge of the plant that not many humans have. I had the opportunity to meet him and his positive attitude inspired me to plant a hemp field in California's Imperial Valley in 1994. What he inspires in most is his light of happiness and determination to legalize hemp and preserve our basic rights."
From Debby Moore, Hemp Industries of Kansas:
"It is with great pride that I accept the opportunity to write a few words about my "HERO" Chris Conrad.
"Chris Conrad is the individual who took Jack Herer's years of collected research and helped to produce the notable book: The Emperor Wears No Clothes. This book changed my life and quite possibly motivated millions of others to commit their lives to changing United States Drug Policy.
"Chris Conrad with the support of Mikki Norris, his wife and soul mate, have given unselfishly of themselves, traveling around the globe, influencing the change of consciousness toward the God given plant Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp. When Chris takes the platform to speak on behalf of Hemp, his charisma, enthusiasm, and intelligence compliment us all.
"Chris has always stood as an unyielding leader in the Hemp Movement. His creation of BACH has remained a model for all to freely copy. For years, Chris has produced and made readily available, for all who want to distribute, many one page fliers detailing the attributes of the wonderful Hemp plant.
"Chris Conrad's talents go far beyond his literary skills. Chris is quite an accomplished artist at the canvas. One of his creations gracefully decorates the wall of the famous Hemp Museum in Amsterdam. Other of his talents contributed to the display of his wife Mikki's, HR95 which has been exhibited around the world.
"In 1994, while on a National Tour promoting Hemp, Chris and Mikki, appeared on several radio and television shows in Wichita. One evening, while Chris was visiting at my home, I had prepared the wall of my bedroom as one would a palette, gathered the paint, and fixed a wonderful dinner. The dessert course consisted of a delightful chocolate mousse, which I carefully accented the top with marvelous chunks of Afghanistan chocolate chips. A couple of hours after consumption of our pleasant, palatable, connoisseur reward, I took Chris to the wall I wanted him to create upon.
"I sat in the hallway talking with Chris as he addressed the wall with paint brush in hand. I asked Chris, "What persuaded you to give up your promising, successful career as a newspaper journalist in order to devote your life to the Hemp Movement"?
"Chris responded, 'Because I knew in my heart there were people out there like you Debby. We will change the world.'"
In 1995, Chris helped Mikki develop the award-winning exhibit, "Human Rights 95: Atrocities of the Drug War," along with Virginia Resner of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). As the art director, his computer and art skills were vital to the professional impact of the display. He set up and designed formations for shows in various venues. He also created the drug war truce petition that was first presented at the 'Give Drug Peace a Chance" event, and which is now being circulated around the country.
He contributed essays to two books in 1995; Hemp Today and The Great Book of Hemp. He helped mount the attack that drove the DARE program out of Oakland, California, a victory that had nationwide ramifications. He made a brochure against DARE to help parent groups challenge the program in their own communities.
From Senator Lloyd Casey, AHA Voter:
"In the spring of 1995, during the Colorado General Assembly session, I was scrambling for persons with knowledge and credibility to testify in support of the industrial hemp bill I was sponsoring. The action I was taking was the first assault by any state legislature on the 1937 federal Marijuana Tax Law, which was not meant to destroy the industrial hemp industry in the U.S. However, a much stronger unwritten law, that of unintended consequences, did destroy the industry, except during WWII when farmers were begged to plant the crop to help us win the war.
"Chris heard about what I was trying to do and took it upon himself to come to Colorado and testify. He brought along a sheaf of hemp fibre for a show and tell. His testimony coupled with a showing of "Hemp For Victory" began the education process. We only got one favorable vote out of nine, but in 1996 we got five at the committee level and eighteen twice in the full senate to send the bill to the House.
"Chris is a very charismatic person. Those who were present for his testimony in 1995 were still speaking favorably in 1996 about what he said and how he said it."
From Laura Kriho, Colorado Hemp Initiative Project:
"Chris Conrad flew to Colorado in 1995 to testify for Senator Lloyd Casey's industrial hemp bill, the first industrial hemp bill ever to be introduced. Unfortunately, Chris didn't have much time to testify, but he made quite an impression on the senators by pulling a large bundle of hemp fibers out of his bag. Waving the bundle at the shocked senators, Chris said, "This is hemp. I'd be happy to roll some of it up if any of you would like to smoke it." Needless to say, no one took him up on the offer. Chris showed these senators hemp for the first time, and it was obvious no one would want to smoke it. Even though the bill was killed, Chris' testimony had a great impact on the senators, and we are eternally grateful for his help. His presence at that historic hearing was perfect.
