In 1937, The Marihuana Tax Act, the first law designed to help exterminate the world's most beneficial plant, was passed by Congress. Isn't it ironic 1937 also gave birth to Michael Kennedy, the man who would be destined one day to lead the charge against the government's anticannabis campaign?
I am writing to say a resounding Bravo! to “Subscription Canceled” and Chris Bennett (Letters, May ’97). As a person passionately committed to personal freedom and the abolition of religious mythology and superstition from government and public policy, I have been following the increasingly moralistic and authoritarian rhetoric of persons, publications and organizations that once seemed to share at least something of my viewpoint and commitment with growing dismay and anger: witness the political uses of “children” (a religious/moral/political/legal definition which, like “addiction” or “drug,” has no empirical referent).
Allen Ginsberg, the poet laureate of the Beat Generation, died of a stroke on April 5, just days after learning that he had terminal liver cancer. He was 70 years old. Ginsberg passed away at his apartment in New York’s East Village in the company of his friends and family.
What did Ginsberg do for freedom of speech? Hunter S. Thompson: Allen was as good at politics as he was at poetry. He wasn't always good at poetry, he wasn't always good at politics, but he was a real warrior. The censorship thing he fought for years. A highly honorable fuckin' fight.
The mainstream media treated Allen Ginsberg with such respect, you’d think he was dead. Who could ever have imagined that Dan Rather would be reciting “Howl" on the “CBS Evening News”? Personally, I knew Ginsberg more as an activist than as a poet.
For me, Phish was an acquired taste. At phirst, I just seemed to miss the point. Or the show, the end of it at least. The place was Jones Beach, and there I was backstage at the inaugural HORDE tour with Phish. They donned masks and posed for Andre Grossmann’s camera.
Wake’n'bake with budding Boulder bands Leftover Salmon and Fool's Progress.
Colorado’s choice outdoor recreation and hip college towns attract an active population who support an excellent live music scene. Two bands to emerge from the thriving Boulder scene. Leftover Salmon and Fool’s Progress (né Acoustic Junction), have just released major-label debuts.
“Buddha died.” wrote Allen Ginsberg, “and left behind a big emptiness.” Jerry Garcia likewise left a pregnant emptiness when he died in 1995, and Deadheads all over the world are still grappling with the koan of how to uncover new pathways to magic and joy in a world without Dead shows.
Arguably the most popular regional band in the Northwest, Calobo packs houses across the West. This coed, folk-rock six-piece is marked by eclectic musical backgrounds and rich harmonies. Stomp, the band’s fourth CD on Padre Productions, was just released.
Allen Ginsberg’s poetry tapped into the American messianic voice of Walt Whitman and made it his own the way Keith Richards tapped into the rock’n’roll of Chuck Berry. He delivered a prophetic, ecstatic message of sensual celebration and an almost Biblical damnation of oppression, speaking the eternal verities of a succession of countercultures.
It is largely due to the efforts of Phish’s frontman Trey Anastasio that his band’s phans are slowly but surely catching on to Pavement’s offhand, off-balance rock. Since discovering 1994’s Crooked Rain. Crooked Rain, Anastasio has made tremendous efforts to promote Pavement, playing “Cut Your Hair” in between sets at Phish shows and singing the band's praises in Musician.
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE NEW YORK UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL
The intimate and impious 4th Annual New York Underground Film Festival provided a worthy forum for movies that will never appear on The Family Channel. As one might expect, the videos, cartoons and films showcased during the festival’s five-day program (March 19-23) featured roughly as much pot-smoking as a Three Stooges film festival features eye-poking.
California's medical-marijuana initiative has certainly given television writers grist for the mill. On a recent episode of The Simpsons, Bart heartlessly traded in the family’s faithful if fallible pooch, Santa’s Little Helper, for an expensive, impeccably bred mail-order dog named Laddie.
