For some of us old enough to remember, Pancho Villa was a figure who appeared regularly in movies about the Old West during our childhood. Some depicted him as a heroic revolutionary leading the peasantry of Mexico against the country’s ruthless leaders: others portrayed him as a cunning bandit who marauded across the deserts of northern Mexico; still other movies showed him as the villain who.
I’m writing this letter to inform anyone who travels east on Interstate 44 in Missouri from Springfield to Rolla to be aware that there is an exit called Sugar Tree Road, at which there is posted a sign that reads, “Drug Checkpoint Ahead. Be Prepared to Stop.”
Brazil’s answer to the Beastie Boys recently did time in jail for advocating an illegal plant.
ARGENTINE ROCKER BUSTED FOR LIGHTING UP ON STAGE
Formed in 1992 by five guys from the Rio de Janeiro underground music scene. Planet Hemp* was audacious from the start. Performing on alternative stages in Rio and São Paulo, the group soon signed with Sony Music. This wasn’t such an easy thing.
Finley Quaye’s sold-out American debut at S.O.B.’s in New York last October generated the kind of electricity reserved for artists on the verge of becoming LARGE. His excellent debut album. Maverick a Strike (Sony), No. 3 on the British charts at the time, hadn’t yet been released in the States, but the word was clearly out on this 23-year-old sensation from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Some seeds are just bred to spawn that mamasita stalk, and the buds from this one—The Anthology of American Folk Music, Edited by Harry Smith—have been providing inspiration for four and a half decades now. When the first vinyl issue from this series hit the Folkways catalog in 1952, minds blasted outwards and inwards over many a mom’s well-vacuumed couch and carpet and then back to the skull, permanently reconfigured.
Amidst the urban clamor of Philadelphia you can hear one distinctive sound. It lurks in a basement near the city limits, but rings with sonic fury that reaches for miles, It's Bardo Pond, a band made up of visual artists, friends and jam-mates whose formula for improvisational noise-rock triggers automatic hypnosis.
Few sights could be as alluring an advertisement for the indolent Southern California lifestyle as a very blond, very tan Bridget Fonda, comfortably clad in tight jean shorts and a bikini top, smoking bong hits in a house by the sun-drenched beach.
In the movie Black Sheep, there's a scene where Chris Farley, as the title character, is drawn impulsively to a group of young kids partying behind a convenience store. The premise is that the hapless but lovable lout, just a big kid himself, can’t help but find trouble, even though his brother's gubernatorial campaign is at stake.
Animated shows are not reality—at least that’s what anyone who grew up on a diet of Superman and the Incredible Hulk was led to believe. As much as you wanted to be one of them, you knew it was impossible. By contrast, today’s popular 'toons tread closer to home.
REGGAE: THE ROUGH GUIDE by Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton (Rough Guides/Penguin, New York, $19.95) REGGAE, RASTA, REVOLUTION edited by Chris Potash (Schirmer, New York, $22.00)
HEMP FOR HEALTH
FRACTURED FAIRY TALES
WORD NEW & NOTEWORTHY ARRIVALS
As fascinating as the history of reggae is. and despite the reams of magazine articles that result from periodic surges in its popularity, books devoted to this Third World artform’s evolution have been relatively rare. Committed fans generally have to rely upon the liner notes of British reggae anthologies for information beyond Bob Marley’s life story.
TORONTO—A Toronto epileptic’s successful constitutional challenge of Canada’s drug laws may lead to the nationwide legalization of marijuana for medicinal use. In a landmark legal decision, Ontario provincial judge Patrick Sheppard ruled last December that it was unconstitutional to deny 42-year-old Terry Parker his right to use an effective medicine to prevent severe epileptic seizures.
VANCOUVER, BC—On December 16, nearly two years after their last major police raid, Hemp BC found itself swarming again with Vancouver drug-squad officers in a massive show of force. Just after 4:20 PM, over 40 cops executed a search warrant at Hemp BC’s retail store and its adjoining businesses, the Cannabis Cafe and the Little Grow Shop, and over the next six hours proceeded to loot the three premises.
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, MEXICO—The December 22 massacre at the Tzotzil Maya village of Chenalho in southern Mexico’s Chiapas state left 45 dead—nine men, 21 women (four of whom had been pregnant) and 15 children. Almost all were shot in the back.
NO STATES' RIGHTS FOR POT PATIENTS FEDS TARGET PROP. 215 CLUBS WITH DEA BUY-BUST SIEGE
OAKLAND, CA—The federal subpoenas came as a sharp slap in the face to Northern California’s medical-marijuana patients and suppliers, when they were served on the same Friday morning at six separate area dispensaries last January 9. For over a year since the passage, by 54% of the state’s voters, of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the main law-enforcement headaches had been imposed by the state Attorney General, Dan Lungren, in a fitful and almost clownish fashion.
STAFFORD, CA—The pepper-spray torture of environmental activists by Humboldt County sheriff’s deputies (HighWitness News, Mar. ’98) is just the latest skirmish in the decade-long battle over Pacific Lumber’s exploitation of the Headwaters Forest, site of America’s last remaining unprotected ancient redwood groves.
