Tag Archives: marijuana

Mythbusting the “Back to the Land” Movement

Mythbusting the “Back to the Land” Movement

mythbusters

The time has come to set the record straight about one of the most pervasive myths about Humboldt County. I knew I had to take on this subject when I read Kieth Easthouse’s coverage of the recent “Environmental Cannabis Forum” held at the Mateel Community Center recently. At the forum, Tony Silvaggio, an HSU professor with the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research, sited, as a factor in the increasing environmental degradation associated with marijuana cultivation…

HiiMR logo

“The children of the back-to-the landers who first started growing pot in Humboldt’s backcountry tend to be more materialistic and consumer-oriented – and less concerned about the environment than their parents.”

old hippies

Yeah, blame it on the kids. Surely, those idealistic “back to the landers” with their tiny, hand built eco-sensitive scrap-wood cabins and their 20 year-old trucks, who grow just enough marijuana each year to pay their property taxes, support their favorite environmental and social justice organizations and maybe, if it’s a good year, put some new tires on their old truck, couldn’t be responsible for destroying our watersheds, could they? No, that kind of “back to the lander” has nothing at all to do with the environmental damage wrought by the marijuana industry, mainly because that kind of “back to the lander” doesn’t exist in Humboldt County. At least I’ve never met one. That kind of “back to the lander” is a mythological beast, like leprechauns, Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

bigfoot-kiss

You might think of a “back to the lander” as someone who abandoned the exploding plastic inevitable of American consumerism, for a simple life close to nature, but “back to the lander” means something entirely different in Humboldt County. The reason we call Humboldt’s dope-yuppy Baby Boomers “back to the landers” is because of what they do. They grow marijuana, sell it, use the money to buy stuff, and then they haul that stuff, back to the land.

haul junk

From what I’ve seen, I’m sure a Humboldt edition of the reality TV show Hoarders would shock most American consumers. I’ve seen some really ridiculous stuff in people’s yards around here, like airplanes without wings,

plane in woods

…speedboats without engines,

speedboat

…Italian sports cars overgrown with poison oak,

car sports overgrown

and a seven-foot-tall fiberglass caricature or a dachshund’s head that once festooned the facade of a long defunct fast food franchise.

doggie diner head

I know where there is a padlocked, windowless building, way out in the sticks, packed to the rafters with antique pinball machines that don’t work, celebrity look-alike dolls, still in their original packaging, boxes full of fake vomit and rubber dog poop and 15 cases of 30 year old Harley-Davidson brand wine coolers.

harley davidson wine coolers

Once, while digging in a garden in Humboldt County, my shovel hit something hard. I dug it out, brushed it off, and found myself holding a black statuette of a bird, that I immediately recognized as The Maltese Falcon from the old Humphrey Bogart movie. I kid you not, I dug up The Maltese Fucking Falcon in a Humboldt County garden.

the maltese-falcon

Do you remember The Maltese Falcon? The Maltese Falcon is a movie about an object, so immeasurably valuable in itself, that people willingly sacrifice their lives in order to possess it, only to discover it worthless as it crumbles to pieces in their hands.

Finding The Maltese Falcon, chipped and scratched, in a Humboldt County grow scene seemed appropriate, even perfect for the culture I encountered here. I had no interest in keeping it. I asked my landlord, a gray-haired boomer, of course, about it. Of course, it was his. He told me it was expensive, and that he bought four of them. He told me how much he loved The Maltese Falcon and how inspiring he found the idea of owning an object of immeasurable value. Again, I kid you not. That is a true “back to the lander”.

covetous creatures

I know another “back to the lander” who has at least 20 aquariums, no fish in any of them, but if he finds an aquarium at a good price, or one of unusual shape or size, he will immediately buy it. I know a “back to the land” woman who has at least 50 ornate glass and brass overhead electric lighting fixtures strewn about her land even though her house has no electricity. There are barns, sheds, outbuildings and trailers stuffed to the gills with books, records, clothing, stereo equipment, musical instruments, dishes, pottery, art, antiques, and memorabilia of all kinds, scattered all over Humboldt County, “back to the land” Baby Boomers responsible for all of it.shed

 

Do you ever wonder what happened to all of the bowling balls and pins from all of the bowling alleys that went out of business in the last 20 years? I’ve seen piles of them, big piles of bowling balls and bowling pins, deep in the woods, on a rural parcel in Humboldt County. Don’t ask me why.

Bowling_Balls in the woods

And don’t get me started on the rolling stock. If it has wheels and an engine, some “back to the lander” collects them. They don’t fix them, or restore them, or even try to keep rats from taking up residency in them or forest duff from burying them, but they do collect them. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, go-carts, quads, scooters, vans, Rvs, buses, ambulances, Zambonis, hearses, street-sweepers, cherry-pickers, rock-hoppers, forklifts, bulldozers, backhoes, jeeps, amphibious landing craft, armored personnel carriers, and railroad locomotives, you name it, and some “back to the lander’ bought one, dragged it out into the woods and then lost interest in it.

locomotive

I’ve offered to help some of these people clean their junk up and get it out of the forest, in exchange for allowing me to stay on their property while I did it. They all looked at me like I just offered to help them dispose of a sack of solid gold Krugerrands. They tell me how rare and valuable all of their stuff is, and how much money they paid for it. Then they tell me how much money they want for it, and how much more money I would have to pay every month for the privilege of living in their junkyard. So, mostly, they live alone on 40, 80 or 160 acres, while they bury themselves in, rapidly deteriorating, consumer-grade junk.

HOARDING-path

The Baby Boomers are the most materialistic generation in the history of humanity, and Humboldt’s “back to the lander” Baby Boomers are the most insanely, and I mean pathologically, dysfunctionally, psychotically, coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs, insanely materialistic Baby Boomers I have ever met. I find it really hard to imagine how their kids could possibly top them.

coo coo clinton

True, the children of the “back to the landers” do like their pickup trucks, which cruise conspicuously all over town, but I think the younger generation gets a bad rap, because a lot of them would like to own land themselves. In order to do that, they have to buy it from those “back to the landers”. The “back to the landers” have a formula for determing the value of their land. First, they multiply the price they paid for the land originally, by 10 or 15. Then they add up how much they think all of the crap they’ve dragged onto it, would be worth, if there were anyone on Earth stupid enough to buy it. They then double that number, and add it to the asking price.

boomer 2

So, while the “back to the land” Baby Boomers were able to buy land for $20,000-$30,000, and sold the marijuana they grew on it for $3,000-$4,000 a pound, their kids are buying land for $300,000-$5000,000 and selling their pot for $1,000-$2,000 a pound and spending $10 for every 100 pounds of “back to the lander” crap they haul to the transfer station. Yes, the younger generation may be responsible for a lot of enormous water-sucking, forest-clearing mega-grows, because they really need the money, but as far as the materialism goes, their parents, Humboldt’s “back to the land” Baby Boomers still reign supreme.

boomer leeches


Bizarre Butt Embellishments

Bizarre Butt Embellishments

butt tattoo in progress

I see by my calendar that today is Ass Wednesday.  Ass Wednesday marks the beginning of Lint, the time of year when winter clothes traditionally begin to break down from being worn constantly.

