Author Archives: john hardin

About john hardin

sometimes I'm joking. Sometimes I'm half-joking. Sometimes I'm serious. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference

Cannabis Consciousness

cannabis consciousness third eye

We have a show on KMUD called “Cannabis Consciousness.” Kerry Reynolds hosts the show, which covers cannabis related news, pending legislation, and reports on the cannabis industry in the Emerald Triangle. That’s not what I mean by “cannabis consciousness.” Personally, I don’t like to think about any of that shit when I’m high. When I say “cannabis consciousness,” I mean, “how I think and feel when I’m high on cannabis.”

stoned crumb

That’s why we smoke cannabis, right? We consume cannabis because it alters our consciousness in some way, and the way cannabis alters our consciousness differs from the way in which alcohol, or caffeine, or nicotine, or any other drug, for that matter, alters consciousness. In all my explorations of altered states of consciousness, I find cannabis unique in its ability to predictably produce this unique state of mind, which I call, “cannabis consciousness.”

cannabis consciousness and

It’s funny, I think, that for as much as people around here talk about cannabis, and people do go on, and on, and on, about cannabis, around here, I hear very little talk about “cannabis consciousness.” It surprises me that so few people around here seem interested in cannabis consciousness, even though they smoke a ton of weed. Instead, they prefer to talk about cannabis as a commodity, or a product, discussing how it looks, how it smells, its genetics, how to grow more of it, and especially how much money they can get for it. I tire quickly of that kind of talk, and it has nothing to do with cannabis consciousness.

talk about marijuana

Personally, I don’t like to think about money when I’m high. When I smoke cannabis, I realize the wisdom of following my natural inclinations, and the importance of distinguishing between what comes naturally, and conditioned behaviors, cultural expectations, and media projections. When I’m high, the high-tech trappings of modern life lose their appeal, and reveal themselves as traps.

trapped by technology

Instead, when I get high, I identify strongly with the natural world, and feel a deep connection to every living thing. That feeling of connection to the rest of creation provides tremendous comfort. It’s a comfort people desperately need, especially in our capitalist society that alienates and exploits us so thoroughly and heartlessly. Feeling like part of the natural world imparts a subtle change of aesthetics as well.

aesthetic perception

Mass produced consumer products seem especially ugly when I’m high, and I become acutely aware of the environmental damage they cause. Cars seem impossibly destructive, and insanely dangerous, when I’m high. Mass media comes across as crass, manipulative and offensive when I’m high, and watching it often leads to feelings of paranoia and dread.

paranoia and dread dark

Listening to music, on the other hand, becomes a profoundly moving experience. Listening to music while high reminds me of the amazing sensitivity of the human ear, and leads to a sense of wonder about why music feels so much more satisfying than random incoherent noise. Listening to a good band, while high on cannabis, reminds us of our amazing capacity, as human beings, for collaboration and communication. It reminds us that we have a long history of working together in small, egalitarian groups with almost magical coherence. Getting high reminds us of who we are, and what makes us human. That’s why people like getting high on cannabis so much, and why we feel so righteous about it.

stoned jesus

That’s also why cannabis has become so popular, despite prohibition, and why cannabis users, even heavy cannabis users, don’t suffer the debilitating health effects associated with other so called “recreational drugs” like alcohol, or methamphetamine. Cannabis doesn’t just help sick people; cannabis is a natural part of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone needs cannabis whether they know it or not, and the people who think they don’t need cannabis, probably need it the most.


Cannabis prohibition is cruel. Prohibition forces people who recognize the benefits of cannabis consciousness to violate the law, take undo risk to their health and safety, associate with undesirable people, and pay ridiculous sums of money to buy it on the black market, while those who do not know the benefits of cannabis consciousness, simply do without.

sagen smokes


Doing without cannabis consciousness leads to a whole slew of maladies, like depression, obesity and drug addiction, which plague us in epidemic proportions, and at enormous cost. The culture that dominates our lives today, treats greed and exploitation as sacred, and relies on increasing levels of human suffering to maintain economic growth and political control. Living this way takes a tremendous toll on humanity. Without cannabis consciousness, few of us would survive in this meat-grinder for long. Even with cannabis consciousness, we know it’s killing us all.

