marisol Therapeutics Mike Stetler
The Importance of
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S ta f f ERI C sl igh
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marisol Therapeutics: Mike Stetler
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Marijuana in the News
Ann Arbor, MI:
On Saturday, April 3rd, Local police estimated 5,000 people came together on the University of Michigan’s drag to celebrate the state’s 39th annual Hash Bash. It has been 15 months since Michigan passed a law legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Philadelphia, PA: It’s getting sunnier in Philly! In an odd political move describable only as rational, Philadelphia’s new district attorney has openly advocated the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana. The DA is proposing that those arrested with 30 grams or less will face a small fine, but no risk of a criminal record. The shift in policy is attributed to overcrowding in local prisons.
Eugene, Oregon: On April 15, 2010 Jack Herer, the Emperor of Hemp passed away from complications related to a heart attack sixmonths earlier. On September 12, 2009 while backstage at the Portland Hempstalk Festival, Herer suffered his second heart attack. Herer’s body was laid to rest at Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills, CA. RIP. Jack Herer (June 18, 1939—April 15, 2010)
Los Angeles, CA: On April 30 Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaigosa signed another—yes, another— ordinance that will shut down hundreds of local medical marijuana dispensaries. Owners operating without any sort of license or hardship purchased from the city or attorney, and those who have moratorium licenses, are the first likely to be targeted, but even owners who posses one of the original 186, pre-2007, city-issued licenses, will be facing stricter regulations.
Aspen, CO: City planning officials have announced that they are zoning to allow for medical marijuana dispensaries. Facing falling revenues and bleak economic outlooks, the ultra sheik skiresort town is undoubtedly entertaining the idea of marijuana becoming an enticing tourist attraction for the out-of-towners, snowboarders and retiring boomers.
Birmingham, AL: Crimson Cannabis? Alabama is mobilizing to become the first southern state to legalize medical marijuana. House Bill 642 has been making its way through the courts, passing the judiciary committee and heading for a debate on the floor.
Boulder, CO: As medical marijuana licenses begin to appear on college campuses across Colorado, universities are deciding how to deal with “the housing situation.” Most universities require freshmen, and sometimes even sophomores, to live on campus in the dorms. In lieu of the issue, the University of Colorado 12 • growcoloradomag.com
≠at Boulder has decided to waive dorm room requirements for those students who have medical marijuana prescriptions.
Houston, TX: Ocean Grow Kush makes its way to Texas! On Sunday, April 4th, Grow correspondents located on the west side of Houston were pleased to locate an excellent sampling of OG Kush. Being a clone-only strain, it’s difficult to say how, but we can imagine that this particular batch of California genetics must have made an interesting journey to get all the way down to the Lone Star State.
Ukiah, CA: On March 23rd, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors voted to allow up to 99 plants to be grown on a parcel of land—that’s the good news. The bad: In order to due so the grower must first acquire a permit from the county, a permit which allows for a certain degree of random law-enforcement scrutiny we are yet to fully understand.
Los Angeles, CA:
From April 23-25th, the LA convention center was host to the International THC Expose. Dubbed, “The Greatest Cannabis Show on Earth,” the event had over 350 vendors selling, bartering and displaying nearly every cannabis-related product imaginable. An estimated 25,000 red-eyed advocates came for the festivities on both Saturday and Sunday. The show was dedicated to the memory of Jack Herer.
Denver, CO: Some 50,000 work-dodgers and truant students grazed the Capitol’s lawn on April 20th. The crowd puffed tough all day, from the morning till dusk, vegging out underneath what had to be the largest manmade cloud ever created. Once again, Denver throws the best 420 bash in the country
Dunsmuir, CA: In Dunsmuir, California the mayor has proposed some very interesting architectural ideas. Peter Arth, town mayor as well as the owner of a local medical marijuana collective, has revealed his desire to lease three commercial lots in downtown Dunsmuir—located conveniently across from the sheriff’s office—in order to install “professionally-engineered” greenhouses on the historic downtown site.
Southern Afghanistan: As it turns out, Blackwater Security Specialist conducts raids on cannabis in California and Afghanistan. In a rare speech excerpt obtained by The Nation, comments made by the notoriously reclusive CEO of Blackwater International, Erik Prince, provide an rough outline for “the biggest hashish bust of all-time.”: 262,000 kgs with an estimated street value of over a billion dollars.
Classic Cuts from Forty Years Ago… John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band Out of all the Beatles, postbreakup, solo artistic output, possibly the most effective exercise of musical freedom outside the fab fours shadow was John Lennon’s 1970 classic: Plastic Ono Band. Bluesy, minimalist, angry, on his first solo the moody Beatle stripped the studio bare in order to create a gut-wrenching album that touched on nearly every topic that plagued Lennon’s personality: alienation, battles with god, love, war, Paul, and parents. It was personal, it was pissy, and it’s not always sonically pretty, but on balance, Plastic Ono Band might be the most powerful musical statement any of the Beatles ever made as individual artists.
Neil Young: After the Goldrush With “After the Goldrush,” Neil Young’s second solo record, the at-the-time, young Canadian songwriter solidified his position at the apex of 70’s-era critical darlings. Surface fans of Young will usually highlight the Best Buy favorite, 1974’s Harvest, as Young’s best album, but the diehard fans almost always go with After the Goldrush as pick of the litter. This is Neil Young pre-big band, pre-Nashville, preCrazy Horse, all by his lonesome with guitar, harmonica and a chip on his shoulder.
Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys After the Jimi Hendrix Experience disbanded, and the 1960’s came to a sudden, salty end, Hendrix decided to form another three-piece band. But this time, instead of going with two, art-school affiliated Caucasian cats from England, the iconic guitarist chose two native 14 • growcoloradomag.com
black musicians to groove with. The results were astounding: a tighter, bluesier, heavier Hendrix with more lean towards Memphis soul and shotgun snares than the psychedelic meanderings akin to his “Experience” era. This one studio album, along with live recordings from 1970—particularly the Gypsy’s stint at the Fillmore—serve as listenable proof that at the turn of the new decade, three years after he’d emerged on the scene in Monterrey, Hendrix was just beginning to reach his musical powers.
The Stooges: Funhouse Possibly the most hostile, loose and loud album ever released to a massmarket, Funhouse is rock n roll at its abrasivebest. Part punk, part jazz, part noise music, The Stooges second album is the definitive “fuck you” statement to both the ebbing flower power movement of the sixties and the emerging glam-wank rock of the seventies. Kurt Cobain, Henry Rollins, Jack White, this is just a small sample of those who have unanimously made the same claim: “Funhouse is the greatest rock n roll record of all time.”
Black Sabbath: Paranoid Long before he had become an incoherently babbling household name via the folks at MTV, Ozzy Osbourne was the front man of Black Sabbath, arguably the darkest, or at least heaviest, rock outfits ever formed across the pond. Along with The Stooges, MC5, the Velvet Underground, The Ramones and Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath became harbingers of the ultra-heavy classic rock sound that would epitomize the sonic structures of rock in a post-hippy, post-happy, 1970’s America. “Paranoid” represents Sabbath at the height of their collective powers. It certainly contains some of the band’s most certifiable output, having both of their best-selling singles: “Paranoid” and “Iron Man.”
George Harrison: All Things Pass The Beatles individual personality stereotypes breakdown like so: Paul is the cheesy, overly optimistic Beatle, John the dark, damaged, revolutionary Beatle, Ringo the dunce, and George Harrison the oddball-mystic Beatle. Always in the shadow of the galvanized songwriting duo that was Paul and John, very rarely were George’s powers as songwriter able to shine through. It wasn’t until the band disbanded, and Harrison was able to go solo, that the world realized he was far more than a mere guitar man. As it turned out, the weird Beatle had an impressive catalogue of songs he’d never turned into the band—two albums worth, actually. “All Things Pass,” Harrison’s first mammoth solo album, was a brilliant continuation of the higher-consciousness sort of music the Beatles were channeling in the late sixties on “Abbey Road”, “Revolver and the White Album.