dryer-lint

In honor of this pointlessly offensive introduction, I present this pointlessly tasteless exhibit of bizarre butt embellishments.

butt tattoo bugTalk about having a bug up your butt, and continuing in the automotive theme…

butt tattoo trucksThese trucks haul ass!  But this probably gets better gas mileage…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA…and speaking of rude gestures…

butt tattoo fuck youFuck me?  Please.

butt tattoo stop…but I was just getting started.

butt tattoo battery terminalsProbably just needs a jump start.

butt tattoo insert coin… or maybe it requires a deposit

Butt-Tattoo seven dwarvesHi-ho  hi-ho, it’s off to work we go…

butt tattoo wheres waldoNow that you know where he’s been, maybe you don’t want to find him.

butt tattoo elmer fuddscwewy wabbit

butt tattoo Tiger-ButtMeow!  I think this is a fortune tookie.  What’s my lucky number?

butt tattoo 28…and I’ll bet 28 to bring up the rear.

butt tattoo packmanbut this is not my game, or my ass for that matter.

butt tattoo big appleand New York is not my town.

butt tattoo brainThis is your brain on ass, so remember…

butt tattoo crack killsSo, where are you from?

butt tattoo ca grown…and how about you?

butt tattoo barcodelong way from home, I guess.

butt tattoo antlersnice rack!

butt tattoo niupplesnice rack!

butt tattoo primeGovernment inspected!

butt tattoo boot…rejected, and given the boot.

butt tattoo-ass-1ass art.

butt tattoo 1more ass art.

butt tattoo colorfulcolorful ass art.

Butt Tattoos designsMonochromatic ass art.

butt tattoo shadesass art portrait.

butt tattoo black lightBlacklight ass art

butt tattoo freshsome fresh ass art.  bet she doesn’t sit down much for the next few days.  Speaking of painful…

butt tattoo bramblesHemorrhoids?  Maybe you should see a doctor…

butt tattoo dr phil…like Dr. Phil, and speaking of celebrities…

butt tattoo kanye…who is Kanye?

butt tattoo hulk hoganIn a no-holds barred cage match, who would win, Hulk or…

butt tattoo homerHomer?  and while we’re watching the Simpsons, how about…

butt tattoo simpsons

…and…

butt tattoo bart skull…and…

butt tattoo worst tattoo everPlenty of competition in that field.  especially if you consider this…

butt tattoo human centipede…or this…

butt tattoo cockroach…or this…

butt tattoo taco bellI’d call this a warning sign.

butt tattoo kiss thisSome asses can be demanding…

..butt_tattoo spank me…while some just crave attention

butt tattoo handsSome asses were meant for each other…

butt tattoo shake and bakeIt’s better than frying!

butt tattoo rihanna-ass-tattooSome asses get you high….

butt tattoo eagle…while others have wings…

butt tattoo butterfly1…to fly over the asstrophere.

butt tattoo gucciGucci, putting the ass in class.

butt tattoo biblicalSome asses are biblical…

butt tattoo balloon boy…some asses are topical, even if they are out of date…

butt tattoo tags…and some asses can say it in 140 characters or less.

butt tattoo shit happens…and this is where it happens.

butt tattoo pooThe proof is in the poo-ding.

butt tattoo eeyoreWhy so glum?  Is it because we’ve come to the ass-end of this post?

butt tattoo eyesUntil next week, here’s looking at you!


Water Saving Tips to Help Survive the Drought

 

Water Saving Tips to Help Survive the Drought

survive the northern CA drought

Despite recent rains, people around here are freaking out about water. The condition is serious. The few inches of rain we got last week don’t come close to making up for all of the dry months we’ve endured so far.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Endangered salmon, all but wiped out by rapacious logging practices of the past, now face unseasonably low flows in all of our local rivers, and tributaries aggressively dewatered by pot farmers, squeezed between deflated marijuana prices and inflated lifestyle expectations.

fateconomy

You probably think, “So what? Go ahead and liquidate (pun intended) the last wild salmon habitat in the lower 48. See if I care.” You’re a red-blooded American. You know that capitalism is all about transforming the natural beauty and bounty of nature into money, and everyone wants more money, right?

make more money

We don’t need slimy fish getting jiggy in creeks in the middle of nowhere. We need more shitty customer service jobs where desperately poor people can learn to kiss ass. We don’t give a fuck about lazy, good for nuthin’, low-life salmon who swim around eatin’ free krill all day, and we don’t want to see them loitering on private property, looking for a fishy piece of tail.

salmon

So face facts. We can either write the salmon off, as part of the cost of doing business, or we can admit that capitalism was a stupid idea, that never worked, and abandon it. If you want to live under a system that treats human beings as worthless garbage, then don’t expect overworked, impoverished or homeless people to give fuck about salmon habitat, you bourgeois elitist egghead. If you want habitat, dump capitalism, if not, then stop whining about the disappearing wildlife and fix me a cappuccino, and make it snappy!

barista at work

Really, most people I know are about one eviction, lay-off or diagnosis away from killing themselves. Some of them will probably take out as many other people as they possibly can, first. Don’t bother them with your concerns about a fucking fish they’ve never seen, and can’t afford to eat, if you know what’s good for you.

about to snap2

On the other hand, we all need marijuana. None of us could endure another day of capitalism without it. That’s why every one of us needs to step up to the plate, and do our part to conserve water. Unless we all do our part to save water, Humboldt County’s pot farmers won’t have enough water to produce that bumper crop of bloated, over-fertilized, overpriced buds that we’ve become accustomed to.

we need weed

So, for what it’s worth, here’s a list of simple measures that you can take to conserve water, in hopes that we can save Humboldt County’s marijuana crop from the insatiable libido of freeloading fish.

every drop counts

This fist tip seems like a no-brainer to me, but it always amazes me how many people still don’t get it. Here in SoHum, this concept remains quite controversial and hotly debated. It seems simple to me: When confronted with a container of fresh, clean potable water, even if it is only half-full, DON’T SHIT IN IT! Don’t pee in it either. Does that sound controversial to you?

toilet

I know we have laws that require every home, and most businesses to provide a refillable bowl of clean water specifically for this purpose, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it. We have lots of stupid laws that we’ve all learned to ignore; just add those to the list. We can no longer afford to participate in this misguided, wasteful, antiquated tradition. It’s time to get your shit up to date. Compost it, incinerate it, bury it, or eat it, for all I care, just don’t contaminate our water with it.

contaminated-water-supply-causing-epidemics-

Pee on a tree, or pee into a jar and leave it along side the highway. If you find yourself forced to use a public restroom, relieve yourself anywhere but into the water. Shit in the waste basket. Pee in the sink, or on the floor, or on the toilet paper rolls, just not into the water. Show some decency for God’s sake.

decency

Here’s another no-brainer that has the potential to save millions of gallons of water: STOP WASHING YOUR TRUCK!. Look, it’s a fucking truck. It’s not a status symbol. It’s a work vehicle. I know half of you don’t know what work is, but work trucks get dirty, and working people have better things to do than spend their day off detailing them. A little mud and dust won’t hurt your precious truck, and if you don’t like the color of Humboldt County dirt, maybe you should move.

