NB-Here it is, Grandpa Ganja's classic work on the noble marijuana bush wherein he discusses how to grow pot, buy it, steal it, smoke and/or eat it, hide it from jackbooted cops and even includes its history, medical uses, myths, etc. GMH will add a touch of class to your personal library and it makes a great gift for fellow-tokers.
by ©Evan Keliher
P.0. Box 28808
San Diego, CA 92198
Library of Congress Catalog
Card Number: 97-68126
Table of Contents
1. How I Became a Marijuana Toker
2. History of Marijuana
3. Obtaining Your Stash
4. How to Use Marijuana
5. Types of Pot and How It Works
6. The Mighty Hemp Plant
7. Psychoactive Effects
8. The Munchies
10. The Health Angle
11. The Narco Squad
12. Jail Time
14. Politicians and Pot
15. Marijuana and Morality
16. To Smoke or Not to Smoke
21. A Summing Up
Famous People Who Have Smoked Marijuana
California Proposition 215 Text
U.S. Government's Definition of Marijuana
States Recognizing Medical Value of Marijuana
Sample Doctor's Letter
Sample Letter to Congressperson
Other Books by Evan Keliher
How I Became a Marijuana Toker
They call me Grandpa Ganja and with good reason. I've been a regular user of the noble cannabis plant for over thirty years and I'm here to say that marijuana is a godsend straight from the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve were the original users.
I cite as proof a quote from Genesis 4: 6-8 that declares, "...Eve did go forth and picketh weeds that she did burneth...And Adam saith, 'Here goeth a roach clip' and they did cloudeth their minds with smoke."
If you look up the reference cited, you may not find it because you probably have an expurgated version of the Bible. If you want the straight dope, I suggest you get one that hasn't been censored by zealots-if you can find one. It's clear if God provided pot for the world's first couple, He surely would want you to have it, too, wouldn't He?
Well, new laws now permit people to use pot for medical purposes in California and several other states and I qualified for future membership in this select group one day in '62 when I dropped by my ophthalmologist's office to see if I needed glasses for the fuzzy vision I'd been having. I knew I was in trouble when I overheard the doc on the phone as he canceled his afternoon racquetball game due to an emergency and I concluded I was the emergency.
Imagine my chagrin when he announced I had a nifty case of pigmentary glaucoma, an unusual strain that only appears in people of rare brilliance and astonishing good looks. Judged on that basis, I was fated for the disease, of course.
When discovered, the disease had already applied some sort of internal black magic-marker to my left eyeball and caused additional damage to its mate. I was put on pilocarpine every four hours, an evil concoction of various sinister elements that are collected from spiders and poisonous lizards.
The unique thing about pilocarpine is that a medicine that's designed to save someone's sight actually succeeds in blinding the patient for three hours out of every four between doses. Just when my vision was clearing up from the last dose, I had to take new drops and everything went blurry again.
And sting! Like dropping battery acid into each eye five times a day for several years in a row. Although the pilocarpine kept my pressure in line, it was such a drag I often considered trading it in for a cane and a dog. Later, I was switched to various creams and ointments and even took diuretics to keep the pressure in my eyes in a normal range. This went on for eight or nine years when an old friend reappeared and brought pockets full of grass with him.
Upon hearing that marijuana was a specific for glaucoma, I immediately resolved to help myself by defying the law against using pot and my friend agreed to be my mentor. We went to his place where I was introduced to some hippies and loud rock music. The hippies were already stoned but they seemed friendly enough and not at all like the drug-crazed tokers I'd seen in the infamous Reefer Madness film that depicted marijuana smokers as ax murderers in training.
After introductions were made and I'd mastered the secret handshake, one of the more stable looking hippies offered me my first joint.
"Here you go, man," he said. He handed me a limply rolled cigarette with one end twisted closed and a general shape that made me wonder if the maker's hand had shaken in its composition.
I took the thing and held it up to analyze its particular parts and saw that the cigarette paper was yellow, a fact that gave it a more sinister aspect than plain white paper would have imparted. Its misshapen form also indicated a kind of handcrafted quality to it, a sense that it had been made with loving tenderness and care as opposed to conventional cigarettes with their machine-inspired sameness.
All in all, I was impressed. The hippies lent a dramatic tone to the scene, the black lights provided color, the marijuana smoke thick in air redolent of burning weeds, the baggies on the table, the Beatles beatling from massive speakers, all this made up a new experience and new experiences are good-as long as they aren't bad new experiences.
I put a match to the joint and, following instructions from those already stoned, inhaled deeply and held my breath and waited. After some minutes I felt nothing at all and was disappointed in the extreme and said so.
"I don't feel anything," I said. "Maybe the marijuana's not strong enough."
"Hey, it's high-grade smoke, man," my mentor said. "I got this down on the avenue where they keep the good stuff. Maybe you need another hit, man."
