BACH is an association of hemp businesses, community trade representatives, and interested citizens working together to bring hemp to a new generation of Americans. It was conceived in 1988 and founded in 1989 by Chris Conrad.
The year 1994 was pivotal for BACH as the culmination of the initial BACH five year plan designed to win widespread support for four goals:
• Restore industrial hemp to the world economy;
• Recognize medical marijuana by prescription; and
• Respect personal rights to grow and consume cannabis; and
• Regulate a market for legal adult cannabis use.
BACH met many of its interim objectives in its first five years. It reintroduced the word hemp to the American vocabulary. It re-framed the issue and revived a positive, holistic image of the plant through literature such as “The Many Uses of Hemp,” “Hemp for Health,” “Hemp and the Economy,” “Hemp Paper Saves Trees,” “Hemp and Ecology,” etc. It made targeted demographic outreaches, expanding our base of public support to include environmentalists, economists, farmers, health care workers, etc. It developed a documented body of evidence of the historic and modern value of commercial hemp, promoting the widest possible range of applications to illustrate the industrial, horticultural, nutritional and medical value of the hemp plant. It produced two landmark books about hemp, The Emperor Wears No Clothes (1990) by Jack Herer, and Hemp: Lifeline to the Future (1993) by Chris Conrad. It identified and expanded the growing list of legal hemp products and promoted them to the public. It took an active role in reviving the domestic hemp industry by networking with businesses and sources of raw material, stimulating local community action, education and support for hemp reform and reviving the US debate over cannabis prohibition. It helped develop and support specific reform legislation in New York (1991) and Colorado (1994). BACH founder and director Chris Conrad made hundreds of media appearances, mostly on talk radio shows, balancing the media’s bias toward the plant. He never ducked the marijuana issue and curated the Hash, Marihuana and Hemp Museum in Amsterdam (1993), thereby framing the global debate on hemp reform. BACH was the right group at the right time and was a major factor in blocking the effort to ban industrial hemp during the early 1990s, and brought the crop back from the brink of extinction in Europe.
Most importantly, BACH played a critical role in the 1994 founding of the Hemp Industries Association, the international trade association that represents industrial hemp materials, markets and services. It is still a proud member of the HIA and a supporter of VoteHemp, the political arm of the HIA and encourages others to do likewise.
Admittedly, it has taken more than five years, but BACH has since continued to press its attack for reform. The right to farm industrial hemp has since been restored in Australia, the European Union, Britain and Canada. More hemp products are available than ever before in recent history. The industry has grown into the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue; China alone is taking the industry to new heights. BACH was involved in the passage of medical marijuana laws in California, including the law that allows dispensaries to operate in the state. Since our campaign began, 21 states have taken action to advance industrial hemp, 18 states have legalized medical use, and 2 states have voted to legalize, tax and regulate adult use of marijuana. In 2010, BACH helped write and promote Proposition 19, the California effort to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana that narrowly lost and paved the way for the passage of legalization laws in Washington and Colorado in 2013.
So the change inevitably comes. In Spain, Switzerland and Holland, people still retain the right to consume cannabis in the home. The Dutch cannabis coffeeshops remain open to international guests and visitors. Argentina, Germany, Colombia and Mexico have all ended their criminal penalties on small amounts of cannabis for personal use. Now the president of Uruguay has expressed his plan to create a state run marijuana distribution and sales network. The tipping point seems near.
Nonetheless, the DEA continues its broad abuse of power. People like Kevin Sabet profit from spreading bigotry and propaganda against cannabis, and the U.S. government has the death penalty on hemp farming.
Yet public opinion has turned definitively in our favor, Senator Leahy of Vermont has spoken in favor of legalizing an ounce of marijuana for personal use and numerous reform bills are being entertained in Congress. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is now in favor of restoring industrial hemp farming to America.
See the BACH literature in PDF form by following the links below.