car-washing

Guys around here buy trucks, not so much for work, but to compensate for, how shall I put this, shrunken masculinity. They buy the biggest trucks they can possibly find, which they then wash, bumper to bumper, at least once a week. To compensate for a shortage of an inch or two, Humboldt County men waste thousands of acre-feet of water every year by excessively washing their excessive trucks. So, I’ve come up with a media campaign to address this, water wasting, target demographic. I encourage everyone to purchase, and proudly display on the bumper of your own dusty vehicle, this bumper sticker:

only pussies drive lg

Well that takes care of the low-hanging (or I suppose, the not-so-low hanging) fruit, when it comes to water conservation. The rest of these tips will take some getting used to, but believe me, they are all worth the effort.

worth-the-effort-terry-pratchett-359138

ENJOY YOUR COFFEE DRY. Did you know that it takes 80 gallons of water to make one cup of coffee. I heard that on KMUD recently. That must make some pretty weak coffee. If that is KMUD’s recipe, I’m never buying their iced coffee again. You can save all of that water if, instead of grinding the beans, brewing the coffee, pouring it into a cup, and adding cream and sugar, just eat the coffee beans dry.

coffeebeans

A few dry espresso beans will get you moving in the morning as well as any fancy coffee drink, and you’ll save a lot of time, effort and expense. Espresso beans are deliciously crunchy, and only a little will stick between your teeth.

stuck between teeth1

AVOID WATERPIPES. Smoke joints instead of bongloads. Bongs and other waterpipes waste water by making it really funky and gross. By substituting joints for bongloads, you might save as much as a gallon of water per week, depending on how much you smoke and how often you clean your bong.

bong chick

SNORT YOUR MEDS If you take prescription drugs of any kind, you can conserve water by grinding your pills into a fine powder and snorting them, rather than washing them down with an unnecessary and wasteful glass of water. By snorting your meds you’ll find that the medicine gets into your system faster, and you may even experience a pleasant “rush”, which means you’ll start feeling better, sooner than if you had simply followed your doctor’s instructions. This will give those aging boomers a good excuse to dust off their old grooved mirror and sterling silver razor blade from back in the “70s.

snorting-drugs

Finally, even hard drug users can help conserve water by:

ask your doctor

REJECT INJECTION Injecting drugs intravenously may be the most efficient drug delivery system, but each syringe full of meth or heroin wastes at least one full tablespoon of water. Remember, we have plenty of hard drugs in Humboldt County, but water is scarce, so buy more drugs and use less water. Here’s a little rhyme to help you remember: Buy enough to smoke or snort so our water supply won’t run short.

buy enough

There we have a few simple measures we can all take to prevent a bunch of horny fish from ruining Humboldt County’s marijuana crop. And if you really want to save the fish, work to legalize marijuana, because until we get the marijuana industry out of the hands of drug-dealing dope yuppies, hiding out in the hills, and put it into the hands of competent farmers, working land where all of the endangered species have already been annihilated, you can count the last wild salmon populations in the lower 48 as the latest casualties in the war on drugs. drug war quote


The Humboldt Hash-Makers Fair

 

The Humboldt Hash-Makers Fair

hash marker-Faire

Today (written on Sat. Feb 15) in SoHum, an unusual event is taking place behind the Renner Petroleum Station between Garberville and Redway. I’m not there, of course, because it’s pouring rain, but today, SoHum’s hardier hash-makers have gathered in a rain drenched parking lot to experience the very first (so far as I know), SoHum Hash-Makers Fair. I’m helping them out with the name, but this is a real event.

real event

Officially, they call the event the Garberville Grass Concentrate Awareness Vender Fair, which rolls off the tongue like a mouthful of extra-chunky peanut butter mixed with epoxy,

peanut butter mouth

…but whatever you call it, right now, a bunch of very wet people are demonstrating the latest hash-making technology in a parking lot behind a gas station on the outskirts of town. I’m excited about this! I’ll bet the Garberville Grass Concentrate Awareness Vender Fair, despite the sticky name, is the only hash-makers fair in the entire US. I wish I could be there.

wish i could be there 2

I mean, I’m glad I’m snug and warm at home on this very rainy day, but I hope the show does well, despite the much needed rain. I think I would really enjoy the event, and imagine that it could become quite popular. I, like most American cannabis enthusiasts, prefer to smoke cannabis herb, rather than hash, but hash will do in a pinch, and if made well, hash can be delightful.

stoners delight

In fact, most cannabis consumers would rather have a small quantity of very good hash, rather than a big pile of really shitty weed. That’s why people around here make hash. In Europe and Asia, they make hash for ease of transport, for smuggling. Here in Humboldt County, hash is about recycling.

recycle1

Hash is about using the whole plant, not just the manicured sinsimilla buds. I’m into recycling and everything, but the real reason I think the hash-makers fair sounds fun, is the people it would attract.

attracting people

SoHum’s dope yuppies, the land-owning dope growers, don’t usually mess around with hash. They grow cannabis as a cash crop, and the cash comes from the flowers. Sinsemilla flowers are always in demand, anywhere in America, while hash is a harder sell, at least in the US.

hash selling prank

Dope yuppies need that cash flow, so they focus on producing those flowers, and don’t worry much about what happens to the rest of the plant. A lot of them don’t even grow or process their own weed anymore. Instead, they have sharecroppers, trimmers, and pot slaves to do it for them. They might never even see the weed from seed to harvest to sale. They just take the cash.

dope yuppies suck

Those sharecroppers, trimmers and pot slaves make all of the hash around here. That’s why the hash-making crowd is a much friendlier, funner and less stuck-up bunch of folks than you are likely to run into on any given night at The Mateel. The hash-makers I know around here are some of the nicest people I know, and they’re always eager to share a bowl really good hash, and the hash around here is outstanding.

wana-smoke-alpaca-bowl

These scrappy, resourceful artisans really appreciate marijuana. They hate to see all of that leaf and trim go to waste. They know there’s not much of a market for it, but they make hash anyway. A lot of these people take their hash-making pretty seriously, and produce top-notch hashish in a variety of forms, and by a variety of methods. Thanks to them, we seem to have entered a new hash-making renaissance, centered right here in Humboldt County, as evidenced by today’s fair.

Hash-Ad-small

Several of the companies demonstrating their wares at the fair, base their operations right here in Humboldt County, founded by former pot slaves who posses a passion for concentrated cannabis. I wish them all the luck in the world. I hope their hash-making start-ups succeed, and that the SoHum Hash-Makers Fair grows in the future.

hash bash-background-photo

Sure, I would enjoy seeing live demonstrations of hash-making technology. I’d like to see them haul out a couple of truckloads of shake and turn it into hash before my very eyes.

truckload of pot plants (flip)

Of course we’d all love to sample the finished product too,

girls-smoking-hash

…but this is just the beginning. Imagine where the SoHum Hash-Makers Fair could go from there. They could have an “Iron Lung competition” to see who could smoke the most hash without coughing, while the rest of us hack and spit like angry camels.

angry-camel

They could serve a variety of throat-soothing beverages. At the hash-makers fair, you’ll need them.

