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ISSUE 4 2011


18+ For adults only. Soft Secrets is published six times a year by Discover Publishers USA, Inc.

In this issue: THE WAR ON DRUGS HAS FAILED! A report has just been issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, condemning the ineffective and often damaging policies implemented in the War on Drugs. What does this mean for our industry, and how can we move forward? ›› 5

What if Cannabis Cured Cancer?

›› 7

SEED PIRACY Simon, proprietor of Serious Seeds, explains how the Cannabis seed industry is even more susceptible to piracy than the music world, and what will happen if it’s not prevented. ›› 14

Hemp Kevlar

›› 17

HOW TO FEMINIZE CANNABIS The Devil’s Harvest Seed Company reveal their secrets of Cannabis seed feminization, why they do it and what the future holds for this Amsterdam label. ›› 20

A Cease-Fire in the Drug War? Doesn’t it seem as if overnight, Cannabis has become socially acceptable in America? The Global Commission on Drug Policy has just released a report about the utter failure of the War on Drugs, despite the billions of dollars flushed through it over the years. HR 2306 could present the first-ever modern Federal legislation that would allow peace for the pot industry, since its criminalization in 1937. A mind-blowing documentary called What if Cannabis Cured Cancer is now sweeping the globe, allaying many of the fears regarding medicinal marijuana that plague the medical community – as well as vindicating the thousands of activists and proponents who have been shouting (at seemingly deaf ears) for decades about the merits of our beloved plant. It’s true. Cannabis is not that bad for you. If the product is grown organically and handled carefully, the consumption of the drug – even smoking it, although we cannot deny the dangers of smoking in general – is not physically addictive, and most of the negative consequences of its effects can be directly attributed to the shortcomings of the user. The punitive nature of America’s drug policies has done more harm than good in incarcerating first-time, non-violent individuals who, at worst, should be in drug treatment facilities. In moderation or clinical settings, Cannabis presents a therapeutic substance that treats more ailments than any other single drug in the history of medicine and should not be unjustly demonized. Allowing people to grow weed will not lead to the immediate collapse of human civilization, nor will it plunge our youth into the depths of depravity. We need education, quality control, safe access,

protection for care-givers and patients; but mostly, we need to be TAXED so that cash can be put towards the necessary legislation, organizations and social programs. Sorry, drug dealers: we all know that if weed were ever legalized the price would drop. Why panic? It won’t drop that much, and if laws loosen, the groups of

people who secretly like Cannabis, but avoid it due to issues such as the fact that it’s still absurdly classed as Schedule I, will soon join the ranks of your customer lists. Demand will likely increase, and you can finally go legit! This issue of SSUSA presents a few different ramifications of the War on Drugs, including some of the international effects of bad drug stigma, such as the impending ‘Weed Pass’ in the Netherlands. You’ve all heard for dec-

ades about the freedoms lavished upon the smoking masses in this low-lying nation. Well, it’s all potentially about to crash and burn, as the Dutch government wants to issue marijuana membership cards to legal, tax-paying residents only, restricting their purchases to the one coffeeshop nearest to their house. At a maximum limit of three grams. Read on to find out how this might affect your next vacation.... Finally, no Drug War edition would be complete without a mention of Eddy Lepp. Perhaps one of the most famous Green Prisoners in the world, Eddy is

hardly visible in the Cannabis press, despite his famous arrest and incarceration. Due to his contributions to the medical Cannabis community over the years, we felt that he deserved a ‘visit’. It’s ironic that some of the very pioneers who assisted in the liberalization of US pot laws are locked away and cannot enjoy the new freedom themselves. Things are looking up, folks; however, we’ve still got a long way to go towards complete legalization. How are you helping?



Something Missing? Don’t see your company, product or techniques featured in the pages of SSUSA? Wish your activist organization could get a little free press? Contact us! Are you or is someone you know particularly gifted with a camera? Then why not submit your amateur photos to SSUSA? They could end up on the cover! Subject is of your choosing, and an emphasis on Cannabis is absolutely not necessary. Be as creative and expressive as possible, and you might just see your work on the front page, or within the next issue of Soft Secrets USA. Photographers will be credited for their work. Cannabis photos are rarely used for cover shots. Oh, and let’s keep it classy, people! Not into photography but still have an interesting talent or story? Contact us if

you think you deserve a place in our publication. Feel free to let us know about new books, television and film projects; festivals, events and demonstrations, medical advances, green prisoners or even interesting companies who deserve a little support and media coverage. We love hemp, and are always happy to highlight the innovations that make this industry so exciting. We hope to hear from you. * Press concerns and photos (minimum resolution 300dpi @ 4x4 inches) may be emailed to Kristie@softsecrets.nl. * All submissions will be handled with discretion. Soft Secrets USA is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, either for graphics or text.


The Warlock was created in the early 1990s by Gerrit, the owner and breeder of Magus Genetics. Due to personal circumstances Gerrit was not able to continue his business and we from Serious Seeds decided to incorporate the strains of Magus Genetics into our program.

Warlock has a sweet smell with a tinge of sour, reminiscent of fresh fruits. The effect is felt very quickly after the toke and is a strong high, which is felt more in the head than in the body. Due to its high THC content, the Warlock has good medical qualities for pain relief and against insomnia. Name: Pedigree:

Warlock Mostly indica (Skunk/Afghani x Afghani) Breeder: Gerrit from Magus Genetics Producer: Serious Seeds Height: Short and bushy Weight: Good yielder (400-500g/m2) Flowering Time: 55-60 days


The Warlock won the 3rd place at the High Times Cannabis Cup in 1997. Short and bushy during the vegetative period, it grows huge, compact buds with few leaves in flowering. Especially indoors the Warlock is a good yielder, with a harvest of 400-500g per square meter. The clear white pistils change to a tan/pinkish color when ripe.

Cease-Fire in the Drug War? Page 3 Girl: Warlock The War on Drugs Has Failed! What if Cannabis Cured Cancer? HR 2306 Strain Awards Eddy Lepp Dutch Weed Pass Seed Piracy Hemp Kevlar How to Feminize Cannabis Didymium Glasses Mila’s Journey Rolling Papers Breeding Grubbycup’s Stash Pollinator Company HT Medical Cannabis Cup International Seed Market Thanks, Jacques Kalamata & Panama Red LED Trial: Critical Jack Male Cannabis Dangerous Pastry Royal Queen Seeds Hy’s Deli by oz. A Stoned Selection Gil Scott-Heron Gay Pride San Francisco Colophon

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The War on Drugs Has Failed! Since the last hundred years, the international approach to drugs has been one of intolerance, harsh repression and propaganda – as well as a recognized waste of taxpayers’ hard earned cash. Most of us with a basic understanding of market and social dynamics have known that it was an approach bound to fail. History has shown this on numerous accounts. However, governments worldwide have so far refused to adjust their approach, but for a very few pioneers. In the first week of June however, it was surprising to read that the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a part of the United Nations, had published an article recognizing the failure of the War on Drugs and offering a set of principles and recommendations to efficiently tackle the issue. Buddy Kush

When the decision was made to start an official war against the use of drugs back in the early 20th century, everyone thought it would be for the best. Mind you, waves of propaganda and misinformation were very efficient in convincing the citizens of the risks these drugs brought to the established order and moral values of the new world. The war on Cannabis is the perfect example. Not only was this drug considered to be responsible for the moral depravity spreading through the US via foreign immigrants; it also affected white people by encouraging them to abandon their moral values. More exactly, it was also accused of causing depravity in white women who, after having consumed the drug, would start listening to the Devil’s music – which we now call ‘Jazz’, by the way – and to be promiscuous with black men. Substances leading to violence, depression, hard-drug use, the death of brain cells and mental disorders: these are some of the many scare tactics used over the decades to convince people of the dangers of drug-use, reinforcing the apparent need to combat it by any means possible... ANY means possible. In 2010, The Financial Times estimated that the War on Drugs had far-surpassed the trillion-dollar mark, with budgets surpassing $40B a year in America alone.

Despite this, governments continue to invest increasing amounts of funds into a losing battle. If we are to look at relevant historical references, it is easy to spot the correlation between prohibition, increased use, insecurity, ill health and criminality: the alcohol prohibition that took place in the 1920s. The results of prohibition remain the same today as they were then. WAR ON DRUGS REPORT, JUNE 2011 In their new report, the Global Commission on Drug Policy published data claiming that rather than dropping, Cannabis, cocaine and opiate use have all increased over a ten year period (1998-2008) with a respective increase of 8.5%, 27% and 34.5%. With no regulation whatsoever, consumers also have to deal with insecurity in obtaining the drug, high prices and no quality control – which can potentially lead to disastrous health issues. And who pays the price for all this? One simple answer: you and me, the taxpayers. With no other source of income, the government has to use taxation to finance its inefficient war. So, to sum up, taxpayers pay the government to ultimately help the very criminals it claims to fight against. This situation is one of which many are aware: politicians, economists, sociologists – as well as the criminals involved. And yet nothing has really changed since the War on Drugs first started. A couple of countries decided upon new approach-

DRUG PROMOTION (PHOTO BY MANTAS RUZVELTAS) es, broadly generating an uproar from neighboring nations and international press. To give a concrete example, on the first of July, 2001, Portugal decriminalized the use of drugs. While drug use and possession are still legally prohibited, violations of those prohibitions are considered as administrative violations, not criminal offenses. Having heard of this decision, neighboring countries were quick to paint gloomy pictures of the country’s future, claiming it would see increased drug use amongst youth and become a drug user’s haven. Even though Portugal was able to show positive results over the last ten years, other countries still stubbornly deny that a new approach is needed.