So I took another hit and then another and nothing happened and some of the hippies began to grumble among themselves that they were wasting good grass on an infidel and suggested I not be given any more until I learned to appreciate the stuff. I finally went home sober as a judge and convinced marijuana smoking was a fraud. I resolved to go blind without any further trafficking with it and even made an appointment to see a man about a dog.
Fortunately, however, Jack, the old friend and would-be mentor, suggested I give grass another try since it frequently happens that people smoking for the first time often fail to reach a noticeable high-more on the business of getting high later-and everyone knows the stuff won't cure glaucoma or anything else if the patient doesn't experience a high.
So I went to Jack's place again and met Meg, a pretty girl and his latest fiancée who was rolling joints with deft, sure fingers that indicated this wasn't the first time she'd done it.
Jack took one of Meg's joints and said, "This'll do 'er, buddy. This stuff is pure Mexican. It's from Jalisco."
"They call it Jalisco hemp," Meg said.
"Yeah, except it's not really alliteration if the words don't begin with the same letter, is it?" Jack said.
"Jalisco starts with a j, not an h."
"Isn't it alliteration if the beginning sounds are alike?" Meg said.
They both looked at me and I shrugged. "Actually, I think you're both right," I said.
"I'll get the grammar book," Jack said. He started for the den and I stopped him.
"What about me? I could go blind here while you two are honing your grammar skills."
"Nobody's going blind, buddy," Jack said. "But we can't let the little stuff get by us. That only leads to entropy..."
"Entropy? What has entropy got to do with anything? My eyeballs are hardening up like Jell-O in a deep freeze and you're worried about matter destructing eons from now."
"Okay, if you think your eyeballs are more important than the state of matter, well..."
So Jack got a firm grip on the joint and applied a match to it, took a hit, and handed it to me. I inhaled a great cloud of smoke and held my breath as I handed the joint to Meg who followed suit. After thirty seconds or so we all breathed at once and Jack said, "Smooth, eh?"
"Yeah, not bad," I said.
"Take another hit," Meg said and I did and so did Jack and Meg, too.
By this time the joint had experienced entropy on a very personal level as it was reduced to a roach and snuffed out in an ashtray. The roach would not be thrown away, of course, as roaches could be saved and smoked in a pipe so none of the precious mind-altering resins was lost.
I heard friends who served in Vietnam during the war remark that marijuana was so plentiful over there one would see roaches the size of dollar cigars lying around on the ground every fifteen steps. Such profligate waste will never be seen again while good grass goes for two or three hundred bucks an ounce or more.
For the uninitiated, by the way, a roach is a marijuana cigarette (joint) that's been smoked down to butt status and can no longer be smoked without burning the smoker's fingers. It's called a roach because it resembles a dead brown cockroach that's somewhat the worse for wear.
After the second hit I noticed that Jack was grinning in an odd way, a kind of comical way, and I turned to Meg to comment on this phenomenon and saw an identical grin on her mug. And then I felt something move up my back, a feeling of warmth, of heat, and then everything went weird and I started to laugh and so did Jack and Meg and I knew I was in the land of the stoned and could almost feel my granite-like eyeballs soften and turn malleable as the pressure shot out of them like air from a punctured tire.
And that is how I became acquainted with the amazing curative powers of the dreaded marijuana plant. In a determined effort to save every last rod and cone in my retinas, I became a devotee of ganja and I've smoked the stuff regularly ever since that first encounter in 1970 and I'm happy to report that I can still see today. I attribute what sight I have left to my marijuana regimen and heartily recommend it for others who are similarly afflicted.
I also recommend it to anyone else who fears going blind, lame, or nuts-which should cover just about everybody.
History of Marijuana
The earliest appearance of marijuana occurred in the Cambrian Period where marijuana seeds were discovered in amber gathered from trees of that era. The plant is essentially unchanged from these early beginnings, which is to say that it is a weed that grows almost anywhere and has psychoactive powers.
While there is no written record of marijuana being used in prehistoric times for obvious reasons, some have advanced a theory that marijuana may have caused the disappearance of the dinosaurs when they began to eat it and got high. The resulting stoned effect turned voracious, flesh-eating animals into passive creatures too laid back to launch vicious assaults against their harmless fellows.
Some authorities think the marijuana may have raised the dinosaurs' consciousness levels since ingesting it does that in many cases where the smoker has at least the intelligence of your average dinosaur. Science has shown that ingesting marijuana will encourage a reflective attitude in most people, an open-mindedness and a willingness to examine even more sides to a problem than there actually are.
Some claim these same attitudes showed up in the dinosaurs when they looked at the whole prey/predator relationship and considered its basic unfairness and started down the road to ruin. Still, this is a scientific treatise and we cannot accept theories not grounded in fact.
In any case, once all the dinosaurs became marijuana eaters they quickly degenerated into evolutionary dropouts and opted for attitudes favoring co-existence and cooperation. Small wonder they perished as everyone knows a voracious nature is far more conducive to earthly success than any amount of passivity and compassion.