4269-29844

What about hash edibles? With the fair falling so close to Valentines Day, I’d think hash chocolates would be a natural. While the chlorophyll in cannabis herb clashes with the taste of chocolate, good hash contains no chlorophyll, and blends nicely with dark chocolate. Who wouldn’t like a box of hash chocolates for Valentines Day? …and what would compliment a nice rich hash chocolate better than a piping hot hashaccino? Mmmm coffee with hash. I’m getting stoned just thinking about it, or maybe I’m just thinking about it because I’m getting stoned.

cappuccino-chocolate-hearts-1280x800

How about belly dancing? Belly dancing and hash go together like coffee and chocolate. I’ll bet we have as many belly dancers in Humboldt County as we have hash-makers, and I’m sure there’s some crossover there. February might be a little cold for belly dancers, but a couple of good heaters should solve that problem. Do you see the potential?

belly dancers1

…and that’s just the beginning. Imagine what could happen if this fair got really successful. Maybe some of the companies that sponsor it could set up some big attractions.

big-attraction

For instance, the people who make equipment for cold-water hash extraction could bring a water flume ride.

water flume1

The folks who make kief tumblers could set up a Ferris Wheel,

ferris wheel

…and the company that makes butane extraction tubes could sponsor a fireworks display.

fireworks-

In fact I think the whole butane extraction part of the fair could be like Burning Man. They could have all kinds of wild fire-art displays that also make hash.

el-pulpo-keppel-4501

The whole butane hash oil extraction process seems more than a little crazy to me, but it’s all the rage right now. If you gave me a choice between extracting hash with ice water, and doing it by emptying an entire can of butane lighter fuel into my immediate environment, I’d choose the ice water every time. That’s just me.

hash butane

I’ll bet if you randomly took people off the street, handed them a brand new can of butane and told them to go sit in a room and empty the can into the air around them, then light a match, no one would be stupid enough to do it. Somehow, adding marijuana to the equation makes it seem like a good idea.

hash lab explosion

Some people hate to do anything unless there’s an element of danger involved. So, now we have a hash-making method for thrill-seekers and pyros. At least they could offer a safety course at the fair.

?????????

Think about it… fireworks, rides, belly dancing, chocolate, coffee, contests, hash-making and safety meetings. That’s a fair with something for everyone. I hope I see you there next year.

hope to see you there


Humboldt County is So “Alternative”

Humboldt County is So “Alternative”

so alternative

When I first moved to Humboldt County, I thought that no one should go to jail for gardening, least of all, for growing cannabis. I felt strongly about this. I went so far as to don a funny hat and carry a sign to voice my disapproval of the war on drugs, and specifically against marijuana prohibition.

thats me next month

I love marijuana, cannabis, pot, weed, ganja, grass, whatever you want to call it. I think it is a beautiful and sacred plant. I like growing cannabis, I like smoking it, eating it, drinking it and sharing it with friends. I felt that no one should be punished for their involvement with it, be they in possession of it, under the influence of it or involved in cultivating it. Today, I feel differently.

me

Today, I think Humboldt County dope yuppies should be sent to someplace like Guantanamo Bay, and water-boarded with their own nutrient solution. Specifically, every time I hear someone around here complain about the falling price of marijuana, I want to see them choking, spitting and pleading for their life while Dick Cheney personally holds the watering wand over their Saran Wrapped face, a solution of piss, manure and decomposing organic filth raining down their throats as they squirm and writhe in agony.

Waterboarding 5

I, like all good people everywhere, am overjoyed that marijuana prices have begun to fall, and that the bitter end of the drug war finally appears to be in sight. We still have lots of work to do. Pot prices remain outrageously high despite recent declines, and too many innocent people still get arrested for minor marijuana possession, but at least we seem to have won the battle for the hearts and minds of the American public. We still need to mobilize that support to overturn draconian prohibition laws, but at last, it seems, the momentum is on our side.

Marijuana-Legalization-564x750

Of course, we can’t expect Humboldt County dope yuppies to to help. They’re the disease. Don’t expect them to be part of the cure. Really, dope yuppies don’t care about the social costs of prohibition. They’ve all seen their friends busted. Half of them have been busted themselves. They know how traumatic that is on families. They don’t care.

bad cops

They know about all of the murders, the missing persons cases, the home-invasion robberies, the violent crime, and the hard drugs that come along with a reliance on black-market dealers. They never stop complaining about the homelessness and poverty, even though they cause most of it. They know Humboldt county has double or triple the murder rate, suicide rate and meth abuse rate of the rest of California. If they ever visited the Garberville Branch of the Humboldt County library, which they don’t, they’d know that the roof leaks, they only have two computers, that barely work, and that the library has no wifi connectivity at all. Blinded by the money that the illegal trade in black-market marijuana brings in, they hardly notice the lack of social capital in their community.

blinded by cash

Instead, they blow their money on parties and status symbols. They already have one huge, expensive concert venue, and they can’t wait to build another one. They drive gigantic gas-guzzling trucks and clear the forest to build enormous Connecticut-style, middle-class, suburban homes. Once the narco-dollars started pouring in, they turned their backs on the greater community and began “keeping up with the Joneses”.

Keeping-Up-with-the-Joneses1

So, don’t worry about what happens to Humboldt County’s dope yuppies when prohibition ends. Celebrate, when the price of an oz of kind bud drops below $50, because some big, legal, publicly traded company wants to be the WalMart of weed. Enjoy it! Don’t fret about the plight of Humboldt’s pot farmers, because Humboldt County growers never gave a fuck about you.

I dont give a fuck lg

Not once have I heard a Humboldt County dope yuppie say: “Man, it really sucks that marijuana has to be so expensive for people.” or “With prices of food and energy rising so fast, how on Earth can working people afford the marijuana they need?” or even, “I’ll bet more people would survive cancer if medical marijuana didn’t cost so much.” Not once have I ever heard that sentiment expressed by a Humboldt County grower.

im-listening

They all know how great marijuana is, and they keep tons of it around the house for their own use. They’ve got cannabis tincture to relieve menstrual cramps, cannabis salve for muscle aches, and hash-laced chocolates for aphrodisiacs. They make cosmic brownies, cookies and goo-balls. They make juice, decoctions and tea from it, and they keep at least four or five different flavors of marijuana, and maybe two or three different kinds of hash around for their personal smoking pleasure.

cannabis_jars5

I don’t knock them for this. I’m with them. It’s great to have plenty of marijuana. Cannabis is wonderful. It’s good for a lot of things, and offers a lot of benefits to people who use it. It’s damn near impossible to hurt yourself with it, so it makes sense to keep plenty of it on hand.

pile of pot

Humboldt County growers take this for granted, but they know that having plenty of marijuana really helps reduce stress. They know about stress. Running an illegal business creates stress of its own. They have other stresses, just like anyone else, but they always have plenty of ganja, and they never have to worry about how much it costs.

money for weed

They don’t have the stress of trying to figure out how to squeeze $40 out of a $300 paycheck, to pay for an eighth of an oz of marijuana, roughly four Humboldt County joints, and then how to budget that three-and-a-half grams of cannabis over seven days. They don’t know what it’s like to skip the dinner out, the concert or the new shirt because a few puffs of kind bud makes that 40 hours of customer-service hell they endure each week, tolerable, but that’s how the rest of America lives.

retail-hell

That’s only half of the price that Americans pay for marijuana. The middle-class subsidizes artificially high marijuana prices by paying taxes that pay for cops, jails and prison guards. The working poor subsidize artificially high marijuana prices by getting arrested and going to jail. That’s why Americans want marijuana legalized: They’re sick of subsidizing the marijuana industry while they work themselves to death for less and less every year.