Crispian Mills wasn’t born when Haight-Ashbury was in full flower, but that hasn’t stopped Kula Shaker’s 24-year-old frontman, the son of actress Hayley Mills, from celebrating in song much that marked that era: psychedelia, Eastern philosophy, the Grateful Dead (“I’ll Be Grateful When You’re Dead”) and a good high.
HONG KONG HANDOVER TO INCLUDE HEROIN TRADE ROUTES AND BANKS
This month the eyes of the global media will be focused on Hong Kong for its historic transition back to Chinese rule after over a century as a semiautonomous city-colony of the British Empire. Hong Kong has long been a murky interzone between the industrial juggernaut of nominally “Communist” mainland China and global capitalist markets.
SEATTLE—While politicians quibble over how to implement California’s medical-marijuana law, the police in Washington have been busy arresting members of Seattle’s GREEN CROSS® cannabis buyers’ club. Those connected with the club who have recently been busted include cofounders Joanna McKee and Ronald “Stitch” Miller of Seattle, arrested at a post office here in March after a package arrived containing three kilos of cannabis from SWIHTCO, a Swiss medical-marijuana supply company (see related story).
NEW YORK CITY—Police in several states around the country last spring intercepted at least 10 parcels of medical marijuana imported from SWIHTCO, a Swiss company that has been openly shipping consignments to the United States for more than a year.
SAN FRANCISCO—Flower Therapy, a medical-marijuana club in the city’s Mission District, was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration on April 21. Agents seized 331 cannabis plants and lighting equipment in the predawn raid, but left a supply of dried medical marijuana behind.
COLUMBUS, OH—Ohio politicians last spring briskly overturned the state legislature’s own 1996 medical-marijuana regulations, which had briefly provided arrested pot patients with the opportunity of justifying their use of the herb in court.
For proving once again that the Drug War is a completely unwinnable farce designed to generate cash for our globalizing economy, Linda Robinson and Dan McGraw of U.S. News and World Report receive this month’s Tom Forçade Award for Narcojournalism.
Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Final Call bills itself as A Message Dedicated to the Resurrection of the Black Man and Woman of America and the World. Sold in American cities on street corners by Fruit of Islam volunteers and in Black-oriented shops worldwide, this color-cover tabloid fearlessly exposes American genocide week after week.
THE WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST AWARD: THE NEW REPUBLIC
The New Republic took a critical and rather self-revealing look at the state of California’s marijuana industry last February 24. In “The Return of Pot,” writer Hannah Rosin was kind enough to allow that, for seriously ill AIDS and cancer patients, marijuana probably “can’t hurt much," but she still thought people with nebulously discernable medicinal needs were patronizing Dennis Peron’s Cannabis Cultivators’ Club in San Francisco.
LITTLE ROCK, AR—Les and Cheryl Mooring, the Arkansas couple extradited from Holland on marijuana charges last January, have agreed to a plea-bargaining deal proffered by federal prosecutors which has freed Cheryl, 38, while imposing a 10-year sentence for Les, 43.
PHOENIX—The Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 1996, which passed on the state ballot last year as Proposition 200 by a two to one margin, was entirely gutted by Arizona legislators after it had been in effect for less than four months.
MEDICAL-POT RULES EASED FOR DOCS, TIGHTENED FOR SUPPLIERS IN S.F. SUIT
SAN FRANCISCO—The fortitude of California’s new Compassionate Use Act, the Proposition 215 law which allows doctors to prescribe marijuana, is being tested in a landmark lawsuit. After Drug Czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey declared that doctors who recommend or prescribe pot could face federal criminal charges, a collection of Bay Area physicians and patients filed suit in federal court here to block Washington from doing that.
SAN FRANCISCO—“It’s like the end of desegregation, but all the Jim Crows didn’t get the picture,” remarks Dennis Peron about all the trouble California police are having with medical marijuana. Peron’s brainstorm, Proposition 215, became state law last year as the Compassionate Use Act, instantly casting public agencies of all sorts into confusion, especially the police and prosecutors.