We're told now that man first appeared some three million years ago in the guise of a wispy little guy about three feet tall and three parts monkey. This early progenitor was quite stupid and couldn't tell a marijuana plant from a Cadillac so he probably never used it, but by the time Cro-Magnon man arrived on the scene during the Pleistocene Epoch man must have been well acquainted with marijuana.
For one thing, man's life expectancy rose from an average of nineteen years to almost twenty-five by the time Cro-Magnon man showed up and many scholars are convinced medical marijuana must have played a major role in this increase. It's possible, for example, that some ancient marijuana field caught fire and the smoke drifted into a nearby cave where several sick cavemen were at death's door and the jolt of high-grade cannabinoids revived them.
People would revere such a plant and pass it on as folk medicine along with moldy stuff laced with penicillin and the sap from the aspirin tree. A population high on good weed would enjoy less stress and lower blood pressure and live longer in the bargain.
Furthermore, what else except marijuana could explain the cave drawings at Alta Mira in northern Spain? These drawings are twenty or more thousand years old and yet very advanced, very sophisticated. The draftsmanship is first-rate, the blending of line and shape with the contours of the cave walls extraordinary.
How could these early men have created such brilliant work if they didn't have some sort of mind-altering, synapse-snapping booster to bring these talents to the surface? What better than two or three hits off a fat joint to elevate one's thoughts and stimulate those creative juices?
Again, exercising a little literary license, such art may have come about in this way. Several cavemen are lounging around the fire of an evening and they engage in conversation.
"Ugh," Org says, nodding meaningfully. Gor grunts and Larry points at the fire and barks like a dog. Oopah grins wackily and Org says "Ugh" again. Nobody says anything for five minutes and then Larry produces a foot-long joint of high quality Upper Jurassic weed and smiles light up every face there.
Larry lights the joint with a burning ember, hits it a mighty draught, and hands it around. Everybody follows suit and by the time the joint has been reduced to roach status the boys are stoned for a fare-thee-well. The ensuing conversation goes like this.
"Say, that's damn good weed," Org says.
"I'll say," Oopah rejoins. "It certainly does raise one's consciousness level, doesn't it?"
"Yeah, it makes you want to do, you know, something creative like...like..." Larry says.
"Like paint a bison on a cave wall!" Org says with a rush.
"A bison with contours!" Oopah exclaims.
"And with sweeping, curved strokes to give it a timeless look!" Gor says.
Thus inspired, these previously marijuana-free troglodytes were changed into highly skilled artists capable of producing sophisticated art the equal of any created since and it was all because they were stoned and operating in a different dimension than their straight, drug-free moralizing pals who belonged to that numerous tribe of naysayers who have always resisted anything involving fun.
Semitic tribes in the Near East used marijuana combined with incense for religious rites and the Bible tells of Moses and others breathing the smoke from burning incense/marijuana fires and getting high enough to talk to God in person.
In fact, there are some who say the famous burning bush was actually a marijuana patch that was ignited by lightning when Moses was camped on the windward side so the smoke was blown in his direction. After inhaling a liter or two of cannabis-riddled smoke, Moses took up his hammer and chisel and scaled Mt. Sinai and returned with the Ten Commandments in tow. Or so some say.
All the Egyptians were pot tokers. Hieroglyphics on tomb walls depict workers rolling joints and passing them around on a lunch break. One famous drawing shows King Tut holding a baggie of grass and grinning a lopsided grin in what appears to be a bordello of some kind. A number of tombs contain vases filled with pot for use in the next world or by grave robbers who would eventually loot the tomb and might enjoy a quiet smoke before dumping the corpse on the floor and making off with his solid gold coffin.
The Egyptians also were the first people to use marijuana in warfare and it came about this way. A powerful army of Hittites was advancing on Heliopolis and the pharaoh's pot-smoking Grand Vizier concocted a clever scheme to stop them.
He suggested that they salt a mid-sized town in the Hittites' path with a ton or so of the most powerful pot in the kingdom and, after pretending to defend the town, to fall back in apparent disarray. The Hittites took the town and ransacked the place for booty and came upon several warehouses crammed with pot. Fortunately, one warehouse held papyrus rolling papers and the Hittites proceeded to hold a gigantic pot party complete with music and dancing girls.
Once the festivities were well under way and all the Hittites were stoned out of their minds, the wily Egyptians stormed the encampment and slew 500,000 Hittites and seized all their equipment. The elated Egyptians celebrated their victory by smoking up most of the remaining pot the Hittites hadn't consumed and partied far into the night.
Alas, though, once the Egyptians were thoroughly stoned, an army of Thessalonians showed up and slew 500,000 Egyptians, seized the leftover pot, all the dancing girls, and 100,000 asses to carry the loot away. After this disaster all armies everywhere learned that pot smoking makes for unreliable soldiers and nobody used the stuff again until the Vietnam War when American GIs proved the Egyptian experience was no fluke.
The Chinese used marijuana as early as 2727 BC (we have written records from that date) to cure a host of ailments and discovered that even when their pot smoking failed to effect a cure they tended not to give a damn because they were pleasantly stoned and no longer cared about their afflictions. Thus, people with migraine headaches smoked pot and forgot their heads hurt.
