The way things are going, buying marijuana will soon be as easy as buying alcohol or cigarettes. It will be interesting to see how marijuana will be advertised once it is federally legalized. There are innumerable approaches that can be taken in marketing pot. Will it be treated as if it's a health product, like aspirin? Or will it be toted as a recreational product and sold to the public like sounds systems or games? Maybe it will be packaged as exotica, like perfume. Or a status symbol, like an expensive automobile. The possibilities are endless.
Everyone fashions themselves a weed aficionado these days. I'm like "Dude, enough. We can all go to Leafly." But I personally like to keep it old school and collect my cannabis culture books. This has the added benefit of increasing my book shelves' impressiveness. Seriously, at any given moment, there are so many people borrowing my weed books that I have had to start making people sign them out. I keep a spiral notebook on top of the case. Even tied a pencil to the spiral binding. Very geeky vibe. I have started collecting books again and recently found these two books in a used book shop in Portland. I am a marijuana bibliophile. Marijuana Potency and The Great Book of Hashish are my most recent weed book finds.
Several years ago, an anthropologist and shaman friend, who lives in Miami Beach, showed me the prize relic of his South American artifact Collection. It was a small bowl, ordinary rust-colored and not too deep in its center. He told me that the bowl was easily two thousand years old, though none of the labs he had used could date it, and that it had served the ancient high priests of the Incas.
Straight from my uncle's journal is a summary of his thoughts while tripping through the Beatnik Generation. From his perspective the roots of Pop Culture can be traced back to the post WWII Beatnik Movement. He passed in 1994, and left me a treasure trove of journals vividly recounting the moments he shared with some of the greatest influences of the Beatnik Generation.
Inward expansion of human consciousness is never stronger than in times of outward rationalism when the artists, the romantics and the adventurers of society rebel against complacency, against mine grinding boredom, against the current possibilities that stifle imagination. Such a crisis in the human psyche gained momentum during the 19th century against a background of crusading Darwinism and dour, brutal industrialism. It would inspire a revival of the occult mentality. Most were swept along by the carnival of burgeoning western hegemony, whether they wanted to be or not, but others, psychologically the same group of outsiders' as in earlier times, wanted to look beneath the surface in search of a more positive destiny for mankind, a spiritual rather than a scientific awakening. They eschewed the passive stance of orthodox religion (which paradoxically became anything but passive in the hands of Victorian imperialists practicing muscular Christianity on the peoples of foreign lands), and some, often the most talented and inspired, embarked on the journey into inner space using psychoactive drugs such as hash and marijuana as the signposts, the spirit guides to point the way.
Soap operas and drugs have more in common than most people would imagine. For one thing, they both can be addictive and have equal viewers to users. For another, the soaps pioneered the subject of drugs in their shows. Conservative housewives who watched the original soaps have witnessed in recent years, between tear jerks: people slipping pills in other people's drinks as if they were ice cubes; accidental (and not so accidental) drug trips, drug dealers, deaths by overdose, cocaine addictions, drug treatment centers, stolen prescriptions, and more, much more, as the world turns.
Underground comix was a counter culture art form with a large cult following. Like a hall of mirrors, they distorted and exaggerated reality, turning the sublime into the ridiculous, the serious into absurdity, tickling the rib and poking an outrageous finger at social convention and humbug. The golden age of underground comix spawned artists like Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb, among others, with their unique and anarchic talents. Gilbert Shelton was the creator of Those Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, a regular in comix. His perceptions of the 1960's and the future of counter culture movements, in his own words is both enlightening and fortuitous.
The first reliable study of human behavioral effects among marijuana users was done in 1968 under the direction of Andrew Weil in Boston. Among Weil's findings were:
First documented trip was in 1884. Dr. Frank Dudley Beane detailed every, physical and emotional, thought and feeling of being on the hallucinogen. He was researching marijuana Indica strains. Born in New Hampshire, Frank retired to Florida at an early age due to illness and tragically passed at the age of 42. His contribution to the study of the effects of marijuana is understood best through the descriptive process of his personal experimentation.
Forget getting stoned and playing records backwards while watching muted classic films; the best mix of weed and vinyl came out of the 60s and 70s counterculture era - the immensely popular comedy albums. A group of original hipster stoners would get together at someone’s house, open the bedroom window, stuff the bottom of the door with damp towels, turn down the lights, turn on the lava lamp, drop into a beanbag chair, get baked and listen to comedy albums. Drugs figured heavily in the humor of the era because they were already becoming an important element in the lives of young audiences. Beginning with Lenny Bruce, the new comedy - while for the most part banned from TV and radio - was able to survive and ultimately prevail through the platforms of the digital era.
In 1963 I took my first hit of LSD, which in a way saved my life, since it stirred in me a desire for adventure that forced me to move out of the nest and away from the Bronx. The Bronx I left is now virtually gone, save for the few ghosts that remained out of fear. Most of my old Bronx ghetto friends from the dope dealer days are now either burnt out zombies, in prison, or dead.
“I feel like I’m part of a gathering of the most exquisite rascals of the age!” Ram Dass exclaimed at a colloquium in 1977 at the University of Santa Cruz entitled “LSD—A Generation Later,” featuring the man who discovered the king of the psychedelics himself, Dr. Albert Hofmann. With dozens of acid aficionados attending, it was the first time to get public record of the thoughts and feelings these masterminds had on what could be considered a miracle drug.