work to death

Americans pay too damn much for marijuana, and they’re tired of skimping on everything else just for a taste of the kind green bud. They’re tired of paying black-market prices, tired of dealing with black-market dealers, and sick of being treated like criminals, just so that a handful of smug, self-righteous, and self-absorbed dope yuppies can perpetually congratulate themselves for being so “alternative”.

im awesome

Yeah, Humboldt County dope yuppies are so “alternative”… the way a tick is “alternative”. Now plug in that fucking pump and hand me the Saran Wrap.tick


Ashtrays and the Evolution of Smoking Culture in America

Ashtrays and the Evolution of Smoking Culture in America

cultural evolution

I can’t believe how rapidly smoking culture has evolved, just in my lifetime. When I was a kid, my parents both smoked cigarettes… indoors. Damn near every table in the house had an ashtray on it, some had two. They had fancy ashtrays, for special occasions, and they had everyday ashtrays. They even had extra ashtrays in a drawer in case they had company.

ashtray

I remember that you used to be able to buy ashtrays in stores, and they had lots of different kinds. They had cheap disposable ashtrays stamped from foil,

ashtray pinup

nice expensive ashtrays that looked like they belonged on an executive’s desk,

ashtray airplane 1

glass ashtrays,

ashtray glass square

metal ashtrays,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ashtrays carved from solid rock,

ashtray stone 1

and an amazing assortment of ceramic ashtrays.

ashtray ceramic-asst

These things really existed. I distinctly remember ashtrays,

ashtray eye

avocado-green boomerang-shaped ashtrays,

ashtray avacado boomerang

round mosaic-tiled ashtrays, as big as a dinner plate, that weighed at least ten lbs,

ashtray mosaic

stacks of brightly-colored mod-looking ashtrays manufactured from some sort of polymer resin.

ashtray-stack

I know I remember ashtrays.

ashtray remember

You would see one of these things, and you immediately knew what it was. You wouldn’t dream of using it for anything else. Even if it was brand new, people would look at you like you had lost your mind if you decided to, for instance, eat pudding out of an ashtray.

ashtray eating pudding

The intended purpose of an ashtray was to provide a non-flammable place to rest a lit cigarette, a suitable receptacle for flicked ashes, and a surface onto which a cigarette butt could be safely snuffed out. Ashtrays came in a bewildering array styles because people wanted their ashtrays to match the decor of the rooms those ashtrays would inhabit.

ashtrays

Do you remember ashtrays? I know there are young people out there right now thinking “ash trays?”, like they never saw those two words combined before. They have no idea what I’m talking about. They’ve never seen an ashtray, not even on TV. If you wanted to show a kid an ashtray, where would you go? If you wanted an ashtray for yourself, where would you go to buy one?

ashtray free

The disappearance of ashtrays, coupled with the number of people I’ve seen sitting under the eves of their own homes tells me that very few people smoke cigarettes indoors anymore. If you can’t do it in stores, bars or restaurants, and nowadays people won’t even do it in their own homes, cigarette smoking seems to have become an exclusively outdoor activity.

smoke outside

I’m mostly happy about this. I don’t smoke cigarettes, and I have become much more sensitive to cigarette smoke. I can’t imagine living with someone who insisted on smoking cigarettes indoors today, but I also feel for smokers. It must be a drag to have to excuse yourself from a warm cozy room to go stand outside in the cold, rain, snow, wind, heat, whatever, with nothing but a coffee can full of sand for your butts, like some kind of exile. That’s harsh.

bad habit

At the same time, marijuana smoking has become much more accepted. As a result, you can find boutiques all over this country that cater to marijuana smokers. You’ll find these shops stocked to the gills with a dizzying array of new smoking products ranging from vaporizers and dabbing nails, to hookahs and bongs to bubblers, hand pipes and rolling papers, no ashtrays, oddly enough, but tons of other smoking accessories.

head shop

I don’t know what pot smokers are supposed to do with the ashes that result from smoking marijuana, but the free market has provided them with a million new ways to turn marijuana into ash. After that, pot smokers are pretty much on their own.

bong girl

From the look of all of this new smoking gear, nearly everyone who smokes marijuana, does it indoors. Half of the new vaporizers plug into a wall outlet. Not many of those out in the woods. Nobody takes a glass bong the size of a bassoon to go get high in the park. Giant, conspicuous smoking apparatuses like that, stay at home, in a room.

Two-Girls-with-Tattoos-Smoking-10-Foot-Bong

I’m sure that part of the reason people smoke pot at home is the legal environment. Because of marijuana prohibition, pot smokers have gotten used to smoking in secret, so they do it privately, behind closed doors. Even now that two states have made smoking marijuana a legal recreational activity, both Washington and Colorado still prohibit marijuana use in public. It seems that even as legalization takes hold, considerable social pressure remains to keep marijuana smoking an indoor activity.

smoking marijuana indoors

Today, we see cigarette smokers outside under the eves with their cancer sticks and their can of sand, while marijuana smokers sit comfy and warm in their blacklit bedrooms with their Rube Goldberg meets Dr. Seuss smoking contraptions,

bong2

and maybe an old saucer that they drop their ashes into, or perhaps a potted plant. I use an oyster shell, personally. I don’t know what other people do.

OysterShell

It’s got to be rough for people who smoke both marijuana and cigarettes. They smoke some pot, but then they’ll have to step outside for a cigarette. They’ll have to ask someone to hold their contraption, go stand under the eve, smoke their butt, come back in, enjoy a few tokes, then it’s back out under the eves again. These people need revolving doors, and when was the last time you saw one of those.

Revolving Women

It kind of reminds me of segregation. I know it’s not the same thing by a long shot, but cigarette smokers used to rule the world. They wouldn’t even ask, “Do you mind if I smoke?” before they lit up. The air belonged to them, and if you didn’t like it, too bad. Businesses put ashtrays everywhere, just to remind cigarette smokers that they were welcome to fill the establishment with foul smelling fumes, and free matches, bearing the company logo were always close by.

ashtray_pappas_ashtray

Now cigarette smokers stand out in the cold like dogs who don’t know how to behave indoors, while marijuana smokers sit on the sofa in climate controlled comfort, fondling their preposterous pyrex party pipes, looking around for someplace to dump their freshly cashed bowl. My how the tables have turned, but I’ll bet you won’t find an ashtray on any of them.ashtray on a turntable


Celebrating Holimins

Celebrating Holimins

celebrate holi2

Well the Holiday Season has finally arrived, the time of year that we set aside a few days to spend with our family, just to remind us that there really are a few things worse than work. We all recognize the importance of holidays, and why we need so many of them at this time of year, when the weather turns cold, and the nights are long. We take our holidays when we do, because that’s when we most need a break from our daily grind.

daily-grind-web-version

By the middle of November, most of us are on the verge of going postal. Then, just as we are about to snap, the four-day Thanksgiving Weekend rolls around. After four days of turkey, beer, and televised football induced oblivion, we can drag ourselves back to work with something like a smile on our face, knowing that there’s just four more weeks till Christmas, and then the whole fucking year is over in a week-long orgy of food, gifts and alcohol abuse. That’s why we have holidays.