Enter the Global Commission on Drug Policy Together with a group of illustrious commissioners (amongst whom were George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece; Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico; Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve and Economic Recovery Board and Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations), the Global Commission on Drug Policy has recognized the need to re-evaluate the international approach to drug use and production. In a publication released in the beginning of June 2011, the Commission has officially recognized the utter failure of the War on Drugs – as well as the devastating consequences it has had on society and its members.


Their conclusions are basic and most are obvious, given a bit of thought: to ‘End the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.’ Also, to:

6 ‘encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation... especially [with regards] to Cannabis’ and ‘offer health and treatment services to those in need.’ An ultimate goal is ‘to rethink the approach now in place with regards to people involved in the lower end of the illegal drug markets, to invest in drug prevention and drug education, to focus repressive actions on violent criminal organizations[;] but first and foremost to begin the transformation of the “global drug prohibition regime” by replacing current measures with responsible policies and strategies built on facts and not on ideology and political convenience.’

The Measure Themselves: In order to tackle this vast task, the Commission has agreed upon a list of four principles and eleven recommendations they hope can help rectify the situation. Based on discussion, plus medical-, socialand political experiments done internationally, the conclusions are as follows:

The Principles: 1. Base drug policies on solid evidence. 2. Base drug policies on human rights and public health principles. 3. Policies should be a global, shared responsibility, taking diverse political, social and cultural realities into consideration. 4. Drug policies must be pursued in a comprehensive way, involving all relevant parties (families, health specialists, law enforcement etc.) This seems a very commendable set of principles, which can easily be applied given the extensive research done internationally by recognized authorities. There are exceptions though, because of certain countries which, even today, forbid research into certain drugs. More than that, decades’ worth of propaganda will have to be addressed before any truly unbiased conclusion can be reached. To this end, all concerned parties (families,

organized crime and traffickers, thereby reducing the harms linked to the underground market. 7. Develop new sentences for first-time/ small-scale dealers. 8. Invest more in evidence-based prevention, with a special focus on youth. 9. Offer a wide and easily accessible range of options for treatment of drug dependence. 10. The UN must provide leadership in global drug policy reform. 11. The War on Drugs has failed. We must act now! A very good first step. And indeed, considering the problem rationally (not emotionally) and learning from past mistakes is the key to moving things forward. It is essential to everything we do in life. You try an approach, judge the results and, if lacking, adapt it – modify it to suit your needs. In this case, it is time for the relevant institutions to face the facts. Judging the success of the War on Drugs by the number of arrests made, the number of drugs intercepted, is not in any way a measure of success – especially when the consumption of said drug continues to rise. It is time for us to face the issue head-on and adapt. As many have said before, drug use will never cease, so long as a curious mind exists.


To be Perfected… Stimulating governments to experiment with regulation and decriminalization – as countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal have done – has proven that a less repressive approach leads not only to lower drug use but also to less health issues linked to their consumption. Through open discussion and effective education, we can not only ensure that the misconceptions are dispersed, but also give everyone the information necessary for them to be able to make an educated decision with regards to drug use. This would thereby limit drug use linked to external influences such


placed at the top; small scale dealers come next, followed by larger scale dealers and organized crime forming the wide base. It is quite an accurate representation of the control each group has on the market. This dynamic will not change unless the legality of drug use and production in itself is revised. Until this is done, the control of the drug market and the funds it generates will remain as they are. How will

STIMULATING GOVERNMENTS TO EXPERIMENT WITH REGULATION AND DECRIMINALIZATION HAS PROVEN THAT A LESS REPRESSIVE APPROACH LEADS NOT ONLY TO LOWER DRUG USE, BUT ALSO TO LESS HEALTH ISSUES the health sector, society’s leaders) will actively need to take part in order to start rectifying generations’ worth of misinformation.

The Recommendations: 1. Pursue an open debate and break through the taboo surrounding drugs. 2. Stop considering drug users criminals and offer them health and treatment services to those in need. 3. Encourage experimentation with regulation models designed to undermine organized crime and benefit the health and security of end users. 4. Establish better methods to measure the progress. 5. Challenge misconceptions about drug users, the drugs market, drug use in itself and drug dependency. 6. Countries continuing to invest heavily in law enforcement should focus on

as peer pressure, socio-economic status or, naturally, the ‘forbidden fruit’ effect, allowing institutions to focus on drug use linked to larger social issues (childhood trauma, neglect, living conditions, etc.) which truly do need attention. This is why extensive efforts must be made to provide adequate resources for prevention – with a focus on the ‘sensitive’ social groups such as youths – as well as the developing of easy access to treatment for the people suffering from drug dependencies. There are a couple of notions that appear to be lacking, however (i.e. points six and seven). If one looks at the current structure of drug trade/use, it can be summarized in a pyramidal structure with the end-user

a continually repressive approach to dealers help in curbing consumption? Instead, we should discuss the possible creation of licenses allowing the production of these drugs. Together with the necessary regulations and quality controls this could create a more secure, trustworthy means of distribution, create jobs and economic income and reduce health risks (with regard to altered substances), while also eliminating the need for an illegal market in one fell swoop.

Conclusions Isn’t it amusing that these facts – which have been preached by activists for years – are finally being acknowledged now that a group of governmental celebrities is repeating them? Regardless, there is no denying that, despite certain shortcomings, this publication has created waves throughout international press and has

really opened up the debate about our approach to drugs worldwide. The necessary steps towards rectifying the situation will contain big challenges. Not only will economic interests shift – imagine what will happen to the paper-, textile-, petrochemical- and construction industries the day hemp is fully legalized – but entire new markets will appear. This will create new jobs, as well as revenues that the government can then tax to finance rehabilitation centers, prevention, educational initiatives and so forth. However, we must also take other social repercussions into account. Imagine how many people profit from the War on Drugs: the prison industry, security firms, law enforcement, pharmaceutical companies, etc. The day our approach to drugs evolves, they could potentially find themselves without employment. It is therefore important to be critical, to keep all these facts in mind and to discuss the issue in its entirety to guarantee as smooth a transition as we can. Needless to say we’ll be doing our part. What about you? For more information on the report, check online at: http://www.globalcommission ondrugs.org/report



What if Cannabis Cured Cancer? THIS MINDBLOWING FILM EXPLAINS HOW AND WHY WE GET HIGH FROM CANNABIS, AND WHY WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR THE SAKE OF THE HUMAN RACE. Ever wondered why Cannabis gets you high? It’s no accident. After millions of years of evolution (beginning with the humble sea squirt) humans have developed a sophisticated system of receptors – one of the densest of its type in the human body – specifically designed to accept the exact chemical compounds produced by the Cannabis plant. However, their original intent was to receive the same compounds when produced by the human body, known as endogenous cannabinoids, or endoSativa Diva cannabinoids. You read that correctly: human beings produce the endogenous version of the herbal cannabinoids responsible for the myriad effects brought about by the consumption of weed. Whether you ingest, drink, smoke or vaporize it, the unique combination of these compounds, plus a few others, blends together to present the exact flavor, smell, effect and duration of each of your favorite strains. Writer and director Len Richmond has stunned viewers with a masterpiece documenting the bio-chemistry of Cannabis: What if Cannabis Cured Cancer answers questions that viewers perhaps never thought to ask. Activists from within the community will rejoice: the merits of med-

but extremely in-depth, education into the physical workings of these substances. The documentary begins with a brief education on the ancient relationship between Cannabis and humans. Anthropological conjecture exists over whether Cannabis consumption somehow stimulated early human language skills; in other realms, such as ethno-botany, scientists claim that hemp was the first intentionally cultivated plant, causing a shift from hunter/gatherer societies to static, agrarian ones. Whether or not the above are true, one cannot argue about the proven role and functions that cannabinoids (endogenous- or herbal) have in the human body. Most animals and other organisms also have cannabinoid receptors, but research diverges here as the functions sometimes differ between species. The endo-cannabinoid system, or ECS, is responsible for modulating energy intake, nutrient transport and metabolism, and storage. This means that our very most precious and essential systems are being aided in function and control by the ECS, including the nervous-, circulatory-, reproductive- and immune systems. If Cannabis (and the drug compounds therein) is so dangerous, then why do we produce nearly atomically-twin substances that our body requires to survive? According to Di Marzo (1998), we need our ECS for mechanisms that help us to ‘relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect’. Forget what? According to Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the man who discovered THC in 1964, ‘We need to have a way to

One of the reasons that Cannabis does not physically addict is because of our ECS – our bodies recognize cannabinoids. Many of its protective and therapeutic effects may be attributed to the ability of these substances to move freely through the ‘brain/blood barrier’, which protects the brain from infection and other harm. Due to the oily nature of the cannabinoids (the stuff that spreads all over your fingers when you handle buds) the compounds are easily able to slip between the two parts of the body, and this is especially important for brain cancer patients. Not only does smoking moderate amounts of weed NOT cause cancer, but cannabinoids actually have a semi-protective effect on the body, shielding healthy cells and inciting the ‘suicide’ of cancer cells. It is this action that takes place when certain cannabinoids pass into the brain, where they can then destroy cancer cells in a carefully-guided attack. THC has also been medically-proven to slow the growth of breast- and lung cancer tumors, as well as virus-induced leukemia.

