Lynette Shaw Just Keeps Going

Lynette Shaw is one of the medical cannabis movement’s most important pioneers.

Known as the Godmother of Ganja, Shaw opened the first licensed medical cannabis dispensary, the Marin Alliance CBC, thanks to a law that she helped create.

Shaw’s relationship with cannabis began years before her advocacy when she started selling weed at 14. Leaving home at a young age, her gift for music led Shaw to Hollywood, where she continued to sell cannabis on the side while working on a singing career.

In 1981, John Belushi invited Shaw to be a backup singer with The Blues Brothers. Tragically, she was only in the band for one month before Belushi died. Shaw’s seeds of activism were planted in 1990 when she met Jack Herer. His groundbreaking book The Emperor Wears No Clothes confirmed her belief that cannabis is medicine. Those seeds began to bloom when she was introduced to Dennis Peron, a gay Vietnam veteran-turned-political activist who was fighting for both cannabis legalization and LGBTQ rights in San Francisco.

In 1991, Shaw began working with fellow activist Pebbles Trippet at Peron’s San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club—the country’s first illegal dispensary. At this time, AIDS was wreaking havoc on the gay community and had claimed the life of Peron’s partner, Jonathan West, the previous year.

Lynette Shaw’s Marin Alliance opened its doors in 1997.

Peron taught Shaw to lobby, and she went door-to-door in Sacramento, meeting senators and hearing from patients about how cannabis helped them manage their agonizing AIDS-related symptoms. In September 1995, Shaw helped Peron open the Prop 215 campaign headquarters in San Francisco, and in July 1996, they opened another in Fairfax. Victory came to the campaign on November 5, 1996, when Proposition 215 passed with 55 percent of the vote, making California the first state to legalize medical cannabis for approved patients.

In 1997, Shaw opened the very first legal licensed dispensary, The Marin Alliance CBC, in Fairfax, Marin County. “CBC” stands for Cannabis Buyers Club in homage to Peron, her close friend and mentor, who passed away in 2018.

A 2011 crackdown led by the US attorney for the Northern District of California, Melinda Haag, closed the Marin Alliance and Shaw was banned for life from working in the industry she helped create. But, in 2015, US District Judge Charles Breyer decided that the injunction was unenforceable as long as a congressional prohibition on spending funds to challenge California’s medical cannabis law was in place, and the ruling was overturned.

The Marin Alliance CBC reopened in 2017 with the support of both the local community and patients and the tireless Shaw continues to operate it to this day.

This story was originally published in issue 44 of the print edition of Cannabis Now.

The post Lynette Shaw Just Keeps Going appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Seed Synergy

Upon exhaling a deep drag from a joint of Blueberry Cookies grown by City Farmers BCN the smoke from my hit travels upward into the rafters of a 16th century modernist palace in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. As the smoke rises, I contemplate the significance of the moment and celebrate the freedom of enjoying weed in a country where cannabis still exists within a gray area, decriminalized for personal use and cultivation, but illegal for commercial sales. I’m in Barcelona, Spain for an international gathering focused on cannabis genetics. More specifically, I’m within the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum at a party celebrating the collaborative efforts that bridged a domestic-international divide to unite two storied cannabis seed companies, Sensi Seeds and Humboldt Seed Company. Within their collaboration lies the dawning of a new chapter in the history of marijuana, one which continues the tradition of legendary fusions of Californian and European genetics that started in the 1970s when the hybridization of cannabis began.

Courtesy Hash Marijuana & Hemp Museum

The collaborative project is called Breeding Grounds and resulted in the release of four new feminized seeds: The Bird (OG Kush x Humboldt Dream x Larry Bird), Auto Pineapple Kush Cake (Pineapple Muffin autoflower x Banana Kush Cake autoflower), Auto Amnesia Jelly (Mint Jelly autoflower x Amnesia autoflower XXL), and one that lies within the highly popular and heavily lauded Z terp family, Purple Berry Muffinz (Purple Bud x Blueberry Muffin x Zkittlez). But arguably more significant than the lineage of the new cannabis cultivars is the symbolism of what they represent. Sensi Seeds, which inherited the genetics of the world’s first cannabis seed bank—Nevil Schoenmakers’s The Seed Bank of Holland—brought the world classic cultivars such as the sativa-dominant Jack Herer and has been in the business of selling cannabis seeds from its home base in Holland since the 1980s. Humboldt Seed Company, founded in California’s Emerald Triangle in 2001, has built a reputation as a trusted breeder via enormous phenohunts and award-winning cannabis such as its signature strain Blueberry Muffin. The fusion of the two companies in 2023 harkens back to the beginnings of cannabis breeding in the 1970s, when people like Sam the Skunkman and Ed Rosenthal became the catalysts for fusing European and Californian cannabis genetics, an action that created the world’s first cannabis hybrids.

The Bird / Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company

“The first time I heard about The Seed Bank, which is the precursor to what is now Sensi Seeds… my uncle had a shed where he would keep all the gardening stuff and in that shed he would stash High Times magazines and I remember sneaking into his shed—because we would sometimes you know, borrow some weed from our uncle—and we’re looking at his High Times and in the back of High Times we saw an advertisement for The Seed Bank,” explains Benjamin Lind, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Humboldt Seed Company. “And it just kind of clicked like, ‘Whoa, you can actually order seeds.’”

From a young age, Lind was observing his family members making their own cannabis crosses and learning about the importance of seeds to ensure the next year’s harvest. Sensi Seeds, he says over an early morning eating lychee fruit acquired from one of Barcelona’s famed food markets, was the first cannabis seed company that ever came into his vision. And, once he met the people behind the company and toured their facility decades later, he learned that the breeding work they had been doing aligned with his own.

Ben Lind / Photo by Mike Rosatti

“A lot of our processes are very similar,” he says. “All breeders come at breeding cannabis differently and very few have similar beliefs or similar philosophies, but we mesh really well.”

This meshing of two similar minds in the cannabis breeding world was more than a coincidence, it’s the result of years of effort put in by none other than cannabis cultivation expert Ed Rosenthal, who tells me he’s done writing books and is now more interested in acquisitions and mergers. Rosenthal’s relationship with Sensi Seeds goes back years. A mutual friend who had a cannabis club and magazine introduced Rosenthal to Ben Dronkers, the founder of Sensi Seeds, back in the 1980s. Once introduced, the two began to collaborate with each other on a museum in Amsterdam dedicated to the history of the cannabis plant which first opened in 1987.

“At the same time Nevil [Schoenmakers] was indicted so he sold his business, The Seed Bank, to [Sensi Seeds] and he took off for the wilds of Australia and he was never brought to the U.S.,” Rosenthal explains. “We stayed close and then [Dronkers] hired me off and on at different times to do things and then also put in, I think, $50,000 to $100,000 into my defense.”

The defense Rosenthal is referring to was a federal trial that began in the early 2000s when he was found guilty of three felonies related to the cultivation and sale of marijuana. After the trial, the jurors—who had not been provided with the crucial information that Rosenthal had been deputized by the city of Oakland, California to grow medical marijuana—denounced their verdict and in 2003 Rosenthal was ultimately sentenced to a single day in prison, time served.

Rosenthal calls Sensi Seeds, which is now run by Dronkers’s son Ravi Dronkers, a “legacy family,” and says when he saw them interacting with Humboldt Seed Company he realized the “cultures weren’t that different.”

“I knew this was the one to go and I just did everything so that it didn’t get fucked up,” he says. “I’m really excited about this. This is going to be very big.”

The announcement for the collaboration came in mid-March at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum’s second iteration in Barcelona and included flutes of cava alongside a bowl filled with the Spanish-grown Blueberry Cookies so guests could roll their own joints. Guests in attendance included Jack Herer’s son, Dan Herer, who was spotted taking a photograph of a framed picture of his father on display within one of the rooms devoted to hemp. In a country that resides within the legal gray market for cannabis, smoking and enjoying flowers and concentrates takes place within private social clubs and spaces that are cannabis-friendly. This clearly includes the cannabis-themed museum during a private event, but also includes restaurants which will pull down their rollup doors to offer discretion for diners to smoke weed at the table while the waitstaff also lights up.

Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company

Over a candid evening conversation after one of those smoky Barcelona dinners, Rosenthal gets in a discussion with Nathaniel Pennington, co-founder and CEO of Humboldt Seed Company, about cannabis breeding. The basics of cannabis breeding involve creating new expressions of the botanical by crossing, or pollinating, the female flower with pollen from a male plant. An F1, or first generation, occurs when breeders cross two landraces—cultivars that are native to specific regions and have not been bred—or when breeders cross two inbred lines. The final hybridized result that’s released by reputable seed companies comes after at least four generations of inbreeding. The reason that the lines are inbred, or bred from plants that share similar genetics, is to stabilize the seeds ensuring that, once the seeds are grown into plants, they retain similar physical characteristics. Cannabis plants have a complex set of DNA and, like two sisters from the same family, when two cultivars are brought together the results will not be genetically identical, but rather, similar but different expressions known as phenotypes. The art of creating cannabis seeds involves the painstaking work of getting to a point where the expression of all the seeds will be the same, a process that is known as stabilizing the genetics.

(From left) Ben Lind, Ravi Dronkers, Nathaniel Pennington and Sander Landsaat celebrate their seed collaboration project at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Barcelona, Spain. / Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company

“With breeding it’s not true science until it’s repeatable,” Pennington explains. “[True breeding doesn’t occur] until you can perform the same experiment, which I would say is the same seed population times the same seed population and find the same phenotypic outcome. And if you can’t reproduce that experiment then you haven’t really accomplished anything except for you’ve made a clone line which can be forever propagated as a clone, but that’s a bit of a handicap if you ask me.”