Orgy Diego Rivera

Without the holidays, we’d never get through the year without killing somebody. Whether it’s our bosses, coworkers, elected officials, the general public, our family or ourselves, we all have our lists, and every year the holidays come along just in time to to save their lives, and help us get through the rest of the year without incurring a lengthy prison sentence. But what about the struggle just to get through each day?

daily Grind

If you’re like me, you know how difficult it can be to get through a whole day, let alone year, without strangling somebody or curling up into a fetal position, sobbing and screaming “Why… Why… Why…” until you are too hoarse to speak. I know that life is hard, and every day is a struggle. Everyone deserves a break from the stresses of the day now and then. That’s why I invented:

(cue dramatic sound effect, Ka-Bam)

KAB_Rnd4refineBlk

The Holimin

(cue angelic choir ahhh- ahhh- ahhh).

angelic choir

The holimin is a kind of micro-holiday. Holimins break up the day with little one-minute-long celebrations that let us set aside the burdens of our daily grind for a moment of merriment. My partner and I, being the cultural creatives we are, have been celebrating holimins for more than five years already, and in that time they have become a cherished tradition for us. We now celebrate many holimins throughout our day, and we have developed customs and rituals around each of them.

traditions-and-customs

Some holimins are more festive, some more spiritual, while some simply remind us of who we are and what time it is. You might celebrate some of these holimins yourself, and not realize it. For instance, lots of people around here, and cannabis enthusiasts all over the country for that matter, celebrate the holimin that falls on 4:20.

4_20

If you’ve ever sparked up a joint or fired up a bong load precisely, and intentionally at twenty minutes after four, you’ve celebrated the 4:20 holimin. I very much enjoy this holimin, even though I smoke pot all day long, I take special pleasure in it when I do it at exactly 4:20. Around here, parties often start at 4:20. Informal groups often gather to partake in cannabis smoking at 4:20, and some employers even schedule breaks at 4:20 to allow their employees to enjoy a smoke at that time.

bong chick

All over the country, people set aside what they are doing at 4:20, pick up a joint or a bong or a pipe, add fire and inhale. This simple act changes their whole perspective on the day, and makes them feel better, and forget about whatever it is they were doing at 4:19. Yes, 4:20 provides an excellent example of the power of holimins, but you don’t have to wait until late afternoon (or very early morning) to celebrate a holimin, nor is it necessary to indulge in psychoactive drugs to enjoy them (although it helps).

drunk-holidays

Any minute of any day can be a holimin if it is significant to you, and you take the time to celebrate it. Of course, it always helps to have someone to celebrate a holimin with, but it’s not completely necessary. Like holidays, holimins tend to lose their meaning, and become depressing, if you try to celebrate them alone, but also like holidays, holimins can bring you closer together and strengthen the bonds between people who celebrate them together. On the other hand, I have discovered that too many holimins, or holimins celebrated at inappropriate times, like during sex for example, can have a negative effect on a relationship, so strive for a good balance in your holimin celebrations.

interrupting sex

It doesn’t cost a lot, or take a lot of time or energy to celebrate a holimin. In fact, you should always keep holimin celebrations to less than one minute, this precludes shopping for gifts, costumes, decorations, or even food preparation, which tends to bog down holidays and make them expensive. Holimins, by contrast, require only a simple gesture, a chant, a short song, a little dance or an embrace, just a little something you can do in less than 60 seconds, without prior preparation, to acknowledge the special moment.

life is a special occasion

For us, holimins began with a minute that acquired significance with the advent of digital timepieces. Perhaps you celebrate this one too, 11:11. AM or PM, 11:11 is the only time of day when clocks show us four ones in a row. In the world of digital time, 11:11 has an elegance only matched by 12:00 or 6:30 on clocks with dials and hands. There is a certain Zen about looking at a digital clock at 11:11, a time when all things are equal, and all is one.

Art Nude Model Covered With Vines

Now, excuse me while I go celebrate 4:20.

smoking three joints

Ok, now what was I talking about, oh yeah, 11:11

11.11

To celebrate 11:11, we have developed this little tradition: Whichever one of us looks at the clock at 11:11, will pick up the clock and show it to the other one of us. We then turn and look at each other with the expression usually only seen on small children as they gaze at a decorated tree piled high with presents on Christmas morning. We hold our hands up, fists clenched, save for the index finger on each hand, which we hold straight, and pointed skyward. Using our raised forefingers, we then recreate the digital display in flesh and bone, with real digits, while we chant, in unison, “Eleven! Eleven!” as though we were shouting “Happy New Year!”, and then we kiss.

new-years kiss

We found the whole celebration tremendously fun, and it only took a few seconds. It made us smile. It made us laugh, and more than once it evolved into late morning, or late night nookie, but it didn’t happen every day. That is, most of the time 11:11 would just slip by unnoticed, and we wouldn’t celebrate it. So, we decided we needed some more holimins.

WE-NEED-MORE

10:10 seemed like a natural, it’s got a kind of balance about it. It’s binary, which seemed cool. So, building on the success of 11:11, we developed a holimin tradition for 10:10 similar to our 11:11celebration, but instead of holding up only one finger on each hand, we hold up all ten fingers. Then, we give each other two-handed high-fives, chant “Ten! Ten!”, and kiss.

TenTen_by_gaara_kun5656

10:10 became a hit as well. Before long we started celebrating 12:12, 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44 and 5:55, and developed holimin traditions for each of them. As we added more holimins, we started looking for different things we could do to celebrate them. 3:33, took on special meaning for us, because it is half of 666, the number of “The Beast”. We call 3:33 the Half-Beast Holimin, and it became the first holimin with a special holimin song, at it goes like this:

christmas_caroling

(sung to the tune of Wild Thing)

Half-Beast

You left my raft beached

You make Menonite movies

You’re my Half-Beast

half beast

Be sure to go “ner, ner, ner”, or if you are cat lovers like us, go “meow, meow, meow” to cover the guitar chords between words, and do it all with enthusism, and maybe even air-guitar hand gestures. Our Half-Beast celebration quickly became a favorite, and we even celebrated it in public a few times; once, I recall, very quietly, in the library, and another time at The Meadows Cafe in Redway, but we still wanted more.

wanting-more

We added 12:34, then 1:23, 2:34, 3:45 and 4:56, as well as 6:54, 5:43, 4:32, and 3:21, which, of course, involved chanting: “Three!… Two!… One!… Blastoff!”. We developed holimin traditions for all of them. I won’t bore you with the details, but they’re all silly, and fun, just like regular holidays. To top it off, we added 10:01 and 12:21, and dubbed them the palindrome holimins. Looking at the clock became more fun than playing a slot machine. Any time of day, there was a pretty good chance that the clock would “pay-off”, with a holimin.

jackpot 1

The palindrome holimins proved to be the “straw that broke the camels back”. Over time, all of those holimins became burdensome, and stressful on our relationship. Besides that, it became hard to get anything done unless we hid the clock. Eventually, for the sake of our relationship we said “Never again” to holimins, and ceased celebrating them all together, but it wasn’t long before we started missing them.

missing someone

Today, we still have our holimin traditions for all 20 holimins, buy we’ve learned to only celebrate them if they feel appropriate to us at the moment, and we seem to have arrived at a happy balance of holimins in our lives. I hope you will try out holimins for yourself. Experiment with them, see what works for you, and develop your own rich holimin traditions. Happy Holimins!

celebrating holimins


We Need More Politicians Like Rob Ford

We Need More Politicians Like Rob Ford

rob-ford-smoking-crack

I gotta hang out with Rob Ford more. The mayor of Toronto knows how to party doesn’t he? I mean, all politicians drink; nothing surprising there, and I don’t blame them for it a bit. You have to drink to get through all of those meetings.

politicians-drinking-

I’ve been to enough committee meetings, board meetings, public meetings, private meetings and conferences to know just how excruciatingly dull they can be. No one could survive them for long without anesthetic. Alcohol is the time tested prescription, and I mean alcohol, 80 proof minimum. Beer doesn’t cut it for public servants, but a few martinis gets the job done quickly, and without all those belches or trips to the bathroom.