ritilin marijuana


In truth, cannabis consciousness is antithetical to our culture of greed and exploitation. That’s why cannabis consciousness poses such a real threat to our educational system, our political system, and our economic system. For capitalism to endure, people must necessarily remain sick, helpless and vulnerable. Nothing threatens this system more than healthy, aware people, who feel a strong connection to each other, as well as the natural world.

cannabis boobs

Politicians, cops, banksters, and drug dealers alike, fear abundant, cheap, legal cannabis. They know their greed, not cannabis consciousness, sickens humanity. Their greed, not cannabis consciousness, impoverishes society, and their greed, not cannabis consciousness, destroys the environment. They know that the rest of us would be better off without parasites like them, but they also know that if they can wedge themselves between us, and cannabis consciousness, they can use that leverage to manipulate us.


The battle over the legalization of cannabis is a war between two opposing world views. We have cannabis consciousness promoting health, freedom, creativity, and a strong connection to the natural world, on one side, vs greed consciousness, which shamelessly exploits people and the environment for profit, on the other side. Cannabis consciousness says “safe, legal and cheap marijuana will do the most good for people and the environment, so plant it everywhere.” Greed consciousness says, “OK, prohibition doesn’t work, but we can’t afford to lose this valuable piece of our horrifically destructive economy, so instead, let’s concoct a new gentler way to exploit people with it.” Put simply, it boils down to this: Which do you value more, your money, or your life?


I Give Thanks

bird chills

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, and of course, I’m very thankful to live here in Southern Humboldt. I’m thankful for my partner Amy with whom I’ve shared the past 19 years, and for our modest home in the woods. I’m thankful for the firs and the redwoods, the madrones and the tan oaks, the manzanitas and the huckleberries, and all the myriad wildlife who inhabit them. I’m thankful for the rivers, the salmon, the sturgeon and the lamprey and I’m thankful to live in a community that values them.

salmon in forest

I give thanks for every day I live to enjoy this marvelous place, which I’m sure you can easily understand, but in the time that I’ve lived here, I’ve learned to appreciate another side to life in Southern Humboldt that I never thought I’d be thankful for. Let’s call them “acquired tastes.” For instance:

acquired taste
I’m thankful to Estelle Fennell for making me miss Roger Rodoni.

fennell rodoni

I’m thankful to CCVH for turning SoHum’s criminal low-lifes into corporate sleaze-balls.

ccvh corporate sleaze balls

I’m thankful for hash-lab explosions because I like it when the bass goes BOOM.

hash lab explosion

I’m thankful to dope yuppies for giving me so much to write about.

hiaasen quote

I’m thankful for bankers and real estate agents for reminding me that there are less ethical ways to make a living than by dealing drugs.


I’m thankful that there remain a few businesses in the greater Garberville/Redway area that Steve Dazey does not own.

dazeys supply panel

I’m thankful for the Garberville-Redway Chamber of Commerce and the Town Patrol for reminding me that there are uglier things in this world than poverty, homelessness and drug addiction, like intolerance, bigotry and vigilantism, for instance.

Garberville welcome to buy

I’m thankful for our local tweakers because they act as urban scarecrows, scaring mainly tourists, and because they provide local youth with a cautionary example of what can happen to you if you use meth. If our tweakers don’t scare them straight, nothing will.

tweaker-tilemeth before after

I’m thankful that my friends, who lack adequate housing, remain here, year after year, despite inclement weather, open hostility and police harassment, because without them, this town has far too few likable people.

speak 4 languages

I’m thankful for my friends who have adequate housing for the same reason.

friends 3 stooges

I’m thankful for the prices at Shop Smart in Redway and Ray’s in Garberville because they make it worth the drive to Eureka, to shop somewhere else.

shop smart

I’m thankful for the Humane Society Thrift Store in Garberville because I like knowing that the money I blow on stupid second-hand electronic toys gets used to rip the genitals off of small furry animals.

No, no, not this one.  The other one. down the street from where this one used to be.

No, no, not this one. The other one. down the street from where this one used to be.

I’m thankful for our local non-profits like KMUD, the Mateel, Sanctuary Forest, Friends of the Eel and Bird Ally X because without their T-shirts, I’d have nothing to wear.

bird ally x t shirt-horz


I’m thankful that the local workforce isn’t more ambitious or competent, and that those eager-beavers from Fortuna have to drive so far to get here, because if I have to take a shitty job, the last thing I want is competition.