The US incarceration rate jumped from 313 to 615 in prison per 100,000 US residents between 1985 and '95, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The 1995 incarceration rate of one out of every 163 citizens is the world's highest—up to eight times higher than other industrialized countries, and exceeding the latest rate from Russia, now in second place at 590 per 100,000.
EUGENE, OR—Hungry Bear Hemp Foods, producers of the nationally distributed Seedy Sweeties hempseed snacks, was put out of business by a local police raid last March. Though local cops said they found two pounds of marijuana and four ounces of ’shrooms in the building they raided—the site of several other businesses—no one was immediately charged with possessing any of it.
BERKELEY, CA—While opponents of Proposition 215, the recently passed California medical-marijuana initiative, were quick to point to the big bucks that went into gathering the signatures that finally got it on the ballot, they failed to mention the grass-roots movement that got the initiative underway in the first place.
After years of drifting in and out of political activism, I have awakened from my political slumber. It’s not because things have gotten worse or that laws are more repressive. No, I have awakened because I finally see the end of the industrial ideologies that have dominated politics for the past 150 years.
Our daughter began smoking marijuana in 1992 at the tender age of nine. Shocked? Don’t be. We knew about it. We gave it to her. You see, she has a form of asthma called “reactive airways,” in which air can get into her lungs, but it can’t get out. Her lungs would fill up with air until she looked barrel-chested, was in a suffocating panic and could only breathe in tiny puffs of air until the prescription Proventil (albuterol) tablet took effect.
The American media continually publicize years-old speculations about potential health hazards supposedly linked to long-term marijuana smoking. Last year, federal health officials campaigning against the medical-marijuana initiatives in California and Arizona incessantly cited news reports about alleged dangers marijuana may pose to the health of regular users.
NEW YORK CITY—According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as adopted by the UN General Assembly, “No one shall be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” And now it’s official: US drug laws violate this fundamental human right.
26th Annual National Rainbow Gathering Site TBA—Somewhere in Oregon or Washington “An absolutely free, spiritual gathering in the cathedral of nature.” Come prepared for outdoor living and join the Fourth of July meditation for world peace.
How the Mexican Government and US Banks Fight the War on Drugs
The sacking of Mexico’s drug czar for corruption last February, just before the Clinton Administration deemed the country a 'certifiable’ ally in the War on Drugs, exposed both the institutional narco-corruption of the Mexican government and our own government’s knowing complicity in it. And Washington just keeps on pouring your tax dollars into the regime, ostensibly to fight drug traffickers, but actually to prop up NAFTA and suppress revolutionaries.
‘EVERYBODY COULD BE BRIBED’
COLOSIO MYSTERY THICKENS
THE MANHATTAN CONNECTION
GENERALS ON DRUGS
The arrest last February 19 of Brigadier General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, head of Mexico’s National Institute for Combating Drugs, for taking money from the Juarez cartel narco-syndicate, came at an awkward time for President Bill Clinton. The Administration’s own excitable Drug War general, Barry McCaffrey, had only weeks earlier called his Mexican counterpart “a guy of absolute, unquestioned integrity,” and Clinton was due that same month to “recertify” Mexico as a faithful Drug War ally, worthy of continued US aid and credit.
Drug-Trade Influences in the Popular Culture of Northern Mexico
In Sinaloa they call him the “Narcosaint,” and a plaster effigy of Jesus Malverde was found in the garden of an opulent Culiacan property belonging to dope kingpin Amado Carrillo Fuentes when it was raided last winter. The 1980s narcotrafficking mentor of Carrillo Fuentes, Rafael Caro Quintero, used to sing with his mariachi band at the gaudy blue shrine to Malverde, located across the street from the state capitol building in Culiacan, not far from the pile of pebbles which marks the spot where police gunned Malverde down in 1909.