Soldiers lost limbs in China's endless wars and never missed them after smoking marijuana. There were unconfirmed reports that smoking marijuana made the blind see, the lame walk, the dead rise up and stroll off in a few cases.
(Some believe that Lazarus came back from the dead when his bier was placed near a pile of burning marijuana and the smoke leaked into his lungs and jump-started his heart but this story may be apocryphal. Others hint that Lazarus himself may be apocryphal but we can't go into that here.)
There are recorded instances of the Chinese using marijuana to mollify the peasants and maintain the status quo, something I'm surprised our own politicians haven't seized upon to bamboozle voters and assure their own re-elections. Still, while grass tends to encourage inactivity and could keep voters away from the polls in droves, it could also backfire as the stuff is known to make it easier for the user to recognize ignoramuses when he sees them and that would be fatal to most politicians.
Marijuana was often administered before surgery to both patient and surgeon to anesthetize the former and steady the latter. A bellows was used to puff gusts of marijuana smoke into the lungs with the doctor and patient taking turns in an act that was known as "hitting the bellows." Detailed drawings still exist that depict the bellows in use as early as 1200 BC and several clearly show patients wearing party hats while doctors hold early scalpels and grin to beat the band.
The net result was the patient's pain was much reduced and any anxiety over the surgery was dispelled entirely. The stoned surgeons felt more confident and worked with steadier hands even though almost all patients died from the surgery because the doctors didn't know what the hell they were doing. Even so, the patients suffered little thanks to heavy doses of marijuana to take the edge off things.
Pot has also done wonders to stimulate creativity down through the ages as it did in the example cited in the Alta Mira caves. It happened that certain people in every society always managed to find a dealer and load up on hemp and these supposedly drug-crazed people were the ones who produced most of the world's art.
For example, Homer was a known user whose Iliad and Odyssey were born in a notorious ganja joint he frequented in Smyrna, a place so filled with marijuana smoke that one habitué of record states people cut it into foot-square cubes and carried it home for later reference.
Greek sculptors, architects, writers, philosophers were all tokers. Socrates was stoned when he drank the hemlock, Plato when he taught Alexander, Aristotle in his perambulations. Aristophanes wrote under the influence and so did Cicero and Omar Khayyam and Thomas Aquinas and Shakespeare and Rabelais and yours truly.
According to reliable sources, a memo actually exists in Columbus' own handwriting where he inquires after his stash in 1492. It reads as follows.
To: 1st. Mate Hernando August 1, 1492
Hey, where's my stash? I'm not leaving without my stash! I want a bale of high-grade pot on each ship in case we get separated-and a case of rolling papers. And some incense. Don't forget the incense. And a dozen bongs. Oh, yeah, you better lay in some food and water, too, and maybe a compass. And some munchies, nuts and chips and dip and bacon rinds.
Chris got his pot and it saved the day. One of the sailors kept a journal and he remarked how the men were on the verge of mutiny two days out of port and Chris broke out the weed and held a pot party on the 'fore scoop deck aft of the bilges and got the whole crew stoned. Once everybody was higher than the topmost spar, Chris announced they were turning back and he turned the ships in a great circle and headed off due west again and nobody knew the difference.
While it's a little known fact, America would be a large, wooded lot to this day without pot and all of us would be crammed into nooks and crannies in Europe or Africa or wherever. We should be glad his dealer came through.
Marijuana was grown in the Colonies by none other than George Washington himself. The plant was used for rope and gunnysacks and clothes among other things. It's also likely that at least some people smoked it even if only when the odd rope caught on fire or somebody's gunnysack burned up on him. For all we know, George may have been a closet toker though it seems unlikely since he strikes me as a strait-laced guy who didn't go in much for fun and I never knew a pothead who didn't like fun.
Marijuana was legal in this country and used at will by anyone who wanted it. Pot wasn't made illegal until 1937 when the politicians seized on it as an issue they could use to alarm the simple-minded and rushed through laws against it. Although everybody knows pot is essentially harmless, the do-gooders and moralists and demagogues have managed to keep it illegal because it suits their evil purposes so well.
All that's history now, of course. Nineteen ninety-six will go down as the year the forces of good overthrew the evil empire of drug warriors and set the stage for the coming psychoactive renaissance that will reshape all things that need reshaping. A national campaign has already been launched, ads are being readied, money collected, plans laid and it's all being done by a lot of potheads with allegedly fried brains and shaky immune systems who, according to pot's numerous opponents, should be brain dead and incapable of tying their shoes after years of unremitting use.
Isn't that ironic?
Obtaining Your Stash
As a new pot smoker, you'll soon find yourself immersed in the often arcane world of the so-called pot culture. You'll make new friends with people you'd only seen before on post office bulletin boards and doing community service to work off their sentences.
Old friends, the straight ones, the booze drinkers and cigarette smokers and closet Rosicrucians will drop you socially once they discover you're smoking pot partly because they regard you as a criminal and partly because your new friends make them nervous. You can't blame them, though, as guys wearing eye patches and tattoos on their knuckles would make anybody nervous.
