We’re certainly all for the Czech Republic’s willingness to step up to the plate and become a laboratory for drug-policy reform. But in their haste to craft decriminalization legislation that could kick in with the New Year, Czech lawmakers appear to have done a grave disservice to a rising agricultural sector: the cactus industry:
A week ago, the government approved the list of hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms, including hemp, coca, mescaline cactus and magic mushrooms, and decided that people would be allowed to grow up to five pieces of such plants and keep 40 magic mushrooms at home.
Shortly after the list was released, Czech cacti growers voiced concern about the new government’s directive which set limits to growing plants containing mescaline.
Mescaline is a type of hallucinogen which is illegal in most countries.
The growers of cacti intend to hand over a petition to the government that has been signed by 450 people already.
“Many cacti growers have been immediately criminalised with the approval of the limits set by the Justice Ministry as there are some 4000 types of cacti in the world and some of them can contain a certain amount of mescaline,” the organisers of the petition which has been placed on the Internet say.
The government has assured cactus farmers that they can apply for exemptions from the rule, but the bureaucratic red tape will doubtless be an impediment to the industry’s growth. And that’s a pity, seeing as how the humble cactus looks poised to have its golden moment as the hog, cow, and chicken feed of the future. Plenty of technical information on that score available via the Chinese company that started the cactus trend. (Delightfully earnest corporate slogan: “Improving your quality of life with cactus.”)
We can’t vouch for the validity of the company’s claims, particularly in terms of cactus feed being better for porcine health than the slop of yore. But if that’s true, will American farmers adopt the practice? Or will the fact that it was created in China give many of them pause? China’s agricultural industry has some black marks against it in recent years, which will make it difficult for the likes of China Kangtai Catcus Bio-tech Inc. to export its technologies.
Seems like a potential opening for the Czechs to swoop in. As soon as we find that cactus petition on The Tubes, we’re signing.