How did it come to pass that a helpful little herb like cannabis came to be the legs on which the Drug War stands? What steps were taken by people in power that would lead to more than 600,000 marijuana arrests in 1996 alone? The story is a lurid tale of prohibitionist lust to clamp down on other people's pleasures, fired up by racism and cultural warfare.
2737 BC—A treatise on pharmacology attributed to the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung includes references to cannabis as a treatment for arthritis, gout and several other ailments. As Shen Nung was a mythical emperor, the treatise was probably compiled at a later date.
1937—Marihuana Tax Stamp Act passed after a high-pressure propaganda campaign personally directed by Harry Anslinger, who links marijuana to adolescent ax-murderers. Propaganda articles produced by his Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN)—“Youth Gone Loco” and “Marihuana: Assassin of Youth”—are fed to popular magazines.
Walking down a tree-lined canal street in Amsterdam, past a block of three-story row houses built in the 19th century, you'd never suspect that, in a basement just a few feet below sea level, there are 900 pot plants waiting to supply some of Amsterdam's finest coffeeshops.
Get Right With God, Suckers Screaming Gospel Reissues
One of the foundations of American popular music, whether it be rock’n’roll, rhythm and blues, or country, is the raucous sound of the sanctified churches—Holiness in God (a.k.a. Holy Rollers) for white folks, and more importantly, the Church of God in Christ, the black version of the same religion, which has produced an inordinate amount of great vocalists in both the gospel and R&B fields.
Born in Minnesota to a family of educators, registered nurse and addiction specialist Mary Lynn Mathre has long been a key player in the medical-marijuana movement. After serving on NORML’s board of directors for several years during the early 1990s, she subsequently cofounded I CARE, the International Cannabis Alliance of Researchers and Educators, with her husband, Al Byrne, also a former NORML board member, to develop educational tools related to cannabis as medicine.
We're always interested in seeing what you've got growing. Send pictures, tips and war stories to: Grow America, HIGH TIMES, 235 Park Ave. South, 5th floor, New York, NY 10003. For every picture we put in the magazine, we'll send NORML 25 bucks!
In an effort to satisfy the ravenous desire for marijuana cultivation information, we’ve introduced a few new items to the grow section. HIGH TECH brings you information about both new technologies and proven products that will help you on your way to harvest.
I don't know any indoor growers without spider-mite problems. The moral dilemma posed by chemical pesticides and the mediocre performance of "organic” pest sprays led me to the discovery of biological control, with amazing results! Predator mites eat five spider mites or 20 eggs a day and reproduce twice as fast as their prey.
Light is the most expensive, most energy-intensive resource that indoor gardeners use. High-intensity-discharge lights, the most efficient, are very expensive to run. Illuminating spaces with electric lights at an input of 30 or 40 watts per square foot is very inefficient, when the sun provides more light at no cost.
Spring in Oklahoma tends to be one of the most pleasant in the world. Warm soft evenings with just the right mixture of rain and sunshine make it perfect for the cultivation of marijuana. Summers are wet and hot, allowing even wild cannabis to grow to its full potential.
Many growers hang the harvest above the light in their garden. This space is warm, has a constant flow of air and is fairly dark. Dark, warm drafty spaces are best. Attics, ceiling areas of tall rooms and some kitchens come to mind. A dedicated area could also be constructed.
Welcome to Trans-High Market Quotations, the premier authority on marijuana prices since 1974. Please obey the following pre-Buddhalizing ritual for ultimate transpersonal THMQ perceptual orgasm: 1) Fill favorite bong with crushed ice & distilled water.
THE HIGH TIMES INTERVIEW Wade Davis: Student of the Plants
GROW! GROW! GROW!
Once again, we sent the weed-obsessed dynamic duo of Chris Eudaley and pot photographer Andre Grossmann out to survey the buds and culture of a thriving marijuana scene, this time to Australia to help celebrate the annual harvest festival, Mardi Grass.