Rena Dourou: “We restore the truth”
“Historically and concisely speaking, I would like to remind you that cannabis has served as a basic agricultural cultivation and an exportable product in the recent past, while its medical use has shown to be effective. Thomas Jefferson gives clear evidence of the aforementioned, through his well-known quote: ‘Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country’”. This was pointed, inter alia, by the Regional Governor of Attica, Ms Rena Dourou, during her welcome address at the Conference entitled MedCannabis Science, in the context of Balkannabis Expo 2018. The Exhibition is held from 1 to 3 June 2018 at Athens Technopolis, under the auspices of the City of Athens, the Region of Attica and the General Secretariat for Industry, and is supported by international stakeholders, organizations and networks.
“Personally, I would like to speak mainly about the lesson given by a product such as hemp. A product whose cultivation has been demonised more than any other ever has, although, in reality, it is a modest product of high added, social and economic value. Because, through its variety of applications, cannabis can change things — be it in agriculture, the paper industry or the pharmaceutical industries”, pointed out the Regional Governor of Attica.
“Therefore today Balkannabis Exhibition aims at raising awareness, educating, and undertaking. We inform about the range of opportunities, we educate about the methods for application, we attempt to disseminate all the above in civil society, thus restoring the truth and promoting, for example, the right of citizens to decent treatment”, stated the Regional Governor of Attica, adding that cannabis “may represent some scope for innovation and openness; a new kind of entrepreneurship with social and collective characteristics”.
“Today, here in Attica, Greece, this great Exhibition aims at laying the foundations for a new, fair model of economic and social development.”
The Regional Governor of Attica was toured around the Exhibition and talked with scientists, experts and specialists in cannabis and its deriving products.
The main parts of the Welcome Address by the Regional Governor of Attica are as follows:
• This initiative takes place under the auspices of the Region of Attica. We do support it knowingly, with a sense of responsibility towards citizens.
• For, this is an historical initiative, which, through its scientific integrity and unambiguous documentation is attempting, during a three-day Exhibition, two things.
• On the one hand, it aims to deconstruct any obscuring myths, misunderstandings and deliberate misinformation with regard to the usefulness of cannabis in Medicine, Industry and Agriculture. On the other hand, it aims to highlight interesting and various, economically and socially sustainable, ways in which this specific product may contribute to the productive reconstruction and the economic development of a country, whilst respecting the environment and creating decent jobs.
• The dissemination of the various and useful products deriving from cannabis “stumbled” — though not accidentally — upon the strong interests of the pharmaceutical industry, the oil industry, the paper industry and other lobbyists who saw hemp as a considerable, not to say dangerous, competitor. Hence the mudslinging and misinformation, especially over the last decades of the 20th century.
• Some people do not hesitate to resort to this mudslinging and misinformation, even today, here, in our country – sometimes in the most vulgar way – at the expense, not of a government, a youth or a Region, as they see fit, but of the scientific reality. Against the huge potential that cannabis has to offer in the field of medical, industrial and rural development.