In a world filled with companies making dubious claims about the stability of their seed lines some companies, like Sensi Seeds and Humboldt Seed Company, stick to the science. In doing so, these seed banks bless humanity with reliable cultivars that cross oceans and territorial boundaries to contribute to the diverse genetic expression of the world’s most favored flower.

“Both of our families have worked for generations to preserve the very best lines and bring them to the modern market,” Lind said through a press release about the Breeding Grounds project. “We both evolved on different continents, with different selective pressures. Even though we live a world apart we have a very similar philosophy based on love and respect for the plant. It was natural we would cross-pollinate the best from Amsterdam with the best of Northern California.”

Auto Pineapple Kush Cake / Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company

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From the Archives: The Steps to Legalization (1989)

By Ed Rosenthal

For a long time, activists have been waiting for NORML to start a political legalization drive. Years ago, California NORML had a functional organization. However, currently it’s in the hands of a Board of Directors who combine the worst qualities; uncreative amateurs who have only a marginal interest in the issue. Activists such as Dennis Peron, Jack Herer and Dr. Todd Mikuriya are consistently barred from any policy-making role. The president of the local, Dale Gerringer, complains about the Board, but for the most part appreciates their hands-off approach to his administration.

In March and April, several pieces of regressive legislation were proposed to the California State Senate and Assembly. One bill would have made it a separate criminal offense to possess any amount of marijuana in three separate packages suitable for sale. For instance, three joints or three containers of seeds. Another bill would have made it a crime to solicit to buy pot.

The third bill, which had versions in both legislative houses, would have limited diversion to growers captured with ten plants or less. In California, diversion is a judicial process for people caught possessing or cultivating marijuana for their own use. Instead of going through the court process, the charges are waived as long as the person stays out of trouble for two years. The court decides eligibility based on a preponderance of evidence. This law has saved California’s taxpayers millions of dollars since its enactment, and has saved thousands of Californians the heartache of judicial proceedings and their aftermath.

As the Senate bills began coming up for a vote, Dale became desperate. He could not get to the capital because of medical reasons, and the Board members who were suitable for legislative duty were either busy or uninterested. As a result, Dale asked me to see what I could do.

First I called up the legislative analyst of the bill and spoke with him at length. (A legislative analyst describes a bill and guesses at its effects on government and society.)

He asked me to write a statement about the proposals and let me know how to register to speak before the legislature. He also gave me advice on procedure.

The analyst asked me to write a statement about the measure and my opinion of its effects. I sent this out to him promptly. Then, searching the back of my closet, I found a serviceable suit, tie, white shirt, and shoes, and made the drive to Sacramento.

The bills were scheduled to come to committee at 1 P.M. I arrived in the hallowed halls at 9 A.M. and immediately started lobbying. I never got to see any legislators, but talked at length with a number of their aides. The first ones I went to see were those who I thought would be opposed to the bills. They were courteous, concerned about the issues, and very helpful in their comments.

Next I went to see the aides of legislators likely to be in favor of the bills. They too were courteous and engaged in frank discussions of the bills and the marijuana issue in general. I was surprised by their willingness to participate in give-and-take conversations.

The discussions with the aides were good practice for speaking before the Senators. First the proponent of the bill spoke. Then came representatives of the police, attorney general’s office, and the CAMP people. Representatives of the California Criminal Lawyers Association and the ACLU spoke against the bill. A concerned NORML lawyer, Bob Cogan, also opposed them.

The bills were fatally flawed and as the speakers discussed them, it became apparent that they would not make it out of committee. All were withdrawn. Three weeks later, the same thing happened in Assembly.

For the most part, I found the legislators abysmally ignorant about the subject of marijuana. Usually they’re led around by the state attorney general, the police, and “parent’s groups” because nobody else speaks up on the issue. Once legislators become more informed, their attitudes loosen up a bit. With concerted work, their votes can be changed.

These experiences have convinced me that continual lobbying efforts in the state legislatures could change the marijuana laws very rapidly. Prohibition is a model. In the spring of 1932, Roosevelt was opposed to a “wet” plank because he thought it would lose him votes. Within a few months, public opinion had turned. The corruption, killings, and lack of liquor made the public disgusted. Roosevelt won not only on anti-Hoover depression votes, but also because of the promise to repeal the 18th Amendment. If that history is too ancient, remember that in 1980 Reagan won partly on an anti-Commie plank. Now the Russians are our best friends.

The anti-pot groups have had a field day for years. They have faced no opposition in the government and media and have been able to deal in hysterics. Now you can help cut short their non-joyride. We need thousands of people to talk until their throats are dry.

I envision an army of lobbyists first descending on the state governments then the federal government. And I mean YOU. Everyone can do it. Simply by reading High Times, you can be an effective citizen-lobbyist.

In order to approach the government most effectively, you have to sort of play their game. Here are some rules and pointers for talking with elected government officials and their aides.

1) Everyone at the legislature is dressed in business clothes. In most legislatures, this means suits or work dresses. Attempting to approach these people in jeans makes their eyes glaze over. I know that this is going to turn a lot of people off, but dress and grooming are important. It’s a signal to them that you are ready to talk the same language.

On the other hand, legislators usually have office days in their local office. You can go visit them there to voice your concerns. These meetings are usually more informal than the ones in the capital. However, going up to the capital emphasizes the “importance” of the issue.

2) Rehearse your arguments so that you know them by heart, and do not have to think about them when you are talking with the representatives.

3) Listen to what they have to say and do not interrupt. Once they have made their argument or asked their question, then answer it or make your rebuttal.

4) Try to de-polarize the issue by first talking about what you agree on. When I was talking to conservatives, I started the discussion by bringing up some areas on which I knew we’d see eye to eye: “There is a tremendous drug problem that is out of control”; “Cocaine, especially crack, is the most dangerous drug around to both society and the people who use it,” or “The government has limited resources, and they should be used where they will do the most good.”

5) Talk in sound bytes. Legislators have a limited attention span. Instead of hearing the whole build-up of an argument, they would prefer a chunk, preferably no longer than 18 seconds.

6) Don’t make an ass out of yourself by blowing up or getting mad if things don’t go your way. The marijuana laws were not made in a day, and they won’t go away in a day. Fighting marijuana laws is a long-term effort.

7) Any comments made about your style should be taken to heart if they are well-intended.

There are six major reasons why marijuana should be legalized—they are criminal, economic, sociological, constitutional, national security and health. In future issues of the magazine, we will cover each of them thoroughly. We will also make room for comments about your experiences fighting these unjust laws in the legislature.

So get ready and get your suit and tie pressed. We’re going to the capital in September and October.

One last experience. I was walking down the hall with the Special Assistant to the Attorney General. He had just given a talk about drugs. He had been talking about rehabilitating drug users and I said to him, “There is one difference between marijuana and almost any other drug, including the legal ones, alcohol and tobacco. If you ask a nicotine addict, alcoholic, junkie, crack freak, or almost any other drug user, ‘If you could wake up tomorrow unaddicted and without cravings, would you take the option?’, for the most part these people would say yes. However, if you ask a marijuana user the same question, s/he will say no thanks, because marijuana users, for the most part, do not think the substance is hurting them.”

He said, “I never thought of that, but most of my friends who smoke it do feel the same way.” A little bit of progress was made at that moment.

High Times Magazine, September 1989

Read the full issue here.

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‘The Machine’ Keeps the Party Going

Crusher of irreverent comedy and podcasts, master storyteller, and the king of all parties, Bert Kreischer is a man of many hats—and it would seem, few shirts. There are numerous things that keep “The Machine” running, and one of them happens to be that sweet, sweet green (although he prefers his green in a shade of Blue Dream). We sense he’s down for more than just that though because, let’s be real, what isn’t this man down for?

Traveling across the country on The Berty Boy Tour while also recording his popular podcasts Bertcast and 2 Bears 1 Cave (co-hosted by Tom Segura), Kreischer is partying and puffing the whole way. Before his stops in Colorado and Canada, this insanely busy bear made time to chat with High Times about his weed preferences, high hobbies, and cringeworthy cannabis memories. Spoiler: You’re gonna want his life.

High Times: How old were you the first time you smoked weed, and how did you get it?

Bert Kreischer: I was 15 years old. We went to a pool hall in West Tampa, [Florida] and we bought weed from a big Native American dude. It’s so funny because nowadays, I look back and think it was so hard to get back then. We walked to a pool hall, and my buddy Sal went in. I don’t even know how we knew that we could get it from that guy. Back then, it was almost like panning for gold. You go in there like, “Does anyone have weed in here?” It’s that fucking crazy.

Oh yeah, back then, it was like my friend’s third cousin said if you “ask for Earl,” you can get a 40 and a dime bag. So we’d drive an hour away for “Earl.” Do you remember the first song that you got high to?

Yup! Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. We planned it! We went to my friend’s house and turned on Pink Floyd because we were told that’s what you get high to. So, we smoked weed, and I waited for the song to get better. All I knew was that the song was supposed to get fucking good! I didn’t get high the first time because it didn’t work. Everyone was like, “Yeah, you don’t get high your first time. It’s your second time or third time.” My buddy came in and was like, “It’s my third time, and I’m really high.” I was like, “Oh man! I can’t wait until I’m three times in!” It’s so crazy because we did all the stereotype things you “should” do if you’re smoking weed. It was all stuff someone’s older brother had done. My buddy was like, “Hey, if I put this jar over my head, you won’t hear me speak.” Then, as he pretended to put a jar over his head, he’d stop talking, and we’d all laugh at the dumbest fucking joke because we thought, I guess, we’re supposed to laugh.

Photo by Todd Rosenberg

When did your “third time” finally hit?

I smoked weed a bunch from freshman to sophomore year. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I got really fucking high. Like, really high where I had a panic attack and thought, “Oh fuck. This is a drug.” I was like, “Oh shit, it’s working this time. I can’t feel my face.” We rolled the joint out of the back pages of the bible, and I was like, “God’s getting even with me! Fuck!”