Some important cannabinoid functions: THC: Mimics the body’s own ECS; bronchial dilator, anti-depressant, encourages cancer cell death, slows growth of lungand breast cancer, virus-induced leukemia. CBD: Non-psychoactive, sedative, antiinflammatory, fights diabetes, malignant tumors and bacterial infections, neuroprotector, anti-epileptic, anti-psychotic, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety). CBN: Primary product of THC degradation; affects the impact of THC. THCV: Mostly in S. African/Thai strains; makes ‘high’ come on faster but last less time; fights

LEN RICHMOND HAS STUNNED VIEWERS WITH A MASTERPIECE DOCUMENTING THE BIO-CHEMISTRY OF CANNABIS: WHAT IF CANNABIS CURED CANCER ANSWERS QUESTIONS THAT VIEWERS PERHAPS NEVER THOUGHT TO ASK ical Cannabis are explained empirically, providing physical, scientific evidence that will only fail to silence opponents to medical marijuana if they choose to entirely ignore the research. Hard facts replace conjecture, presenting a quick,

forget, or we... will burst.’ It is a known fact that the lack of pain memory is one of the more important evolutionary aspects of our bodies. Perhaps short-term memory isn’t such a bad thing after all. In addition, the ECS regulates our moods.

Type II diabetes, has protective, preventative effect against malignant tumors. CBC: Found in extremely low levels; may act as anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory; strongly inhibits tumor growth in leukemia and breast cancer.


Cannabinoid impact on cancer: Seeking out cancer cells and preferentially killing them. Anti-proliferative (inhibits cell growth). Anti-angiogenic (prevents fresh blood supply to tumors). Anti-metastatic (stops cancer’s ability to spread). Apoptopic (hastens death of cancer cells). Many people like to believe they truly ‘know everything there is to know about Cannabis’. If you haven’t seen this film, then that’s definitely not true. Even if you already knew much of the information covered in What if Cannabis Cured Cancer, be assured that your education will still have been expanded through the watching of this astonishing film. If nothing else, you will obtain the peace of mind that comes with certainty: everything we’ve been saying for years about the benefits of Cannabis has been true, and is now scientifically-proven. Naysayers, doubters, growers, smokers, activists, doctors; anyone who has ever had an opinion about Cannabis must watch this film and truly become enlightened. Written and directed by Len Richmond Narrated by Peter Coyote Edited by Massimo Mazzucco Running Time: 60 minutes - Color - Stereo - DVD » www.lenrichmondfilms.com

















HR 2306: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 A MAJOR SHIFT IN THE APPROACH TO US MARIJUANA LEGISLATION... On June 23rd, 2011 the bi-partisan bill, HR 2306, was proposed to Congress by Ron Paul (R., Texas), Barney Frank (D., Mass.), and four further democrats: Reps. John Conyers (Mich.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Jared Polis (Colo.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.). It seeks to remove marijuana regulation from the jurisdiction of the Federal government and hand it back to the state, as was effectively the case prior to 1937. While previous proposed bills have sought to limit Federal control or legalize certain aspects of marijuana or hemp, this is the first that seeks to entirely remove Federal control (at least within state boundaries), and as such is a milestone in the saga of Cannabis politics. The bill’s authors do however stress that it is ‘not a legalization bill’, contrary to many of the more sensationalist reports appearing in By Kali Mist the initial days following the announcement. The bill is being publicized using the decades-old but still effective argument: that prohibition of alcohol had negative effects so severe it was quickly deemed unworkable – and for the same reasons, continued prohibition of Cannabis should be acknowledged as pointless

outspoken criticism of US monetary- and foreign policies. Many more moderate Republicans seek to distance themselves from him, but despite (or perhaps due to) his apparent eccentricity he enjoys a wide following. He has a proven record over the past few years on pro-marijua-





ground in marijuana campaigning and a consistent pro-hemp voting record, having signed the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 (HR1866 2009-H1866) to ‘grant each state regulating authority for the growing and processing of industrial hemp.’ Frank also authored the State’s Right to Medical Marijuana Act in 2001, and in 2008 proposed the Personal Use

RON PAUL HAS LENT HIS NAME TO AN OTHERWISE ALL-DEMOCRAT PROPOSITION and damaging to society. The expectation is that the excessive levels of criminality involved in the Cannabis industry will decrease with the more favorable legislation and regulations many states have already begun to implement. The legislation would limit Federal interference in marijuana law enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling. Federal raids on dispensaries would no longer occur as citizens invoking their right to cultivate, sell and smoke marijuana – where it is not prohibited by state law – would no longer be committing a Federal offense. Production, sale and taxation of Cannabis would be wholly regulated by state authorities. HR 2306, with its bi-partisan authorship, has attracted significant media attention. Much has been made of the so-called ‘unlikely’ partnership between Ron Paul and Barney Frank, and it is true that on many issues their views are entirely unaligned. However, they have teamed up in the past to campaign for reductions in military spending, as well as to campaign in favor of online gambling within the US. When it comes to marijuana, it’s clear there is yet another subject upon which they agree – and have done for some time. Republican Congressman for Texas’s 14th District, Presidential candidate, and de facto leader of the libertarian Tea Party movement, Dr. Ron Paul is known for his

na issues. His stance is informed by a long belief in the states’ ability to govern themselves, a strong dislike of the ‘nanny state’ – and belief in self-determination and our inherent freedom to decide what to put into our bodies.

of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act (HR 5843) which initially died in committee, and was re-proposed in 2009, only to die again. This bill was each time co-sponsored and supported by Ron Paul, and was in itself remarkable in that

and Frank continue their liaisons in the future and that Dr. Paul would remain so emphatically in favor of pro-marijuana legislation – were his presidential campaign to prove successful. Although the bill is sure to be opposed by many, and is unlikely to pass committee, let alone the House, vote, it is a positive step in the continuing effort to raise awareness in political circles. It comes at a very relevant time – just after the Global Commission on Drug Policy released statements to the effect that the War on Drugs has so far been a failure, and that nations should begin reviewing current drug policy with a possible view to eventual legalization. With levels of public interest remaining high, there is a

HR 2306 SEEKS TO REMOVE MARIJUANA REGULATION FROM THE JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND HAND IT BACK TO THE STATE, AS WAS EFFECTIVELY THE CASE PRIOR TO 1937 As a staunch supporter of small government, it would be contradictory to his stance to condone Federal control over most everyday aspects of life. Nevertheless, his interest in pro-marijuana legislation apparently extends beyond the hypothetical: Paul has even promoted the cause of industrial hemp in the past, showing not only the level to which this elder statesman is informed, but also the level of his enthusiasm and commitment to the cause. Frustration that people are being wrongly-deprived of medical marijuana due to outdated and restrictive laws is a sentiment strongly echoed in several of Paul’s previous statements. Barney Frank, the popular liberal, Democratic House Representative of the 4th District of Massachusetts– the second openly gay member of the House of Representatives – also has a strong back-

it was the first that sought to remove marijuana legislation from the Federal level – but limited to personal amounts, with trafficking offenses remaining under Federal jurisdiction. So, despite not always agreeing on matters of policy, it seems that the link between these two very different politicians is not so tenuous after all. Such bi-partisan arrangements – while not uncommon – are likely to attract more attention in the media, and thus Ron Paul has lent his name to an otherwise all-Democrat proposition. Paul is no stranger to controversy, and as a 2012 Presidential hopeful, this bill could be deemed a well-timed move to guarantee media coverage and increased support from a wider demographic. However, all cynicism aside, all such publicity is good publicity for the Cannabis cause. It is to be hoped that Congressmen Paul

good chance of this bill getting at least a little floor time, and perhaps a few more Congressional Representatives will stop and think for a moment longer when considering HR 2306.




StrainGeniusLab Awards Best Pain Relieving Strain Award (High THC)

Sovereign og, Sovereign, SGL02191

With this strain scoring high at nearly 20% THC, this indica is sure to take your pain away – and probably your sensibilities too. Beginners beware! Too much of a toke from these beauties and you’ll find yourself in couch-lock paranoia. Even the cartoons you’re watching on the television set will know how high you are. Connoisseurs: rejoice, relax, and enjoy this Sovereign OG from Sovereign.

