Franco Casalone: celebriamo il ricordo di un instancabile attivista

Franco Casalone: ​​we celebrate the memory of a tireless activist

Franco Casalone: ​​we celebrate the memory of a tireless activist

It is with a broken heart that we say goodbye to Franco Casalone, who recently left us, at the age of 64, due to post-operative complications following kidney surgery. Franco's passing marks the end of an era in the world of cannabis advocacy, as he was a historic pioneer in the field. His life was a testament to unwavering commitment and genuine dedication, which affects us even more deeply after the latest attack on the cannabis industry recently.

Franco's path is deeply rooted in his identity as a farmer and grower. With a passion for the land in his DNA, he was not only an expert in cannabis, in particular Cannabis Sativa L., but also an activist who tried to bring about change in a prohibitionist society by promoting the free circulation of information and tirelessly putting the paradoxes linked to the narrative regarding this plant are discussed.

Franco's journey into the world of cannabis fighting began in the 1960s, as he watched his grandfather care for marijuana plants with dedication and expertise. Little did he know that this would be the beginning of a path that would shape his life's mission.

From a very young age, cannabis immediately had a profound impact on him; He cannot understand why such a seemingly harmless and beneficial substance is illegal while alcohol, with its well-documented harmful consequences, remains legal.

Franco, like many young activists of his time, decides to take a stand against this injustice, embarking on a research journey into the myriad of beneficial properties of the cannabis plant.

In 1985 he met Jack Herer, a well-known pro-cannabis activist from the United States. Inspired by Herer's work, Franco mobilizes to contribute to the cause, accumulating a wealth of knowledge on the therapeutic properties of various strains of cannabis and recognizing the potential economic benefits of industrial hemp on a global scale.

Frustrated by the prevailing prohibitionist sentiment in Italy, Franco later makes the crucial decision to move to the Netherlands, where he is encouraged to publish two books on the subject. This marks the beginning of his prolific writing career. Among his notable works are “ Canapa ,” which explores the therapeutic and economic potential of cannabis, and “ Il Canapaio ,” an essential cannabis cultivation manual for enthusiasts.

Franco Casalone's relentless dedication later takes him to the Himalayas, where he spends a decade shuttling between the peaks and vibrant Indian cannabis culture. Here he hones his skills as a Strain Hunter , preserving and replanting rare and lost cannabis strains.

During his time in India, Franco delved into the art of producing charas , an ancient form of cannabis resin. His expertise and experience consolidate his status as one of Italy's leading cannabis experts, often referred to as the "Hemp Guru".

His contribution was invaluable for sharing methods and secrets regarding the extraction of cannabinoids. Franco has helped researchers like himself by teaching the art of producing fine cannabis products and extracts , including his most renowned creation, the sacred Charas, often described as the “champagne of hashish.”

At the beginning of the 2000s Franco returned to Italy, more precisely to Monferrato, his hometown, with a clear mission: to make hemp legal in Italy for therapeutic purposes. Collaborates with Assocanapa , a key player in reintroducing industrial hemp into Italian fields.

He later becomes vice-president of the Tara Association, which aims to guarantee the right to alternative treatments, including cannabis with high THC content, for those in need, as well as fighting for CBD and the so-called cannabis light .

Despite his lifelong commitment to promoting cannabis culture and information, Franco faces an unexpected twist when an arrest warrant is issued against him in 2020 on charges of running a marijuana outlet from his converted basement in the laboratory. However, due to the absence of evidence relating to drug trafficking and certification of personal use for therapeutic purposes, he was released.

His tireless support and determination have made him a beacon in the world of cannabis, earning him the title of hemp plant guru in Italy. His legacy continues to inspire the fight for the legalization of cannabis and the destigmatization of its medicinal use.

Throughout his life, Franco's resolute struggle aimed to dismantle a repressive cultural system by fighting prohibition with information. He championed the cause of free information, standing as a bulwark against an official narrative full of conflicts of interest and dishonesty.

For half a century he dedicated his life to the cannabis plant. He chose to live with it, celebrating it and defending it, becoming an example for those who fight to free it from stigma and prejudice.

We conclude by recalling Franco Casalone's constant and tireless commitment to challenging prejudices related to cannabis and helping those in need. His contribution leaves a lasting impact, which remains alive despite his passing. By honoring his memory and his battle we are committed to carrying forward his mission. Thanks Franco, we will miss you!

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