From the zany street theater of the Diggers to the psychedelic sounds of the Jefferson Airplane, San Francisco of the late ’60s and early ’70s was an extraordinary place peopled by extraordinary individuals. Among them was a long-haired Vietnam vet named Dennis Peron, the man who operated the legendary Big Top Pot Supermarket in the Haight.
I was intensely moved by the article by Peter Gorman, “On the Good Red Road to Grandfather Peyote,” (Feb. ’92, HT). I have never been a religious person, although I believe there is a higher power watching over us. What I’d like is some info on how I can get involved in a peyote ritual.
HIGH TIMES: Nina, in the ’50s, when you were living on Long Island, you had what most people would regard as the pillars of success: wealth, social status, a loving family. What prompted you to change? Nina Graboi: It was when I was the woman who has everything that I suddenly looked at the whole thing and said this means absolutely nothing, unless there is more to me—more to us as human beings—than these bodies with a name walking around on earth.
Nina Graboi’s recently published autobiography plunges the reader smack into the middle of events during the major cultural upheaval of the 20th Century, creating a fascinating blend of individual development and collective evolution.
A hike in a National Forest seems as American as Smokey the Bear. But in a 9,000-foot-high stretch of Colorado’s San Juan National Forest, a stroll in the pines is a federal offense. The U.S. Forest Service says it closed the 770-acre grove of ancient ponderosa to protect the public from the perils of the Stone Container company’s logging operations.
NEEDLE EXCHANGE APPROACHING LEGALIZATION IN CALIFORNIA
From IV to HIV
Prevention or denial?
The Berkeley case
Consensus is building in California to legalize needle exchange programs. After a well-publicized trial and statements from Bay Area political leaders, California is starting to recognize the public health impact of forcing intravenous drug users underground.
New York Newsday reports that New York Mayor David Dinkins is considering a legal needle exchange program. The American Foundation for AIDS Research, a private nonprofit group, will provide a grant for the program. AmFAR will apply to the state Health Department for a waiver of the state law barring needle exchange.
Noguns, a Freedom Fighter from Santa Cruz, CA, is organizing for a Cannabis People’s Civil Rights Insurance, a legal fund for people arrested for cannabis violations. Noguns and co-organizer Melody Record are placing advertisements in local papers, holding seminars and lobbying state legislators with the concept.
1979—In response to a hepatitis outbreak among Amsterdam IDUs (injection drug users), health worker Eddy Engelsman started distributing clean syringes to drug dealers, to be given out with each sale of an injectable drug. The graph of the epidemic from that point looks like the south slope of Mount Fuji.
Ingrid Kolb, acting deputy director of the Office of Demand Reduction (ODR). met with a group of activists in Washington on February 13 to discuss medical marijuana, needle exchange and Ibogaine treatment for drug addicts Kolb's boss. Drug Czar Bob Martinez, heads the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
DEA in Lawsuit Over “Slipshod” Bust Earl Hyatt of New York City is suing the DEA for $4.5 million following his false arrest in Manhattan on May 25, 1990. Picked up for allegedly operating a marijuana plantation in his native Jamaica, Hyatt was held for 15 weeks and transported to Chicago in shackles.
At 1:00 AM, on February 18, a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff put a bullet through the back of Paul Reynolds’ neck, killing him instantly. Reynolds was Vice Chairperson of San Diego County NORML, Vice-President of the Cardiff Town Council and an activist in many community and environmental organizations.
ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR FACED WITH STALLING DRUG WAR
The bad news for the new US Attorney General is that, despite drug arrests having fallen, federal prisons are full, and even Chief Justice William Rehnquist has complained about all the drug cases that have been dumped on the federal courts.
A couple of North Carolina loggers arrived at their work site recently to find someone had posted a sign stating: “This causes global warming—plant hemp.” A month later, radical environmentalists struck the same site, causing enough damage to temporarily stall a plan to clear-cut a forest purchased from the US Forest Service.
President George Bush met in San Antonio, TX with leaders of major controlled substance-producing countries in Latin America on February 26 and 27 in an effort to map out a plan to create expanded cooperation and a drug-free hemisphere by the year 2000.
Glen Gregory has been with the West Virginia Freedom Fighters since its beginnings in 1989. A longtime HIGH TIMES subscriber, he was glad to get involved when the WV chapter was founded by 1991 Cannabis Cup judge Rodger Belknap. Gregory helped run the WV Hemp Awareness Seminars at the Braxton County National Guard Armory, and recently he’s been at the wheel of the Freedom Fighters’ Purple Psychedelic Bus.
I’m in Siskiyou County Jail, serving nine months for smoking marijuana, a probation violation. I was arrested on December 18. 1990 for cultivation and possession for sale. Someone who worked at my trailer park called the secret witness program in which the police pay people to inform on their neighbors.
I like to spread rumors. It’s my true vocation. My cosmic calling. A sociological study of rumor describes the phenomenon as “improvised news.” Once, when I was broke, Country Joe McDonald hired me to spread rumors about him. He suggested that I spread a rumor that he was doing a commercial for Coca-Cola.
The terror of our times can be reduced to a single line: “I’m just following orders.” Under this slogan organized mobs of bureaucrats have dutifully chucked bodies into ovens and shipped the living dead to Siberia. Such vile practices are instigated by political men induced by the narcosis of power to perfect mankind.