You'll need these new friends because they're the ones who have the pot you're going to be looking for once you start smoking the stuff and that gets us to a discussion of ways to score your pot. It's a sad commentary, indeed, when sick people have to risk life and limb in order to get medicine that should be available at any nearby drugstore but the anti-pot crowd would have it no other way.
Still, we'll see about that.
Now, as for actually buying marijuana, we come to a crucial point. Do you like romance? Danger? Living on the edge? Good, because you'll likely experience all three when you start buying marijuana on America's mean streets.
Remember, unless you have one of the hundreds of certified illnesses and live in one of the more enlightened states that have legalized medicinal pot, buying or even possessing marijuana is a crime punishable by idiots. If the gendarmes catch you coming out of a pot store with a quarter-pound of prime smoke, you could find yourself in a holding cell with a lot of Bloods and Crips and Hell's Angels types.
Of course, you'll already be familiar with guys like this-you may even recognize some of the boys in the tank with you-as these are the very guys who'll sell you your weed.
It's true. Since all marijuana is illegal, only crooks sell it. You can't go to your local marijuana store and pick up a quick half-ounce for the weekend, you know. The UPS truck won't bring it, either. Few dealers will make house calls unless you buy in quantity and they've known you for a long time. Your friends won't send you gift weed because they'd rather smoke it themselves than give it to you.
There are outfits in Europe that sell marijuana seeds by mail but they won't sell them to you in America because the cagey rascals at the post office know who they are and they'll intercept the packages. Anybody offering weed by mail is a swindler because the G-men would be on him in a minute so don't send any money.
All this means you're on your own in your quest for marijuana and you need to be extra alert and quick on your feet. If you're about to hand over several hundred dollars to some shadowy Crips guy in a back alley somewhere, you want to make sure you're getting good smoke for your dough.
Remember, if you're not satisfied you won't be able to find the guy to demand your money back. Even if you could find him to register your complaint I wouldn't recommend it.
Before you hand over your money, insist on sampling some of the weed. Whip out your pipe and fill it with pot. Take a hit and wait a minute. If nothing happens, tell him no, thanks, and get the hell out of that alley because the Crips guy may be insulted that you didn't like his effete pot and decide to take all your money anyway. He may have a gun so don't argue about it if he proposes such an arrangement.
Most pot dealers are men of honor, though, and take pride in their reputations for good service and quality products. Just because they operate out of burned-out tenements and on street corners it doesn't mean they can't be classy guys with good intentions. Think how many lawyers and bankers operate out of ornate offices and commit unarmed robbery on a daily basis. I think I'd rather deal with the Crips and Bloods set.
Some people buy marijuana by using the drive-thru method. They drive into the city and look for Crips/Bloods/Bikers standing around on corners and eyeing the traffic. The dealer approaches the car and they place their order, give him the money, and he disappears into a nearby alley. If they're lucky he returns with the weed.
This method of shopping is safer than following three or four Crips down a dark alley, but you run a big risk of being a victim of the old Murphy Game where the would-be seller goes off to confer with "Murphy" and never comes back. The Murphy Game is older than Ireland itself and if it still works it's because most of the time the seller actually returns with the stuff. If he didn't word would quickly spread and his customers would thin out on him and he'd have to get a real job.
The best way to get weed, though, is to know somebody who can get it for you, somebody with underworld connections. Of course, you won't want to know this guy intimately as people with these kinds of friends are suspect themselves so try not to let him know exactly where you live or work. Always reach him by phone and meet in crowded public places. Refuse invitations to parties or other social events as the guests will probably be guys like him and you'd never get out alive.
Once you've established connections and dealers know you're on the up-and-up, it gets easier. They know you're okay and you know they're men of honor so mutual fears are dispelled and you can both relax. Some shut-ins even reach such accord after dealing with intermediaries that the trusted dealer will actually make house calls.
Even so, caution is the key.
If you live near San Diego or in southern Florida, you may want to take moonlit strolls along the beaches from time to time and look for bales of marijuana that routinely wash up on the shore. People bringing weed in by boat may get jumped by the Coast Guard or DEA guys and be forced to jettison fifty-pound bales of grass into the ocean to avoid a life-without-parole sentence and said bales are then washed up on the shore.
You'll often see news reports where some tourist stumbled on several bales of beached weed and immediately summoned the police. He was rewarded with a heartfelt handshake like the one W. C. Fields received from the manager in The Bank Dick after catching the robber and saving the bank's funds. The police then rushed off with the weed and smoked the stuff themselves back at headquarters and the tourist went back to Kansas and told everybody what a good citizen he was. He was also an idiot.
A bale of high-grade pot is worth close to a million bucks, according to official police reports of the estimated street value of confiscated marijuana. Clearly, if you should find a bale or two, you should make a citizen's arrest at once and seize the stuff in the name of the federal government. If there are any onlookers nearby, identify yourself as an undercover narc on the trail of the Medellîn cartel and order them to help you cart the pot to your car.