`I don't blame the police. I blame the laws. The government needs to act'. MP Jim Hart
OTTAWA—Terry Parker’s recent court victory for medical-marijuana patients last November (“Vancouver Bust,” page 22) capped a year when Canadian legislators finally began to listen to a diverse group of patients, doctors, lawyers, activists and growers frustrated at the government’s inaction.
A 6-year-old Colorado Springs, CO boy was sent home for bringing "drugs" to school-lemon drops from a health-food store. The fire department and an ambulance were called after first-grader Seamus Morris was discovered sharing the candies with a friend in the playground.
COLVILLE, WA—The 500,000-plus prisoners in America’s drug gulag inhabit an isolated, subterranean world, whether literally underground, like the federal ADX maximum-security prison in Florence, CO, or behind the walls in remote rural towns.
I was sitting in the offices of Dennis Peron, author of California’s medical-marijuana law and president of San Francisco’s Cannabis Cultivator’s Club. A call came in telling Peron of a massive police raid on a tiny cannabis buyers’ club in Monterey, about 100 miles to the south, a raid which netted seven grams of pot.
“What do you tell all these sick people,” Robert Connell Clarke asked another writer for this magazine about three years ago, “when they accuse you of holding them hostage to get marijuana legalized so you can get high?” Since the article was strictly about Clarke’s industrial-hemp ventures in Europe, where he moved after publishing Marijuana Botany in 1981, I snipped that question out of the text.
PARIS—When the 577 members of the Chamber of Deputies here opened their mail on Dec. 9, they each found a small gift from a French cannabis-legalization group. "You will find in this package a small pétard, that is to say, a hand-rolled cigarette containing a mixture of tobacco and cannabis,” read the letter from the Collective for Information and Research on Cannabis (CIRC).
MILWAUKEE, WI—“I don’t know whether hemp seeds are illegal,” says city Corporation Counsel Charles Theis. “The police should know about that. What are they used for, anyway?” The Milwaukee police, on the other hand, say that it was Theis they consulted before seizing a 50-pound bag of sterilized hemp seed which had somehow come open in a local United Parcel Service depot one day in early November last year.
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL SOCIETIES ENDORSE MARIJUANA INGREDIENTS
Two prestigious American and British medical associations recently announced their support for legalizing the use of marijuana-derived chemicals for medical purposes. The Society for Neuroscience in Washington and the British Medical Association in London both came out late last year in support of new evidence demonstrating that cannabinoids—active chemical compounds in marijuana—provide safe and effective relief for a number of serious health conditions.
President Bill Clinton has overseen the biggest militarization along the Mexican border since General Pershing chased Pancho Villla in 1916. Under his watch, the Border Patrol has moved to double its troop strength by 2001, launched special operations to intercept drugs and illegal migrants.
As our horses thread their way through the scrub cacti, the jackrabbits hightail it across the desert floor in panicky zigzags, convinced that death has arrived to claim them. The horses pay no attention. They are more concerned with their own exercise on this early spring morning, and must be reined a little as we ride toward Columbus, New Mexico.
Ah, the “Taste of Victory,” that savored moment, how sweet it is! May I more precisely add, how sweet and pungent it smells. Already recognized as the largest cash crop in several states, marijuana is growing in every state in the USA, all around you, maybe on your own property, due to a budding army of “guerrilla gardeners.”
NOAM CHOMSKY: Population control is actually a term I borrowed from the counterinsurgency literature of the Kennedy years. The main targets at the time were Southeast Asia and Latin America, where there was an awful lot of popular ferment.
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!
I grew my first plants in the summer of ‘95 and found it very exciting. When I got my own pad, I had to give indoor growing a shot. My garden is only two feet by five feet with a 1000w MH lamp. The medium was perlite and vermiculite mixed 50/50. I watered with Peter’s 20/20/20 and Peter’s 10/30/20 during flowering.
Welcome to Rasta John's first annual Beauty Pageant. Our girls come from different regions of the world, but are grown here in Jamaica. The seeds are brought here, sown together, and raised and nurtured as one big happy family. Their life span is short, only eight weeks until they are ready for harvest.
Welcome to Trans-High Market Quotations, the premier non-backstabbing, non-Albaworshipping authority on marijuana prices for over 20 years. Please obey the following prebuddhalizing ritual for ultimate transpersonal THMQ perceptual orgasm: 1 ) Fill favorite bong with crushed ice & distilled water.
I have a brown thumb but decided to start growing a year ago. My friend said he’d help me, but even with his assistance, the seeds barely sprouted and soon died. Then his friend said we were doing it wrong. I bought different fertilizers, new soil and still had no success.
A PERFECT 10: THE 10TH ANNUAL CANNABIS CUP AWARDS by Chris Eudaley
And the winner is...? Once again, we threw a monster party over Thanksgiving week in Amsterdam, home of personal freedom and the most astounding growrooms in the world. This year's Cannabis Cup saw the induction of Robert Nesta Marley into the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Hall of Fame, and none other than Bob's widow.