Miles Davis: The Complete On the Corner Sessions He defined “the cool” of hard bop in the forties, then he turned the world mellow with 1951’s “Kind of Blue.” Throughout the sixties he perfected a new form of free-flowing improvisational jazz until the seventies came, when Miles took another new turn: he entered into his fusion period. Starting with “In a Silent Way,” blossoming on “Bitches Brew,” and fully erupting here, on, “The Complete On the Corner Sessions,” this massive collection of originals and outtakes from his 1970 studio recordings are the culmination of all Davis’s ambitions in fusion. The totality of Davis’s skill is evident as no other time, here, on this hypnotizing collection of funk, Latin, Indian, jazz and blues inspired tunes. Roll up a big one for this batch, then sit back and prepare to go on a Continental-Chronic-Cruise into the mind of a milestoned genius.
the fungus among us by Red-eyed Jedi
One of the main reasons people like to use Bacillus bacteria in the soil to grow organic crops is because bacteria are at the base of the soil-food web. If you look at the soil biologically, the bacteria are the base of the pyramid. Think of a pyramid and down at the bottom it is wide and it gets small at the top. All of the soil biology are built on top of the bacteria. You have to have a strong base to build on top of and the bacteria have to be the right kind. If you do not have a lot of good bacteria you cannot get a lot of any other kind of good soil organisms, including Fungi. That is why the bacteria are so important in helping the Mycorrhizal Fungi take hold and really get established.
Mycorrhizae require roots in order for the fungi to germinate. Once they get established, they increase the root mass by a considerable amount which greatly improves nutrient uptake into the plant. Mycorrhizae is used as a seed coating as well as a root stimulant. This helps protect the root against bad Nematodes and Pathogens which are your bad Fungi like Pithium, Phoma, Fusarium, Sclerotinia, Phytothphora and many other bad organisms. The Mycorrhizae will actually form a noose and attract the Pathogenic Nematode into it and when it goes in the trap, it tightens the noose, captures the Nematode and then begins to eat it. These interactions were happening long before we discovered them and that is ORGANIC!
How do I apply Mycorrizhae? Applictation rates for myco and Bacillus or Beneficial bacteria vary depending on how your system is set up. The way I have used it and seen the best results is by getting the myco to the roots as early as you can because they are not cheap and a little can go a long way if you do as follows: 1) Seed coating: (if you use seeds) drop seeds in small pile of Myco then germinate. 2) Cuttings: As soon as you take a cutting, dip it in cloning gel and then into mycorrhizae. A) (Plugs) Rock wool or Peat Moss: add ENDO Myco using a worm tea/or compost tea can really help due to the Biology that has a symbiotic relationship with the myco and the Root system of your plant. B) Transplant: Apply dry Myco directly to the soil at the Root level. Use some Kelp with this as well as fish emulsion Rhizotonic (FYI- This is another Root stimulant By CANNA.) The Bacillus bacteria have a little different mode of action than the Mycorrhizae. The way they grow is each bacteria split and then they split again and again and again so they multiply very fast especially if they have the right kind of food source. When they eat they have to produce an acid. it is 18 • growcoloradomag.com
called enzymes that digest their food so they can absorb it into their body through their cell wall because they have no mouth. As they multiply they are constantly producing these enzymes which digest Nematodes, and some Pathogens. Even if they don’t digest the pathogen it still Inhibits the growth of the pathogens so when you get tons and tons of the bacteria around your roots they are killing nematodes, destroying their eggs, and keeping the pathogens from growing. The way they help with the transfer of nutrients is their enzymes dissolve the nutrients that are tied up, then they absorb the nutrients and because their life span is so short, when they die they release those nutrients in a very available form to the plant root or Mycorrhizal Fungi, which ever is closest at the time. If it is the Fungi Hyphae that is close to the bacteria when it dies, the Hyphae picks up the nutrient and then trans-locates it back to the root. Now when you have both the beneficial bacteria and the mycorrhizae working together you double your protection, and nutrient uptake into the plant. Both of them help with releasing tied up nutrients in the soil and increasing nutrient uptake into the plant. Both live in the rhizosphere of the plant or root zone. That is what you call “being rhizosphere competent” or as I like to call it building a good ~soil bank account.
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l o s i s r c i ma rapeutr e h tle T e St ke
ar from the hustle and bustle of Denver, where well dressed marijuana lobbyists meet with stuffy state lawmakers, Mike Stetler takes a look at a few buds from his latest winter greenhouse crop. “This is the best strain that I have ever bred”. He holds up a small, untrimmed branch of lime green cannabis, freshly dried. The hybrid is a sweet indica/sativa mix he calls “Nehi” because it “tastes like the old soda”. Mike takes a look at a couple of other plastic bags and proudly shows off a similar bud, but this time it reeks of kush. “I’ve been growing and breeding cannabis for the last 30 years”. Mike’s experience growing cannabis, and his deep interest in the healing properties of cannabis have led him to where he is now. He is the owner of one of the few medical marijuana dispensaries in Southern Colorado, Marisol Therapeutics in Pueblo. “We were the eleventh dispensary in Colorado”, Mike declares proudly, “we opened about three years ago.” The fact that Mike’s dispensary has been around so long makes him a dinosaur in the Colorado dispensary world. 90% of the dispensaries in Denver didn’t open their doors until after the Holder memo, stating that the Justice dept. would respect state medical marijuana regulations, came out in November of 2009. To keep up with the rising demand for high-grade medical cannabis, Mike purchased a large greenhouse and started growing. Mike’s greenhouse is spacious, professionally done with a large evaporative cooler spanning the entire width. “It used to be a hydroponic tomato farm”, Mike says as he points 24 • growcoloradomag.com
Mike takes a look at the climate controls to the greehouse. out some of the advanced features that come with a state-ofthe-art commercial growing facility. Mike tore down all of the hydro equipment and opted instead for a simple soil approach to grow his cannabis. As a greenhouse grower in Colorado, Mike is very unique. Almost all of the medical cannabis growers in Colorado operate exclusively indoors. Most growers in Colorado scoff at the idea of growing outdoors. Outdoor growing just isn’t a viable option where the temperature gets well below freezing for 5 months straight. Those five months are precious to cannabis growers who would rather operate year round in a cozy indoor facility. Mike has never been a big fan of indoor growing, especially hydroponics. “There are a lot of dangers to indoor growing. People don’t realize how much moisture is in that air. People are forced to grow indoors because they don’t have the means to do it outdoors or they want to hide it. It’s kind of hard to grow outdoors in Colorado because we have hail, we have animals like deer and rabbits. Thats how I got to the greenhouse concept. It’s an outdoor facility where I can control the environment. Sometimes I have to use lighting but its a lot less. If we could completely avoid the lights and everything that would be beautiful. If you grow outdoors at your house you run the risk of the neighbors getting upset, someone trying to rip you off, or you’re scared to let the cops see it. People don’t like to go through all of that hassle, even though they are medical marijuana patients. They avoid growing it outside”. When asked if there is an emerging outdoor growing culture in Colorado, he sighed and gazed at the floor. “You’re starting
â€œIf Man thinks that he can do better than mother nature, heâ€™s got another thing coming.â€?
A smaller plant from the last harvest awaits a trip to the barn for drying.
Mikeâ€™s Strains Nehi
Mike uses an easy cloner to get some of his next crop ready to see a little bit of outdoor growing. Most people are doing indoor hydroponics growing. Its really cruel. I think its bad. Feeding a plant constantly, with man made chemicals. You’re not allowing the plant to live out a normal cycle with rain and wind and moisture. Outdoors is the perfect environment to grow. If Man thinks that he can do better than mother nature, he’s got another thing coming.” Mike has been growing for a long time. Its obvious when you walk down the paved isles of the greenhouse. Plants are well organized in sections. Different sized plants are grouped into different areas, everything appears to be part of an efficiently run cycle. What makes mikes greenhouse even more uniquer is that he runs this operation at full capacity year round. With growing comes hash and oil making, in which Mike is equally experienced.” In 67’ we used to make honey oil…we made the tar in the 70’s, but we didn’t know that we were doing the same thing that Rick Simpson was doing. We were just smoking it, putting it on joints.” Mike is referring to Rick Simpson who has pushed the use of hemp and cannabis oil as healing agents for a variety of ailments including several types of cancers(see Grow Colorado issue #1). “I am working with doctors to make this industry medical, not so much pothead stuff and what we had up there at the Colorado Cannabis Convention. I didn’t like that. it’s medical,its been passed as a constitutional right” 28 • growcoloradomag.com
Mike’s journey as a medical grower hasn’t been problemfree. He has had at least one crop taken by the local sheriff’s department. But for Mike Stetler, a lost crop or two isn’t enough to dissuade a man who firmly believes in the medical value of cannabis. Mike’s perseverance has finally paid off. After years of confusion regarding medical marijuana, the state of Colorado has finally started to accept the inevitable. “The sheriff came to my grow in March when HBO was here. The deputies started talking to the HBO guys saying that my grow is pretty good and shook my hand. The HBO producer asked them if they were going to count the plants and they said no, that they trusted me and wouldn’t be counting them. The county commissioner has been here and said that he liked what we were doing” In the last year Mike has been able to sleep easier. He no longer worries about state law-enforcement coming down from helicopters to take what he and his small team has worked so hard to produce. He advertises his dispensary on the scorecard at the local golf course. He donates money to local youth sports leagues. As the interview comes to a close, Mike tells us that he is very excited about the future of the medical marijuana industry. Mike plans on being at the forefront of the movement. “We have big plans, I can’t talk about it right now, but we will be doing some groundbreaking work in the near future”.