"Chris has always been willing to help CO-HIP with advice and research whenever we've asked, no matter how busy he is. He is a wonderful person and a great asset to the movement. He deserves much more thanks and recognition than he gets. Thanks to Hemp Magazine for giving Chris this well-earned tribute.
"We love you, Chris!"
In 1996, Chris supported the California Compassionate Use Act, later known as Prop. 215. Working with many political organizers, business people, and potential investors, Chris helped organize the rescue mission to save the medical marijuana initiative when it appeared headed for doom. He played an active role in raising money for the campaign. He was asked by the campaign managers, Californians for Medical Rights, to be the "point man" for the signature drive. As Community Action Coordinator, Chris was responsible for organizing the volunteer effort, which ultimately brought in 170,000 signatures. He also served as the liaison between the professional campaign, donors, and volunteer efforts. This meant he often had to referee people's disagreements and personality conflicts and take the heat for other's decisions. He mobilized, directed and inspired activists statewide to work intensely for the eight weeks needed to qualify for the ballot. He also directed hundreds of citizens to join the professional signature drive for a combined total of 780,000 signatures. After the measure qualified, he wrote and produced brochures and talking papers for the campaign, helped form a support PAC, Friends of 215, and continued to organize voter education and a get-out-the-vote drive.
From Steve Kubby, 1998 California Gubernatorial Candidate:
"No one has worked harder or done more for Hemp than Chris Conrad. It was Chris who took Jack Herer's notes and edited them into a book. It was Chris who served as the first President of the Hemp Industries Association. And, it was Chris who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help other activists and prisoners.
"Chris Conrad's two books on Hemp have educated millions of people and his role in the Prop. 215 campaign as Grass Roots Coordinator was critical to our success. Chris has also played a key role in providing information to Jamaica and other Island nations to help start test programs in hemp farming.
"All of us who know Chris and who have worked with him have been deeply influenced by him. I am especially grateful to Chris for introducing me to many of the key members of the movement and for advising me in my campaign for Governor of California.
"Yes, nobody has worked harder or received less recognition than Chris. It is time to honor this dedicated, hard working, and talented freedom fighter."
During and after the Proposition 215 campaign, Chris was also busy researching and writing his second book, Hemp for Health, which was published by Inner Traditions in 1997. He taught several classes on medical marijuana at institutions such as the Learning Annex, Five Branches Institute, Cannabis Buyers Clubs, as well as at political events, bookstores, conferences, college and universities. He was part of the committee that helped draft California's AB-535, legislation to sponsor medical marijuana research, and another bill to consider distribution options. He has worked with a coalition of cannabis dispensaries to stand up to the federal government's attack on California patients and clinics. He attended Cannabusiness in Germany and went to Switzerland that autumn to participate in the Cannabioland project, a legal enterprise, where he consulted and participated in the harvest of many acres of marijuana - not industrial hemp - being grown for Swiss consumption. He also stepped up his involvement with HempWorld magazine, editing several issues and contributing political updates and feature articles. Chris and Mikki also contributed several articles to Hemp Magazine. He also hosted a monthly radio program on Free Radio Berkeley, and wrapped up the year with a debate with former head of the DEA Peter Bensinger at Cal State University, Northridge and a presentation of the Human Rights and the Drug War exhibit at the State of the World forum.
From Nora Callahan, Director of The November Coalition and Sister of POW, G. Patrick Callahan:
"I met Chris a year ago at the San Francisco Drug Peace Rally. His activism is not limited to present comfortable cannabis concerns. It is fashionable to wear hemp clothing. We've hundreds if not thousands of physicians agreeing that sick people should be able to use marijuana. What was once a difficult subject to broach with the general public is now vogue. Who can be credited with social change of such magnitude? People like Chris Conrad.
"Chris brings yet another message, one that has yet to become popular to discuss in open social circles. I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time, however. Chris is selflessly dedicated to each and every prisoner of the drug war and their family members who are caught in the web of bad policy: a web that sees them imprisoned and separated from those they love for barbaric lengths of time.
"We thank you Chris!"
From Steve Levine, Santa Barbara Hemp Company:
"At the HIA convention last year, Chris was speaking to everyone there. He was talking about his Human Rights Display and trying to get us all to see how important this issue was. Of course we were all aware that the issue of freedom and human rights was top priority, but in keeping hemp separate from pot and presenting the right image to stay in business and promote the hemp products and blah, blah, blah...it might be easy to forget why we loved being a part of this wonderful industry. So, when Chris said something like, "People, let's not forget why we got involved in this business. It's not because we loved the shirts," I realized that this guy was something special.
