Before Summer I had been unsure of what was going to be the main focus for my dissertation. Though it was clear to me that I wanted to continue looking into sustainability and our impact on the environment, and more sustainable alternatives. So over summer I did some research and I have chosen to tackle the controversial subject of Hemp.

The current situation we face globally and the limits on our natural resources show a clear need for us to push for more sustainable alternatives, and it is widely known that the Hemp plant can be used for a number of different products, such as paper, fabric, building materials, pharmaceutics and even food. But it begs a clear question, when we already have a plant that can provide a vast array of different necessities to society, why it is illegal. So my first steps into this dissertation will be comparing just how much of a economical sustainable resource it is in comparison to what we currently have in place, theories behind why its illegal such as corporations wanting to ensure their businesses don’t have to compete with a more economical product (, the opinions of people within society through polls/surveys/questionnaires/interviews and how it is viewed and what the possible implications could be, both positive and negative for if it was decriminalised.

Thinking about the creative aspect to this project, I know that I want to form some illustrations to support the message of hemp, or educate people with knowledge, to challenge current beliefs and perceptions that may be based upon misinformation. But for this, in support of my more economical and sustainable, harm free outlook I hope to produce these on to hemp fabric/paper. Though it is not legal to cultivate it, hemp materials can be imported so sourcing it shouldn’t be too difficult, though there could be the possibility of some restrictions, though that too will inform my dissertation if that occurs. I also hope to product these in the most environmentally friendly way possible, and look into experimentation with natural paints and dyes, to find a effective and suitable medium to convey my message with.

I have already looked into a number of different books supporting my study, one that i have found particularly informative is Cannabis: The Genus Cannabis. 1998, by David T. Brown.
It looks at all different aspects of the plant and the different uses for each part, but also the genetics and how inbreeding of the plant can produce even stronger materials.

The great book of hemp by Rowan Robinson has also proven to be a valuable means of information. And appears to be expressing a similar message to the one i hope to portray, that of supporting the Hemp plant due to its undeniable sustainable benefits.

“A world now beckons around the corner where soil is being purified, forests are slowly marching back, the air is cleaner and farmers are going back to their farms. If this sounds impossible, that only shows how far we have fallen, how jaded we’ve become. A clean environment and healthy jobs is no pipe dream, it is the base on which our collective sanity rests. we had it for millennia, now we’ve lost it. Hemp is the first and biggest step to getting it back”
Page 43, The great book of Hemp.

I have not yet found any practitioners who have tried to convey a similar message about hemp, though i have managed to find in my research a number of 20th century anti-Cannabis propaganda which i feel perfectly summarises the type if misinformation that has been fed to us so that we hold these negative connotations with the Hemp plant.

marihell marijuana-propaganda-assasin-youth marijuana-propaganda-devils-garden reefer-madness-affiche-film-205x300

I did however find a number of recent ad campaigns that had been distributed across america in support of decriminalisation.