Grass is a big deal in Colorado. A lot of people move here because marijuana is (mostly) legal. Of course that legalness has a lot of qualifying factors — it’s not legal in my county, but it’s legal in the next two counties. But in one of the next counties it’s only legal for those with a medical license, but in the NEXT county from there it’s legal for recreational use. You might have to drive pretty far to get something to fill your bong.
I’m all for it. I never understood why grass wasn’t ALWAYS legal. Like hooch in the 20s, people have always been able to find it if they wanted it. While I, personally, don’t like the effects, it’s helped a lot of people cope with anxiety, pain, cancer… All legitimately proven. As an intoxicant, well, people on weed are a lot less likely to drive than people who’ve been drinking. They’re less likely to brawl. They’re less likely to move (ha ha) at all.
Back in the day, 1976? I remember going to a friend’s house for dinner and smoking afterward. What we had then was what people today call “cheap Mexi” and I don’t think you can find it any more. My friends figured I’d be REALLY funny if I were stoned (I’m pretty funny in real life and it isn’t just my appearance). But, no. Grass always sent me into some quiet place where I just wanted to listen to music and have psychic conversations with animals. That particular night I ended up sleeping on the sofa with their big black dog and their Siamese cat — both of whom hated each other. They were irresistibly attracted to my stoned vibe and we spent the night together. “I can’t believe this,” said my friend when he got up and found us, the dog cradled in the hollow of my left arm, the cat in the right. He went to get his wife to witness the Dr. Doolittle miracle. I think he took a picture…
I also remember once, still more stoned than I realized, driving home from those same friends’ house, noticing a red stop light a couple of blocks ahead and stopping as soon as I saw it. OK, it was 2 am and a completely empty residential street, but that’s stoned driving. Not exactly aggressive.
Intoxicating grass today has been hybridized and developed to the point that growers and scientists can actually determine for which physical symptom a strain is useful. It’s a lot different from the pile of green stuff — lawn clippings? Oregano? — I once saw on the coffee table of a friend from church. He was sorting out the seeds with a strainer. It was 1970. “Don’t just walk in here like that!” he screamed at me. And I understood why the deacons at our church were always praying for this guy…
But grass isn’t just for getting high and relieving pain. Long long ago in this very land hemp was in competition, before the invention of the cotton gin, with tobacco for “top crop.” Those glorious days of the sailing ships depended on hemp — canvas sails? No, cannabis sails. Yes. Truly. And ropes? For centuries ropes were hemp. Even when I was a kid before the invention of “miracle fibers” (that never break down and therefore must be gathered by Patagonia and made into the next generation of expensive (and incredibly beautiful) outerwear, hemp was what ropes were made of. Even climbing ropes. Our jump rope was hemp. Yeah it smarted when it hit your leg but that was just incentive to do better next time. People have made beautiful and useful things from hemp for more than 10,000 years. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp-fiber paper.
As I drive between home and the “big city” (Alamosa) I pass a hemp field. It makes me happy to see it. From all I’ve read, hemp is a great crop. Fast growing, a good cover crop to keep weeds out of other food crops, easily harvested. To learn more, our friends at Wikipedia have a litany of hemp’s wonders. The Alamosa Courier, the main newspaper in a weed-friendly county, recently published an informative article advocating hemp as a good crop for this agricultural area, “Valley is Crucial to Hemp Comeback.”
And yet…the benighted leaders my town do not want to sell weed in any of its forms. A friend sold her greenhouse and attendant land to a company that grows industrial hemp. She has taken all kinds of crap from people for that, people who don’t know the difference, or don’t want to acknowledge the difference, between fancy intoxicating grass and the fiber of the future. Looking at the state of the nation this morning, it seems to me it’s stuck in a time warp that exists in miniature here in my small town. Some people have arrived here, in the “future” while others are laboring under the illusion that if they just drag their feet they will not have to leave the 1970s. I fear these people also believe that when a windmill that generates electricity stops turning, their lights will go off or the solar collectors on the east side of the valley stop working at night.
I think they’ll have to make the big jump into 2019. As a friend said to me long ago, making a pitch for the wholesomeness of intoxicating marijuana, “You see, Martha, grass grows.”