The History of Hemp News

D Paul Stanford CCS

This publication, Hemp News, is the oldest online news service. In 1991, Paul Stanford began posting Hemp News on the Internet, back prior to the creation of the web. The worldwide web wasn't created until 1994. Stanford began posting news stories about marijuana on Usenet newsgroups, or bulletin boards that are text only computer sites with names like alt.hemp, misc.activism.cannabis, alt.politics.marijuana, alt.drugs.pot. Usenet newsgroups still exist and are archived in perpetuity.

Starting in 1988, Stanford subscribed his Commodore 64 computer to Compuserve, the first national Internet Service Provider, at speeds of 1200 baud over the telephone landline, or about 50 alphabet/numeric characters per second. Stanford first subscribed to Compuserve's Executive News Service, which searched the printed news media's information, like the Associated Press and New York Times, and dropped news stories that matched selected keywords into an online folder, which cost $16 an hour to access. After reading the latest international news stories about marijuana, Stanford realized that most people, even those who were interested in marijuana and ending its prohibition, didn't have access to this news. When Stanford began posting these stories to Usenet newsgroups, no other online compilation of news had been posted about anything to the Internet.

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) started printing Hemp News as a newsprint tabloid in 1996. CRRH was founded in Portland, Oregon by Paul Stanford in 1990 as a state political committee. CRRH became an Oregon nonprofit corporation and IRS designated 501c4 political action committee in 1999. Over the years, Hemp News was been printed to promote Stanford's hemp paper and fabric businesses, Tree Free EcoPaper and Ropewalk Paper and Fiber (1990-96), to assist CRRH's political work to legalize marijuana with through the Cannabis Tax Act (1994-1999 & 2011-2012), and to publicize THCF Medical Clinics (2003-2010).

Now, in the Summer of 2013, the printed edition of Hemp News is a compilation of some of the top news stories we post to daily our web sites. Hemp News is mainly written today by Hemp News' editor, Steve Elliott, with contributions from our publisher, Paul Stanford, and others. We publish the latest breaking Hemp News online to www.hemp.org/news and on our rapidly growing Facebook page, which has over one quarter of a million Facebook followers at www.facebook.com/restorehemp.

We hope you follow Hemp News as we pioneer hemp and cannabis developments into the 21st century.