Dry_Martini

Just last week, one of our local politicians, former County Supervisor Johanna Rodoni, got pulled over and cited for DUI after a meeting of the county fair board. Of course she was smashed! How else could she endure three hours of blah… blah… blah… about the goddamned county fair? The woman is not made of stone!

stoned woman

Not Johanna Rodoni

You cannot have government without alcohol. In fact, the two are codependent. Without government there’s no alcohol and without alcohol, there’s no government. Alcohol and government are both symptoms of a destructive and dysfunctional lifestyle. When things have gotten so bad that armed men in uniform patrol your streets, detain people, and demand that you pay them off, you’re pretty well screwed. If you think that’s a good thing, you’re really screwed-up.

cops_brutal

I call it “The Tyranny of Tedium”. If government were interesting or exciting, more people would pay attention to it. Politicians don’t want that. Politicians want want people to ignore what they do, and they do their best to bore the pants off of anyone who is paying attention. Then, at the end of the meeting, after the last concerned citizen has nodded off, they ram through the deal that siphons all the tax revenue into their pockets. For centuries, politicians have used alcohol to help them wait out the public and bore them into submission.

boring-meeting

So, all politicians drink. That doesn’t make them fun to hang out with. In fact, sober or drunk, politicians are usually dull company. If they’ve become successful at the tyranny of tedium, it’s usually because they have a natural talent for inducing boredom in others. Government gives them the opportunity to capitalize on that gift. To compensate, politicians hire people to find them entertaining.

hire a hooker

Politicians and prostitutes go together like peanut butter and jelly. Politicians sell themselves all the time, so they have a lot in common with prostitutes, and really enjoy their company. For politicians, an afternoon spent sipping martinis with some high-priced prostitutes on a campaign donors yacht, really helps boost their morale, and reminds them why they decided to devote their lives to public service in the first place. So, they make sure to schedule these kinds of events periodically. I’m sure they find it entertaining, but that still doesn’t make them fun people to hang out with.

woman sipping martini

I can see why a politician would enjoy cocaine too. I’ll bet a lot of them do it, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard about one getting caught. Cocaine is so easy to conceal. You’d think Mayor Ford could manage to do it more discretely, but I can see why he would like it. I’ll bet cocaine makes sex with prostitutes even more fun, and it probably helps him keep his eyes open in the afternoons after those three martini lunches.

martinis and cocaine

Cocaine users tend to be kind of unstable though, and they usually crash and burn in pretty short order. It starts as a little gleam in the eye. Then it becomes a nervous tick. Pretty soon, they become disturbingly animated over some insignificant detail, and after that, it doesn’t take long before they come completely unglued. Sometimes that can be entertaining to watch, especially if you don’t care about the person, and don’t loan them any money.

coke_cat_freak

I’ve never done much cocaine, myself. I tried it once or twice, and was not impressed. What did impress me, negatively, was the people I knew who did cocaine. While I generally like marijuana smokers, I have never cared much for cocaine users. I don’t know whether shallow, greedy, status-conscious, self-absorbed people tend to enjoy cocaine, or whether cocaine makes people shallow, greedy, status-conscious and self-absorbed, but I’ve found every cocaine user I’ve ever met, pretty much insufferable.

insufferable

I actually learned to grow my own marijuana, just so I wouldn’t have to hang out with cocaine users. Too many marijuana dealers use the profits from their marijuana sales to buy cocaine, at least too many of mine did. So, as soon as I could (my freshman year in college), I started growing my own. I never sold much of it though, because in order to sell it, I would have to hang out with the same vapid, dipstick, cocaine using marijuana dealers that I was growing my own marijuana to avoid in the first place.

know your dealer

So, why do I think Rob Ford would be such a great guy to hang out with?  I really like Rob Ford’s honesty.  It’s so refreshing in a politician.  Now that he’s been caught, he wants to be out about it. He’s like “Look, I’m a politician. I drink like a fish. I have sex with prostitutes, and I like to do hard drugs too, but I’m not addicted, and I buy my own drugs.  I don’t mooch off of other people.  Sure, I get a little crazy every once in a while; what do you expect?  I’m a piss-drunk coke-fiend for Christ’s sake!   I’m still a good guy, and I’m still the guy you voted for.   I may not be perfect, and I’m sorry to disappoint you, but this is who I am.    Please accept me as your mayor.”

Ford-hood

I love it. I’m behind Mayor Rob Ford 100%. We need more politicians like Rob Ford. Politicians like Rob Ford actually make government interesting. If politicians like Rob Ford make government interesting enough, maybe people will wake up, and realize what a stupid idea it was in the first place.

government-a hell of a thing to do to your own kids


Snip Snip Snip

Snip Snip Snip

snip-snip

Well it’s harvest time in Humboldt County again, and if you listen closely, you can hear the frantic snip snip snip of Fiscars clipping away in almost every house in the county. As is usual in October, we are enjoying some of the most beautiful weather of the year, and probably the last of the nice weather before the rains come with a vengeance. Alas, all many Humboldt County residents will see for the next several weeks is a pair of scissors and a seemingly endless stream of buds and nuggets for them to trim, style and coif.

buds scissors

As far as I can tell, this practice of carefully grooming every single bud was born here in Humboldt County, and it has to be one of the silliest developments in the whole ridiculous history of marijuana prohibition. In the Old World, they process raw cannabis, which grows wild, into hashish. Making cannabis into hash, even hand-rubbed hash, is a much more mechanical process that the careful, concentrated scissor work that has become the norm here in Humboldt County, and completely mechanical hash-making technology has been around for centuries.

hand rubbed hash

Here in the New World, marijuana herb has always been more popular than hash, but in Central and South America, where most of North America’s marijuana came from, historically, marijuana farmers use a much less labor intensive method to bring their product to market. These days people poo-poo the quality of that old brown Colombian weed, but personally I think it was better for all of us than the pricey, pampered, pedigreed weed that Humboldt County is famous for.

brown pot

Back in the ’60s and ’70s, we all smoked cheap, seedy brown pot from South America and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Some of it was better than others, but it all got us high, and we all had plenty of it. We shared it with our friends. We passed lit joints to complete strangers, and smoking marijuana spawned a a huge social movement.