“People are forced to grow indoors because they don’t have the means to do it outdoors or they want to hide it”.
A handfull of fresh outdoor
by alexander Kardos
Q &A 1. Briefly tell us about yourself, growing in Italy, and how you became involved with Strain Hunters, strain hunting. I grew up in Torino, a large industrial city in the North of Italy. I started smoking cannabis recreationally at 15, but soon I realized it had a medicinal effect on my hyperactivity, it helped me sleep better and made me feel more in tune with myself, my ideas and my studies. After finishing high school I traveled a bit (Jamaica & Europe) then came back to Italy in 1995, where I joined the Army as a paratrooper. After that I moved to the UK, and then to Holland, where I am still based now. In Holland I studied (Master degree in Hospitality Management), then joined the Green House coffee shops in 1999. From 2001 to 2004, I worked at SIMM, one of the licensed producers of medicinal cannabis for the Dutch government (pharmacies and hospitals use cannabis produced by government-licensed facilities in Holland, while the coffee shops get their cannabis from illegal growers). In 2004 I joined the Green House Seed Company, where I still work today. Strain Hunters is a project that started in 2007; the idea was to produce documentaries to show the world about our mission to preserve endangered cannabis landraces. Strain Hunting has been a constant activity for Arjan (the owner and founder of the Green House Coffeeshops and Green House Seed Company) for the past 25 years. I did it since the early 1990s as a hobby, then, slowly ,it became part of my work.
2. How is the cannabis in italy? are there growers there? if so, what are the strains like? Italy is one of the countries in Europe with the largest number of cannabis users. Cannabis is very diffused, and easily available. Most of the cannabis consumed in Italy is imported hashish from Morocco or Asia. The hashish is imported large-scale by organized crime, and distributed in every city. Over the last 10 years weed has become more popular, and nowadays there are plenty of growers. The climate is very good to grow cannabis in most of the Italian peninsula, so a 32 • humboldtgrow.com
lot of people grow outdoors. In the big cities there are people growing indoors, mostly small operations for personal use. In south Italy there is a very famous landrace of cannabis called “Calabrese Rossa”, the only landrace in the country.
3. What was your first strain hunt? I went to Jamaica in 1994 to look for special seeds, after hearing amazing stories from friends who had been there. It was great!
4.Describe a strain-hunting trek in all of its stages. How do you prepare? What do you bring? Is it ever dangerous? Have you ever become sick or injured during one of your strain-hunts? How does it feel when you find an unknown strain? After selecting the destination (based on information, contacts and local situation) we organize one or two scouting trips, usually during the planting season. During these trips we find the areas where the landraces grow, we make contact with local growers, and we decide what are the areas and the fields worth filming. We prepare the filming trip in every detail. Then we go back with the film-crew after a few months, when the plants are close to the harvest, and we shoot the documentary. At the same time we collect the genetics we find, in seed form. It is an amazing feeling, to know we are preserving unique inbred landraces. These plants help create new strains of cannabis, and may help, one day, to create new medicines. The equipment we use depends very much on the type of terrain and the local climate, it is never the same. Strain hunting is not danger-free. But it is very rewarding.
5. Have you ever done any strain-hunting in the United States? No, not yet. First we want to locate landraces in remote areas, in areas where there has been no breeding, no intervention from other strains for a long time. In the USA there are thousands of strains, but no landrace...
6. What are some of the best strains you have found? The Malawi Gold is my favorite, for sure. It was very special to find it!
7. Is there anything strain hunters is doing in the future that you would like to share with our readers? The second documentary (India Expedition) is about to be released online and on DVD. We are busy filming the third documentary of the series, it will be ready at the end of 2010. But the location is still secret, of course....
34 â€˘ humboldtgrow.com
MOV E M E NT By Jessica P. Corry
Talk about a wild ride. After months of enduring heated hearings at the state Capitol, Colorado’s medical marijuana community has been handed a complex new set of rules. The news is both good and bad. While the rules codify the legality of medical marijuana wellness centers, they also mean that tens of thousands of registered patients could lose access to their constitutionally authorized medicine. Emotional media reports, aided by the outrageous tactics of a handful of radical activists, have put the movement in a tough spot. A conventional industry would hire public relations experts and fund seven-figure advertising budgets. In 2010, however, medical marijuana remains anything but conventional. So what to do now? As protestors now recycle their placards and caregivers work their way through mounds of paperwork, now is the moment to take a deep breath. Tomorrow we will regroup and fight back. In the courtroom and in the court of public opinion. Proud to be part of a legal team challenging unconstitutional portions of the new rules, I’m inspired by many of the caregivers who’ve come into my office, asking for legal help, motivated by the goal to do the right thing. 36 • growcoloradomag.com
Jessica and Caroline press conference
To be blunt, it has been a humbling process. If the industry could afford billboards and federal law would allow advocates to take to broadcast airwaves, it would be their faces and voices you’d get to know. I’ve been wowed not only by their business acumen, but also their fervent commitment to protecting what has been forgotten in the larger debate over regulation. Many of them, inspired after witnessing firsthand the flaws of conventional medicine, want to help sick people. Drew Milburn, a former U.S. Marine, is a lead voice behind We Grow Colorado (www.WeGrowColorado.com), a Colorado Springs wellness center devoted to improving the lives of
Milburn’s fellow vets. A married father to two young children, Milburn’s center hosts military appreciation events, free yoga and wellness classes, also providing medicine at discounted rates or for free to vets who can’t afford to pay. “When you get back on U.S. soil after a tour, you’re expected to stop where you left off, but this is impossible for so many vets after seeing what they’ve seen abroad,” he said. “We want We Grow Colorado to be the kind of place where vets can find a network of others who’ve shared similar life experiences.” Next up for the center? Support groups for disabled vets, including sessions led by certified experts in post-traumatic stress and narcotic addiction. “Too many vets are left to numb the physical and emotional scars of war through conventional narcotics. Instead of treating them like victims, we try to give them the tools essential to rebuilding their lives.” Also changing the face of Colorado’s medical marijuana movement is Denver’s Mari Clauss. On the eve of Mother’s Day, she took to the podium for a Capitol press conference. Nervous but excited, with her 18-year-old daughter, Ashlee, by her side, she was there to tell her story to an army of TV cameras and newspaper reporters. As a founding member of the Women’s Marijuana Movement (www.womensmarijuanamovement.org), Mari was there for a very specific purpose. With national polling showing support for marijuana legalization at nearly 50 percent, she wanted to speak to mothers across the nation to convince just one in ten of them to think critically about prohibition’s harmful impact on our families. Mari, a longtime lupus sufferer and conservative Republican, turned to medical marijuana only after all conventional therapies failed to let her lead a normal life. But this wasn’t her only inspiration. Ashlee, after all, is a diabetic whose condition is so severe she had to be homeschooled when dozens of hospital stays left her unable to maintain a conventional academic schedule. Looking at them today, you’d never know of their suffering. While once barely able to get out of bed in the morning, the vibrant mother-daughter team is now on a mission.
