iHemp Magazine iHemp - Issue 1 - Sept 2018 - Page 11

Donald James MacIntosh aka ‘Mack’, is an integral part of the New Zealand Hemp Industry landscape. If it wasn’t for early pioneers like Mack, willing to sacrifice their time and personal comfort, there might not even be a hemp industry in New Zealand. Memorable Moments during my 30yr Hemp Involvement 1988 I read the book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer. I couldn’t believe that the government had classed all cannabis including hemp as a drug with no medical benefit. It blew my mind that government’s around the world, vilified hemp when it was such a useful plant with such a rich and forgotten history. Why would they do that? 1989 On a visit to Tasmania I was completely gob smacked by the research of Patsy Harmeson and Dr Andrew Katelaris. Again, I was shocked to learn that this plant had been made illegal for all the wrong reasons. 1990 I formed the NZHIA with 15 mates in the Owaka Valley with the mandate "You get it legal Mack, and we'll grow it" they said. 1994 The Australians made a movie called ‘Billion Dollar Crop’ by Barbara Choboky. I met her in Sydney. Barbara was a huge source of early info around the 1990’s. This got me thinking about New Zealand's feast or famine approach to primary industries. 1995 We the NZHIA started posting stuff on the internet which was new in the mid 1990’s. Richard Barge turned up wanting to also start something. So he ended up joining the association too. 1996 I started visiting councils and writing to everyone in parliament. After the election I thought I’d be best to move to Wellington, so I could actually speak to the policy makers. I gave myself two years and then nine years later... we finally got somewhere. I was assisting two advisor scientists re: Taupo Council on the waterways around the lake. I kept sending them data at all hours, prompting them to ask me if I ever slept, as I seemed to be at it constantly. 1999 It was Sweetwaters (the concert) in Auckland. Richard asked me up to it and I reluctantly went. I met and assisted Phillida Bunckle MP to get signatures for free breast screening. She stated that if she were ever in a position to assist with our cause, she would. Which was great, because she did. Six months later she was Minister of Customs and she rang me and offered funding for the ‘Interagency Working Group on the Cultivation of Cannabis for Industrial Purposes’. Phillida is the real heroine in this story. Meanwhile 11