Good God. Literally. What’s the highest you’ve been as an adult, and how did you get there?

I was pretty high last night! There’s a club in Toronto that you can do stand-up at, and Doug Benson told me, “Write your set down because you will forget your set just from the contact high.” The smoke was so thick that five minutes into my set, I was high, and my throat was burning.

Edibles are the thing that fuck me up the most, though. Joey Diaz gave my dad edibles one Easter, but he didn’t know it, so I took them too, so he wasn’t high by himself. We had one of the best conversations. We were drinking whiskey, high as fuck sitting in my backyard having a cigar. I said to my dad, “I feel like you don’t like me at times.” He just goes, high as fuck, “You make me uncomfortable.” My dad was high as shit, and he goes, “You know, I lost my dad at a young age and I’m afraid I’m going to lose you because your lifestyle makes me uncomfortable.” I asked what I could do to fix it and he said he wanted me to go to a cardiologist of his choice to have the tests that he felt like needed to be run. I was like, “Of course! I want a better relationship with you.” He was like, “This is the greatest night ever!” Two weeks later, I went to the cardiologist and had everything scanned and tested.

And then did you roll up some weed in the cardiologist report and smoke it?

I should have! I should’ve been like, thank God marijuana was here the night Joey Diaz roofied my dad!

What is your go-to weed on the road, and what’s it like when fans bring you any type of drug these days?

After I was roofied by Ari Shaffir, I started becoming very skeptical about everything. I never once thought about it before. Now I’m very specific. I have my own weed, and I have a certain strain that I like, which is Blue Dream. It makes me feel very comfortable. It makes me feel relaxed, so I can sleep better too. I also have a couple vape pens in rotation and some Durban Poison and Jack Herer, a couple strains that are good creative ones.

Even though I don’t think everyone can pull them off, I want to support your passion for Speedos. Mostly because I hear they make you “swim like a fucking dolphin.”

Water is fucking fascinating when you’re high. I always end up in a Speedo, high, and in the pool every time I get high when I’m home. Every fucking time. I end up in my Polar Plunge, or I end up in my pool—it’s my favorite thing. The first time I realized how great water is when you’re high was when we were having a pool party, so there were a bunch of kids there. We also hired two lifeguards, so everyone felt really comfortable. One of the dads was like, “Hey, you wanna get high?” I said, “Yeah sure, we’ll get high.” I just ended up in the pool playing sharks and minnows with the kids laughing hysterically like, this is fucking awesome! And I was in a Speedo, so you know I was like a dart in that water!

Photo by Troy Conrad

I don’t understand how you became the coolest human alive. Your promos? Also cool. Do you come up with those, or are they a group effort?

I wish they were a group effort! We have a drone and it’s literally about turning on the camera and figuring something out. We just made one for Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado in the middle of nowhere. I had some ski pants that I just bought, and we grabbed the drone to make it look like I had just got done hiking. Red Rocks is going to be the best because they tell you that you can either leave the venue right when you get off stage or you can hang out. But if you hang out, you have to stay for three hours while traffic leaves. Three hours? You get a caterer there and you plan a party there! Why wouldn’t you stay in Red Rocks and party? There’s no one there!

Because people don’t think like you. Please refer back to “you being the coolest.”

Yeah, people are like, “Get me the fuck out of here,” and I’m like, “Keep me at this venue!” Last time I did Red Rocks, we were having a party, and everyone is backstage. Around midnight, no one is in this venue, so I go out to the stage with a joint and a cocktail. I lit the joint and sat there and looked up at the stars and rocks thinking, “Fuck, I just did this!” It was the greatest. I’m looking forward to that moment again after the show.

Any thoughts on uninvited party crashers?

I’m so unaware of everything that’s going on. I played The Greek [Theatre in Los Angeles], and it was so fucking fun, and the security was slam-packed. People were coming up to the stage to give me joints, and I was like, “Yeah! This is great!” I was just oblivious to all of it and why there was so much security. I was like, “Don’t charge me for the extra security! That’s on you!” I also think if you’re one of my fans, and you come rushing the stage, you’re gonna get winded. If you do that and get past security, just give me a hug.

This article appears in the August 2022 issue of High Times. Subscribe here.

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Sean Yeaton of Parquet Courts

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Instagram and Twitter.

Sean Yeaton is nothing short of brilliant. The way his brain works—under the influence of weed or otherwise—should be an inspiration to all other musicians and artists out there. Some people say tomato, some say tomatoe… Sean’s like, “big red hand fruit.” The way this man thinks is inimitable!

Yeaton is the bass player for beloved rock band Parquet Courts, as well as a sonic maestro in his own right. He’s also a writer and damn good storyteller, who will melt your mind if you’re lucky enough to hear him spin a yarn.

Fortunately for us, the man is here to discuss his relationship with all things 420. When first asked if he’d be game to participate, Sean wrote, “I’m the only game in town, sweetie <3.” Hell, yeah.

Below, Yeaton highlights what strains he likes to smoke and discusses his beloved grinder. Then he spirals out about why we need a documentary on the Reese’s HQ in 2022, the merits (or lack thereof) of being able to solve a Rubik’s cube, and why he likes to watch a video of Joseph Kittinger “jumping out of a motherfucking balloon from the edge of space in 1965.”

There’s also an extended meditation on trails, slugs, and Robert Moor that gave my brain whiplash. I can’t even explain it. Yeaton just has that effect.

Sean Yeaton in Parquet Courts’ video “Walking at a Downtown Pace,” directed by Daniel Arnold

What’s your favorite strain and how do you like to consume it?

Sean Yeaton: I’m currently sipping on this Casey Jones—and Jack Herer some hours before that. I’ve found they complement each other nicely, in that my mind is buzzing with conceptual insights. Playful but weirdly deep, with potentially abysmal thoughts… like a Todd Solondz movie or something—that’s where Casey Jones and Jack Herer take me.

Some effects these strains have on me: Lots of great texting material undulating, the desire to stretch, waking earlier and with more !zhuzh! in the mind, lots of epiphanies—very Adam Curtis vibes.

Side note: I feel like there needs to be a documentary about whatever the fuck is going on at Reese’s HQ right now. New Reese’s releases have rivaled the original shit and with zero fanfare…

What’s your current favorite weed product?

Truthfully, my grinder. Just a simple, stylish, metallic-red magnetic grinder—kind of an impulse buy from the local head shop where I usually buy my papers. I rarely buy new pieces these days, but I’m curious about new trends in paraphernalia. So if I go out of my way to interact with a wook in a non-Spencers Gifts or Bonnaroo situation, chances are I’m at least prepared to drop a little extra money on something special, should it catched my eye.

I was way more into the ritualistic stoner process of having a sensibly-curated inventory of shit to smoke weed out of in college and I do sincerely just want to own a gas mask bong again… but more as a conversation piece. I have two little kids, though, and it’s hard enough finding a space at home to put my music shit and, like, cool tour ephemera. I mean if you walked into my house, you’d have no idea a mid-level indie musician lives there. I guess I’ll have to hold off on putting a gas mask bong over the mantel until I’ve managed to sneak at least a framed Parquet Courts poster on the wall or something.

Anyway, my grinder is tight as hell—easy turn, four chambers, nice hand-feel, and it grinds very quickly, very well. Definitely on the smaller-side of grinders at 2.2”, but it works for me and I find that the kief chamber fills up really fast, which I like a lot. Oh, and it came with one of those fun/funny little kief shovels. Always fun finding a free accessory with anything, I don’t care what it is! Lol.

Also, I think I wanna get a Protopipe… I love my little red grinder, though.

Sean Yeaton, photographed by Zach Sokol

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten stoned?

Goddamn, this is a tough one. There are a lot of great places to hike, snowshoe, swim, run, and fuck around out where I live in rural Pennsylvania, so any of that shit is great. I’m on tour a lot, though.

That said, here are some things I especially appreciate when stoned:

Reading: When I’m the right type of stoned—maybe I’m nursing a hog leg or something—there’s nothing like a great read. Books are tight but so is Wikipedia, Yelp reviews, Reddit, etc. I think any book, at the right time, regardless of genre or date of publication, can be transformative when read with a cannabis sidecar. Even just the notion and process of reading at all is a worthy curiosity to explore stoned, in my experience. I could go on forever about that, but here are the Wikipedia pages for aphantasia and hyperphantasia, which are cool places to start lol.

Rubik’s Cube: This was my “sourdough starter” at the beginning of COVID. I became obsessed with solving a Rubik’s Cube that first pandemic spring/summer. I felt the need to start adding some new shit to my setlist as a human person in reality so as to impress and amaze people and ensnare them in the emotional thrill ride of being friends with me forever!

I spent something like three months twisting and turning this thing, charting moves I’d made to get to certain stages successfully every time… until one piping-hot day in July it all came together. It was a real personal triumph to say the least! But also to say the most because honestly no one gave a shit at all!

I think it’s only impressive to people when they see some sort of gifted child solve one in under 30 seconds. I’m proud to say I can solve a Rubik’s Cube, but it’s still not really a party trick or anything unless you hate parties! If you hate parties and see me at one, bring me a Rubik’s cube and pull up a chair because I’ll keep you company for the entire party without a doubt.

Zelda Breath of the Wild: I love this fucking game so much! I’ve logged an embarrassing amount of hours playing it on the Switch. I am genuinely proud of how good I am at this game. Don’t ever @ me.

Drawing: Love to draw when I’m stoned. I’ve always loved doodling and whatnot, but when I’m stoned and in the mood to draw, I’ll spend hours letting my mind drift slowly and purposefully to the limits of my imagination—like on some gravitational slingshot shit—all so I can draw a picture of, like, a skull or a little horse or just a bunch of weird random shit lol.