Cannabinoid 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Cannabidiol Cannabinol 8-Tetrahydrocannabinol Cannabichromene Cannabicyclol Cannabielsoin Cannabigerol Cannabinidiol Cannabitriol Miscellaneous types


Best Anxiety Relief Award (High CBD) While we see many great rating THC strains every day, the rarest of the rare are high CBD (Cannabidiol) strains. These are an interesting breed that, strangely enough, are known for their properties in not getting you too high. They maintain many pain relief qualities, but are best known for their exceptional anxiety relief. It’s a completely different experience that we highly recommend. So if you need to pass that calculus test, but need to take the edge off, pick up some Platinum Bubba from Paragon. Remember though, not all strains are created equal! We’ve seen several Bubba strains with no CBD content at all. So hats off to these master growers for cultivating this rare gem.

Sexiest Strain Award

% 21.98 % 0.61 % 0.19 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 %

Platinum Bubba, Paragon, SGL01328

Indica Non-Organic Indoor

Cannabinoid 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol 9-THC Cannabidiol CBD Cannabinol CBN

General Effects % Analgesic, neuro-protector, appetite stimulant 17.52 % Anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, inhibits cancer cell growth 1.86 % Modifies ‘high’, byproduct of THC degradation 0.60 %

Paragon 77928 Paladas Rd. Palm Desert, CA 92211 (951) 219-4600

Downtown Collective, 1600 South Hill St. Unit D., Los Angeles, CA 90015, (213) 746-8420

Indica Non-Organic Indoor

Cannabinoid 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol 9-THC Cannabidiol CBD Cannabinol CBN 8-Tetrahydrocannabinol 8-THC Cannabichromene CBC Cannabicyclol CBL Cannabielsoin CBE Cannabigerol CBG Cannabinidiol CBND Cannabitriol CBT Miscellaneous types

Pretty in Purple Award We can’t help ourselves. We’re always blown away by the purps. They leap off the camera lens begging ‘Look at me, dahling!’ It’s a difficult choice to choose the best; however, the A1 Purple from The Green Door Collective is a clear winner. She’s a dark burgundy, reminiscent of a plum-colored Cabernet. Her trichomes are lined up in perfect single-file for your viewing pleasure.

Harry likes ‘em hairy, and the Red Warrior doesn’t disappoint. At 20.22% THC, she could be the strongest weapon on the battlefield, and she’ll visually enchant anyone who sets their on eyes upon her. This red-headed stepchild is bursting with supermodel appeal. Beneath that amazing head of thick, sunset hairs are glowing white bulbs just begging for your vaporizer.

General Effects Analgesic, neuro-protector, appetite stimulant Anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, inhibits cancer cell growth Modifies ‘high’, byproduct of THC degradation Additional information coming soon Additional information coming soon Additional information coming soon Additional information coming soon Additional information coming soon Additional information coming soon Additional information coming soon Additional information coming soon

Louis XIII , Downtown Collective, SGL02337

The Downtown Collective has a winner this month with their picturesque Louis XIII. Behold the greenest of greens! It’s as if you could see nature’s essence flowing through this beauty. She boasts a gorgeous glow with well-placed hairs and bright, alive trichomes throughout. This strong indica is great for an afternoon of relaxation or an after work couch party. Feeling lonely? Wrap your lips around nature’s most fertile Louis XIII.

Uncle Harry’s Mistress Award

Photos by: Nick Angilello

General Effects % Analgesic, neuro-protector, appetite stimulant 20.22 % Anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, inhibits cancer cell growth 0.89 % Modifies ‘high’, byproduct of THC degradation 0.61 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 %

A1 Purple, The Green Door San Diego, SGL02323

Indica Organic Indoor

Cannabinoid 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol 9-THC Cannabidiol CBD Cannabinol CBN 8-Tetrahydrocannabinol 8-THC Cannabichromene CBC Cannabicyclol CBL Cannabielsoin CBE Cannabigerol CBG Cannabinidiol CBND Cannabitriol CBT Miscellaneous types

General Effects % Analgesic, neuro-protector, appetite stimulant 17.14 % Anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, inhibits cancer cell growth 0.47 % Modifies ‘high’, byproduct of THC degradation 0.11 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 %

Master Kush, Chronically Inclined , SGL02207

Indica Organic Greenhouse

Cannabinoid 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol 9-THC Cannabidiol CBD Cannabinol CBN 8-Tetrahydrocannabinol 8-THC Cannabichromene CBC Cannabicyclol CBL Cannabielsoin CBE Cannabigerol CBG Cannabinidiol CBND Cannabitriol CBT Miscellaneous types

General Effects % Analgesic, neuro-protector, appetite stimulant 20.22 % Anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, inhibits cancer cell growth 0.86 % Modifies ‘high’, byproduct of THC degradation 0.34 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 % Additional information coming soon. 0.00 %

The Green Door San Diego, San Diego, CA




Eddy Lepp Speaks Eddy Lepp owned and operated Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens in Lake County, CA until his conviction and sentencing in 2008. His garden was operated in compliance with California State law, but in conflict with Federal law. Judge Marilyn Patel noted the ten-year mandatory minimum was excessive, but did not mitigate his sentence. Today, Eddy is housed at Lompoc Federal Prison Camp in California, Grubbycup awaiting appeal. A Rastafari minister, Eddy’s congregation was comprised of cancer patients, AIDS patients and other medical users seeking to grow their own medicinal Cannabis – and Rastafarian sacrament. He became involved with helping people connect with safe access to medical Cannabis after his father was diagnosed with cancer. The illness made eating difficult for his father, and smoking marijuana helped. “At his memorial his doctor told me I added several months to his life by having him smoke marijuana.” When asked about his first wife Linda, Eddy explains, “Either you never met her or you loved her. She was a healer and was able to help many people. She was one of the kindest souls I have ever met and just about all who knew her will testify to that. She was special. She was my ‘Little Bitty Pretty One.’”

Rev. Eddy contends that the religious use of Cannabis is nothing new: “It is the main ingredient in the holy anointing oil in the Bible. I have kept my word as Jah did for me.” Sadly, Linda passed away shortly before Eddy was arrested.

Arrested in California, Eddy inhabited the gray area between what states claim to be the rights of its citizens to seek non-pharmaceutical relief, versus the overseeing Federal government’s more restrictive stance. “I broke no laws in the state of California. I am most definitely a political prisoner. ‘Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens and MultiDenominational Chapel of Cannabis and Rastafari’ was a dream, a belief that we could help ourselves and others without help or aid from the government, which we proved (in spite of where I am) that we could do.” Irrigated by a drip system with overhead misters, and using natural and organic nutrients, 25 acres of land were held by the Church for use by the congregation.

indoors allows for increased security and seasonal flexibility, but artificial lighting is much more expensive than using natural sunlight. “From what I understand they are all indoors and that makes them cost prohibitive. Most dispensaries charge $15-$25 a gram for medical marijuana. Through the Church the cost was about a dollar a gram.” Cannabis has been illegal in California for less than 100 years; the re-legalization movement seems to be making progress, and pressure from citizens to restore that freedom to the citizenry is mounting. In a democracy, the will of the majority of the population should determine the direction of government. As the number of states where democratically-passed leg-

MOST DISPENSARIES CHARGE $15-$25 A GRAM FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA. THROUGH THE CHURCH THE COST WAS ABOUT A DOLLAR A GRAM. There are eight million people without health insurance in California, and medical care charges more to private citizens than it does to insurance companies. Current prescription costs are beyond the financial grasp of many. According to Eddy, the legalized extortion of money that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies are allowed to enjoy in this

“We started in December with plants going into the ground. In March they were still being planted. We were still planting as late as May or June.”

islation allowing some local use of marijuana rises, at some point the Federal government should accept the will of the citizens.

The Church was “loved and wellreceived.” The Church made charitable donations to the local poor, and offered a way for people to obtain medical

“I believe they have already lost the fight but, as a rattlesnake with a broken back, they are still striking out at everyone in their death throes... it is only a matter of time.” Time goes slowly for imprisoned Eddy. “Life in prison is very boring. There is little to do and less to care about. I [play] Bocci, read, write. The guys I am in here with, many of them are wonderful people and we would all be better off with many of them home with their families, helping.” Eddy eventually remarried, after the loss of his first wife, to a woman whom he says “is the love of my life, my friend, my partner, my strength. She goes to many events and never tires of telling the world of our FIGHT FOR JUSTICE.”

Linda developed thyroid cancer, and again forced Eddy to watch a loved one suffer, highlighting the problems related to using only traditional cancer treatments. When she developed cancer, he “made a promise to Jah (God) that in exchange for spiritual strength for his wife, he would devote the rest of [his] life to helping people and telling them about the Sacred Plant.”


country means they “are really no worse than the rest of Corporate America. Big business is killing this country. It began with FDR and has resulted in the loss of our greatest asset: the great American farmer. If the big business and the banks aren’t brought to heel soon, I fear for our future as a world power, and sadly as a nation.”