Jessica interviw on FOX
Three Buds, named in honor of the three families who came together to create it, is an equally personal pursuit for partner John Amerson, a fellow former skeptic before he watched his mother languish on morphine before succumbing to cancer. “My mom languished in a daze of narcotics during the final weeks of her life,” he said. “While I can’t get her back, I can help other families find an alternative therapy that will give them peace during a loved one’s final chapter.” According to government estimates, Colorado is home to nearly 100,000 medical marijuana patients. Given that Amendment 20, the constitutional amendment passed with strong voter support in 2000, does not require patients to register with the state, however, the actual number of patients could be much higher. Some experts speculate that the total number could be over 200,000. That’s enough to launch one serious lobbying campaign. During the 2010 legislative session, where Sen. Chris Romer, a Denver Democrat, led the charge to impose significant barriers of entry for caregivers seeking to serve these patients— patients came out in droves to express their frustration. While a handful of roosty radicals dominated the headlines with finger-pointing angry tirades, most advocates of greater regulation came to the table acknowledging that while some checks were needed on the dispensary system, patients were best served through a system allowing for a competitive marketplace. While Romer’s efforts handed caregivers and patients a mixed bag, the future still looks promising.
“I used to be a skeptic about medical marijuana, but like any mom, I was willing to try anything if it meant I could become the parent my kids deserved,” she told me. “Medical marijuana gave me my life back. An even greater blessing has been watching Ashlee—who after suffering in a web of needles for too many years of her young life—regain the strength she needs to fight back against diabetes. We are winning.”
While medical marijuana is certainly not a magic pill, attempts to demonize it or minimize its proven effectiveness will fall silent on the ears of hundreds of thousands of Colorado voters who know otherwise.
Together with her husband, Chance, and two business partners, Mari is the force behind 3 Buds Organics (www.3budsorganics.com) a Denver wellness operation determined to serve as a refuge for families desperate to regain control over catastrophic diagnoses.
Jessica P. Corry (Jessica@JessicaCorry.com), a Denver attorney, is a co-founder of the Women’s Marijuana Movement, serves as interim executive director of the Colorado Wellness Association (www.ColoradoWellnessAssociation.org) and on the board of NORML’s National Women’s Alliance.
One by one, patient by patient, and caregiver by caregiver, medical marijuana’s legitimacy is finally being recognized.
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Cameras By: T.A. Sedlak (Author of Anarcho Grow) The two growers had made it to their patch early. The sun was low, and they hoped to finish their work before the heat came. Adam Maruska knelt, feeling the ground still moist with dew. He shoved bamboo rods into the ground and tied the branches of a marijuana bush to them, spreading the plant out like an octopus. He wiped sweat from his forehead and looked up. His eyes bulged. Fifteen feet away he saw a dark green box staring back. “Jack,” he said. “What?” His friend turned. “There’s a camera.” The paranoid couple ripped down the camera, scoured the rest of their patches, then made the difficult decision to gather their hidden tools and abandon the plants. They’d spent four
A local agent setting up a camera to catch guerrilla growers
months on the grow operation, stopping twice a week to water, fertilize, and spray with Neem oil. They invested numerous hours bringing the plants out in cups, then planting. They even did tasks not needed in the lush Midwest, like carrying out bags of potting soil, a full pallet, and dumping it into the holes for plants. Adam had just finished his last semester of college, had big plans, and was banking on one last outdoor grow. However, all his work was for naught. Such is the life of a guerrilla grower. There was a lesson learned, though. Never partake in guerrilla growing without the use of cameras.
Adam found a camera spying on him
40 • growcoloradomag.com
Federal, state, and local governments spend millions of dollars each summer in an attempt to bust outdoor growers. They do flyovers, which leads guerrilla growers to become experts in camouflage. But once a patch is discovered, they use cameras to find out when the growers come and go in order to bust them.
Any marijuana grower will tell you the most important part of the process is being safe. For indoor growing, that includes eliminating odor, not consuming too much power, and keeping home traffic to a minimum. For outdoor growing, it’s choosing a safe place, camouflaging it, and keeping the area under surveillance. Digital surveillance is a modern breakthrough in guerrilla growing. Trail cameras for tracking game have only been on the market for the last ten years. They can cost anywhere from $60 to $300 (US), but it’s, obviously, a small price to avoid incarceration. The photos included in this article are from a camera that retails for $300 (US). However, we’re not all purchasing our cameras with government money and might have to rely on a cheaper model. Clarity of the image isn’t as important as the image itself. Generally, a patch has to be abandoned no matter who’s wandered into it. So, making out the person’s features might not be important. The agents caught on their own camera
“We should have been more astute,” says Adam. “We always wore rubber boots and hiked up the creek to our patches, not leaving much of a trail. In the few places we did walk through weeds, the trails had widened out. There seemed to be new trails. I remember staring at them, thinking how unnatural it looked, at the same time, trying to convince myself it was deer.” Pictures on the memory card inside the camera reveal the officers had placed it in the patch on August 10th. The next images are of Adam and Jack working in the patch on the 12th. Adam then found the camera on the 16th.. If it weren’t for rough weather that helped knock down vegetation the officers had used to hide the camera, Adam and Jake may not have ever found it and would have continued denying that cops had made the wide, beaten paths they’d found. Perhaps they’d be behind concrete walls right now. However, if the two growers had used cameras when they started the operation, they would have known about the officers when they visited the patch on the 12th.
For deciding on which camera(s) to use, research should be done. A simple glance on Amazon.com revealed more than ten different trail cams for under $100 (US), and each had multiple reviews from buyers. Customer reviews showed that one of the cheapest models had the best response time between A good trail camera can be between sensing motion purchased for as little as $60 (US) and snapping the picture. There are also different features with each camera you’ll want to learn about. For instance, some growers would rather opt for a more expensive camera with infrared technology than one with a night time flash. Camera placement is also an issue. The best scenario is to put the camera in a place where it will spot intruders but is also camouflaged. If you place the cameras outside of your patches, and they’re not hidden, it’s likely people will just think they’re for tracking game anyway. And, if those people see your cameras while trespassing, they’ll be more inclined to leave the property. Trail cameras are not only good for surveillance of a patch that has been planted but also for surveying places you might want to grow in the future. Any guerrilla grower can think of a place he’s thought about planting in but is unsure if people go there. Toss up a trail cam for the year and find out. While law enforcement seems to be working harder than ever to bust guerrilla growers, new technology has to be taken advantage of to keep patches safe. Adam and Jack lucked out in their patch. You might not. If you want to avoid being locked up, cameras are recommended.
No one wants to see an agent in their patch, but better on film than in person
For more by T.A. Sedlak, visit www.tasedlak.com growcoloradomag.com
Trail Cameras from cheap to steep By: T.A. Sedlak (Author of Anarcho Grow)
Wildview EZ-Cam: Amazon.com Price: $60.35 (US) The Dope: 1.3 megapixels, 30 foot flash, 8mb internal memory with additional SD card slot, Takes 10 second videos Review: The photo quality isn’t great, but it does the job. Trigger time (time between motion sensed and picture snapped) is exceptional. It’s easy to use. However, this camera poses a problem for those not wanting a flash with night time photos. Those afraid of the flash will have to opt for a more expensive model. Best for growers needing to purchase several cameras.
Moultrie Game Spy D-40: Amazon.com Price $84.99 (US) The Dope: 4 megapixels, 45 foot flash range, 16mb internal memory with additional SD care slot, Infrared motion sensor up to 30 feet, 2 inch LCD menu display screen, Takes 10 second videos Review: An extra $25 will get you lots more features, but is it worth it? Don’t be fooled by the 4 megapixels. The picture quality is hardly better than the EZ-Cam. The trigger time doesn’t test out as well. And, those hoping to get nighttime photos without a flash won’t find it here. While the flash can be turned off, the pictures without it are unrecognizable. This camera’s infrared feature is for determining that the motion is from a mammal to eliminate blank photos. The LCD screen is nice, though. You can check the photos on it in the woods. Overall, the Game Spy is probably better than the EZ-Cam, but $25 better? Depends if you crave its added features.