“Yeaton’s Treat,” a Cash Only fantasy weed strain we created in Photoshop. This product does not currently exist, but we hope to see it on dispensary shelves one day!

Can you recommend something to watch while stoned?

Oh my god, this is very tough because it all really depends on my mood, I guess. I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about this or else I’ll be here all day, but my very first inclination is to suggest this video of Joseph Kittinger jumping out of a motherfucking balloon from the edge of space in 1965. Smash this link because I know it has that U.N.K.L.E. track featuring Moby that works so well with the footage—the John Malkovich sample from Alive is chilling, and even though I’d say thematically that Alive and the Kittinger space jump are kinda different, the pairing really works for this.

Here’s the part of the video where the mf actually jumps in case you aren’t a patient person:

And, for the Alive-heads out there, here’s a very weird video using Google Earth to see the VERY REAL crash site where the VERY REAL survivors of the Uruguayan rugby team ate the dead bodies of their VERY REAL friends and loved ones. The music is chilling in a way different manner for this one, though:

What do you like to listen to after smoking?

I’m firing on all cylinders for this question, my friend. I’m spurting out my two favs THIS VERY SECOND and also because I really miss Bryce! Love you, Bryce! Peep Bryce Hackford’s Bandcamp here.

Also love you, Claire Rousay (but we’re not BFFs yet). Check out her stuff here.

Can you recommend something to read once really baked?

On Trails by Robert Moor.

I wasn’t expecting to love this book; I picked it up because my coolest friend was reading it and I wanted to be cool. I read this book during the first COVID summer when all the bitchin’ trails I’m blessed to live so close to were busier than the goddamn TSA line at JFK. Everyone was a hiker all of a sudden. I’m not Reinhold Messner or anything, but I’m experienced enough to remember when it was gauche to chuff bubblegum vape clouds on a nature preserve.

Anyway, it was the right time to be reading about trails, even if outdoor recreation was new to you.

I love reading and all; crazy to look at squiggly shapes in a line and be like, “Holy shit! My brain is scarfing this down and getting hornier and hornier!” But for a book to really click with me, I like for it to feel almost like a targeted ad, like FATE was conditioned for me to be reading the words in front of me!

On one hand, this is great because I can honestly fuck with any kind of reading without clear classification when it comes to, like, genre and sub-genre. I’ve read instruction manuals I’d recommend to people as a sort of pulp… and if you ask me, reading the Wikipedia page for Alf is better than watching Permanent Midnight. But I really fuckin’ digress here…

On Trails kicks ass because it’s more than a book about paths through the woods and way more than adventure hippie porn! You don’t really have to give a shit about hiking or the outdoors at all to appreciate this book and it’s perfect for the STONED MIND. Each chapter recalls some experience the author has had with a sort of “trail adjacent” thing or individual.

I was first pretty hooked on this book when I read the bit about how the interstate system in the U.S.—not to mention railways and just about every other artery that links living beings to one another and what they need to survive—was at least initially based on the deep, hard-packed trails made by the fucking marvelous BISON! There’s also a chapter about a deer hunter that’s great. Really every chapter is great, but it all builds up to how the way the internet works and how our minds work and how flight paths and other shit that has nothing to do with buffalo at all follow the same sort of logic that links all trails ever for as long as they’ve been getting carved into time and space!

The whole book about trails is about trails to trails to trails! By the end of the book, the title becomes a double entendre and a eureka moment. When I’m high, this book is a chef’s fucking kiss!

There’s also a bit about slugs in this book that I won’t spoil for you, but… holy shit! Slugs don’t fuck around!

I also want to recommend Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth by Avi Loeb.

Jesus Christ, what a book! I’m gonna try to limit my rambling on this one since it’s pretty hard to imagine anyone is still reading this. If you are, prove it by DMing me on Instagram @yeatons a picture of your favorite alien from popular culture.

If nothing else, this book is great if you’re on the fence about whether or not Neil deGrasse Tyson is kind of a poser. If Neil deGrasse Tyson is The Sex Pistols to you, then Avi Loeb is Chumbawamba. One is essentially, like, the manufactured results from a focus group. You smell me?

Follow Sean Yeaton:
Parquet Courts’ website here

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The post Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Sean Yeaton of Parquet Courts appeared first on High Times.

Hawaii Royal Hemp: CBD Handcrafted in Paradise

Often referred to as The Big Island, the Island of Hawaii is renowned for its spectacular natural wonders and biodiversity. Active volcanoes have sculpted the dramatic terrain and created rich, fertile soil that’s perfect for growing hemp. On its organically certified farm, the team at Hawaii Royal Hemp handcraft full-spectrum CBD products from their own premium hemp. But that’s not all: They are also on a mission to create a bright future for Hawaii’s burgeoning hemp industry.

Hawaii Royal Hemp was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Clarence (Cab) Baber and Gail Byrne Baber. Pioneers in agriculture, the duo uses sustainable and regenerative practices, and they’ve been farming both hemp and food in Hawaii for over 40 years, working to preserve the island’s precious ecosystem.

Co-founders, Clarence Baber and Gail Byrne Baber, next to hemp and food field.

“Our foundation is our healthy living soil and regenerative farming practices that restore and rebuild the environment, creating pollinator habitat, conserving water and sequestering carbon,” Gail explains. “We strive to do good, and our motivations for growing hemp and making CBD are to raise the consciousness on the planet.”

Uniquely, Hawaii Royal Hemp is the only farm in Hawaii that crops hemp and food together. They do this for two important reasons. First, it creates diverse structures for microorganisms. A diverse, healthy soil microbiome is the key to healthy hemp plants and deeply nutritious food.  Secondly, over the course of his cultivation journey, Cab has learned which herbs, flowers and food crops complement hemp and enhance terpene profiles.

CBD Products Made With Passion

Thanks to an unbeatable combination of a passion for the plant and incredible growing experience, Hawaii Royal Hemp produces some of the highest quality CBD products on the market. The climate of the Aloha state allows for year-round growing, meaning three or four hemp harvests per annum. Subsequently, all Hawaii Royal Hemp products are made from only the freshest hemp flower.

“The unique terroir of many of Hawaii’s regions has been well known in the cannabis world for decades,” Gail said. “Hemp plants have their feet in the rich volcanic soils and exposure to some of the purest rainfall and cleanest air on the planet. Our CBD products embody the frequency of Hawaii.”

All Hawaii Royal Hemp products are handcrafted on their certified organic family farm in North Kohala, so you can be certain that these premium products benefit both you and the planet. Additionally, they are all backed by third-party lab analysis.

The company’s product offering includes an organic full-spectrum 500 mg CBD oil that contains no added artificial colors, sweeteners or flavorings; a salve that contains 550 mg of full-spectrum CBD, organic coconut oil and local beeswax; and a CBD honey that contains 250 mg of full-spectrum CBD oil.

Advocating for Local Industry

One of many archeological and cultural sites that the Babers were instrumental in helping preserve on the Kohala coast by raising $12M for coastal protection.

Cab and Gail are active hemp advocates and are on a mission to improve the lives of hemp farmers and future generations in Hawaii. For decades, they have worked to pass legislation that would allow hemp to be grown as a crop for fiber and food.

A former big wave surfer, Cab has been a champion of the plant since the 1970s. He launched the Hawaii Herb Association in the early 1980s and soon found an ally in Jack Herer. On a phone call, the two men discovered their mutual belief that hemp would soon be legalized. Cab would go on to distribute Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” book throughout Hawaii. 

In 1990, Cab co-founded the Hawaii Organic Farmers Association to help Hawaii transition to organic farming practices. Two years later, he co-founded the Hawaii Hemp Council to advocate for a sustainable crop to replace sugar cane with the last two plantations closing on the island. As a testament to his pioneering work, Cab was the only farmer invited to the University of Hawaii’s hemp research project in 2015.  

Between 2013 and 2016, Cab worked closely with local farmers and industry representatives to legalize hemp products and establish Hawaii’s hemp pilot program. In 2018, Cab was granted the First Hawaii State and USDA hemp licenses in the state in 2020. Gail worked with farmers and local industry representatives to legalize hemp products during the 2019-2022 Hawaii Legislative sessions. 

“We jumped at the opportunity to secure Hawaii’s first license to grow hemp when the Hawaii hemp pilot program finally opened up,” Gail said.

As you might expect, Cab’s expertise is in hot demand. He regularly consults with farmers on how to optimize their hemp operations and transition to organic and regenerative farming. Gail currently serves on the Statewide Board of Directors for the Hawaii Hemp Farmers Association and the Hawaii Farmers Union United Foundation.

A Vision for the Future

Hemp polycropped with sorrel, herbs and bananas.

Hawaii’s hemp market is valued at up to $54 million and currently, the majority of that number comes from CBD that’s imported into the Aloha state. The Hawaii Royal Hemp founders believe that an established local CBD market would help to keep that money circulating in the local economy and help create more jobs. To that end, they have advocated for a Kona Coffee model to be adopted by hemp and CBD farms in Hawaii. 

“For decades, small family farms in Kona have been growing some of the highest quality coffees in the world, consistently securing top dollar for our local farms with their small batch artesian coffee,” Gail explained. “The growing environments in Kona are part of what makes coffee so unique and loved.” 

Cab and Gail believe that following this Kona model—with an emphasis on the unique terroir, high-quality, hand-crafted products—will allow bigger margins for local hemp farmers. Adding regenerative and organic farming to that model will add to Hawaii’s CBD products being in high demand in the global market.

“By owning or accessing at-cost processing infrastructure, Hawaiian farmers participate fully in the value chain,” Gail said. “This will optimize farmer margins, which will help to offset the cost of food production, moving Hawaii towards greater financial stability for Hawaii’s farming families and greater opportunities for young farmers.”