I’m thankful for ALL of the people of Southern Humboldt, if for no other reason, than at least for the fact that there are so few of us per square mile.

sohum people-tile

Finally, most of all, I’m thankful for you, dear reader, for taking the time to read these words, regardless of how they make you feel. I appreciate your time, and hope you find the experience rewarding in some way. On behalf of Amy and myself, I wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving.


LOCO, Me, and the Truth About Southern Humboldt

loco logo

I take pride in my work, and I enjoy seeing my essays published each week at LOCO. I can’t say I read LOCO much. I use the excuse that I don’t have internet at home, for not reading LOCO, but the truth is, I don’t have internet at home because I have better things to do. Still, Hank Sims and the folks at Lost Coast Communications have put together a great resource for this community. I know that a lot of people rely on LOCO as their number one source for information about life in Humboldt County, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

proud people work harder

Of course, not everyone who reads LOCO likes what I have to say. Some people have described my work as “hateful” or as “sensationalist click-bait.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t hate dope yuppies for becoming drug dealers any more than I would hate a woman for becoming a prostitute. I pity her. I don’t care how much money she makes. I pity her, and I pity the dope yuppies in the same way.


Prohibition has a corrosive effect on everything it touches, including the lives of the people who profit from it.  I don’t care how much money they make at it, dealing drugs is a shitty, low-status, high-stress occupation, and growing weed is a lot of boring hard work. Even the money they make, causes them problems.

money causes problems

Not everyone sympathizes with white people who have too much money, but I do. I know that many of our local dope yuppies suffer from an inferiority complex. Deep down, they can’t face the fear that they just don’t have what it takes to succeed honestly, so they overcompensate. I see how hard they work to fill that hole, and how completely clueless they are about their situation. That’s not evil; that’s pathetic, so I pity them; I don’t hate them.

pity not hate love

That said, as we move towards legalization, and draw back the curtain on this whole writhing pile of maggots known affectionately as “the cannabis industry,” we must always remember that the War On Drugs did this to people. The War on Drugs was a shameful chapter in this country’s history, and it forced a lot of people to do ugly, sneaky and illegal things, just to get cannabis into the hands of the people who needed it most. You could, perhaps, describe those efforts as heroic, but over time, it changed people, and they became increasingly addicted to black-market profits.


Those were dark times, but as the War on Drugs comes to an end, so does the excuse for this inexcusable behavior. Now comes the time for truth and reconciliation, and I’m here to help. I’m here to remind you of what you lost in the War on Drugs, and what we stand to gain by ending it. I sympathize, and I care. I only want the best for our whole community, and I do my best, as a writer, to to highlight the truth, and make it entertaining to boot. It’s honest work, LOCO pays me for it, and every day, people introduce themselves to me, to tell me how much they appreciate it.

thumbs up

Sure, it’s a lot of work for the money, and no, I don’t make as much as the dope yuppies I ridicule, but I still have my self-respect. Self-respect can save you a lot of money in the long run, because no matter how much money you sell your self-respect for, you can never buy it back, no matter how hard you try. Dope yuppies tend to blow a lot of their money that way.

respect money

Why do you think dope yuppies over-tip at restaurants, buy shit they don’t need, and go to spas so much? They know that the merchants they patronize, treat their customers with respect, and keep their opinions to themselves, so dope yuppies spend a lot of money, in a vain attempt to buy back what most people instinctively know is too precious to sell.

self respect dont lose it

Consequently, the merchants in the Garberville shopping district know that, more than the goods and services they provide, they sell respect itself to people who sorely lack it, and they charge a premium for it. That’s why everything costs so much here, and why you’ll get so little of it, unless you spend a lot of money. We even have a store in Garberville called “Got Respect?” I kid you not. I have no idea what they sell there because I’ve never stepped inside. I just wish Wildhorse Records still occupied that space.

got respect

“Sensationalist click-bait?” Please! How is that different from, “a damn good read?” Some people read my work because they know that it’s about them, and they just can’t get enough of themselves, even if they don’t like what I have to say about them. Others read my work because they know I speak the truth about what goes on around here. They’re glad someone has the nerve to say it, and the skills to say it well. I may not indulge you in your illusions about yourself, or avoid reminding you of things you’d rather forget, but at least I pay attention to you, Southern Humboldt, and I care. That’s why I write this column, and that’s why you read it.