Bushnell Trail Sentry 5.0: Amazon.com Price: $149 (US) The Dope: 5 megapixels, Night Vision, Range not given Review: The picture quality is fantastic with a setting to choose between 3 and 5 megapixel images. Trigger time is superb. However, the whole story behind this camera is the night vision. This camera takes photographs at night without a flash. Actually, it uses an infrared flash that our eyes don’t pick up. The pictures in this setting are black and white but good. However, LED lights glow when motion has been sensed. Therefore, you might want to put some black tape over the lights. For those looking for the cheapest camera with night vision, this is it. You should like everything else about it too. It’s easy to use and has all the features without the superfluous features.
Cuddeback Capture: Amazon.com Price: $194.21 (US) The Dope: 3 megapixels, 50 foot flash range, SD media Review: The picture quality is great, better than EZ-Cam and Game Spy. The trigger time is even a little better than the EZ-Cam and Trail Sentry. However, at $194, one would think it would have the infrared system to take decent pictures without a flash. While this seems an excellent camera, $194 is just way too much for most to spend. It’s nice that it leaves a date and time at the bottom of pictures, and that it’s camouflaged, but more is to be expected from a $200 camera, namely night vision.
Final Thoughts: A camera from any one of these companies could result in a lemon, and communication with the companies won’t be fun, as none stand firmly behind their products. Luckily, companies like Amazon.com make returns easy. Also, none of the cameras come with a great strap system for mounting or USB cords for viewing. Plan on purchasing them. None operate in temperature below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It won’t necessarily damage them, but it’s not recommended. Any of the cameras may need the software updated through internet downloads, and sometimes SD cards have to be formatted on your computer. Good luck and grow safe! 42 • growcoloradomag.com
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4:20 with T.A. Sedlak
If you haven’t heard of T.A. Sedlak and his new book, Anarcho Grow, you will soon and with good reason. GROW Magazine first came in contact with Sedlak at Hemp Con in L.A. last February. He was manning a booth cloaked in vibrant colors of the rainforest, pitching his story to passersby. “The main character,” he’d tell us, “had done volunteer work in a village in Costa Rica during college. He later returns, thinking he can help the people more through other means and introduces them to guerrilla growing, clandestine outdoor marijuana cultivation. The community’s prospering as the pot’s transported to the United States by catamaran boat. However, the C.I.A. eventually catches word and heads down to check it out.” We were intrigued by the story, and delighted to bump into him two months later at Marijuana Radio’s studio in Denver. There were obvious questions: How did he come up with idea for the story? Did he spend a lot of time in Costa Rica? What about their pot? We sat down for a 4:20 break and sought the answers to these questions.
How did you come up with the idea for Anarcho Grow? Heavy question. It goes back a ways, probably to age thirteen, when I first started smoking pot. Weed was probably a bigger part of my life than it needed to be at times, but I don’t regret it. By age eighteen I’d ordered my first seeds from Marc Emery and begun growing outdoors. Having grown up poor, I looked, and still look, at marijuana cultivation as one of the few ways one can rise from the social class he or she was born into. During college, I got someone else to care for the outdoor patches as I started to travel with my summers off. After my junior year, I spent a summer doing volunteer work in Costa Rica. The following year I returned as a drifter with a backpack full of books. By the time I returned, I had the idea for what would become Anarcho Grow. 56 • growcoloradomag.com
It sounds like a lot of Anarcho Grow comes from your real life experience. How much is based on fact? How much is fiction? Fact or fiction, it’s hard to tell sometimes. (Laughs.) Well, as I said I’ve done a lot of outdoor cultivation, and I really wanted to get some of that experience across. There are three chapters in the book that are set in an outdoor patch. A couple characters are clearing a patch, making sure it gets optimal sun, bringing out the plants, watering and fertilizing. The book isn’t instructional, but I believe anyone who’s been involved with outdoor growing will look at it and say, “Yes, that’s guerrilla growing.” It captures the activity well, the practice and the emotions that come with it. However, as real as that seems to me, it didn’t happen. What did happen? There’s a flashback to when one of the characters gets lost in the rainforest as darkness is descending. That happened to me. There’s a part where the protagonist, Ben Starosta, is at a bar in small town Costa Rica, and a friend asks him if he wants to buy pot. The friend then uses the money he taxed Ben to buy crack. That happened to me. All the places are real. There’s a dog in the story, Blue. He’s real. But to fully answer your question, it’s mostly fiction, but a writer can’t help but allow some reality to slip in.
What kind of volunteer work did you do in Costa Rica? through fiction. (Laughs.) Since I’ve written Anarcho Grow, Essentially the same as Ben Starosta, community development work. Our group built a bus stop, or most of it. We helped to forge some trails in the rainforest for tourism. That’s cool. You also mentioned that you had a backpack full of books with you there. What books did you have with you? My favorites were Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut, and, of course, 1984. I also read a Dickens book, Hard Times, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and a Barbara Kingsolver novel. There had to be others. Helon Hablia’s Waiting For an Angel. That was another good one.
No T.C. Boyle? Budding Prospects? No. (Laughs.) That’s an astute comment, though. It was great for Steve Bloom to compare my book to his. To be compared to someone who won the Faulkner prize... Wow. To be honest, though, I haven’t read Budding Prospects and didn’t know it existed till Steve wrote that. It’s on the list now.
however, I’ve met one to two people that say they’re growing some high grade there. People I’m going to have to try to remember because it’s really schwag down there. One time, I didn’t smoke for a week down there before I got it. Then I’d puff on a joint, and as soon as I felt high I’d set it down because I was afraid it’d fuck with my tolerance too much, and I’d be puffing blunts all day. I do want to caution people about buying from people in bars, and not just abroad. Though weed’s illegal in Costa Rica, there’s plenty of schwag if one wants it. However, it’s never safe to meet a stranger in a dark alley to score pot.
Not fun to learn that the hard way. And, is T.A. Sedlak writing another book for the potheads? I will. I once thought that I’d go in a different direction after the first one, but now I’m starting to write articles for weed mags. The second book’s in the works, and I’ve found I can’t just remove something that’s a big part of my life from the world I create. Maybe if I were a better writer, but at least I can find a home in stoner culture.
Let’s get a Costa Rica weed report. What’s the quality For more on T.A. Sedlak and Anarcho Grow visit tasedlak.com level, and how wide spread is it? The weed’s a cinch to get, but it sucks. I tell people that I wrote this book to bring good pot to Costa Rica, even if it be
*Several varieties of Colorado indoor were consumed during this interview: Purple Romulan, Sour Diesel, Sage, and Belladonna, as well as several drops of Strawberry Cough tincture
FIRST PLANT MEDICINE EXPO & HEALTH PROVIDER CONFERENCE
SEPTEMBER IN DENVER, COLORADO TGI Healthworks, a national leader in the formation and production of medical and pharmaceutical conferences, will host the first the Plant Medicine Expo & Healthcare Provider Conference in Denver, Colorado on September 24-26. The PME/HPC, which is designed to be the is the first and only truly educational conference to provide individuals suffering from chronic medical conditions with comprehensive, objective information about medical marijuana, is the brain-child of TGI co-founder, Seth Ginsberg. At 13, Ginsberg was diagnosed with spondylarthritis (also known as spondyloarthropathy) and as a result, quickly realized the importance of support, education, advice and upto-date information for people living with a chronic illness. With medical marijuana now legal in 14 states, Ginsberg saw an opportunity to create a medical conference and professional forum for people with legitimate medical needs to get thoughtful, objective information about medical marijuana and its appropriateness as a potential treatment for various medical conditions. “Like many people, I have suffered with chronic pain for many years, and the recent breakthroughs in medical marijuana legalization have created an opportunity for myself and others to explore it as a viable, legal pain management option,” said Ginsberg. “That said, there is a lot of misinformation out there and my work with TGI, and now with the PME/HPC, presented a perfect opportunity to provide people – physicians, patients and business owners – with the information needed to make 58 • growcoloradomag.com
informed choices about their well being or the well being of their patients.” While many, perhaps most, medical marijuana conferences cater to those who are well informed on medical marijuana or are advocates for the legalization of recreational marijuana, the PME/HPC is targeted at the uninitiated, under-informed and reticent potential patients and physicians who may be aware that medical marijuana may be an option, but otherwise lack the understanding needed to make an educated determination on its appropriateness for their condition. To that end, the three day event will include numerous breakout sessions targeted at potential patients and physicians to discuss the pros and cons of medical marijuana. The conference will also give health care and medical marijuana providers an opportunity to exhibit and talk directly with attending patients and physicians. “We are very excited about the program we’re putting together for September,” added Ginsberg. “And, I think attendees, whether patient, physician or otherwise, will find it to be a comfortable, learning experience where they can get the information they need without feeling out of place or out of touch, even if they know nothing about medical marijuana coming into the event.” The PME/HPC will be held at the Denver Sheraton Hotel at 1550 Court Pl. Denver, CO 80202. For additional information on the event and the program, visit www.plantmedicineexpo. com. You can also track the event and get updates at www. facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001041707069&ref=ts.