Interested in seeing the difference in Hawaii Royal Hemp premium products for yourself? Use promo code HAWAII to receive 20% off CBD products.

The post Hawaii Royal Hemp: CBD Handcrafted in Paradise appeared first on Cannabis Now.

From the Archives: Hemp Tour ’90 (1990)

By Steve Bloom

“The bus was busted!” HIGH TIMES Executive Editor John Holmstrom informed me as I walked into the office, only hours before my train to Toledo was scheduled to leave. It was March 28th—just four days before the Hash Bash, the main event on the spring Hemp Tour. I was planning to catch up with the bus in Toledo, Ohio, then hitch a ride to Lansing, Michigan, for a rally on March 30.

“What happened?” I asked. John had spoken to Ben Masel, the Hemp Tour’s primary organizer. “They tried to search the bus in Bowling Green [Ohio]. Someone was arrested and they towed the bus away,” John explained. “That’s all I know.”

The white Hemp Tour school bus had made the rounds during the previous fall’s Hemp Tour.

It wasn’t exactly psychedelic, but it certainly stood out. I was worried that the bust would grind the three-month Hemp Tour to a halt. I was also concerned that one of my friends had been arrested. With this sketchy information in mind, I left the office, walked over to Grand Central Station, and boarded my train. Next stop, Toledo.

March 30

Before leaving, I call a number in Toledo that was given to me by Doug McVey, who along with Rick Pfrommer and Debbie Goldsberry (one of the Hemp Tour’s key coordinators) wrote up the Hemp Tour ’90 Organizer’s Manual. A woman named Lara answers and promises that someone from the Tour will meet me at the train station when I arrive at 7 AM. I find that hard to believe. But believe it or not, a familiar white VW van is waiting for me as I walk out of the Toledo station that rainy morning. Ben is driving, and Monica, Shan, and Kevin are crowded into the back. Sort of a guest of honor, I’m given the passenger seat.

I quickly learn that the bus is in the possession of Debbie and members of Red Fly Nation, a hot new band from Kentucky that joined the tour in Lexington a week ago. But there’s another problem: The bus won’t run. Fortunately, Amazin’ Dave (from last year’s HIGH TIMES psychedelic bus trip to Ann Arbor) is on the scene, fixing the transmission so the bus can at least make it to Ann Arbor by the 1st.

So what happened in Bowling Green? Shan Clark, a veteran of the fall Tour, explains: “We had to park pretty far away from the rally, near a school. A cop named Cowboy, who wears a cowboy hat around Bowling Green, watched us unloading our material. Paul [Troy] was asleep on the bus while the rally was going on, and two cops knocked on the door at about 2:45 PM. They said they were coming on the bus. Paul said, ‘No, you’re not. I’m afraid you need a search warrant.’ They threw him out of the bus, onto the ground, and handcuffed him—when we saw him, he had a bloody nose and his hands were purple from the cuffs. They impounded the bus and then went ahead with a search. When we got to the tow yard the next day, the bus was trashed. They ransacked our bus, went through all our bags, and found two seeds. That’s been the low point so far.” Paul was freed on $100 bail (he pleaded no contest and accepted a year’s probation); the bus was fined $10 for a crack in the windshield and charged $50 for the tow. As far as the rally on the campus of Bowling Green State University was concerned, 500 people came to hear the news about how hemp can save the world and why marijuana should be legalized.

As we drive north to East Lansing for today’s rally, the rain subsides. Somehow, Ben finds Valley Court Park, where the rally is being held. Large black-and-white banners proclaiming HEMP FOR THE OVERALL MAJORITY OF EARTH’S PAPER * FIBER * FUEL * FOOD * PAINT * VARNISH * MEDICINE AND TO LIVE LONGER, OR THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT-CHOOSE ONE and the simpler HEMP FOR VICTORY (as well as a huge American flag) are already hanging from a baseball cage. These signs can only mean one thing: Jack Herer is here.

The burly, gruff-voiced author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes preceded our arrival by half an hour. His team, which includes Maria Farrow, Willie, Nelson, J.S. and Brenda, quickly posted the signs and are already selling books, stickers, and hemp clothing. In a particularly impassioned fashion, Shan introduces Jack to the spring break crowd. Waving a copy of The Reign of Law, which was printed on hemp paper, Jack ignites sparks with this fiery commentary: “We only have to be committed to the ideal that no human being on earth will ever go to prison again for a natural substance. People aren’t aware that the government has outlawed vegetables. There should be no laws against natural things. We have to drive a stake through the heart of prohibitionism.”

NORML’S National Director, Don Fiedler, also speaks, as do Ben and several locals. A band named 47 Tyme follows the speakers. This causes a problem. Seems that just beyond the park is a senior citizen’s residence. After receiving a few calls about the noise, the police decide to make their presence felt. Ben engages in conversation with them, then is told that someone has to accept the charge of disturbing the peace. Like a good Hemp Tour trooper, Ben takes the fall instead of the local organizers. He’s driven to the stationhouse, pays a $25 fine, and returns to the rally. No big deal. But it’s another reminder that there’s always a price to pay in the rally business.

March 31

It’s Hash Bash weekend, and Freedom Fighters from all over the country are beginning to converge on Ann Arbor. The first sight we see when we leave our hotels is a shiny purple bus in the parking lot. We decide to investigate. Inside is the West Virginia Freedom Fighter contingent, led by Roger the shaggy-bearded driver. Kind bud they call “hackweed” is being passed around. A coughing siege ensues. Now we know why they call it hackweed.

The morning papers bring good news. “Judge OK’s U-M Pot Rally Permit-Says U-M Violated Free Speech,” reads the front-page headline of the Ann Arbor News. In October, the University of Michigan granted NORML a permit to hold the Hash Bash at its traditional location—on the campus’ Diag. But in February, the school rescinded the permit. Fortunately, Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Donald Shelton recognized the impropriety of that decision and restored the permit literally at the 11th hour. “The University’s mishandling of the NORML permit application completely undermines its contention that any danger presented by the NORML rally is ‘clear’ or ‘present,’” the judge ruled.

But first things first. Saturday’s reserved for the first annual Freedom Fighters convention. Roger’s purple bus carts dozens of FFs to the picnic-style meeting, where spliffs are smoked, state chapter heads are elected, Chef RA’s rasta-riffic eats are chowed, and networking and partying are generally accomplished.

April 1

The Hash Bash begins at noon—without amplification. But thanks to the boys in Red Fly Nation, a PA is set up. Herer, Fiedler, Masel, Hash Bash organizer Rick Birkett, and Gatewood Galbraith, who introduces himself as the next governor of the state of Kentucky (he’s running in the 1991 race), all speak. Red Fly Nation plays a few songs before the PA is cut off at 2 PM. Even a midday downpour and numerous arrests can’t dampen the spirit of the 5,000-plus ralliers.

After the rally concludes at 6 PM, the scene shifts to the Heidelberg, where the HIGH TIMES contingent stages a high-energy benefit concert for NORML, featuring the Soul Assassins, the Nozems, and anti-folk artists Bobby Belfiore and Dave Herrera. The revelry continues through the night. Once again, the Hash Bash is a blast.

Courtesy of High Times

April 2

The backdrop for the Hash Bash was today’s pot referendum in Ann Arbor. In 1972, the city established a $5 fine for marijuana use and possession. Though the $5 fine was repealed the next year, it was written into Ann Arbor’s charter in 1974. Nine years later, another attempt to repeal it was voted down by a 61 percent majority. Now, in 1990, a referendum to raise the fine to $25 for a first offense has made it to the ballot. Hopefully, the spirit of the Hash Bash will bring voters out. A vote of no on Proposal B would keep the fine at $5.

Meanwhile, Jack, Don, and Gatewood leave for Detroit early this morning to appear on the morning show Kelly & Company. A 10 AM rally at Wayne State University is next on the agenda. (Herer’s crew handles that one.) Back in Ann Arbor, we’re moving rather slowly. Our only hope is to get to Detroit in time for a 1 PM legalization debate at the University of Detroit’s Student Union. We fill up the bus and hit the road.

Everyone on the panel is wearing a suit except for Jack, who’s wearing his tan hemp shirt (he never leaves home without it) over a tie-dyed t-shirt. Zolton Ferency, a Michigan State prof who’s running for the State Senate on a legalization platform, is there along with Rep. John Conyers and several others. Ferency quotes the following National Institute on Drug Abuse figures (1988): deaths from tobacco, 346,000; alcohol, 125,000; alcohol and drugs mixed, 4000; cocaine, 2000; marijuana, 75 (HIGH TIMES would tend to question this figure). Directing himself to Conyers, Ferency says:

“Deal with the drug problem as a public-health problem. Keep it out of the criminal justice system. It is not going to be solved by police, prosecutors, criminal courts, or prisons.”

Conyers, who is black, explains that he’s “against the way William Bennett runs the anti-drug strategy because it’s racist. When you focus on crack, you focus on blacks, by and large. The profile of the average drug user is white, middle class, and suburban. I want to change the laws that deal with the prosecution of drugs. Why don’t we get a justice system that really works—in which we get the drug dealers and the government out of it, rather than making it legal? I put treatment as a higher priority than making it all legal.”

Herer hammers away with the hemp argument. “The greatest tax on earth is the harm to the environment that the fossil fuels and synthetic fibers are causing to this planet,” Jack offers. “There is one single plant on earth that replaces 100 percent of our need for any of those—something that can be grown by American farmers, not mined by oil companies. We’re talking about hemp—the safest therapeutically active substance known to mankind.” At this point, Conyers picks up a copy of The Emperor Wears No Clothes and leafs through it.