smoking-marijuana-cigarettes

We give LSD a lot of credit for the youth revolution of the ’60s, but marijuana, specifically, cheap imported marijuana from Colombia, Panama, and Mexico had a much bigger influence on our culture than LSD ever did, because it was something we shared, and because it was cheap enough that most of us could afford it. Not that LSD wasn’t a bargain too, and not that we didn’t share that as well, but the LSD experience was overwhelming, solitary and completely personal. Marijuana, on the other hand, as a raw herb, required a bit of preparation, smoking became a social activity, and we got high on marijuana together.snoop n santa

Back in those days we used double-wide rolling papers because most of us had never rolled a cigarette before, and it took a while for us to get the hang of it.

reefer rollers

We learned to use a card and an album cover to separate the herb from the seeds, and we picked the stems out manually. South American growers left the work of processing marijuana to the consumer, and I don’t remember anyone complaining about it.

stems and seeds

Cheap marijuana from South America got us to stand in a circle and talk. LSD never did that. There’s something particularly intimate about sharing a joint with half-a-dozen people, and before long, we started blowing each other “shotgun tokes”, which is almost like french kissing, but with smoke instead of tongue.

shotgun toke

In this way, abundant cheap marijuana fostered social cohesion, cultural identity and real communication, all of the precursors necessary to build a social movement. LSD never did that either.

Blotter_LSD_Dumbo

The South American method of marketing marijuana kept the price low, and put the work of processing the herb in the hands of the consumer. We weren’t just taking drugs, we learned new skills, broke down cultural barriers and built a movement that had as much to do with music, art and politics as it did with ingesting drugs.

salvador-dali-weed-isnpired-art

Marijuana was empowering that way, while LSD was simply overpowering.

ingesting blotter acid LSD

Today, marijuana is different. It’s just another consumer commodity. California growers produce sinsemilla from clones, completely eliminating seeds from the equation, and a small army of trimmers supply all of the alienated labor to prepare the herb for smoking.

alienated labor

All that’s left for the consumer to do is take the bud out of the bag, stuff it in a pipe, hold a flame to it and suck. We were all born knowing how to suck.

born_to_suck

We’re not learning anything here, except that if you want marijuana, you better have a lot of money. That really sucks!

money for weed

High prices and alienated labor have ruined marijuana. High marijuana prices make alcohol look more attractive. Anyone can afford to get drunk, so alcohol becomes the poor man’s best friend. That’s not a good thing. I mean, that’s really not a good thing, and we all pay an enormous price for it.

poor-alcoholic-in-depression

Marijuana used to be as cheap as beer, cheap beer. Poor people could afford it, but rich people liked it too, and only poor people knew where to get it. Cheap, plentiful South American marijuana literally saved lives and brought us together as a society, and cheap, plentiful marijuana still has the power to turn our culture around and save the world.

Marijuana-Saves-Lives

I believe that we are in the midst of an epic cultural battle between alcohol consciousness, and cannabis consciousness, and that the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Both capitalism and prohibition emerged out of alcohol consciousness. Overpopulation, environmental destruction and a hierarchical society are the hallmarks of alcohol consciousness. Most people, I fear, do not realize that all of civilization was triggered by the invention of beer, because, alas, most people don’t read my blog, but those of you who do, know this already. Yes, every aspect of our sick culture, including capitalism, prohibition, and the police state, has been shaped by 10,000 years of alcoholism.

drunken history

Marijuana culture, on the other hand, is much more ancient, and is not marked by overpopulation and environmental destruction, but by love, understanding and respect for all living things. It sounds corny as hell, but it’s true.

i smoke weed

Marijuana can save the world, but that will never happen as long as marijuana remains enslaved by capitalism, greed and prohibition.

negative effects of marijuana

Marijuana doesn’t need to be dolled up like a whore, without a leaf of dignity, and packed into a see-thru ziplock bag, for people to want it. In fact, everyone wants marijuana, whether they know it or not, and marijuana wants to grow wild and free. It likes to move in to disturbed patches of soil, and once established, it comes back year after year. Only the police state keeps it from taking over, and who needs that?

marijuana wild and free

There’s nothing wrong with seedy, shaggy pot. I don’t mind picking the seeds out of my smoke. It may seem like a chore, but seeds offer the promise of more marijuana to come.

shaggy

Buds full of seeds means more marijuana everywhere, and plenty of good seedy, shaggy green buds for everyone, free for the taking, like blackberries. That’s what marijuana should be. Free medicine, free herb, free stems, free seeds, free roots if you want ‘em, all together, and altogether free. That’s the fair market price for marijuana, and that’s the fair market price for love.

pot love shirt

Think about that as you snip, snip, snip away at those seedless sinsemilla buds you put so much time, energy and money into. Pimpin’ your ladies ain’t makin’ the world a better place. Quit dressing your pot like a whore and set it free.

sticky buds

Start yourself a patch, and let it take care of itself. Give it some water now and then, and you’ll enjoy plenty of good sweet smoke year after year, and have plenty to share with your friends. Keep an old album cover around, and get a shoebox for the seeds. Now put down those scissors and let’s party!

lets party


Unfamiliar Faces, Familiar Theme

 

Unfamiliar Faces, Familiar Theme

The following letter appears in our local papers this week.  The more I hear other people voice their frustration with the abundance of poor, young people in our area, the more I feel compelled to vent my hatred for the dope yuppies, moochie merchants and real-estate goons who make up the middle-class around here.

yuppie irradication project

Dear Editor,

Before we give voice to any more unkind thoughts we may have about the influx of new faces in our little town, we should remember that these are the faces of marijuana smokers, and that they are the source of our community’s prosperity. The next time you see a cluster of unfamiliar faces cluttering a stretch of sidewalk, ask yourself, “How much money did they spend on marijuana last year?” and “How much will they spend on marijuana next year?” The answer to both questions is “More than they can afford.”

too damn high

They will do without decent clothing, a car, or even a place to live, but they will not go without marijuana. This whole community was built with their money. Not only that, they pay prohibition prices for what would otherwise be a common weed. In order to make big money from marijuana, you need cops, and you need to arrest a lot of people. A million people, more or less, every year, for the last thirty years or so, have worn handcuffs, been strip searched, and made prisoners, in order to support marijuana prices, and profits for local growers.

marijuana_arrests_chart500

Ask yourself, “How many of them have been arrested for marijuana?, How many of them spent time in jail for it? How many of them have been on probation? How much did they spend on lawyers and fines? How many of them have lost, or been denied jobs because they failed a drug test? How much has their enthusiasm for marijuana cost them?”

Marijuana-Laws-750x412

Yes, the unfamiliar faces we see around town pay for the prosperity that this community enjoys in money, time, agony and humiliation. They have, and will, continue to suffer needlessly, just so that this community can continue to demand a princely sum for a common fast growing weed.

pot prisoners

Every merchant and grower in SoHum owes them a huge debt of gratitude, and should celebrate their enthusiasm for marijuana. The least we could do is provide them with a restroom and clean up after them, just like we do at Reggae on the River.

Reggaeontheriver

If you really don’t want to see lots of raggedy looking strangers around town, don’t harass them or vandalize their meager possessions. Instead, donate money to NORML and other organizations working to legalize marijuana, sign the petition to get the Jack Herer initiative on the ballot, and find another way to earn a living that isn’t so dependent on them.

Jack_Herer_1

 

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98 other followers