"We live in a pretty conservative town. Santa Barbara Hemp Co. is what I like to call a "family hemp store." We proudly show Chris & Mikki's Human Rights Display and when anyone asks why I would have something like that in a store like ours, I think of what Chris said and explain that this Display is necessary for the store to be whole."
Much of 1998 has been invested in working on Shattered Lives: Portraits From America's Drug War, the new book which is based on the HR95 Human Rights and the Drug War exhibit. Chris has been scanning photos, designing layouts, and working with Mikki and their co-author, Virginia Resner, to select quotes and write stories bringing the plight of the scores of Drug War POWs to the American public. He recently spoke at "Transcending the Drug War" and the Drug Peace rally, both in San Francisco. He contributed an essay to Tom Alexander's newly revised Best of Sinsemilla Tips. He has also been working on a book entitled Human Rights and the Drug War based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, plans to revise Hemp, Lifeline to the Future, and do a book on cannabis cultures.
Chris is a qualified expert legal witness in California courts on hemp, marijuana, cultivation and personal use, providing expert testimony on behalf of patients and social users of cannabis. He will teach the first seminar on cannabis at the Omega Institute (NY) in October, 1998. Other speaking engagements for the year include Visionquest, the annual NORML conference, the HIA convention, the State of the World Forum, and the Boston Freedom Rally.
His efforts are tireless and endless, often running late into the night. He takes time to write articles, letters, reports, and new literature aimed at educating different demographic groups (pre-teens, teens, parents, senior citizens, police, etc.) to do interviews, help students with reports, speak, and network, network, network. Not only does he come up with lots of good ideas, but he also manages to follow through on more of them than one would expect, often against great odds. He approaches each challenge with wit, humor, and often an unexpected twist that extends the issue into new ground. His mastery of rhetoric allows him to communicate effectively with almost anyone and to put the issue into terms that they can relate to and accept. He is capable of great subtlety as well as casting the debate into powerful and dramatic emotional terms that persuade and empower others to become involved in the struggle to end the Drug War.
"Regarding Chris" by Mari Kane, Publisher of HempWorld Magazine:
"I have known Chris for five years and I've always felt that one of Chris's greatest strengths is his ability as an orator. Just when I'd thought there was nothing Chris could do to surprise me, he comes to our first Author's Night at the Hemp Solutions store and delivers one of the most creatively intertwined speeches I've ever heard.
"Moments before he begins, I remind him that the stores owners names are Jack and Rose - 'like the Titanic movie'. Before I know it, that Titanic metaphor is a football that he takes and runs with. The drug war became the Titanic about to be sunk by the tip of an iceberg (the store) being supported by a huge mass of discontent beneath. Then, he brings history alive and explains the name "nimrod" as he jumps from industrial to medicinal and back to industrial uses. The talk is interrupted with questions but Chris doesn't lose his train of thought. Working without notes and feeding on adrenaline and Coca-Cola, he rampages with fact after fact in his evangelistic energy. One and a half hours pass and I know he wants to quit. Finally, he brings us around again to the Titanic drug war on which we are sinking and from which we are grasping for a lifeline - a hemp lifeline to the future!
"As a speaker, Chris Conrad is ripening with age."
Activists throughout the country, as well as internationally, testify to the ongoing help and inspiration Chris has given the Hemp Movement. Not only does he do so with little expectation of reward or recognition, but often at his own expense or to advance the work or reputations of others. People often tell him that his writing and speeches have changed their lives. He has made a lasting mark on the cannabis reform movement by transforming the debate on marijuana, changing laws, and educating the masses about the cannabis plant and the abuses of the drug war. He strives to establish a national consensus on establishing 18 years old as an age of consent for legal adult use of cannabis as the most effective approach to restore industrial hemp and provide doctors and patients with unrestricted access to medical marijuana.
From Hermes, Hempseed Organics T.H.C., TRUE HEMP CULTURE:
"Great idea to pay due respect to Chris Conrad. It would take an age to explain just how much of an inspiration Chris has been and still is to us.
"We are undaunted by the over regulation stifling the fledgling Movement as we were forewarned and therefore forearmed by Chris in Hemp: Lifeline. In Hemp for Health he endorses the idea of Soaking or sprouting the seed which are the ways in which we advise our friends everywhere to commune with the seed for optimum nutrition.
"That's all for now, happy hemping!"
From Bob Schwarz, Greener Alternatives:
"Chris is Chairman of the Board of the hemp industry. He is an outstanding speaker, and a totally dedicated activist. The hemp industry owes him a debt of gratitude. Chris Conrad for President!"