From the audience, Ben issues his chess challenge to Drug Bizarre William Bennett or any prosecutor, narcotics officer, or anyone else who believes that marijuana is harmful to the intelligence. “I’ve been smoking it for 23 years,” he says. “If it causes permanent brain damage, I must be in bad shape—so prove it.”

Fiedler walks to the podium and addresses Conyers, who serves on several House committees that deal with drug issues. “We’re not asking you to legalize marijuana at this point, but if you’re holding hearings…”

Conyers interrupts. “Would you like to be a witness?”

“I’d love to,” Fiedler says.

“I would love to discuss the matter with you—here and in Washington,” Conyers adds.

Afterwards, Ferency tells me about his plan to legalize pot. “I’m not for taxing it. We don’t tax liquor, we sell it. In Michigan, you’re allowed to make 200 gallons of wine for personal use; I’m suggesting the same thing for marijuana. You want to grow your own pot, fine—it’s the same as wine. I deliberately came up with a plan that deals with merchandising marijuana in Michigan.

“I did that in response to our Drug Czar’s suggestion that it couldn’t be done. It can be done—very easily.”

Ferency ran for governor in 1966. He headed the state’s Democratic party for five years and was the liquor commissioner 30 years ago. He’s a lawyer by trade. “I’m the state’s best known liberal. I’ve been all over the road. I’ve been at this for 40 years. I know how it goes. I was in the anti-war movement, all the movements. What you need is middle-of-the-road presentations. People are convinced that we’re losing the War on Drugs by just reading the daily papers. They’ll listen to anybody who comes along and tells them, ‘Here’s one way we might be able to get out of this mess.’ That’s been my experience.”

Ferency’s opponent has the support of the governor. “It’s a tough struggle, it’s uphill. The governor wants that seat. All my opponent will have to do is sit in it. The governor’s raising $400,000 for her. Four hundred grand for a state legislative seat? Unheard of!” If you’d like to contribute to Zolton Ferency’s campaign—the primary is in August—send a donation to: Ferency for Senate Committee, PO Box 6446, East Lansing, Ml 48826.

Following the debate, we’re invited back to an off-campus party house. That evening, Herer is feted at a book reception at Alvin’s, a club near Wayne State.

April 3-4

Tuesday’s a rare off day for the Hemp Tour. I’m hanging out with Jack, who usually goes his separate way from the bus. He spends hours on the telephone, doing radio interviews, taking care of business. He’s a bundle of creative energy and never seems to relax.

Jack loves to see himself in print, whether he’s doing the writing or is being written about. Today’s Detroit Free Press runs a profile of Jack entitled, “Rebel With an Illegal Cause.” He’s pleased. Reporters seem to be gravitating toward the hemp issue; Jack’s book and his tireless efforts to promote the plant are the primary reasons why.

But there’s bad news, too; Ann Arbor voters, by a 53 to 47 percent majority, have decided to raise their town’s pot fine to $25.

A call from Fiedler, who’s returned to Washington, swings the mood back in a positive direction. Rep. Conyers has asked that Jack testify before the House Judiciary Committee. It’s cause to celebrate. Jack lights up a bowlful and kicks back for a few moments.

“We’re gonna win this thing, Bloom,” he barks. “No fucking way we’re gonna lose.”

Jack takes particular pleasure in converting people to his hemp message. One convert is David Hamburger, an otherwise conservative fellow who met Jack last November at the “Just Say Know” rally in Athens, Ohio. Marvin Surowitz, the organizer of the Detroit events, invited him to Athens. “Before I met Jack, I was totally on the other side—talk about quick political conversions,” says David, who is a private investor and former Bush supporter. “After the conference, I saw things differently. Cannabis, used in reasonable amounts, is an excellent natural relaxant and should be legalized. I smoke pot to increase my productivity and to take away tension headaches. But, to be honest, I find marijuana politics much more stimulating than marijuana.”

Around midnight, Jack begins mobilizing his troops for an early-morning trek to Cleveland—the next stop on the Hemp Tour. He’s scheduled to appear on The Morning Exchange TV program at 8 AM. Jack designates me as the driver. It’s an excruciating ride, but we make it right on time. A middle-aged man named Bernie Baltic is responsible for setting up the morning debate. He deposits us in a hotel and rushes Jack to the studio. Except for a change of tie-dyes, Jack’s dressed the same as he was two mornings ago. We turn the TV to channel 5 and await the debate.

The first question asked is: “Can hemp really reverse the Greenhouse Effect?” Jack rattles off all the glorious uses for hemp. The anti-drug advocate weakly challenges Jack’s hemp information and then begins reciting the standard litany about marijuana: it kills brain cells, it’s a “gateway drug,” and so on. Jack flicks these arguments away like so many marijuana ashes. From my point of view, the debate’s not even a contest.

There’s hardly any time to catch a few minutes sleep before the noon rally at Cleveland’s Public Square. Surrounded by tall office buildings and buffered by traffic, the location is perfect: No one can complain about the noise. And no one does. The rally runs five hours—Red Fly Nation plays for nearly two—without a hitch. What makes this event special is the turnout—not so much the numbers (about 400 total), but the mix of people who stop by for a quick listen. “In many ways, this has been our most successful date yet,” Ben says. “We were in front of the whole city, not just a student crowd—we had business people coming through, it was a much more mixed reception.” Even blacks, who are notably absent on the Tour, were in attendance. Thank Red Fly Nation’s funkadelic sounds for that.

John Hartman, Ohio NORML’s North Coast coordinator, who along with Ohio NORML leader Cliff Barrows organized the rally, is also excited about the “variety of people” who turned out. So where do people who attended the rally go from here? “I want them to write their representatives, take some of our literature and xerox it, pass out 100 copies here, 100 copies there—just get it out,” John says. “There’s nothing illegal about going door-to-door or standing on a street corner and handing pamphlets out. It’s a standard way of soliciting people—and the cheapest. Right now we don’t have the dollars, so it just comes down to getting out in the streets and informing people—leafletting or making calls or taking opinion polls, any contact with people.”

John invites the Hemp Tour back to his house to party and spend the night. Without people like John, the Hemp Tour would be forced to run up some pretty high hotel bills. Considering that the Tour runs on whatever it makes in sales of t-shirts and assorted products, this hospitality is invaluable.

Courtesy of High Times

April 5

Today’s headline in the Cleveland Plain Dealer reads, “Hemp is Given a New Twist—Fair Promotes Pot’s Many Uses.” In the article, a botanist from Case Western Reserve University admits he doesn’t know much about hemp other than its fiber is tough and it grows at a phenomenal rate. He suggests Flax, which is used to make linen and linseed oil, has similar properties to hemp.

During the ride down to the next stop—Kent State University—with Ben and Cliff, Ben says, “I want to reach the farm press and the farm researchers on this tour—make a particular effort to touch base at the agriculture schools, find the professors who might be motivated to take a closer look, and meet the kind of people who can convince the agriculture departments to give them permits to study the plant.”

Ben Masel is a professional activist. He not only runs the Hemp Tour, he also publishes The Zenger, an underground newspaper, out of his home base of Madison, Wisconsin. Ben’s style is more academic and less charismatic than Jack’s. He’s an expert polemicist and quite a good storyteller (his country twang and ironic outlook reminds me of Arlo Guthrie). Ben was the HIGH TIMES’ 1988 Counterculture Hero of the Year. I ask him to tell me when he first became politically active.

“One turning point was during the fourth grade, when we did Inherit the Wind as a class play. I was the teacher who was on trial for teaching evolution,” he laughs. “In the sixth grade, we were the first kids in the country to be bussed to integrate a black school. This was in Teaneck, New Jersey. By the 10th grade, we had been resegregated. While we were all in the same building, the classes weren’t integrated anymore. This led us to occupy the principal’s office in the spring of 10th grade. We held it for three days, and won most of our 13 unconditional demands. The principal resigned on the third day.

“Upon hearing about the shootings at Kent State, we got together a meeting of 150-200 students in the auditorium after school and we decided to call a strike. Next we heard that the Student Council wanted to join us. Then the principal came by and offered to cooperate with us if we called it a teach-in instead of a strike. A couple of days later, the Board of Education wanted to can the principal because one of the speakers at the teach-in had referred to ‘that motherfucker Nixon.’”

Appropriately, we arrive in Kent as Ben’s discussing his reaction to the events that devastated this small college town 20 years ago. Ben has a lot of personal history connected to Kent State University. He joined the May 4th Coalition in the late 70s in its efforts to prevent the University from building a gym over part of the area where the 1970 shootings occurred. They lost that battle. Perhaps today would be another.

The Hemp Tour was unable to obtain sponsorship from a student group for the rally. The Progressive Student Network balked out of fear that it would lose its registration if a legal problem arose. In addition, the school only allows use of a PA system in the plaza outside the Student Center for one hour a day—from noon to 1 PM. At 12:30, Ben plugs in the PA and begins to speak into a microphone. A crowd of about 100 congregate. By 1 PM, the local police are about to close in. Debbie warns Ben that they mean business, but he keeps talking until the police pull the plug at about 1:25. Ben races over to the PA and plugs it back in. The police grab him; the battle is on.

Ben clearly resists. They pull his hair. It takes four cops to lead Ben to their car, which is waiting about 200 feet away at the curb. The crowd chants, “Bullshit!” and “Let him go!” The cops don’t listen. In the chaos, a female frosh named Sharon Burns gets caught up in the activity. She and Ben are both arrested and taken to the nearby police station.

Sharon is charged with disorderly conduct and released on her own recognizance. Ben is hit with three charges: obstructing offical business, resisting arrest, and assault (they claim he kneed a cop in the groin). At first, we’re told that bail will be $1,250. After we make the necessary arrangements to pay a bail bondsman and drive six miles to Portage County, where Ben has been taken, we’re told the bail has been raised to $12,500. It’s fairly common to require 10 percent of the bond, but because of Ben’s long “rap sheet” and the fact that he’s from out-of-state (no doubt his previous run-ins at Kent State are also a consideration) they refuse to reduce the bond—at least until the morning. So Ben has to spend the night in jail.