Cannabis without paying black market prices or contributing to the cash flow of underworld smugglers. Even while Eddy is serving out his sentence for similar activities, California cities, such as Oakland, discuss making provisions for large scale licensed indoor cultivation. Growing Cannabis



There are six-and-a-half more years remaining in Eddy’s sentence, and an appeal is in process. Eddy advises to get the most out of Cannabis: “Go slow and enjoy the benefits, especially the closer relationships you will have with the ‘most high’ as you understand it. I am never closer to Jah as when I use the Sacred Herb. If you believe in something, follow your dreams. If you try and work hard enough they will all come TRUE.” To learn more about Eddy’s case and those of other Green Prisoners, visit » www.Green-Aid.com. Peace, love and puka shells, Grubbycup





Dutch Weed Pass: THANK YOU, PLEASE DON’T COME AGAIN Well, as I write this, the Dutch government is busy banging another nail into the coffin of Cannabis tourism. They have decided they don’t want your dollars any more and the next time you visit Europe they’d prefer if you went elsewhere to smoke your dope. In a brain-churning stroke of ostrich politics, they want to turn our coffeeshops into private clubs, off limits to you and all other visitors to Holland. Yes, folks, should you come to visit the fair city of Amsterdam and want to buy some weed, then you’re out of luck… unless you have a ‘wietby O’Riodon pas’ (weed pass). Unfortunately you can only get one of these if you’re a legal, tax paying resident, but it doesn’t stop there. In order to get a pass you have to register your name, address and social security number; also, the pass is only valid in the coffeeshop nearest to where you live. They even know when you buy and how much because payment must be done with a bank card – no more cash. This could be a law within six months. After that, tourists will potentially only be able to access the passes from their hotel reception or doormen; or, they will just have to buy off the street. Quality will go down and there is the added opportunity to get involved in a violent street crime. This is sending us back to the ‘80s, when we had lots of bad drugs and violence on the streets, and tourists were ripped off all the time. Today, Amsterdam is a clean, friendly city, visited by millions of people and (according to the statistics) a quarter of them will safely visit a coffeeshop, a tradition as Dutch as tulips and cheese. To close

THIS TINY CARD COULD INCITE A HUGE UPROAR. (PHOTO: MARCEL VAN HOORN) them to visitors is not only stupid, but discriminatory and a denial of people’s rights. The city of Amsterdam is against the plan and a number of other cities in Holland have also expressed doubts; they would prefer a more liberal approach, but the government in The Hague is not listening, despite all the advice to the contrary. When the Minister of Justice was asked about the increase in street dealing that would follow such a move, his reply was simply, ‘the police will deal with it.’ They’ve just cut the police force. In their war on the growers, private companies now deal with a large part of the busts. Sure, it is the police who serve the warrant and make the arrest, but then private enterprise takes over. Weed may be ‘legal’ in the

do. When medical marijuana became big news in the States, they realized it was an opportunity to do the same in Holland, with a few changes. Whereas the US system is run by medical practitioners, ours will be run by the justice department and they will want everybody’s name and number. This is the same justice department that carries out more telephone taps than any other country in the world. Meanwhile in the criminal world, champagne corks are already popping; the move will expand an already huge black market. This is a mistake of Himalayan proportions and experts have told them so, but the government will not listen. This is a moment for some clear-headed thinking and an admission that recreational

wants to push the price to over thirty dollars a gram and then tax it. The new weed pass will fit very well into their plan, because they will have everybody’s bank- and personal details. What if this information falls into the wrong hands? It could have far-reaching effects: denial of auto insurance; negatively impact a job application or a custody hearing, etc.. This is dangerous territory and infringes upon our human rights. Fortunately there are number of groups challenging the law on the grounds of discrimination (which is against a current EEC law), but the Minister of Justice is just pig-headed enough to try and push it through, then fight about it with the European Parliament later.

SHOULD YOU VISIT AMSTERDAM AND WANT TO BUY SOME WEED, THEN YOU’RE OUT OF LUCK… UNLESS YOU HAVE A ‘WIETPAS’ (WEED PASS) coffeeshops, but a hundred mature plants can get you a 10K fine and the chance of a life-changing experience. This government, an unelected coalition of tight-assed racists and poker-faced deniers, has been wrestling with the ‘Cannabis problem’ since they first got together in their grubby little pact. They wished Cannabis didn’t exist, along with all the weirdos who smoke it, but we

Cannabis use poses no threat whatsoever to society. The public know this, so why don’t politicians get it? It makes me wonder if there isn’t some ulterior motive, probably involving money. There have been rumors of a rather cynical plan that would explain the continuing onslaught on the growers. As a result of all the busts, prices have been rising steadily. It is believed the government



All this is happening in a time when the French, who until now have been the bad guys with their relentless persecution of the Cannabis user, are suddenly looking at it in a favorable light. A Monsieur Valiant, an ex-cabinet minister, has put forth a proposal to bring Cannabis under the same law that governs tobacco. He suggests the government should set aside a hundred thousand acres and start major cultivation. Then the highly-taxed product would be sold in local tobacconists, bringing in enough revenue to kick-start the economy. Importers and non-licensed growers would still be prosecuted, but not so harshly. Now, if France can come up with something positive, why can’t Holland? So, after all the ID checks, you have finally been issued with a weed pass and you need a smoke. Well, whether it’s good or bad, you’ll have buy from your nearest coffeeshop, because the card is not valid anywhere else. So much for free choice; if you’re lucky you might find something good and buy the maximum allowance – three whole grams!



Pirates of the High Seeds The Internet has been a huge boon for growers around the world, especially those who are not in the position of being able to browse real-life shops for their growing needs. The days of popping over to Amsterdam or asking a friend to send or bring some back are over. But as with the rest of the ‘Net, the Cannabis seed business is a victim of the ease with which ideas can be ripped off and copied. The ‘Net, it seems, is a haven for fly-by-night merchants, cyber-squatters and pirates. Today, it’s not just Chanel, Prada and branded cigarettes that are being faked and pirated. The names and intellectual property of well-known quality weed strains are being increasingly ripped off too – but without the protection in law granted to legitimate businesses. SSUSA spoke to Simon, old-school seed breeder extraordinaire and owner of Serious Seeds, whose award-winning household names, such as Bubblegum and AK-47, are among the worst hit by this scurrilous activity. Soft Secrets: You were talking about ripping off the names of weed strains. Simon: Yes; it may sound like a trivial thing, but I don’t think it is. It’s a widespread thing. If you’re buying seeds off the Internet by name, lots of times you will find what you get is not what you anticipated. Lots of people are trying to parasitize on the popularity of certain names. They build pirate websites, some-

times not selling anything at all. People ‘buy’ something by credit card and never get anything. If they’re lucky they get bogus seeds, and only if they’re really lucky do they get the real thing. It’s very widespread; it’s written about in forums and so on, and it filters back to me. When did you first become aware of this problem with piracy? Before I had started my own business. I was a grower back then, when you had Skunk and Northern Lights already and in Amsterdam there were shops with seeds with those names way cheaper than the original. So pirates have been there from the start – because it’s lucrative, and we

By Jules Marshall operate in a world that is not really protected like regular companies are. They can make lawsuits and all the rest, but in our business we are far more limited, especially when you are operating internationally. People know that. Growers are basically victims. They pay for all those people who parasitize on them, basically. I also get emails regularly from people ‘I bought these AK seeds from this shop – are they real?’ Sometimes they are and sometimes they’re not. Serious Seeds has a shop list of legitimate shops on its website which sell the real thing. We guarantee this. People can ask whether shops not on the list are real or not. It has happened already that companies copy the packaging too, right to the last detail, selling the seeds as if they are real. Serious Seeds is the only company as far as I know who individually number each seed package, and we keep a database of that. This is only because of this problem. We are also the only company that guarantees our seeds – to protect the customer. If they buy seeds and they have a bad experience – even if they fucked up themselves – we give them new seeds. We want them to have a good experience with our seeds, so we go very far with our customer service. We have a list of legit sites; they can call and check ‘is this a good one or not?’ It’s all to protect the end customer. How much are pirates typically making on ripped off seeds? How much cheaper are generic seeds compared to branded AK-47 seeds from you? AK-47 is not the most expensive seed but it is certainly not a cheap one either. Its sort of ‘upper-middle class’, let’s say. So 80 Euros (ca. $115) for 11 seeds. And that is interesting enough for pirates to want to copy. And with virtually no chance of them being caught. Very little, yep.


So would you like to see or would you advise other companies to be as careful as Serious in documenting and labeling their varieties? Copying what you’re doing? You can see that the main interest of establishing companies is still making money. So the fact that nobody does it is already pointing in that direction. Nobody else is doing it, and I’m not here to advise other companies. But we have done it since Day One. I started to sell the seed tubes and now almost everybody is doing it, especially the Spanish companies. So you can see that they take over good ideas, but not the full labeling. It is a lot of hassle to do it: checking numbers, fielding complaints. The idea usually is just to sell them and wash your hands [of it]. I don’t know exactly how other companies deal with complaints.