thats why life

Humboldt Pot, a Petroleum Product

sour diesel skull

I don’t know why we worry so much about Big Tobacco getting into the marijuana industry when the industry has already sold out to Big Oil. When you consider all of the hash labs littered with thousands of empty butane canisters,


all of the lit-up greenhouses and the indoor grows,

grow room big

the big generators,

diesel generator exhaust

the earth moving equipment,

excavator digs

the quads,

quad atv

the giant 4×4 vanity trucks

4x4 truck

and the endless snorting, stench-spewing caravan of soil and water trucks crisscrossing our watersheds,

Image of red colored truck with very dark exhaust, possibly polluting the environment.

it’s no wonder all of the weed we grow around here stinks of diesel fuel. Truth be known, Humboldt weed is primarily a petroleum product, and the industry becomes more oil intensive every day.


The cannabis industry’s thirst for fossil fuel has only grown since coming out of the closet, at least judging by auditory evidence. I’ve never heard so much racket coming out of these hills as I have in the past year, and it’s not just my neighborhood. Yesterday, in town, I heard three different people, independently, complain about loud generators disturbing their peace and quiet in three separate watersheds.

diesel generator camo

In the Redway Post Office, I saw a flier posted by yet another angry forest dweller encouraging people who value their peace and quiet to to report their noisy neighbors to the CA Air Quality Management Board. The flier also reminds people of the health risks associated with noise pollution, like tinnitus, ear damage and hearing loss. I doubt the bureaucrats at CAAQMB want any more than to collect a fee from the offenders, but why not make them pay any way you can.

make them pay

Now that the marijuana industry has come out in the open, apparently, so has the greed. The sun just can’t shine bright or long enough to satisfy our dope yuppies anymore, so they flood the forest with noise pollution and air pollution so they can make light pollution. Besides annoying neighbors, stressing wildlife, degrading the environment and creating a public health threat, every year, a few of these generators blow up and start forest fires. Dope yuppies don’t care, unless it’s their house that burns.

forest fire

Dope yuppies don’t care about anyone but themselves and their own greedy scheme to get rich off of prohibition. All Summer, their soil and water trucks pounded the county roads out in the hills, to rubble, in yet another sacrifice to their insatiable greed. Humboldt’s marijuana industry destroys roads because, every year, all new “farmland” has to be trucked in, as well as a substantial portion of the water needed to grow the crop. Thanks to prohibition, and the massive taxpayer subsidies that go along with it, Humboldt’s dope yuppies make so much money from marijuana that they still turn a profit despite their disgracefully wasteful farming practices.

HOOPA, CA - NOVEMBER 15, 2012 --  Aaron Pole, a wildlife technician with the Hoopa Tribal Forestry, walks inside the forest where marijuana growers left piles of trash after vacating the area on the Hoopa Indian Reservation in eastern Humboldt county on November 15, 2012.  The grow was raided by the sheriff in August and deputies cut down 26,600 plants in eight interconnected clearings along Mill Creek.  Pole and Mark Higley, a wildlife biologist on the Hoopa Indian Reservation, suspect that the huge marijuana grows are killing wildlife in the area. (Photo by Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

Meanwhile, Supervisor Estelle Fennell has the nerve to remind us that homeless people and working single mothers who shop in town, will pay to fix those roads, so that dope yuppies can continue to have Amazon deliver everything they need, right to their door, avoiding the Measure Z sales tax completely, and effectively externalizing yet another business expense to the poorest taxpayers. Way to go Estelle! That’s how you steal from the poor and give to the rich, and that’s why the dope yuppies love her.

estelle fennell quote

Yes the weed around here depends heavily on Big Oil, but it’s not just a matter of contamination, I believe there’s also an element of imitation. I think that cannabis itself responds to our obsession with fossil fuels. Think about it. We know that cannabis responds to its environment. When hippie gardeners grew marijuana by hand, it smelled like fruit and sage, because hippie gardeners love fruit and burn sage,

hippie gardeners

but now, the people who grow pot around here love their big trucks and their quads and their generators. The weed can smell the trucks, and the generators, and all of the exhaust fumes, and the weed thinks we like those smells, so the weed expresses those aromas in its attempt to please us. That’s why so much of the pot around here smells like diesel fuel. How apropos!