Drive straight home. If you happen to run afoul of the law through some mischance before you get home and they find the pot, insist you found the stuff and you were on your way to the nearest police station to turn it in. They won't believe you but it will make a good story for the judge and just may be enough to raise doubts in the jurors' minds to get you off scot-free.
Once you get home, get on the phone and call me. (I'm in the book.) As a resident of California and a legal user of medicinal pot, I'm fully authorized to handle marijuana in large amounts for distribution to fellow-sufferers and will cheerfully take it off your hands and relieve you fully of any responsibility for it.
I will make house calls for a bale of high-grade marijuana anywhere in the continental United States. I don't make pickups outside the country as I'd then be faced with the smuggler's task of getting the stuff past the customs people and the Coast Guard and that's too much hassle even for a bale of weed.
You have my word I will see that the weed is distributed to afflicted people throughout California and you can bask in the warm glow of knowing you've helped really needy people ease their suffering and enjoy a nice high.
Of course, I'll require a small percentage of it to cover my own out-of-pocket expenses and allow for a minuscule profit for the great risks I have to run, but I won't take more than, say, fifty-percent. If that seems a tad high, remember that I will only be able to sell some of the pot for cash; a portion of it will be used for my own personal stash, probably something in the neighborhood of fifteen pounds or so. What could be fairer than that?
Another way to acquire marijuana is to steal it from people who have more than they need for themselves. You might call it a kind of redistribution of wealth program where pot is taken from people who are overstocked with it (you) and given to those less fortunate who don't have any of their own (me).
How do you know who these people are? Well, think about it. Would it be a good idea to break into the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City looking for pot? Of course not. Mormons don't smoke pot; they don't even drink coffee or tea or eat candy bars so how would you expect them to have a stash of weed hidden behind the organ somewhere?
You can steal it from pot smoking friends if you're totally without scruples. When a friend rolls a doobie and leaves his baggie of grass on the table, pinch a bit of his weed when he's not looking and assume an innocent mien. If he suspects you, swear you're innocent. Feign anger that he'd even think such a thing; insist on an apology and refuse to let him share the joint you roll from his weed. After all, your honor is at stake and you rightly feel insulted.
Pass on the Mormons and aim to steal marijuana from known potheads, real tokers who are notorious for chain-smoking joints and sure to have loads of pot wherever they are. If you find bikers, real bikers, tough guys on Harleys with tangled underbrush for beards and yellow (or missing) teeth and scowls that would make Arnold leave and forget to come back, why, that's where you'll find pot in abundance.
So break into a Hell's Angels clubhouse and steal their weed.
On second thought, maybe stealing pot isn't the best idea, after all. I'm not sure you want a lot of pissed-off bikers looking for you. Besides, you'd probably get caught and they'd beat you to a pulp and then you'd sue me for causing you to do something insane and...
Never mind. You'd better stick with buying it or finding it or growing your own.
The California law specifically declares that afflicted people may legally grow marijuana for their own use and that's terrific news because growing pot is a lot safer than buying it from Crips and Bloods and it's also a lot cheaper, too. You can grow a closet full of weed for a fraction of what it would cost for a like amount purchased on the street.
Pot is easy to grow. If you have some acreage you can start a nice crop just by throwing a handful of seeds in the dirt and coming back in the fall to harvest the crop. The chief problem with the acreage scheme is that your pot is subject to discovery by the drug cops or theft by unprincipled potheads in the neighborhood.
If the cops find your crop, they'll seize your house and land and throw your behind in the slammer for decades so you'll want to plan accordingly. One solution is to grow your pot on land that isn't yours so they can't seize it. If you plant it in the guy next door's yard and the cops get it, they'll seize his house instead of yours even if he didn't know anything about it. That's not fair, of course, but don't feel bad; you didn't make that asinine law, did you?
A lot of people grow their pot on federal or state land such as parks and national forests to avoid the forfeiture crap and also because such areas are remote and discovery is unlikely. Most growers rig booby traps around their fields to thwart interlopers, cleverly designed pits with sharpened stakes to impale unwanted visitors or shotguns aimed low to blow off legs and other nethermost parts when a tripwire is triggered.
If you need help in designing efficient booby traps, give me a call and I'll send you a pamphlet outlining several UL Approved traps that have successfully ensnared and routed thousands of marauding narcs and do-gooders. A few cleverly concealed pits and a couple of shotguns and your stash will be as safe as Fort Knox gold.
Even so, outdoor farming is hazardous at best. You'd be better off growing pot indoors where there's no need for booby traps and little chance of discovery. You can run a modest bhang farm in a closet by hanging a few grow lights over some dirt and watering it once a day. The lights should be suspended from ropes or chains so they can be raised as the pot grows in height. Some fertilizer and water are all that is required to produce a nice crop of ganja in a mere three or four months from seeds to end product.
The only other requirement is good seed. The better the seed, the better the pot. When you come across some really great pot, save the seeds if there are any. If the pot is great, the seeds from it will produce equally good stuff and you'll rejoice that you read this book.