Are there independent websites where growers can discuss among themselves which seeds or sellers are legit, which websites are not to be trusted? I have seen such sites, although I can’t remember where I saw them. There are also Black Lists too, but I don’t visit forums a lot so can’t say where for sure. I’ll give you an example of one case – Ontario Seed Bank, OSB – a shop from Canada. He’s been operating for a couple of years, takes the whole back cover of the High Times for an advertisement. He used to buy Serious Seeds from us. But at some point we got a couple of complaints very close to each other from their customers, and from the type of the complaint it was clear that these were not Serious Seeds they were getting. The packaging was sort of mine, but not totally. So I called the shop, talked to the owner, said ‘hey man, I’m getting complaints here and they’re not getting Serious Seeds from you; you’re obviously selling seeds as if they were Serious’ – and he didn’t even bother to deny it. According to him he wasn’t doing anything wrong. He had been selling our seeds for a while, and now he was selling his own seeds as if they were Serious. His first line of argument was that he had to deal with possible complaints, and blah blah blah. Basically: ‘What do you care? If they have complaints I have to face them.’ I said, ‘No, you’re making money while giving us a bad name; they come to buy our

15 decides: that’s what I want, goes to the shop and asks for AK-47, that he shouldn’t be confused with names that are the same or similar and he’s not getting what he wanted. That is my main concern. If something just reminds you of AK-47, then it’s OK by me. There are seeds called OK-57, Armageddon 47 and Jack 47. Like that it is clear that they were derived from AK-47, but there is no danger of confusion with the original. Or so I hope. I guess one answer is to do something like they’re starting to set up in America, where you treat the marihuana industry like any other branch of the agricultural industry, with complete documentation from seed to consumer. Yes, that’s one way, but you have to pay a lot of money for such protection. My names are protected in Benelux. There have been cases and law suits about names already, but in European courts they have a hard time not to burst out laughing, because they think it’s funny. But what is the difference to this and if Mr. Heineken was there or a cigarette company? I tell you what the difference is: we’re dealing with a very relaxed, nonpoisonous product, while they are selling really dangerous drugs – except, theirs are legal and ours is not. It’s all about money. All we can do is try to protect our interests and name as best we can. What you also see is people start a website and start selling seeds, and after three months shut the whole business down and start a new thing. They’re even harder to track down. seeds, not your copies.’ He thought it was perfectly fine to do that, and is still doing it. From customers I know, he’s doing it with other companies too. That’s how weird it can get.

this issue; they are not in the business and know no better. They are offered seeds under these names and they buy them and sell them. Luckily I found out right away, and since it was not a delib-

GROWERS ARE BASICALLY VICTIMS. THEY PAY FOR ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO PARASITIZE ON THEM. I guess when the seeds business was mostly confined to Amsterdam or Holland, you could put out inquires, maybe find out what was going on through your personal networks and had a bit more control, but with the Internet it’s almost impossible. I found out a couple of months ago that nowadays… this business started with small seed companies, Sensi Seeds and so on. Now it is all about big companies in Spain growing massive amounts of seeds and selling to everyone. So now there are coffeeshops or grow shops and bars or whatever, selling them under their own name. Several coffeeshops in Amsterdam are starting to sell seeds under their own name; they’re all bought from a big producer – and guess what? They started selling seeds which are originally Serious names: Bubblegum, Chronic – popular names. So just pinching your names and sticking them on their own seeds? Yep. The coffeeshops that are buying them, they don’t know enough about

erate action against Serious Seeds, they agreed to stop using my names. So you have to be on the lookout even here in Amsterdam. It’s happening in Holland, let alone internationally. A company in Amsterdam – Spliff – just started selling Bubblegum, AK-47 as if it’s completely normal. Nirvana started selling AK-47 until I spotted this at a Cannabis Cup a few years ago and said ‘What the

As a variant; variations on names is common throughout the industry. AK-47 is probably the most copied name in the business. It means when I pay for an ad in a booklet or guide or whatever, right next to my entry is an AK-48, a Jack 47, Kaya 47, Oké 47, Olé 47, AK-74, to name only a few. All copies of the original AK-47. They all seem like equals in the booklet but I see them as copies and in my opinion, not really living up to the original. But when you see them all printed together it looks like they are all in the same league. Especially when all you can have printed is the name and flowering time, and it’s not permitted to mention all the awards the strain has won. To take part under those conditions is just degrading to the original and to my company. So what should growers do to safeguard their choice of seeds?

Another thing you see is… Paradise Seeds contacted me – no I contacted them, a couple of years ago. Their website is called paradiseseeds.com, and someone else started a site called paradiseseeds. nl. They look very similar but are not, and the rogue site is attracting attention away from the original site. They sell seeds of course, and are registered in Canada. But it’s very hard to find out who’s behind it. So a customer has to not just look at the name but also look at the company who is producing it. If those two are matched, and you also find out what the packaging looks like, then the chances of success are greater. Also, look at the website of the company to see if it is a legit shop. You have to look at all these things to boost your chance of success; don’t just go by the name.

AK-47 IS PROBABLY THE MOST COPIED NAME IN THE BUSINESS fuck is this? You’re using my name. You have to stop immediately.’ Finally they understood my point. That is also difficult: people who did not lift a finger to make seeds themselves – they have no clue how much time it takes; they just start selling seeds with somebody else’s name, so they don’t appreciate the problem. Nirvana promised they’d change the name, and they did: to AK-48!

The best thing is to check which company has made the seeds. Unlike the name of the seeds, this is seldom copied. Like I said, I went along with the name changes by Nirvana, White Label seeds and others but there are still a lot of companies selling AK-47 at some point. After my intervention they changed the name to something referring to or close to AK-47, which is fine. But my concern is that the customer, when he smokes alone or with friends some AK-47, and at some point

Wow, there’s a lot to say about this subject. There is. I mean, you don’t want to moan about it all the time, but it is also good for the end customer, because they pay the price, so I think we have a responsibility to warn them, to make them realize that this is going on. Before they buy their seeds. So there you have it; ultimately, it’s back to the old Caveat Emptor – buyer beware.




by Kali Mist

One More Way That Hemp Plastic Could Save Our Lives Plastics are everywhere. There’s no escaping them in modern life – we wear them, walk on them, drive in them, fly in them; we even use them as armor, in the form of Kevlar and other similar technologies. Without a return to a vastly simpler existence, there’s no way we can get rid of them any time soon. But there is only so much the planet can stand – and with plastic waste choking the oceans, trees and soil, we must find sustainable and environmentally acceptable alternatives soon. Even though the very first plastics were of organic origin, synthetic plastics became the standard, and rapidly became seen as indispensable. Due to their versatile nature, there is a huge amount of money to be made in plastics, and it is much easier to slap a patent on a synthetic product than one based on plants growing abundantly in nature, as the multinationals have been demonstrating for years. Even the biggest global businesses are beginning to recognize the potential for bio-plastics, but the impetus needs to increase still further before we see universal uptake of sustainable technologies. The more publicity that we can bring to these innovative hemp researchers, the more we at SSUSA feel we are doing something to assist their efforts.

materials and products, prices remain high, supplies inconsistent and public awareness minimal. But the small number of innovative organizations out there that are investing heavily into hemp research is slowly growing, and with every new piece of research a new incentive emerges for others to join in the movement. With time, more and more sectors of industry will become aware of the advantages of hemp plastic, and with consumer awareness at an all-time high, eco-friendly ethics are becoming the safest choice for companies wishing to maintain their profit margins. The most significant developments have arguably been in the field of composite plastics, where a reinforcing fiber (in this case, the ‘bast’ fibers of the hemp plant) is mixed with a resin, such as unsaturated polyester, or organic plant-based resins to form a wholly ‘natural’ plastic. Plastics formed in this way can be thermoplastic (i.e. upon repeated heating, they can be molded and remolded into shapes that will be retained when cooled) or thermosetting. The latter type of plastics is formed at high temperatures, but if reheated retain their characteristics and cannot be remolded. Some of them are capable of withstanding intense and pro-

Kevlar, or poly(p-phenyleneterephtalamide), is a synthetic ‘para-aramid’ polyamide fiber developed and patented by DuPont in 1965, which was revolutionary in the world of polymer research at that time. Aramids are the class of highstrength, highly heat-resistant synthetic polymers mostly developed for military and aerospace applications; para-aramids have the best strength-to-weight ratio of them all. THE KEVLAR FIBER IN ITS However, it was while attempting to develop a strong, light material (to be used as a substitute for steel in racing tires) that researchers found that in a solution of concentrated sulfuric acid, the monomers 1,4-phenylene-diamine and terephthaloyl chloride take on a polymerized liquid crystal form. When spun, this produces a fiber, around five times stronger than steel, that does not break in the way that nylon and other synthetic fibers do – due to strong, weblike inter-molecular bonds between the polymer chains, which cause them to form ring-like structures. Furthermore, the propensity for ‘aromatic stacking interactions’ gives the fiber incredible strength and consistency: this