Meanwhile, the Hemp Tour people are waiting for Debbie and me at a gallery on Water Street. Later on, Red Fly Nation and some local bands are supposed to play across the street at J.B.’s. There’s some anger over Ben’s decision to get arrested, but some good smoke mellows everyone out.

Water Street, it turns out, was where the calamitous events at Kent State began almost 20 years ago to the day. On May Day, 1970, Nixon announced that the US had invaded Cambodia. That night students poured out of J.B.’s and other clubs and into the streets; then they lit a bonfire and began smashing store windows. The next day, the ROTC building on the Kent State campus was firebombed. Two days later, the National Guard opened fire on the students.

Alan Canfora was there. He was shot in the wrist. He stood 50 feet in front of his friend, Jeff Miller, who took a bullet in the head. “As the guard got to the top of the hill and they stopped and they started to fire, I heard the guns go off and took a step away from them,” he tells me. “I thought, ‘Well, just in case they’re firing live ammunition, I’ll get behind a tree.’ I got behind one at the last possible second before a bullet went through my right wrist. It was the only tree in the line of fire. I’m convinced that that tree saved my life, because it was hit by several bullets and I could see many other bullets zipping through the air and ripping through the grass.”

Canfora puts today’s confrontation with the police in perspective when he explains: “Kent State remains now as it has been during the last 20 years—a very repressive institution which is controlled by the Republican interests in Ohio.”

April 6

Ben has a 9 AM hearing. A public defender named Bill Carroll shows up and asks for a reduction of the bond to $5,000. The judge agrees to that, plus he allows for 10 percent payment. Debbie counts out $500 and Ben is free.

Ben doesn’t exactly get a hero’s welcome when he returns to our Kent crash pad. There’s a noon rally slated for Athens in Southern Ohio at Ohio University. Herer has gone ahead and will run the rally. Cliff, Ben, and I again travel together; the bus is the last to leave.

For the first time on the Tour I get to see some pretty country. Southern Ohio is full of rolling hills. We take a few small roads to get there, with Ben doing the navigating. Does he regret the arrest? “Only that I resisted,” he says, proudly noting that it was his 106th arrest.

We get to Athens just as Jack is wrapping up. He applauds Ben’s arrest—’That’s how Ben teaches the kids,” Jack says. Plus, it got good press.

That evening, the University’s history and political science departments are sponsoring a debate/teach-in. It’s Jack and Gatewood versus Lois and Robert Whealy, a husband and wife prof team. The debate turns out to be quite a hoot.

The profs aren’t all that opposed. One point is well-taken: Don’t look for simplistic answers to our environmental problems. Gatewood proclaims, “I don’t apologize to anyone anymore about smoking pot. Any society that can accommodate alcohol and tobacco has room for pot.”

Later that night, Vicki Linker invites us all to her backwoods digs for a well-deserved and desperately-needed party (the type where dessert is served first). Red Fly Nation sets up in the living room and jams (I even get to play percussion on my fave songs—”Do the Feelin’” and “Strictly Wet”). Gatewood unknots his tie and opens his collar. Maria rolls the ugliest joints ever. Ben tries to recruit me to leave immediately for Indianapolis, where Farm Aid is scheduled to start in a few hours. He wants to leaflet the concert. Good idea, bad execution (the van barely made it to Vicki’s). Everyone sleeps it off.

April 7

Last stop for me—Columbus, Ohio. Everything I’ve been told to expect about the Columbus rally is right. This is one stop where there was little or no advance work, and it shows. The rally, tucked away on the campus of Ohio State University, fizzles. Hey, the Hemp Tour was due for a dud.

I’m ready to head home.

Tomorrow, Dayton hosts a rally, and then it’s off to a swing through Indiana (the Tour runs through May). Jack is packed and ready to roll. “C’mon, Bloom, you’re driving to Dayton,” he yells. Sorry, Jack, I’m booked on a flight back to New York. But he has me thinking. Should I spend just a few more days on the Hemp Tour?

At that moment, the bus pulls up; it’s being tailed by a cop. Apparently, Dean hopped a curb and is getting written up. Hey, you know what? This is one nutty Hemp Tour.

High Times Magazine, July 1990

This article appears in the July 1990 issue of High Times. Subscribe here.

The post From the Archives: Hemp Tour ’90 (1990) appeared first on High Times.

If You Want to Smoke (Christmas) Trees, Ask Santa for These Strains

The holidays feel like a time of year tailor made for creating wonderful sensory memories. Be it the comforting aroma of freshly baked gingerbread men wafting over the kitchen or the taste of a stiff eggnog, our various end-of-year celebrations and traditions are often packed with plenty of signature flavors and smells.

Though cannabis may not be on that list for everyone, it is a plant that relies on the very same aromatic compounds at the heart of everything from mistletoe to hot chocolate: terpenes. Today, terpenes are rapidly becoming an everyday part of the modern cannabis consumer vernacular.

Found in the essential oils of a wide variety of different plants, terpenes give cannabis strains their distinctive tastes and smells but also help in the wild by attracting pollinators and repelling invasive species. Secreted by the cannabis plant’s trichome glands, terpenes also offer any number of potential health benefits, including promising anti-inflammatory properties as well as relief from pain and anxiety.

Of course, that all depends on the terpene. Given there are over 150 of them found in cannabis alone, pinpointing precisely which terpenes can do what remains, with respect to the progress that has been made, an ongoing effort.

Fortunately, when it comes to the specific smells and tastes one can expect, we’ve gotten things down to a science. For instance, we now know that those who think of the holidays and immediately get a whiff of a pine tree echoing through their nostrils owe a debt of gratitude to pinene.

Regarded as the most common terpene in the natural world, pinene is a popular tool in aromatherapy and the pivotal player behind what we commonly refer to as “Christmas tree smell.” In fact, that particular scent has become so beloved that we now buy it by the bottleful to spray in our homes. If you are one of the many who wistfully smiles whenever a pinene-powered burst of pine hits your nose, you may be pleased to learn that this terpene also features prominently in many cannabis strains.

A terpene shared with the likes of orange peels, rosemary, parsley, turpentine, basil, pine needles, dill, and conifer trees, pinene can be found in notable amounts in such cannabis strains as Jack Herer, SFV OG, Sugar Pine and OG Ringo. Each of these four selections is renowned for their hearty notes of pine, which it should be noted will not necessarily be the case simply because a strain is packed with pinene. Instead, it is the presence of all the terpenes in a strain which work together to create a strain’s signature sensory characteristics.

In celebration of the holidays and the surplus of pine trees currently pleasing our sniffers, let’s take a closer look at four strains ready to deliver the evergreen all year round. As a bonus, we’ve paired each strain with a suggested holiday gift for any last-minute shopping on your list!


Undisputed as a legend of the game, Jack Herer is a sativa-dominant strain named for the activist and author of the seminal “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” Featuring a hybrid of Haze, Northern Lights #5, and Shiva Skunk, this strain is known for having a pine-forward, spicy quality that consumers love almost as much as its corresponding effects, which tend to induce a focused, uplifting high. Grab a jar of Jack Herer and pair it with a copy of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” for an inspiring combo gift!


Southern California’s San Fernando Valley is the birthplace of SFV OG, a hybrid descendant of OG Kush that delivers big on pain relief but isn’t known for being overly potent. The terpene expression in this strain is rich with notes of pine and lemon, leading some to refer to its resulting taste as being akin to Lemon Pledge (but in a good way). Popular with those seeking relief from physical symptoms, SFV OG should be a mainstay in any showcase devoted to strains that bring the Christmas tree heat. Try pairing a gift of this flower with another SoCal-specific item (you can’t go wrong with merch from Pink’s Hot Dogs) for a geographically themed twofer.


With a name that sounds like a ski resort nestled in the Sierras, Sugar Pine is the result of decades of crosses and tinkering. The worthwhile payoff is a hybrid strain featuring genetics from Skunk, Sugar Bush, Afghani, and Sweetie. That’s quite the eclectic crew, which makes its ensuing flavor profile — a fragrant bouquet of sweet pine, vanilla, and hops — such a unique delight. With a name like Sugar Pine, it seems only fitting that any gift of this soothing, yet enlivening, strain should come with a home baked confection. Pair Sugar Pine with a tray of cookies straight from your oven and you’ve got the perfect present for anyone who loves both cannabis and sweets.


Another relative of the OG Kush clan, OG Ringo is named not for the Beatle but rather Lawrence Ringo: a famed CBD breeder and activist. Regardless, the headline here is OG Ringo’s potent, high-THC payoff in the form of its long-lasting euphoric effects as well as its earthy, musky aroma, highlighted once more by notes of sweet pine. This holiday season, it’s actually possible to give a loved one the gift of multiple Ringos when you combine a jar of Ringo OG with a subscription to Disney+, which is currently streaming a critically acclaimed new, three-part documentary on the Beatles!

The post If You Want to Smoke (Christmas) Trees, Ask Santa for These Strains appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Alpha-Pinene Terps Shine in this Sparkling Cannabis Cocktail Recipe

Holiday drinks enjoyed while celebrating friends, family and finding the light through dark winter nights is a tradition long held around the world. With pine trees inextricably part of those same warm gatherings, few things so strongly mark the arrival of the winter holidays quite like the unmistakable smell of fresh pine.

Did you know the fragrant terpene alpha-pinene is directly responsible for that unique scent we all hold near and dear during the holiday season? Found abundantly in edible plants all over the world (i.e., rosemary, juniper berries, eucalyptus, holy basil and the like), alpha-pinene’s charm also shines through in specific cannabis strains like Jack Herer, Cherry Pie and Purple Kush.