this stinks skunk


Cannabis can be a lot of things, but right now cannabis thinks we want a stupefying anesthetic that stinks like diesel fuel, and she is doing her level best to satisfy us. How long do you think it will be before cannabis realizes that we don’t really care about anything but money, and starts to smell like that? Unfortunately, marijuana already smells like money to too many people. That’s the problem.

smelling money

Class, or Class War


In recent weeks, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to vent my spleen about the people who cause the most problems in my community, especially because I hear so much poisonous rhetoric on the other side, targeting the poor. I’m not a fan of class warfare, but when served, I will answer. It’s always shameful and small to pick on someone weaker than you, and it’s always heroic to stand up to a bully. The way I see it, in this current class war, unless you are squarely allied with the poor, you work for the rich.

join the elite

If you take sides with the rich, in this war, you deserve a punishment a thousand times worse than my stinging words. In this war between the rich and the poor, the middle-class becomes the battlefield, and no one deserves to be pounded into a smoking heap of rubble and ash more than the American middle-class, because the middle-class acts as the mercenary army of the super-rich.


The poor have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by standing up to their oppressors, while the middle-class face trauma and disillusionment, as they slowly wake up to the fact that, in this war, they were the bad guys all along, who wasted their lives, and the planet, on a fantasy lifestyle, that became an economic and environmental monstrosity beyond their darkest nightmares.

game over

When you’ve sold your life for trinkets and find yourself on the wrong side of history, denial becomes a coping mechanism For the rich, losing the class war compares to losing the civil war. Resentments and prejudice will linger, as today’s middle-class conservatives becomes the bitter poor white crackers of the future.


But it doesn’t have to be that way for us here in SoHum. Here in SoHum we have no class, and that’s a kind of poverty that unites us all, from the richest dope yuppie, to the most wretched street urchin, so why should we let class war divide us? We shouldn’t! We should recognize that we’re all poor. Really, I pity us all.

pity us all quote

Why do we work so goddamn hard? Why do we break laws and sell our weed to out of state drug dealers? We do it because we don’t have enough money, right. If we don’t have enough money, it means that some of our wants and needs will go unmet. Am I wrong? Unmet needs equals poverty, and poverty means you’re poor. So face it! We’re all poor. It’s really true. I don’t care how entranced you are with your trinkets, or how jealous you are of anyone else’, we all live in poverty, and our lives are being stolen from us right before our eyes.

a ztolen life

That said, everything we do to make life easier for poor people, makes life easier for us. Think about it. What are the chances that you, or any of your progeny will find yourselves counted among the nations wealthiest one-tenth of one percent? It could happen. You could hit the lottery. Your new cannabis start-up could blow-up big, or your daughter could marry a rich old guy with a heart condition, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

hold your breath

On the other hand, what are the chances that you, or any of your kids or grandchildren might find yourself short on cash with no place to crash, or be blessed with a personality ill-suited for gainful employment, or fall victim to alcoholism, or become addicted to drugs, or for some other reason, fail to thrive, economically? I don’t know the exact odds, but I’d bet on it, if I were you.

safe bet

That’s why it always makes sense to make life easier for poor people. When you make life easier for poor people, you make life easier for yourself. I’m not saying we have to spend a lot of money to help the poor, but if we at least stop paying people to punish, harass, and humiliate them, we’d all be ahead. If we could recognize that a lot of people who live here will never earn enough to money to afford a place to live under our current system of building codes and zoning ordinances, we could begin to solve a lot of problems by changing the system, instead of trying to change people. People don’t need more money; people need a place to be. Life is hard enough, let’s not make it any harder.

life is hard enough

When you make life easier for poor people, you make life easier for your self, and you make the world richer for everyone, because making it easier to be poor, lowers everyone’s stress level, which benefits everyone, and makes it easier to be an artist, craftsman, musician, poet or writer; you make it possible for the people who don’t care so much about making money, to put their energy into the things that really matter to them. When you make life easier for poor people, you make life better for everyone, and you encourage a flourishing culture. That’s why they call New Orleans “The Big Easy.” and that’s why people love it.

