Story by Ashley Kennedy
During this heated political season, choosing homegrown cannabis reflects American values and addresses many vital party issues. Despite a growing deficit, Americans continue to spend billions per annum on foreign ganja. Is this responsible, prudent or justifiable? Who’s on the other end of that money trail, and what have they done for us lately? In a country ideologically governed by the people and for the people, it is incumbent upon the people to take the responsibility for their nation’s welfare into their own hands. We really shouldn’t bitch about the economy while we mindlessly send our dope dollars beyond our borders. We shouldn’t whine about the impact of crime in our neighborhoods while we personally bankroll black-market enterprises. How can we maximize the positive social impact of our purchasing parity? We should turn the fiscal tide, take back the moral high ground, and plant some new seeds. It’s time for a Victory Garden revival. If you don’t know your grower, be your grower...
On Cannabis and Kumquats
During World War II there were food shortages in America, and self-reliant citizens—having just endured the Great Depression—were quick to act when asked to plant Victory Gardens. They were patriots sacrificing for the greater good and were tired of having only three decrepit vegetables in each grocery store. Some 20 million gardens were planted, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the nation’s produce supplies during that era. Today the nation is at war again, but the consumer generation is far more dependent on imported goods than in 1943, and far less inclined to engage in patriotic action beyond tying ribbons to trees and excluding toenail scissors from carry-on luggage.
Today, marijuana is one of our most profitable agricultural commodities, yet according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 90 percent of marijuana seized is of foreign origin. The estimated street value (calculated by the author, not the Feds) of the ganja seized in 2002 was equivalent to roughly half of the CIA’s estimate of the entire agricultural portion of our gross domestic product. Americans are spending more on weed than on cucumbers, lettuce and kumquats combined. So why aren’t more Americans growing their own ganja? Pot certainly grows faster than kumquats. Perhaps American pot-smokers are too busy funding terrorism. That’s what the TV said, so it must be true, right?
“As far as I know, the DEA has no evidence of any connections between marijuana production and Islamic militant groups,” reveals Richard Meyer, a spokesman for the DEA’s San Francisco office. “But you could call Washington and ask them….” Or not. They probably have better things to do in Washington than debunk their own anti-narcoterror hype.
Our Founding Farmer
Many of his contemporaries undoubtedly thought that my great-great-great-great-great-great-granduncle was a traitor and a terrorist, but history books teach us that George Washington was a bright and sparkly example of civic virtue. He gallantly fought to break the chains of England’s oppression (although Cornwallis probably didn’t word it quite that way), fiercely advocated a limited US government, helped craft the Constitution, and served two terms as President before insisting on stepping down so that democracy could flourish. He retired happily to Mount Vernon, where he grew, sold and, some will say, used cannabis until his death in 1799. That’s why he looks so serene in all of his portraits: He was stoned. (Note to naysayers: George separated male and female plants in his garden...)
“Let his countrymen consecrate the memory of the heroic General Washington, the patriotic statesman and the virtuous sage,” the US Senate declared upon his passing. “Let them teach their children never to forget that the fruit of his labors and his example are their inheritance.” Today, more than 200 years later, we are being robbed of that inheritance. In the name of war, we relinquish the liberties he went to war to obtain. We are accused of financing bloodshed when we use the very same commodity that Washington dealt. He was a farmer and a war hero, but he’d be considered a narcoterrorist now… at least in some circles.
COMPLETE STORY IN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2004 HIGH TIMES