Besides the pot itself, the next best thing about growing marijuana is the pure pleasure of working in soil with your bare hands and feeling the dirt in your fingers and planting and germinating seeds and watering and fertilizing and watching the tiny green shoots grow into tall pot plants. There is a definite Zen quality to it, a sense of oneness with all growing things, a nexus with life itself.
This is especially true if you smoke as you garden. Do half a joint before you start and every subtle nuance of gardening will reveal itself to you in a burst of sheer joy. Absorb the pleasant aroma of growing marijuana, a psychoactive nosegay to alarm and alert your olfactory senses; study the brilliant green leaves; locate and name the stamens and pistils to impress your loutish friends who failed botany; turn the dirt with your trowel, look for aphids, prune the leaves, water, fertilize, harvest, smoke and start again from the beginning.
If that isn't a Zen-like trip, by God, then I learned nothing during my ten year sojourn in a Zen monastery on Mt. Fuji, a period that was clouded either by standard clouds or clouds of marijuana smoke or both. We monks often discussed the meaning of Zen and what it is to be on a Zen trip and I say gardening while stoned on marijuana is Zen to the core.
Try it yourself. Get high and plant something. You'll be astounded at the results and able to get high all over again if you plant the right stuff.
Good news for would-be gardeners. If a patient lives in California, she can grow her pot in flower boxes in the front room overlooking the thoroughfare-being ever mindful of the feds, of course. In fact, that presents a problem for guys like me because the new law allows people to grow and possess grass but not to buy it. What if you can't grow grass?
My cat is forever eating my fresh marijuana shoots as fast as they appear and my eyesight dims the more every day. It won't be long before I won't be able even to see the cat let alone keep her out of my marijuana patch. I'd take the cat to the knacker and have her done in if I could, but I can't because I love the critter too much.
Obviously, this isn't a primer on growing marijuana but there is any number of such books available if you're interested. It's possible to grow the stuff in dirt the old-fashioned way or in water (called hydroponics) the new-fangled way. There are special chemical fertilizers and lamps and timers and secret incantations to increase crop size and the strength of the pot. Any head shop (a place where they sell pot paraphernalia) will have a selection of such books or magazines like High Times carry ads for mail-order books on growing marijuana.
If you do grow a little pot and would like it given an official rating on Dr. Keliher's world-renowned Potency Scale, why, just send along three or four fat joints and I'll gladly test it for you. The service is free, the joints unrefundable.
As it is people who own cats and can't grow their own marijuana will have to prowl mean streets in the dark of night to find a dealer. Old-timers with walkers and canes (some white with red tips) will pop up in unsavory parts of town in search of a baggie of weed to ward off the evil spirits that plague them. Little old ladies will be mugged in dark alleys, their Social Security money torn from their tiny hands by vicious thugs posing as real people.
All that can be avoided if we just give the little old ladies their marijuana, deliver it to their doors in special vans driven by former narcs for an added touch of irony. Provide free pipes and rolling papers, bongs and clips, screens and pipe cleaners. Show some class and treat our new legal tokers with the respect they deserve.
It's the least we can do.
Marijuana Chain Letter
This is a real beauty of an idea, one that will more than justify the time you spent reading this book. Start a pot chain letter!
Be the first in your neighborhood with your own chain letter with marijuana the goal instead of money. Here's how it works. Contact High Times magazine and buy their mailing lists or get the membership rolls for the Hell's Angels in your state to find people you know smoke pot and send them a chain letter asking them to send one joint of high-grade pot to the name (yours!) at the top of the list.
Specify high-grade or some lowlife will send low quality weed hoping to get sinsemilla in return.
Add the names of three friends below yours (you'll get a percentage of what they get, of course) and tell the recipient to add his name to the bottom of the list and assure him he'll be inundated with joints before the week is out. If I know my pot smokers, you'll get joints from all points of the compass and have enough stash to last you a lifetime.
Incidentally, rent a PO box for the incoming joints. If you use your own address you could get some unsavory types (narcs) hanging around your place and bringing property values down. Also, learn to approach your box cautiously. Are any suspicious looking guys hanging around it? Has a dog gone on point with his nose aimed at your mailbox? Do the postal clerks watch you expectantly as you cross the lobby?
You're a pot smoker now, you've got to live the life, a life on the edge of the law, a life of intrigue and double-dealing; in other words, the very same life you've always lived but with higher stakes. How's that for a change?
If you do decide to go into the chain letter business, it would be a nice gesture if you were to put my name at the top of the list because, after all, it is my idea and it's only fair that my creative genius be rewarded. If you won't put me on the list, the least you can do is send me a spare joint just to show you're a nice guy. I'm in the book.
If you're lucky enough to live in a legal pot state today-and have an appropriate illness, of course-you may soon be able to get your marijuana in state-run hemp stores or in cannabis buyers' shops of the sort we've already seen in San Francisco and other places. The new law legalizing marijuana for medicinal use allows weed for certain primary illnesses and an unlimited number of vague afflictions, as well, but it doesn't make any provisions for getting the stuff aside from growing it.