by K.Y. Shek Montana is a beautiful land of paradoxes. We were the 10th state to pass a law providing for the medical use of marijuana (and by 62%), but if you were to walk downtown Kalispell in Birkenstocks, it’s likely you’ll end up with tobacco juice staining your toes and “fu@#ing hippie” ringing in your ears. However, these same Wrangler-strapped, Bible thumping rednecks (which I say with all affection) will gladly pass the joint to you around a campfire or bug you for pot at 5 am if they’re dry and going fishing for the day. There are pockets of unabashed, open patients, but for the most part medical marijuana in the big sky remains a taboo smell best left at home. Recently, the Montana ruling class has bent to the local, selfappointed moral police who have decided to make a fuss over the business behind medical marijuana, and start enforcing moratoriums on business zoning laws in some of the larger cities. A moratorium is a legally authorized suspension of activity until the issues regarding the activity have been resolved. In layman’s terms, no more marijuana clinics within city borders, until a further decision regarding the matter is made. It’s a city council pressing the pause button. Thankfully, for local Kalispell business owner Josh Fox, provisions were made for his already established and flourishing clinic, The Golden Leaf, to be grandfathered in, as the city wasn’t ready to pay restitution on lost profits or to physically move the business. Fox’s clinic is within the city limits, zoned for both business and pharmacy, but under Kalispell ordinance no. 1674, no more businesses like Fox’s will be granted a business license. Ordinance 1674 amends Kalispell’s current zoning law to exclude any “land uses that are in violation of federal, state, or local law” and is provided “for the purpose of promoting health, safety, morals, and general welfare of it’s citizens.” If you were a Montana lawyer, you might double-take to see if anything had actually changed from the old zoning law. Just two words: “Federal” and “morals”. And granted, Montana’s Medical Marijuana act isn’t much more than a crayon sketch on a cocktail napkin, and Fox agrees more decisions need to be made, and sees it as an opportunity. 60 • growcoloradomag.com
Looking one year in the future the cannabusiness should be “streamlined,” says Fox. “It’s growing every day. Hopefully they’ll get it right. They can’t get rid of it now, so add some rules and get it right. Billings just handed out 80 business licenses for medical marijuana shops. They have to do something.” Billings, the most populated city in the state, will vote on their own moratorium to zoning laws May 17th, directly after handing out over 80 business licenses for medical marijuana land use. In the interim, citizens squabbled and molotov cocktails were thrown through clinic windows, with “NOT IN OUR TOWN” spray painted across the store front. The Montana Medical Marijuana Act was passed since 2004 and folks are still tossing around fire bombs? Really? What seems to be going wrong is Montana’s indecision on just how much liberty it’s willing to dole out within its borders. Remember, this is the same state the Freemen called home, the state which didn’t have a speed limit till the turn of the century, and STILL doesn’t have a sales tax. Kalispell citizens have never been concerned with the opinion of the Federal government in the past, so why are we adding provisions for them in our zoning laws now? If the city is worried about revoked Federal funding, wouldn’t the Feds have stopped giving Kalispell money once they realized unnumbered AR15s have been manufactured within city limits for years, or is it all the legal reefer that’ll set them off? Why add the word “morals” to a law as soon as the issue of marijuana comes up? Would all the smoke block the neon beer signs littering the sidewalk windows? Hopefully, in 2010, Montana will come up with some way to regulate the business behind getting high and gain a better sense of what citizens actually want in their cities and towns. Until that time, patients are left with roadblocks to obtaining their medicine and honest caregivers are left with the same unsettling question each night before they shrug off their soiled Carhartts, scrub their sticky fingers and hit the sack: “Is what I’m doing actually legal?”
k c u L t Po in e t s n i e w by mark
The following verifiable. Not changed as its has bigger fish
story is true and even even the names have been 41 years later and the DEA to fry.
In the fall of 1969 the citizenry of Philadelphia were experiencing a critical pot shortage as a result of the Drug Enforcement Agencies nationwide crackdown of the ‘evil narcotic.’ Had this been biblical times, people would have considered it an 11th plague. It was during this weed drought that, through a series of events categorized as ‘truth is stranger than fiction,’ I was, at the tender age of 20, to have access to a forgotten government planted marijuana field. But first, a very quick history lesson. During World War II the U.S. government planted marijuana to harvest for the manufacture of paper and rope. At the end of the war the fields were destroyed but urban legend had it that so many fields had been planted that some went unscathed due to bureaucratic bungling. And so, it was purported, somewhere in America lay vast fields of seven foot high marijuana plants growing wild. Of course, like most urban legends, not too much credibility 64 • growcoloradomag.com
was given to that conjecture even though it was clearly documented that the Feds had planted those fields. In a classic case of somebody knew somebody who knew somebody I was put in contact with a high school junior named Billy who supposedly had a map of where one of these pot fields was located. He didn’t say how it came into his possession. Actually, to call it a map is like calling a McDonald’s Hamburger filet mignon. It was, to be exact, a paper napkin similar to what you would pull out of a dispenser at a diner with some scribbling on it. The notes said to drive to South Bend, Indiana (yes, home of Notre Dame), and then gave a few vague directions with landmarks. Supposedly the marijuana field was on a plot of private government land that sat adjacent to a corn field. In order to access the field you would have to drive stealthily past a two story farm house occupied by the corn farmer and his family, park at the far end of the corn field, walk 50 feet to a sign marked “Government Property – No Trespassing” hop over a fence and voila, there was the mother lode. Billy (the high school junior who had the
map) claimed he paid $50 for it and asked me to reimburse him $25 as half payment. The rest of our deal was that I would go find and pick the pot and we’d split the first haul. Map, well napkin actually in hand, I headed west on the Pennsylvania turnpike one clear Friday afternoon for the 677 mile journey through State Trooper infested highways. As an extra added bonus Billy had laid a ‘black beauty’ on me so I would not fall asleep at the wheel. Transportation to South Bend would be via my recently purchased new car, a 335 horsepower Plymouth Road Runner. It was fast as hell and a gas guzzler but at 29 cents a gallon fuel was cheaper than soda back then. I loved that car and I knew she would serve me well on this adventure. I left late in the afternoon on a Friday. The beauty of Pennsylvania quickly faded as I drove through the dull and unremarkable landscape of Ohio and Indiana. Despite the drab scenery, my emotions ran high being a mix of excitement tinged with fear knowing my destination and mission. After all, a truckload full of pot got you a 20 year vacation at a Federal Penitentiary in most states. Texas, in extreme cases, could impose the death penalty. But I was 20 and the lure of easy money outweighed any logic or rationale about my actions. I was like a moth drawn to a flame. Exiting route 80 sometime around midnight, I was very excited and nervous that the map might be bogus and I had just spent ten boring hours for naught. I turned left onto a local road per the napkin map, proceeded into town and was encouraged when I saw the first landmark, a Dairy Queen. Shortly thereafter it was a right hand turn down an unpaved road, quietly past a two story farm house (this was looking very promising), until the road ended at a tall corn field. The directions continued, “Walk west about 50 feet and look for a sign stating ‘Government Property – No Trespassing.’” I found the sign, hopped over a four foot fence and then came to a horrible realization. Although I had smoked pot once or twice, I had actually never seen a marijuana plant! So here I had just driven almost 700 miles to pick a plant that I wouldn’t know if it
smacked me in the face. How could I be so stupid? Not even a picture from Billy as to what I was looking for. Well, I’m resourceful and decide that even though I’ve never seen a pot plant, I certainly know what it smells like. And so, with nose held up to the air like a bloodhound, I sniffed around until I came to what I believed to be some pot plants. It was a cool, calm night and the field was illuminated by a full moon. Every time the wind rustled through the plants I was certain the police or farmer were closing in on me. Paranoia was high. Using the duffle bag I had brought, I hastily started ripping up every plant in sight. As I began to pull up the plants the idea of serving jail time as a result of these actions began to set in. All I wanted was to get out of there as quickly as possible without being caught. As I rushed from plant to plant my glasses fell off and now I felt I was truly doomed. It would be a really long drive home without my specs given that I am near- sighted. I dropped to my knees and felt through the 3 inch high grass until I finally found them intact. ‘Thank you, Jesus’ I muttered under my breath – an unusual exultation from a Jewish kid but I was willing to thank any higher power at that point. Duffle bag full, I threw it into the trunk and proceeded eastbound thankful to have gotten away with my illegal stash without being caught. It was about 130AM when I finally got out of there. Now all I had to do was navigate my way home. Obeying all speed limits I figured I’d be okay on the drive home. And I was. Almost. Sometime around 7AM, as the dawn was breaking, nature called so I pulled into a Pennsylvania turnpike rest stop. Bladder relieved, I exited the building to find a PA State Trooper walking around my car. “That’s it, I thought, I am screwed. The tell tale aroma of pot emanating from my trunk must have tipped him off. I am so dead.” I attempted to turn around but before I could do so the Trooper made eye contact with me. There was no turning back now. “This your car?” the Trooper asked. growcoloradomag.com
“Yes sir.” “One of those new Road Runners?” “It is.” “What ‘cha got in it?” 66 • growcoloradomag.com
“A duffle bag full of pot,” I thought. “Excuse me?” I answered out loud barely able to get the words out of my mouth. “What’s the engine in that thing?” the trooper repeated. “Oh, what do I have in there? Under the hood? It’s a 383 cubic inch V-8 with 335 horsepower.”