“With plastic waste choking the oceans, trees and soil, we must find sustainable and environmentally acceptable alternatives soon.” Over the last decade or so, advances in hemp plastic have meant that a wide selection of products is now available, and research into further potential uses is picking up pace in many countries of the world. In the USA, not all possibilities are being as explored as they should, due to a combination of inter-related factors – domestic hemp production remains illegal, so while it is possible to import hemp

longed heat, severe impacts and exposure to extremely corrosive or harmful chemicals. Their characteristics depend on the resin used, but more importantly, the fiber used to provide strength and durability. These fibers, when not sourced from organic materials (such as hemp or flax), are usually created in the laboratory in the form of synthetic polymers – nylon, acrylic and carbon fiber are common examples.


is the tendency for said polymer rings to respond to molecular forces during processing and grow in an even, cylindrical shape – somewhat like a stack of coins. The resulting ultra-thin, ultra-strong Kevlar fiber can be woven to produce textiles, or layered with resin and thermoset to form composite plastics, all of which show remarkable resistance to tearing and cutting as well as to fire and heavy impacts.



The new fiber had astonishing potential as a substitute for steel and more, and further research was undertaken immediately. There are now several grades of Kevlar on offer in the form of various papers, yarns and fibers. These have a number of uses extending beyond the original use in car tires, and are the best-known current application of body- and vehicle armor to cover ropes, cables, brake linings and sporting equipment. Kevlar is also very stable in extremes of temperature – especially sub-zero levels – and has very low thermal conductivity, meaning that it is an excellent insulator and can be used in fire-proof clothing, as well as heat-containing linings for aircraft. However, Kevlar is generally expensive to produce due to the fact that concentrated sulfuric acid is costly, and dangerous to work with in an industrial setting. A further disadvantage is its low resistance to sunlight and tendency to degrade under UV light, mean-







ing that additional protective measures are often needed. Lower-cost alternatives for Kevlar are constantly being sought. In at least one of its uses, in brake pads, replacing Kevlar with hemp composite plastic would reduce the cost by a factor of around fifteen. Kevlar is used here, ironically, as a more benign alternative to asbestos, which produces a toxic dust; hemp plastics offer a cheaper and more sustainable option. In the automobile industry in general (but especially in Europe where there is a long tradition of hemp cultivation, more relaxed laws and a much cheaper and more consistent supply) hemp plastic and fiber products are increasingly known and used. Hempreinforced plastics can have an impact

but are capable of protecting against otherwise highly dangerous impacts, such as those from projectiles. These textiles are used in a wide variety of protective or industrial clothing due to their fire and chemical-resistant properties. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are even investigating the potential to create electricity-generating clothing by interweaving zinc oxide nanowires between the Kevlar fibers. But it seems that everything Kevlar can do, hemp can do just as well, and maybe better. While remarkably strong in itself, the raw hemp fibers can also be treated in various ways to alter the characteristics of the finished fiber. At least one treated hempfiber product is already available, Crailar,

used in US research into Kevlar alternatives, as it appears to be even stronger and lighter. However, these spiders are rare, and silk farming in general is often less than eco-friendly. Hemp is abundant, fast-growing and (usually) cheap, as well as comparing to or out-performing silk in many aspects, so as a sustainable option it is clearly favorable. However, the silk vests tested so far have reached up to level III-A, a reasonable level of protection against handguns for an urban or police application, and hemp fiber technology still has a little catching up to do. The Amsterdam company HempWorks has an in-house clothing label, Hemp Hoodlamb, who offer a level II-A bulletproof men’s jacket, tested with shots

“While it is possible to import hemp materials and products, prices remain high, supplies inconsistent and public awareness minimal.” resistance and tensile strength ten times that of steel, and thus are useful in manufacture of lightweight materials that can be used as automobile paneling (also for armored vehicles), as well as body armor and even powerboat hulls. The fire-resistant nature of many hemp fibers and fiber composites also makes them particularly strong potential candidates for substitution of Kevlar when used for manufacture of protective clothing for firemen – and other fire-proof items such as fireeaters sticks. However, such products are neither well-known nor widely-available, and it is clear there is much still to be done before hemp products replace Kevlar and other environmentally-damaging plastics. The Kevlar fiber can also be woven into textiles, and in this manner can be used to make lightweight, discreet items of clothing that are not apparently armored

that demonstrates remarkable tensile strength, very good strength-to-weight ratio, and high durability (as well as an almost silk-like texture when woven into textiles). It is produced by washing the hemp fiber in a ‘patented enzymatic bath’, which increases its softness and suppleness. The fiber can also be used as a basis for composite plastics, and due to the thermo-regulating properties of hemp, is useful in extremes of temperature. Although the company behind Crailar, Naturally Advanced Technologies, is not actively researching bullet-proof clothing themselves, the fiber demonstrates many of the necessary characteristics. Interestingly, silk itself was used in some of the earliest bullet-proof vests, and is also being trialled in modern Thailand as a low-cost alternative to standard bulletproof clothing for police. The silk of a particular Black Widow spider is even being

fired from a Glock 9mm, a .22 and a .357 Magnum. This discreet item has a fairly low protection rating due to the thin layer of polymer textile over the standard shell of the jacket, so is obviously more suitable for an urban setting than for high-risk police work or warfare. These jackets still represent a significant advance in hemp fiber research – and demonstrate major potential for the future. Costs of such discreet bullet-proof clothing, even those based upon traditional plastics, can easily run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. While clothing based upon hemp is still expensive, it is competitive, and it would be expected that costs will continue to fall as the industry continues to pick up pace. Since their discovery in the 19th century, much research has gone into the field of thermosetting composites, such as those made from Kevlar. There are countless different applications, in innumerable

different areas of industry: construction, vehicles, fashion and jewelery, packaging, sports equipment; as well as manufacture of weaponry and defensive items. Hemp composites have been shown to be equally strong, and in many cases stronger, than current industry standard materials – and not just Kevlar but also glass- and carbonreinforced composites (which are currently used in pretty much everything you or I own). Many of these everyday plastics have a truly terrible environmental track record – they require lengthy, hazardous and often costly production processes, are mostly non-biodegradable, often ‘disposable’, and are filling up landfills and the ocean everywhere one looks with harmful detritus that will never decompose. Therefore, seeking alternatives to these current standards is imperative, and the closer we look at natural composites, the more necessary it seems to make them the norm – and fast! While most lovers of Cannabis have no desire to see the plant used for military or law-enforcement purposes, the potential for hemp in such a massive sector of industry simply cannot be ignored. The fact that the industry is worth so much money is in itself significant in that there is almost unlimited funding available from the top multinationals for research and development. Car companies such as Honda, Chrysler and Mercedes are all using hemp plastic as we speak, and are likely channeling further capital into R & D. The question now is, who will be the next industry giant to take up the challenge of making hemp economically viable? Certain stalwarts of the plastics industry would do well to pay attention to the growing hype around hemp. It would be most fitting if a hemp-based plastic could knock DuPont’s product off the top spot. Given the rabid hostility demonstrated by DuPont towards the innocent hemp plant since the 1930s, it’s only right that we actually give them a reason for hating.



How to Feminize Cannabis: MAKE HER AN HONEST WOMAN



21 In issue #3 of SSUSA, we introduced you to the Devil’s Harvest Seed Company, relatively new faces on the Amsterdam seed scene. They were generous enough to share their company secrets and explain how they got started. In this issue, the DHSC explain how they utilize the STS method (Silver Thiosulfate) to produce feminized Cannabis genetics, why they do it and how their genetics are received Sativa Diva around the world.

solve all their problems. But you realize when growing with feminized that they don’t help you to develop your skills; it just allows you to grow something once, and to recreate something new every three months.” While checking out a variety of feminization techniques, the DHSC found that, “through trial and error, the STS method seems to be the most successful one in the industry, and from talking to many people who make feminized seeds, it appears to be the favorite. It seems to be the most reliable; it works, simple as that.” STS is a compound often found in photography labs, the silver in which ‘locks out’ the copper in plants. Because copper is a required micronutrient, inhibiting it causes ‘ethylene signaling’, which will repress certain traits, such as gender expression.

and then we begin to see the onset of hermaphrodites starting to occur. “From that point we take female clones that have already been pre-vegged, and we take them into the room and introduce them to the hermaphrodite/sprayed plants. When the release of pollen occurs, in another two weeks – so that would be five weeks of the hermaphrodite plants flowering – they release pollen, and the new female plants that have just started their pre-flower accept that pollen and, thus, make feminized seeds. “We remove the STS-sprayed plants after seven weeks of flowering, and we allow the female plants to finish their flowering period with plenty of breathing room, too. So, that’s how we do it. It’s complicated, but it works; and it’s all about timing.”