These holiday drinks in particular were inspired by pine needle syrup, a traditional Scandinavian remedy for sore throats made from pine needles foraged when the trees are just budding (the young shoots have the best flavor). Since it stunts the trees’ growth to remove the fresh buds and since not every pine tree is safe to eat, I recommend foraging with an expert or sourcing the pine needles from a reputable local or online shop. Longleaf, Shortleaf, Virginia, Spruce and Loblolly are some of the preferred trees for making pine infusions, but as with all plant consumption, take care with identification and defer to experienced knowledge before eating any plants.

There are two versions of this wintery, celebratory pine and cannabis drink: one made with sparkling wine and no added sugar, and the other infuses a simple syrup to be mixed with sparkling water–dealer’s choice.

Happy holidays, cheers!


1 1/2 – 2 cups cold filtered water

3.5 g dried and cured cannabis flower or trim

1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin (found in health food stores or online)

1/2 cup organic cane sugar (if making simple syrup, omit if making mixer for champagne cocktails)

1-2 cinnamon sticks

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (plus one sprig each per serving)

Sparkling white wine or sparkling mineral water (for the mixer)

Decarboxylate Cannabis

Preheat oven to 245ºF. Keep an eye on the heat using an oven thermometer.

Coarsely chop/breakup cannabis flower.

Spread cannabis evenly over a parchment lined baking pan, then cover tightly with two layers of foil.

Bake for 25 minutes, keeping an eye on the heat with an oven thermometer.

After baking, let cool fully before removing foil.

Spritz cannabis lightly with Everclear/high-proof alcohol (to help break down plant matter and cannabinoids, a genius method developed by Tamar Wise).

For Mocktail with Pine Needle Simple Syrup (no alcohol)

Boil 1 1/2 cups water, then add 1 cup pine needles.

Turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Continue to simmer for 30 mins.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain needles out through a fine mesh strainer, returning the liquid to the pot.

While the liquid is still warm, whisk in 1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin.

Stir in 1/2 cup sugar until it’s completely dissolved.

Pour liquid into a heat-proof glass jar (with a tight-fitting lid).

Add the decarboxylated cannabis, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 1-2 cinnamon sticks to the liquid.

Let cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge for 12 hrs/overnight, shaking the mixture periodically.

Strain the solids out of the liquid through a cheesecloth and fine mesh strainer (more than once if necessary to get all the bits out of the liquid).

Label clearly as containing cannabis and at what dosage.

Add desired amount of the now cannabis-and-pine-needle-infused simple syrup to sparkling water over ice. Stir, garnish with a sprig of rosemary, and serve.

For a Sparkling Cocktail (mix with your favorite sparkling wine)

Boil 2 cups of water, then add 1 cup of pine needles.

Turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Continue to simmer for 30 mins.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain needles out through a fine mesh strainer, returning the liquid to the pot.

While the liquid is still warm, whisk in 1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin.

Pour liquid into a heat-proof glass jar (with a tight-fitting lid).

Add the decarboxylated cannabis, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 1-2 cinnamon sticks to the pine-needle infusion.

Let cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge for 12 hrs/overnight, shaking the mixture periodically.

Strain the solids out of the liquid through a cheesecloth and fine mesh strainer (more than once if necessary to get all the bits out of the liquid).

Label clearly as containing cannabis and at what dosage.

Add the desired amount of the now cannabis-and-pine-needle-infused liquid and a sprig of fresh rosemary to your favorite sparkling Brut. Cheers!

Dosage: Both recipes make about 1 2/3 cups liquid. I use tablespoons as my measurement for dosage, with 1 tablespoon per drink. There are 16 tablespoons in a liquid cup, so 1 2/3 cups is very loosely 26 tbsps, or 13 servings. If I start with a cannabis flower that tests at around 20% THC, using 3.5g would make the total amount of THC in the syrup all in about 700mg THC. Dividing that total by 26 tbsp. servings, each tbsp. would contain approximately 27mg THC per serving.

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Who Is Jack Herer? The Man Behind The Strain

If you’re a cannabis connoisseur living in a legal or decriminalized region, you’ve likely narrowed it down to some specific strains and products you prefer by now. High on the list of many cannabis users is a potent sativa strain known as Jack Herer.

Jack Herer is a legendary strain that’s been around since the mid-nineties. Its uplifting and energized high, not to mention the incredibly fresh and citrusy flavor, has kept Jack Herer on the top shelf for decades. What many smokers fail to realize is that Jack Herer isn’t just some random, arbitrary name. These flowers are named after an actual person, a lifelong cannabis activist known as the ‘Emperor of Hemp’.

What do you know about the man behind the strain? Read on to learn more.

Cannabis is full of interesting characters. Many of the big names in pot, those who helped propel the industry forward over the years, usually have larger than life personalities along with a taste for political activism. To learn more about the industry and the people who made it, and for exclusive deals on exclusive deals on delta-8 THCdelta 10thcvthcpthc-ohhc and even legal hemp-derived delta-9 THC, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter.

The Man: Jack Herer

If you live in a legal or medical market, it’s not uncommon to find numerous strains with “Jack” in the name. Jack Diesel, Critical Jack, and Super Jack are all variants of the infamous sativa strain, Jack Herer. A lot of people, both consumers and those within the industry, know about the potent effects and robust flavor of this strain, however, many are unfamiliar with the man behind the strain.

Jack Herer (the man), grew up in upstate Buffalo, NY, but he was born in New York City in 1939. Herer served in the U.S. Army during the Korean war and after finishing his contract in 1967, he moved to Los Angeles and began working at a neon sign company. It was in California that Jack Herer tried marijuana for his first time at the ripe of 30 years old. After falling in love with the plant and its effects, he quit his job and opened a head shop in Venice Beach, a mecca for art and hippie culture at the time.

By the 1970s, Jack Herer became a powerful presence in the movement to legalize cannabis. Herer spent a lot of time at the Library of Congress, reviewing decades of government-backed research on marijuana benefits and hemp fiber uses. He used this information for his 1985 book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, which marked a watershed in his career as a cannabis industry activist.

His book quickly became known as the “holy grail” or “bible” of cannabis knowledge. To this day it is still viewed as a classic and a must-read for anyone with any sort of involvement with cannabis. During a time when misinformation was rampant and anything the government said about weed was viewed with great cynicism, the majority of people who wanted real, accurate information about cannabis turned to Jack Herer’s book.

“The Emperor of Hemp”

Bouncing off the title of his book, Herer himself came to be known as the Emperor of Hemp, or Hemperor. A common theme in his work was uncovering government hypocrisy and how they used questionable tactics and inaccurate information to justify prohibition. His speeches, known to be incredibly passionate and inspiring, were in the same vein.

Herer suspected that government officials knew the benefits of cannabis but were keeping it illegal to keep societies dependent on rope fiber, paper pulp, and petrochemicals. As usual, just follow the money. He discussed the importance of hemp and his belief that hemp was America’s future cash crop, one with the ability to reinvent virtually every industry in an eco-friendly way.

Jack also shed light on another common motivator behind anti-cannabis policies – racism. After researching back to the early days of prohibition, Herer became “furious and disgusted” with the racism, lies, and uninformed legislation… so after years of writing and studying he published his book. Over the course of six weeks in 1990, Herer held 60 rallies across 48 different U.S. cities discussing the information in his book and other ideas surrounding the benefits and legalization of cannabis.

Eventually Jack left Los Angeles and moved north to Oregon, where his opened his famous Portland headshop, The Third Eye Shoppe on Hawthorne Blvd. In addition to keeping high-quality glass pipes and psychedelic décor on deck, the now-closed shop became a popular meeting spot for cannabis activists in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon’s medical marijuana initiative, Ballot Measure 67, was drafted at The Third Eye, and many prominent cannabis-industry figures have spent time in Herer’s shop.

On April 15th, 2010, after four decades of activism, Jack collapsed and next to the stage at a hemp festival in Oregon, following a passionate speech. He passed away shortly after. According to his family, that is what Jack would have wanted, “He gave an impassioned speech at a hemp rally, then as soon as he finished, he entered the final stages of his life.”

The Strain: Euphoric Sativa

Jack Herer was crafted by Netherlands-based seedbank, Sensi Seeds, back in the early 1990s. Eventually, Jack Herer would be distributed in Dutch pharmacies far and wide as an “authentic” and “original” medicinal cannabis strain; and it has won many awards for its quality and potency.

Jack Herer is a cross of Northern Lights #5, Haze, and Skunk #1. Despite having a lineage that is less than 50% sativa, Jack Herer is a sativa-dominant hybrid that feels uplifting, energetic and euphoric when consumed. Because Jack Herer does have a little bit of indica in it, you can expect to experience a slight body high that pairs perfectly with the cerebral effects. Many describe it as the “perfect high” and it’s perfect for use at any time of the day, as opposed to heavy indicas which some users prefer to use only at night.

Like Blue Dream, Jack Herer is one of those flowers that most sativa-lovers flock to. This strain is high in the terpenes Myrcene and Limonene, which make up for its signature flavor that full of earthy, citrusy tones. Me personally, this is my type of strain as a I tend to prefer flowers with fresh, crisp flavors rather than the musky ones like U.K. Cheese, for example.

“You’ve got to be out of your mind not to smoke dope”

Jack Herer, the man, was an incredible activist, eloquent writer, and a trusted figure at one of the most crucial times in the history of modern cannabis culture. Jack Herer, the strain, is potent, flavorful, and uplifting – it lives up to its namesake.

No matter what your thoughts are on sativa strains, or what your cannabis needs may be, it’s worth remembering the last public speech that Jack Herer gave immediately before his passing: “You’ve got to be out of your mind not to smoke dope. It is the best thing the world has ever had.”

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