the big easy

People who appreciate an easy life and a flourishing culture, have class. Punishing the poor for their poverty only fuels their resentment, and perpetuates class war. So, we have a choice: We can have some class, or we can have class war. We’re all poor, and we all need somewhere to get out of the weather this winter. We can solve this problem together, or we can make more problems for each other. It’s up to us.

buy some class trump

Understanding SoHum’s “Local Economy”

cannabis tops

In most of America, people understand that drug dealers destroy communities. Neighborhoods either band together to drive them out, or they fail to do so, and drug dealers take over, bringing violence, crime and poverty with them as they undermine community values, corrupt innocent youth, and drive property values down.

drug ghetto

Here in SoHum, when the drug dealers arrived, both property, and community values had already hit rock bottom, and the youth they corrupted were largely their own. Today, after a couple generations of cultural inbreeding, our population now skews strongly towards the greedy, myopic, and ethically challenged, and have united around their shared willingness to exploit the injustice of cannabis prohibition, rather than stand against it.

hey kids wanna buy weed

For some, it has been a very profitable strategy, and now that they’ve become successful, they don’t like to be reminded that their success has come at the expense of millions of poor working people who could ill afford it. They don’t want to see how good people, who make very little money, have to live, in order to afford their medicine. And they especially don’t want to see the refugees of the War on Drugs, the ones who lost their jobs, lost their homes, and lost their way, and then show up here, hoping for some kind of break in the sleazy game that has already cost them so much of their lives.

help i need money

Drug dealers create poverty all over the country, and then complain about all of the poor people around. Drug dealers just don’t care. Either they take drugs that suppress empathy, or they lack the faculty for it. Either way, they have intentionally chosen a path of personal gain at the expense of the larger community. They should not be trusted. They’ll say or do anything, so long as they believe it will benefit them.

truth lies

At first glance, they seem like decent people, and they talk a good game. They spew platitudes like a squid spews ink, and for the same reason, to conceal their sucking tentacles and genuine sliminess. “Community blah blah blah, sustainable, blah blah blah, positivity, blah blah…” they say, but to them, “community” means: “me and my drug dealing friends,” “sustainable” means: “maintaining a high-consumption lifestyle, indefinitely” and “positivity” means: “no matter how gross and slimy we are, I can always find something nice to say about us.” That’s what “community values” means to SoHum’s dope yuppies.

squid spews ink

Still, a lot of people rely on them. Merchants love them. Merchants love stupid people with too much money because they easily become infatuated with shiny objects, and purchase them. Non-profits love people with too much money, and a guilty conscience. Where would community non-profits be without the boundless guilt of rich liberals? So the dope yuppies take advantage of working people, the merchants take advantage of the dope yuppies, and the non-profits take advantage of everyone’s guilty conscience, and they call it “the local economy.”

buy freedom sell conscience

Then they have the nerve to complain about all of the poverty they created, and wonder why no one wants to work for them. Oh, right, I want to work for one of our local merchants for $10-$15 bucks an hour, waiting on rude, obnoxious dope yuppies all day, just so I can spend half of my income on rent, if I’m lucky, and a quarter of it on overpriced cannabis that I need, just to cope with the stress. Fuck that! I’d rather shit and piss on your front step, and beg for beer money on the sidewalk all day.

begging for beer

Why not? Do SoHum’s dope yuppies want cannabis consumers to continue to pay ridiculously high prices for cannabis? You bet they do! They’re lobbying right now for a regulatory framework that preserves prohibition prices and requires more law enforcement activity than ever.

armored truck for pot

Will Humboldt’s merchants, landlords, bankers and real-estate agents do anything to make SoHum more livable, comfortable, or affordable for working people? Fuck no! They’ll squeeze every last dime out of everyone in town, and then complain that it was such a bother, and barely worth their time.


Will any of the non-profits, who have gladly accepted thousands upon thousands of hours of free labor, donated by people who lack adequate housing, ever launch a campaign to make housing affordable, and available to the people in this community who need it? I wouldn’t hold my breath. The non-profits around here are much more likely to buy up homes in the area, and build new structures, not to house people, but just to have a place to store all of the other crap they own. Besides, our local non-profits have more important things to do, like protecting endangered cannabis from salmon extinction, or looking out for some people’s civil rights, or providing subsidized entertainment for bored dope yuppies.

concert at mateel

If you aren’t part of that dope yuppie/merchant/non-profit clusterfuck, they don’t even know you exist, except in the vaguest sense. By that I mean, they understand that all of their money and labor comes from somewhere, but they have no idea where. Together, they’re trapped in a death-spiral of greed, consumption and guilt that feeds on itself, while it sucks the life out of the the rest of the community.