OPERATION COURIER and the bombing of PAN AM Flight 103
A Fire in the Sky
The Interfor Report
The Art of the Cover-up
Four days before Christmas, on the night of December 21, 1988, the Pan American 747 jumbo jet, flight 103, departing London en route to New York, was only two-thirds full, which was unusual in the busy trans-Atlantic corridor given the season.
On January 27, 1990, Dennis Peron was at home in San Francisco caring for his partner Jonathan West, who was suffering from AIDS. Shortly before midnight, 10 narcotics police in street clothes appeared at the door with a search warrant. They ordered Peron and West to lie on the kitchen floor while they ransacked the house looking for pot.
Based on previous Cannabis Cup competitions in HIGH TIMES, the 1991 effort was mildly disappointing (see Jan. ’92 HT). The coffee-shop buds sampled looked good enough, but where were the other samples? Where were the Thai strains or the pure sativas?
The People of the City and County of San Francisco recommend that the State of California and the California Medical Association restore hemp medical preparations to the list of available medicines in California. Licensed physicians shall not be penalized for or restricted from prescribing hemp preparations for medical purposes to any patient.
I started using stash seed behind my house in the first week of June. Several days later, the seeds sprouted. On July 16, I chose 24 plants from the 32 that sprouted and dug up the remaining 8 to give to a friend (who killed them). You’re probably wondering: What about the neighbors?
INDUSTRY’S WASTE FACILITIES AND DEVELOPMENT ON NATIVE LANDS
Robert Allen Warrior
"We're doing it to better ourselves. It’s more than economic; it’s our self-esteem,” Campo Indian tribal chairman Ralph Goff told Jane Kay of the San Francisco Examiner last year. The “it” that Goff, leader of one of the many small, impoverished Indians nations in San Diego County, was speaking of is not a cultural heritage program, a traditional culture-based substance abuse center, or youth employment training.
SHONONE-BANNOCK NATION HALTS HAZARDOUS WASTE TRANSPORT
In the early morning darkness of last October 16, the US Department of Energy and the Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCC) learned a quick lesson in the power of American Indian sovereignty. The utility planned on carting hazardous waste from the Fort St.
Gregory Porter first went to work at the national NORML office as a volunteer in May 1990. Following the resignation of Don Fiedler, Porter assumed the role of acting National Director of NORML in May 1991, a position he is leaving this July.
As I told you last month, there’s been a large amount of imported pig-sucking bastard-weed making it onto our shores. Much of it arrives right here in New York City. It’s amazing that literally hundreds of tons of the scraggly ill-treated plants make it through.
THE BLACK CROWES HIGH TIMES sparks it up with Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. SMOKIN' SEATTLE Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden are tearing up the charts and other area bands are being signed right and left. Is there something in the water up there, or is it something they're smoking?
"The Grateful Dead sort of put it best,” says Spinal Tap rhythm guitar god David St. Hubbins. “‘What a long, strange trip it’s been.’ Just in our case, it’s been more of a long, incredibly wasted, stupid trip, for the most part.” Incredibly wasted, yes, and stupid, of course, yet somehow, once again, these monsters of classic rock are staging—well, attempting to stage—a comeback.
Those hip-hop hempsters Cypress Hill rolled into New York in January and February, both times to celebrate their appearance on the March cover of HT. A press conference, held at the HT offices on January 24, attracted CNN and other media hounds.
I Wish My Brother George Was Here (Elektra) Caught my man Del at the Apollo recently. Started his show with the chant: "I smoke buddha/You smoke buddha/We smoke buddha." Had the whole crowd singing and waving their hands. Del was opening for his cousin and coproducer Ice Cube (Black Sheep was also on the bill-phew!).
The first thing I thought when I saw Origin's "Bonfire Burning" video was, "What a bunch of ass-licking poseurs!" Then I heard Bend, the San Francisco trio's second album (and major-label debut). I really liked "Candymine," a swayingly soul ful glide through the languid ecstasies of Michael Andrews' acoustic guitar, and the nine-minute final cut, "Trapped In a Dream Machine."
Today the quest for an understanding of the visionary is sought with a tenacity equal to the pursuit of that vision. This may or may not be an affirmative enterprise. In the case of two new biographies of poetic “visionaries,” the undertaking to illuminate the nature of these two truly brilliant sensibilities is effective only insofar as one allows the biographers a relentless and often mitigating conclusionary style.
Peep Show: The Cartoon Diary of Joe Matt (Kitchen Sink) neurotically chronicles (in teeny, obsessive panels), the cartoonist’s passion for porn, fights with his girlfriend, sex with his girlfriend, loathing for the Catholic church and his warped delight in toilet activities.
They were the last of the ’60s garage bands and/or the first of the '70s punk bands. It’s been 20 years since the New York Dolls made their debut and 17 since they broke up; in their brief three-year existence they were the most reviled band of their time.
HIGH TIMES Drops a Bomb at Hip-Hop Hempfest; Chef RA Runs for Cover
CHEF RA’S RASTA PASTA QUICK ON-THE-ROAD DINNER
I didn’t really know what to expect on the campaign trail in ’92. From the onset of the Chef RA for President bid, I was plagued by a well-intentioned but totally hippie-ass organization. Everyone involved didn’t know whether they were coming or going.