From Thom Zajac, Creator of Hempelopes:
"I don't have any great tales or humorous stories, but I can say that Chris Conrad's "Hemp; Lifeline to the Future" was the book I resourced most when developing "Hempelopes." I called him once or twice to ask additional questions and he was very friendly and open and good natured. He's a treasure and he should be on Leno!"
Hemp Today Magazine wishes to extend their sincere thanks to everyone who helped contribute to this, including:
Mary Dominguez, Sun Coast Hemp, SCoastHemp@aol.com
Umberto Iorfida, President, N.O.R.M.L. CANADA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Farmer, Hemp in the Hollow, HempHollow@aol.com
Koichi Maeda, New Age Trading Company (Tokyo), email@example.com
Candi Penn, Board of Directors - Secretary, HIA - Hemp Industries Assoc., PO Box 1080, Occidental, CA 95465, 1-500-HIA-HEMP & 707 874-3648, FAX: 707 874-1104, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://thehia.org & http://hempstores.com
Chris Boucher, Hempstead Co., HEmpTec1@aol.com
Debby Moore, Founder, Kansas Environmentalists for Commerce in Hemp, dba Hemp Industries of Kansas, Kansas State Lobbyists for Cannabis Law Reform, 2742 E. 2nd, Wichita, KS, 67214, 316-681-1743, email@example.com, Research Data Base on Industrial & Medical Cannabis at: http://www.feist.com/~hemplady
Lloyd Casey, AHA Voter
Laura Kriho, Colorado Hemp Initiative Project, P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466, 303-448-5640, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.welcomehome.org/cohip.html, www.levellers.org/cannabis.html,
Steve Kubby, KUBBY FOR GOVERNOR, 1998 - CALIFORNIA - 2002, www.kubby.com, email@example.com, STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN OFFICE, Voice: 714-537-9200, Fax: 714-537-9203, Toll Free: 877-GO-KUBBY
Nora Callahan, The November Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Levine, Santa Barbara Hemp Company, email@example.com, 805-965-7170
Mari Kane, Publisher of HempWorld, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Schwarz, Greener Alternatives, email@example.com, http://www.greener.com
Hermes, Hempseed Organics T.H.C., TRUE HEMP CULTURE ., firstname.lastname@example.org,
Thom Zajac, Creator of Hempelopes, email@example.com
Books by Chris Conrad:
Hemp, Lifeline to the Future (English, Italian)
Hemp for Health: The medicinal and nutritional uses of Cannabis sativa (available in English, Spanish, and German)
Shattered Lives, Portraits From America's Drug War. (With Mikki Norris and Virginia Resner).
Human Rights and the US Drug War (With Mikki Norris and Virginia Resner).
Selected brochures and literature authored and produced by Chris Conrad:
A strategy to deregulate hemp / marijuana
Basic elements of a hemp talk
Betsy Ross always used the best
Five things you can do right now to help legalize hemp / marijuana
Hemp: As American as apple pie
Hemp business resource directory: Sources of legal, non-smoking hemp products
Hemp for victory: A dependable strategy, a strong national defense
Hemp paper saves trees and creates jobs
Hemp ties it all together
Hemp/Marijuana: America's Prisoners of Conscience
How to impeach bad judges
Jury Power: Fully informed juries and jury rights
Let's do something about getting hemp / marijuana relegalized
Overall benefits of resinous cannabis
Overal benefits of hempseed and topical applications of cannabis
Systemic effects of Cannabis sativa, L.
Talk back: How to debate on marijuana
The Drug War: How much longer must it go on?
The proven way to save America's family farms
They say, we say
We don't need oil wars or fossil fuels
Brochures and literature currently in development:
Dagga: Sacred herb of Africa
Talking to children about marijuana
Medical marijuana primer
Preteens and marijuana
Young teens and marijuana
Talking to parents about marijuana
Books with substantial contributions by Chris Conrad:
The Emperor Wears No Clothes (by Jack Herer. 1990, 1991, 1993 editions.)
Hemp Today (edited by Ed Rosenthal)
The Great Book of Hemp (by Rowan Robinson)
PremiÈre JournÈe International du Cannabis (Lezard press, Paris France)
Chris and Mikki can be contacted at:
BACH / Creative Xpressions / FCDA / Human Rights and the Drug War
P.O. Box 1716, El Cerrito, CA 94530
phone & fax: 510-215-8326
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Related websites: www.chrisconrad.com. www.hr95.org. www.fcda.org