“I’ll bet she’s a smoker,” remarked the trooper. “Oh there’s PLENTY to smoke in there,” I thought. “You can’t imagine,” I replied politely. “Well, drive safely and obey the speed limits young man.” “Yes sir I sure will,” I answered breathing easier as he got into his car and drove away. I got back into my car and continued to drive carefully home excited to show my roommate Michael my new found stash. Around 1PM I pulled up to my two bedroom carriage house that sat on a lovely five acre estate in Villanova. My roommate attended school there while I worked in a record warehouse. We had known each other since seventh grade and although he was risk averse and I a dare devil we were pretty good friends and enjoyed our cohabitation set up.
Villanova’s campus as grass was totally unavailable and students were clamoring for more. We could sell as much as we could get our hands on and I knew exactly where to get it. As my cost of the grass was essentially zero I was ready to make a killing. I knew where the field was, what a pot plant looked like, and was all set to get rich. I did it once and I could do it again. All I had to do was figure out how to minimize the risk of exposure from the long drive to and from Indiana. The solution was relatively simple. My good friend Jon was a sophomore at a college just outside Chicago, a scant two hour drive from the pot field. I called him up and asked if he could get a hold
Michael was studying when I entered his bedroom and threw the bursting duffel bag onto his bed. “What’s that?” he queried? “A duffle bag full of pot!” Astounded that I could score so much pot during this time of draught he encouraged me to open it. I did so and what was surprised at what I saw. There was a collection of fall foliage from South Bend, Indiana. And when I say fall foliage, I do not include marijuana as an indigenous plant. I emptied out the entire contents and fortunately, there were a few pot plants mixed in with everything else. It had been a long trip for what would net out to be about a pound of pot. And after I gave Billy (the map provider) his half, I’d have about eight ounces. Still, my only cost had been gas and tolls which had totaled about $30 dollars. At $20 an ounce (ahhhh for it to be 1969 again) I’d still gross $160 and net $130. Not bad for a day’s work back then. Michael unloaded the pot within an hour on
of a car. He said he could and wanted to know why but I was too paranoid to discuss anything having to do with pot over the phone. I told him I would fill him in on the details when I flew out to see him. The following Friday after work I flew out to Chicago where Jon picked me up at the growcoloradomag.com
airport. I filled him in on the details and he agreed we would drive to the pot field and do some harvesting. Some two hours later we arrived at the forgotten field and, now with a helper and knowing exactly
placed the bag in the trunk and headed back to his fraternity house where we crashed as it was 3AM. The next morning we awoke to the unmistakable aroma of pot as the duffle bag easily had
what a pot plant looked liked, stuffed the duffel bag in less than thirty minutes. We
50 pounds of the herb. I offered to split it with my friend but he wanted only about
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a pound for his personal use and the rest of the Frat boys. Despite my insistence on splitting it with him, he was determined not to have 12 kilos in his room. We wrapped the pot up in an old sheet and dusted it with baby powder which largely masked the aroma of freshly picked weed. You could still detect the cannabis odor if you got close to the bag and knew what you were smelling, but the primary aroma was that of baby powder. The trip home would be by Greyhound as I was concerned about drug sniffing dogs at the airport. Additionally, I liked the fact that you handed your bag to the bus driver who put it directly on the bus. It was never really out of your sight. And so, late that Saturday afternoon, Jon took me to the Greyhound terminal to catch a 5PM bus to Cleveland where I would change at midnight to a bus for Philadelphia. I said good-bye to my friend, handed the pot laden bag to the driver who deftly placed it in the baggage compartment underneath the bus and we were off. Funny thing about transporting 50 pounds of pot. Everyone on the bus becomes a DEA agent when you know you have so much dope in the baggage compartment. You look around
trying to figure out who is the undercover agent. At some point you even think you can smell the pot emanating from below through the floor. You begin to sweat and wonder what were you thinking when you started this escapade? 50 pounds of pot!? No way I can explain that away as for ‘personal use.” If I got caught, it would be catastrophic. Every two hours the bus stopped for a quick break and with each stop I eyed every passenger for some evidence that they were following me. I was certain I was about to be caught or was being watched. I guess that’s why they call it paranoia. By the time the bus arrived in Cleveland, short of midnight, I was such a nervous wreck that I would have been a perfect candidate for Prozac had such a medication existed in 1969. The Greyhound parked and all passengers exited. As I walked off the bus I came face to face with two Cleveland Police officers who I was sure were there to arrest me. The DEA must have called ahead from Chicago or perhaps the bus driver during one of our rest breaks. My drug dealing days were about to come to an end. As I walked down the steps to exit I almost raised my hands and placed them in the
air demonstrating the universal sign of, “You’ve got me.” Good thing I didn’t as the police didn’t even glance my way and were obviously at the bus station at midnight only as a deterrent for more nefarious characters. I collected my bag with them standing only ten feet away and transferred to the Philadelphia bus. I arrived the next morning in the City of Brotherly Pot without incident and drove directly to my apartment to show Michael the huge stash. No matter what year it is, 50 pounds of grass is a huge amount of weed and conservative Michael was not happy with such an enormous quantity sitting in our living room. We agreed that we would sell it as quickly as possible and, because of the sheer volume of it, sell it only in one pound quantities. We wouldn’t be bothered with ouncing it out and exposing ourselves to hundreds of buyers. No, if you wanted this pot it was a pound or nothing and, at $125 a pound, it was a good buy. The pot draught was still in effect and we were cleaned out within one week. $6250 was our take before some minimal expenses. 70 • growcoloradomag.com
Adjusting for inflation, that’s equal to $36,162 in 2010 dollars. A heady sum of money for a 20 year old. Michael received a 10% commission for unloading the stash on campus still leaving me with a tidy sum. My self-indulgent rewards for my risk taking included the purchase of a Kawasaki 350 motorcycle and the summer rental of a three bedroom beach house down the shore for an entire season. I was living high off the hog and the easy money was fantastic. I’d have to do this again. But I was smart enough to know that the more times you commit a crime, the greater the chance of getting caught. Really smart criminals retire ahead of the game. I had to balance 20 years in jail versus the colossal income. There must be some way I could still profit from the free pot without putting myself in harm’s way. And then it came to me. I’d sell detailed maps of how to get to the hidden pot field. No risk as I am not transporting grass and yet I could still make a few bucks. I constructed a foolproof pamphlet that gave explicit instructions how to get there from all directions AND even include a
drawing of what a pot plant looked like so even neophytes would know what to pick. Selling the maps involved some challenges. If someone told you they wanted to sell you a map of a forgotten pot field you’d be skeptical and such was the case on Villanova’s campus in 1969. So to show good faith the deal was this. The maps cost $200. You pay $100 upfront and we provide you with the map. You drive out to South Bend, locate the field and pick the pot, and then pay the $100 balance upon your return. That way, there was some trust on both ends. You trusted me that there was really a pot field and I you that you’d pay me upon your return. It was a good plan and we sold a lot of maps on the Villanova campus. No risk. No paranoia, just $200 a map. We probably sold a dozen or so adding another $2400 to our bank account and I was very proud of myself for coming up with this ‘legal’ way to make money. And that would be the end of this story save for one final event. One Monday afternoon I was driving home from work listening to WFIL 560AM which was the top 40 pop station in Philadelphia. The news was presented on the hour and half hour. Despite the fact that 41 years have passed I still remember exactly where I was when the following news item came blaring through my car speakers. “Good evening. Our top story at five-thirty tonight involves 12 Villanova students who were arrested last night in South Bend, Indiana at a forgotten government planted marijuana field. The students were found with a detailed map and driving instructions from Philadelphia along with pictures of what the plants look like. The students were arrested when Robert Thompson, a corn farmer who lives next to the field, was awakened by the college students in the middle of the night as they attempted to pick the crop. Charges have been filed against the trespassers.”
