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Pot shots

Posted on August 21, 2000

The former Hemp Times editor and publisher responds

In response to:
Pot shots, Monday, July 24, 2000

Letter to the editor

I am writing as the former editor and publisher of Hemp Times, a magazine described by Mari Kane as “drowning in its own swill” after being launched for the purpose of “putting out of business” her own journal, Hemp World. Ms. Kane claims that she offered to sell her publication in 1995 to the publishing company which backed Hemp Times, and that her offer was refused in order to compete with her, therefore driving her magazine under.

Ms. Kane never “offered” to sell her publication to the company which backed Hemp Times. In fact, in August 1995, at the direction of that company, I initiated a call to Ms. Kane and asked if she was interested in selling her publication and continuing to serve as an editor for it. She indicated that she was indeed interested in discussing this offer from our publishing company, and the talks continued.

Abruptly, one month later, Ms. Kane called and said that she had changed her mind, that she would not consider selling her publication. She also asked me not to tell anyone that she had ever discussed such a possibility. I agreed, and, as a Southern gentleman, I have kept my word through five years of unremitting calumny, invective and personal slurs from an increasingly bitter woman who blames our magazine for the demise of hers. Now that she is publicly disseminating false versions of what actually happened, I feel that I am released from my promise and am setting the record straight.

Hemp Times was launched nearly a year after these talks by a company that wanted to publish a magazine about hemp. They would have published hers had she so chosen, but she did not. Hemp Times did not “drown in its own swill” but, like many small magazines, including Ms. Kane’s Hemp World, moved from print to the Internet as a more efficient distribution system than an increasingly extortionate magazine circulation network.

– John Howell

Copyright © 2000, Salon. All rights reserved.

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