The War on Drugs has ravaged this country, killing millions, and leaving millions more scarred for life, but here in SoHum, the War on Drugs is highly addictive, and too many people remain far too intoxicated by the money it brings in to recognize the damage it does right here in our own community.

dope yuppies suck

Marketing Premium Cannabis

marketing cannabis

As we move towards legalization, and pot becomes even more ubiquitous and banal, it will become more important than ever to remind the non-cannabis consuming community, why we find this common weed so uncommonly attractive. It’s just a matter of marketing. If you want to sell a high-end luxury product like appellation controlled, Humboldt grown, fair trade, organic, salmon-friendly sun-grown sinsemilla for a premium price, it really helps if your customer A) has the money, B) can read the label, and C) cares.

hey look someone cares

That means you need well educated, higher income people to want your product. Current statistics show that the higher your income, and the more education you have, the more you gravitate towards alcohol, while low-income, sub-literate people invariably smoke weed. How do we convince someone who is bright, successful, has plenty of money, and feels optimistic about the future, to make time for marijuana?

time for marijuana

It won’t matter how good your weed is, if the people who can afford it, don’t want to get high. Cannabis is the ticket, not the main attraction. Getting high is the main attraction. Here in Humboldt County, we focus a lot on the quality of the ticket, and how much money you can make selling tickets. Drug dealers have always run the box office, but what’s going on in the theater? What’s so great about getting high, that it’s worth buying these expensive tickets? Do you think people pay $10 a gram for weed, just so they can cough and hack on smoke that tastes like diesel fuel? You can do that for free, any day of the week, just by standing on the sidewalk downtown.

rolling coal

We’re losing the media battle. TV and movies portray drug dealers as gangsters, or business-people, two of our primary cultural archetypes. On the other hand, high people, that is, people portrayed as being under the influence of cannabis, usually appear vacant, generally seated on a couch, in front of a TV, surrounded by empty junk food wrappers. If they say anything at all, they’ll do it inarticulately, and punctuate it with giggles. Who wants to be that guy?

stupid stoner

Is that what getting high is all about? How stupid do you have to be, to begin with, that that even looks attractive? I mean, if that’s what people do when they get high, it’s not just a waste of good weed, it’s an insult to good weed, and a waste of a good life. No one aspires to become a vacant half-wit; so why would anyone spend money on a drug that promises to transform them into one.

stoned dude

When I was growing up, I only saw high people portrayed in the media, on anti-drug propaganda that I knew could not be trusted, but I knew that Miles Davis smoked weed, and I knew that Bob Dylan smoked weed. If you asked me to give you one example that showed off the very best of human intelligence. I’d probably pick something like The ESP Sessions, by Miles Davis and his band. I’m not even a jazz fan, but I cannot deny the genius and the passion so beautifully expressed on that record. Do I want to smoke what Miles was smoking then? Fuck yeah, even if it was the same brown seedy weed the rest of us were smoking, because Miles was smokin’ back then.

On the other hand, do I want to smoke Snoop Dog’s special Chemdawg Reserve strain of premium sinsemilla. Fuck no, because Snoop Dog is a no-talent drug-dealer with atrocious taste. I don’t want to be like him at all. Miles Davis was a man of music. He was shaped by music, and music poured through him. Snoop Dog has got his mind on his money and his money on his mind. It shows, Snoop. It shows.

Is today’s high-tech sinsemilla really better than the brown seedy weed we all used to smoke in the 60’s and 70’s? I think that all depends on how you look at it, and I’m afraid that bright, successful optimistic people are not going to see anything very inspirational, exciting or special about our current cannabis culture, and as a result, might just choose to skip cannabis altogether.

marijuana a special kind of stupid

That would be a shame, because cannabis has a lot to offer everyone. Stupid people cause fewer problems when they smoke weed instead of drinking alcohol, but bright, talented people often find they have better ideas, greater sensitivity, and a higher level of coherence when they smoke weed. I just wish I could point to more contemporary examples.

your inner genius

P.S.  Just a little more Miles, cause he was so fucking cool!


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