apartment to arrest me. They had been found with the maps and I knew the gig was up. Greed had gotten the better of me and now I was going to jail. I drove towards my apartment in concentric circles getting ever closer to my home watchful for any kind of ‘official’ vehicles that might be lurking in wait for me. There were none. As I pulled into my driveway I was still certain that a SWAT team would come out of nowhere but such was not the case. There were no police. No DEA. Nothing. I would find out the next day that the students caught had purchased a 5th generation map. It had never occurred to me that the maps would be copied and recopied and re-sold by the people I sold them to. Obviously they were not copyrighted nor did they contain any statements such as, “For more information contact Mark Weinstein at 215555-1212.” No, there would be no tracing the maps back to me. As for the group of students who got caught, well, someone got greedy and had decided to clean out the entire field. The mastermind loaded up three Volkswagen Micro Busses with a dozen undergrads. Upon arrival at the pot field the gang made such a ruckus that the farmer nextby woke up and called the police. The 12 were charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor, and never served any jail time. And if you question the authenticity of this story you need only contact the South Bend Tribune which will have an article about the arrest of the Villanova students from November 1969. The pot field was officially destroyed shortly thereafter. Boo-hoo.
I sat frozen in my car certain that the DEA, FBI, Philadelphia Police and my mother would be waiting at my carriage house growcoloradomag.com
The Cannabis Consumer: Grow Magazine’s guide through the latest and greatest in cannabis culture, accessories and novelty items.
The Good The Bad and the Ugly—Collectors Edition
Inherent Vice By Thomas Pynchon
Containing the original, additional 31-minute, non-edited version of Sergio Leone’s 1960 classic, this is the Director’s
vision seen in its entirety for the first time. The movie that sat the bar for all Spaghetti Westerns, spawning a thousand imitators along the way, has been extended, digitally remastered, and in this deluxe collectors edition comes with a second disk packed full of behind-the-scenes footage. Four feature documentaries, three vignettes, commentary from the great director, Leone himself, this is a must have for all spaghetti fans.
Every decade or so, the world’s most brilliant and reclusive author returns from nowhere with a new book. This past spring, Thomas Pynchon, author of revered works such as Graffiti’s Rainbow, Ladder 49, and V, returned at the age of seventy-two with a mystery-noir in the hard-boiled tradition of Raymond Chandler. His latest work seems to cater especially to our readers. Inherent Vice is the story of an alwaysstoned private detective named Doc Sportello and his dark and comical journey though the mob, strips clubs, taco stands, and beach freeways of late 1960’s Los Angeles psychedelic Americana. This mammoth work of Manhattan Beach memorabilia is most definitely Pynchon’s cannabis coda, written and sung especially for fans of the green lady he loves the most.
Crazy Heart In a well-deserved nod from the movie moguls, Jeff Bridges was awarded an Oscar for his role as Bad Blake in the movie Crazy Heart. Tracing his path across the southwest, Bridges delivers another painfully accurate portrayal of a roughneck country singer, down on his luck and deep in the bottle, and searching for one more turn at success before it’s too late.
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Tom Waits: The Lowside of The Road By Barney Hoskins The King of Crow Comedy. The Master of Midnight Metaphors. The drunk. The poet. The minstrel, preacher, growler, brawler, and bastard. The enigmatic imagination of Tom Waits has been captivating left-of-center music fans for over thirty years. In Lowside of the Road, the most intimate biography about Waits written to date, the reader is granted a look at the man’s entire career, spanning from the dogeared days of Silverlake and Weho dives to the arena tours of today.
Music LCD Soundsytem: This is Happening For someone who has only released two proper studio albums, James Murphy, the ringleader and main songwriter of electronic outfit LCD Soundsystem has accumulated a massive following in a relatively short period of time. Along with his musical endeavors as an artist, Murphy has also cofounded the New York City dance label, DFA Records (Death from Above), scored an indie soundtrack (Greenberg), and played at nearly every major outdoor festival across the globe (Coachella, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, ATF, Pitchfork) over the past three years. The guy is busy. LCD Soundsystem’s last album, Sound of Silver, was a huge critical darling, an album which Murphy continued to take his analogue influenced palate—Bowie, Eno, Suicide, Killing Joke—and masterfully cuts one catchy, perfectly synchronized single after the next. For his third outing, This is Happening, the electro auteur has decided to tread in a more unfamiliar territory by exploring the inner-singer side he displayed on the recent Greenberg soundtrack. The White Stripes: Under the Great White Northern Lights: CD/DVD Edition
Smoking Accessories: What’s new in the wonderful wide of smoking paraphanelia?
Vortex No more crowding around the sink, pool, or bathtub, the creators at Vortex have fabricated the world’s ultimate gravity bong! Save your throat and lungs a few years by opting for this instead of a joint or a regular glasspiece. The Vortex is very easy to clean, especially with the green glass clean. Beeline Instead of seeking out the newest technological breakthrough in the lab, or manufacturing another shoddy vaporizer, the developers of Beeline decided to go back to the basics. Keep it simple. Smokers vaporize their buds to remove the butane killing agent that are in lighters, by doing so, enhancing not only your health, but also your high. With Beeline, smokers can get the same clean high in a more accessible model—it fits in your pocket—and at an affordable price. (3 dollars for a one-to-three month quantity.)
The candy cane duo that is The White Stripes may not be touring as much as we’d like today, but they have recently released an excellent live CD/DVD recap of their musical tour into the brush of every territory in Canada. And this is not the Canada tucked close along the borders of the United States. Almost none of the major urban centers are entered, as in typical fashion, the Stripes chose instead to visit more unknown, off-the-path places most people have never heard of, let alone seen tastefully documented on gritty black and white handhelds. The result is a raw, heartfelt portrayal of the band—Jack and Meg—in what might have been their final days as a touring outfit. Other recommendations: Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record; Deftones: Diamond Eyes; Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma; Free Energy: Stuck on Nothing; Titus Andronicus: The Monitor; Caribou: Swim; Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me
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Reader’s submissions Canada
The moment we saw these photos we could tell that this was a canadian grow scene. How? The vertical orientation of the lights. For some reason a lot of canadians run their lights vertically. This practice seems to be exclusive to Canada. Based on these photos, its hard to argue with the results. These are some big, healthy, indoor plants. This grower definitely knows what they’re doing. If any readers out there can shed some light as to why American and canadian growers have gone in such different directions, drop us a line at email@example.com
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An underground grow scene. A 20 light grow scene that exemplifies hardcore, west-coast growing. According to the grower, there were a lot of humidity issues, but with a lot of work, the cannabis always came out great. These scenes will likely be extinct in the near future, becoming part of the folklore of a pre-legalization growing culture.
Mendocino County, California
Take a look at the photo below. You may need a magnifying glass to see that a man, 6’6” tall, is standing next to one of the plants. These are hands down some of the largest marijuana bushes we have ever seen.
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