There's some talk the state will become a dealer and find a way to get grass to the afflicted under state auspices. On the chance that any California officials might read this treatise, I'd like to suggest the state should do exactly that and provide the marijuana for its new legal tokers, and it should be first-rate weed, too, sinsemilla or something similar, weed capable of transporting the smoker to another place and time.
Better yet, they could set up stores with assorted varieties in open drums so people could browse and examine color, fragrance, texture at their leisure.
Browser: Hmm. What's this dark brown stuff here?
Clerk: It's Dutch weed. Comes from Holland. They grow it with brown lights, that's why it's dark brown like that.
Browser: Is it strong?
Clerk: Yessir. Eighty cannabinoids per cubic foot. I've seen this pot stagger a sumo wrestler.
Browser: Really? How much is it?
Clerk: One-sixty an ounce. Would you like to try some?
Browser: Yes, I would. Just a hit or two maybe.
Clerk: Coming up, sir. (whips out two tiny plastic pipes and fills them with a pinch of Holland Brown, produces match.) I'll just join you, if you don't mind. We clerks like to be at least as high as our customers so we can meet them on common ground, you see.
Browser: Yes, very sensible. (smokes) Very good. Smooth.
Clerk: Notice the piquant edge, the slightly nutty taste. (smokes)
Two hours later clerk and browser will have sampled six varieties of pot both domestic and foreign and ordered in some Chinese for lunch. In the end the browser will pick up an ounce of Malaysian bhang, an ounce of Skunk and Haze, and a quarter-ounce of sinsemilla for his son's upcoming graduation from the seminary.
These modern-day drugstores could be made user-friendly by following the example of bookstores with centers where patrons can drink coffee and socialize with their fellows while puffing away on communal joints. Less fortunate patrons, those without a state license to smoke grass, could loiter nearby and inhale deeply from the secondhand smoke that would fill the ambient air and cop a high on the sly, as it were.
It occurred to one man I know who has an approved affliction and can get pot legally that he might even set up a mini-business where he could smoke pot in confined areas and charge hangers-on a fee for the pot they inhaled as secondhand smoke. Here's his plan.
Friend: Look, the law says I can smoke marijuana but it doesn't say how much I can smoke, right?
Me: (warily) Yeah, so?
Friend: Okay, you charge a bunch of people ten bucks each and put 'em in a small room with poor ventilation. Then you roll yourself a joint the size of a large sausage with maybe three ounces of pot in it and fire away.
Me: Fire away?
Friend: Sure, you torch the joint and run around the room blowing great gusts of smoke into the faces of your customers and the room fills up with smoke and everybody takes deep breaths and in no time everybody's stoned to the core.
Me: Do the math. Three ounces of decent pot at $200 an ounce means you'd lay out $600 for stock. At ten bucks each you'd have to pack sixty people into that room just to break even. Now what?
Friend: Easy. Charge 'em twenty bucks each and you make a fast six hundred bucks.
The last I heard my budding entrepreneurial pal was stockpiling weed and looking for a Motel Six that would let him cram sixty people into a single room. I suspect he'll end up arrested for illegally blowing pot into people's faces but what do I know? Maybe the guy's on to something. I'll keep you posted.
Some think a coffeehouse format would be nice. People could stroll in, show a note from a medical doctor (or a dentist, psychologist, English professor, podiatrist, optometrist, chiropractor or anybody else with some sort of doctorate real or otherwise) and pick up an ounce of quality smoke. They could then drink coffee, smoke marijuana with impunity, and spend a pleasant interlude with like-minded others in a safe and sane mall setting.
Come to think of it, now that marijuana is practically legal in several states and soon will be everywhere else, too, the DEA folks will be laying off 20,000 agents who are assigned to the marijuana branch and these guys will need new jobs. Why not put them in kiosks around town where they could sell marijuana to erstwhile felons and earn an honest living for a change?
They could even keep their badges and empty guns as reminders of their former glory days when they played cops and robbers on six continents and savaged the lives of innocent people who just wanted a quiet little smoke with their friends and weren't bothering anybody. Some of the more intelligent of them might even smoke a little weed themselves and turn into real people who've seen the error of their ways and are better for it.
Consider. The narcs grab a semi full of weed from Mexico or wherever and, instead of burning it in some field somewhere, they package it in baggies and sell it for fifty bucks an ounce to needy sickos like me (and you!) and the cops reap huge profits to pay for their beer busts and steer roasts.
How much would they make? Well, as we saw with the bales earlier, the DEA people are forever telling us how the street value of a drug seizure is countless millions of dollars, aren't they? You know, they nab some poor sap with a gunnysack full of low-grade weed and they bray about how the street value is estimated at ten million bucks or whatever. Unless they've been exaggerating-lying?-all this time, they should pull in hundreds of millions in weed sales, enough to pay for snappy new uniforms and new squad cars all around.