Why feminized? Feminized strains are a hot topic of debate in the Cannabis industry. Some argue that they’re the best thing to happen to both small growers and those with huge plots of land to cover; others fear that they may be creating ‘zombie weed’ due to their unnatural origin. So what makes a seed company decide to take the leap into the feminized realm? For the DHSC, it was the seemingly overnight demand for and rampant popularity of these ‘all-female’ seeds. That, however, was not the only reason. One half of the company explains:

The process “We select between four and six plants, and we take them from a vegetative state into the flowering cycle. When we trigger them under 12 hours of light, we spray them while they’re in their dark period with a heavy dose of STS formula. Basically, five milliliters to every one liter of distilled water. When they’re sprayed, we give them a 15-minute break period, then we spray them again – typically over six plants, we’ll use about four liters of distilled water (with STS formula mixed in). It’s kept refrigerated.

Genetics are not the only concern: the quality of a person’s grow room helps to insure either success or failure, depending on the efforts of the grower. This will also affect the quality of seeds. In computer terms: garbage in; garbage out. For this reason the DHSC attempts to produce their seeds carefully and in good conditions. “We’re using an organic mix, a soil and worm casting mix with good nutrients, because we want to provide good seeds. We use grow tents. We use 600w HPS

“One 600w HPS is used over each meter, and we grow typically between 12 and 20 plants in six- to eleven liter pots, depending on what we’re doing and how big the plants are. We don’t use RO water because we don’t stay in these places too long; we don’t want to have leaks and we don’t trust taps and stoppers and all that. It just isn’t 100% safe for us; it’s more about safety than anything. The water in Amsterdam is really good anyway – I think if you look up tap waters around the world, Amsterdam is known for having a really good source of tap water. “Our seeds are stored at room temperature for preservation; we believe that if you want to store your seeds in the refrigerator for long-term, that’s your choice as a customer. For us, as seed producers, we keep them at room temperature and when you get them it’s up to you to wake up the seeds. When you put them in storage for long periods you can put them in the fridge, but we don’t do that because if we refrigerate them and there’s a power outage, we lose our entire batch of seeds. “We also know from experience that it’s better to store them at room temperature in a cool, dry, dark place, for three to five years if in an air-tight container. Basically, if you want to do refrigerated storage that’s your decision; but it isn’t recommended for us to do it because of the large volume we have.”







“I started with feminized in my early days of growing, so I know why people who are just starting need feminized seeds: lack of space; new flavors every few months, rather than the same, boring flavor for the next 12 months. Outdoor growers get the benefit of maximized space; for indoor growers, the benefit is not having to keep a collection of mothers and clones – and constant storage. Also, they don’t have to maintain a library, which is fucking hard. “The third reason: just because it was a new thing that everyone thought would

“Then, once we spray, we allow the hormones to trigger, and the onset of flowering will begin. Five to six days afterward (depending on the strain and the quickness of flower) we spray it again with about three-and-a-half to four liters of distilled water mixed with STS formula. Fifteen minute break, and then we spray them again with the same dosage. Then, seven days from that point, we spray them a third time with a very heavy dosage, and we’ll use up to six liters of a mixed STS formula. On that three-week period, the plants have fully-induced into flower,

lights; we use what works. Until they come up with a new invention we won’t use anything else. LEDs just don’t work: this is seed production. We treat it as though we were flowering the weed. Giving it everything we can, providing everything that’s good for it: all of the best nutrients we can, the best medium. We don’t do it for flavor, but we provide it with some guanos and some of these basic, organic composts to allow it to naturally grow, to give you a harder, solid shell on your seed. It’s about giving you really good seeds that will last long-term in storage.

Mixed-gender plants can ruin entire grow rooms. So how do the DHSC combat hermaphroditism? “By selection of good clones that originally have been around here so long – long before feminized seeds – and they were grown from original genetics, so we know 100% that they aren’t selected clones from a feminized plant (these are real mother plants with no [hermaphrodite] traits existent in them already). So we hope from that, with our feminized technique, that we won’t cause hermaphrodites. “We’re not saying it’s 100% until we test. And even when we do test we still don’t know, out of all the thousands of seeds, if any one of them will produce a hermaphrodite. So we’re trying to provide the market with what the demand is.” The testing process is mandatory for any seed producer wishing to survive in this industry. “As soon as we make seeds, we dry them out and we grow them in the pre-flower. We provide them to certain growers to test, and they test them for us straight away; they grow them out and each grower will give us feedback. And on that, we stress them (in one room, as a basic grow setup) with light leaks, with spraying them and leaving them out exposed to 24 hours of light while they should be in flower; we give them all the stresses to cause an onset of hermaphroditism, to see if any will turn. If any do, then they’ve got traits in there that we don’t like to find. “Some of the genetics that we have aren’t suited to be feminized because they

22 do have hermaphrodite traits, but it’s because of the popularity of the strain; it’s the only way we can bring it to seed. We hope that the hermaphrodites are a very minimal problem.”

Health concerns

way, despite knowing it’s a contaminated product? Not the DHSC: “I don’t use that stuff afterward. I think it’s too dangerous to give to people because we have sprayed it with silver. The ingestion of silver through smoking, I don’t think it’s good for anyone.”

Hermaphrodites are one issue, potentially causing the loss of the rent payment for months to come, as well as potentially contaminating your growing/flowering space. However, the health concerns asso-

After two- to four weeks of drying, the seeds should be safe, as the two remind us. “It won’t, however be in the seeds any more, once they’ve dried out. You’re at no

The company’s tendency to produce heavy-hitting, interesting varieties in regular- and feminized versions is no accident. Part of the key to their success is keeping an eye on the international market and understanding the differing needs of growers around the world. The two explain that “the American market is still open to regular [non-feminized] seeds, more so than the European market. That’s a really good thing. The North Americans are still into the old way of





ciated with the production of feminized seeds should be more worrying. A question that frequently arises when debating the matter is whether people or the plants themselves are harmed as a result. The DHSC warns: “It’s definitely dangerous to your own health, because that stuff, it’s the same as in rocket launchers, and when you breathe it in.... The silver that’s exposed, when the troops inhale it, they were coming up with all these sicknesses, so the Army have records of people breathing this stuff in (the silver thiosulfate). This is the guys standing next to the rocket launchers all day, who ended up with Veteran’s Disease. “It is definitely not good for our health, so we wear breathing masks and rubber gloves, and goggles, plus a full coverall suit. It’s all about safety. If the spray gets on your hands, it leaves rusty-colored spots on your skin that can stay there for a couple of days; or, it can bleach your skin. You have to remember that these are serious chemicals – you must be a licensed company to buy these chemicals. You have to know what you’re doing. It’s not for amateurs and it’s definitely not to be left around for kids to play with.” That’s probably sound advice regarding much of the things one would find in a grow room. However, the exposure doesn’t end there. What happens to the sprayed buds? Don’t many people secretly sell them off or smoke them any-


risk at this stage. But it’s the production process that’s a dangerous step – there are dangers that just aren’t good for your health. So, we do take precautions against things like that, but that doesn’t mean that everyone in the industry is being so careful. We’re trying to do this as correctly and safely as possible; but other people

doing it, and they’re keeping the genetics alive much more than we are over here. They do more groundwork. “At the moment, the major difference between some American growers and us in Europe is that they’re doing it legally and we’re doing it illegally. It’s not legal

weed goes in the world, this is where it started and this is where it ends. Being an Amsterdam seed company helps to set us apart: ‘they’ are there, and we are here. We have our genetics that North Americans crave for over there, and we’re trying to bring it to them. We’re also trying to get genetics from over there and bring them to people over here. The demand goes both ways.” Although they’re a relatively new company, but the DHSC varieties are definitely recognizable around town. The lads suggest keeping an eye out for their Shoreline. “We’re crossing it with everything we have right now. But we’re also working on making S1 seeds with it, ‘cause it’s an original genetic. There’s no parentage left for it to breed any more, so we have to make S1s to keep the original genetic alive, but we’re also going to make crosses of it to preserve the genetic.” Currently, the DHSC enjoys a primarily European customer-base. However, they hope to change this soon. “We’re aiming towards America and Canada, but due to legal reasons we cannot directly sell there at present. In the future we aim to make [our seeds] available to North Americans as much as they’re making their strains available to us.” It’s this kind of open market that will help to ensure that certain, beloved strains don’t become extinct, especially with all the genetic experimentation going on these days. The DHSC have proven that they can adapt to the ever-changing demands of the Cannabis industry. A willingness to pursue new customers in new regions also helps to keep growers interested. “At the moment, we’re so new that we haven’t even found the region that is most popular for outdoor growing with our seeds. It’s mainly based for indoor growing; we haven’t tested them in outdoor regions enough to know the results of where they are best suited.”

THE NORTH AMERICANS ARE STILL INTO THE OLD WAY OF DOING IT, AND THEY’RE KEEPING THE GENETICS ALIVE MUCH MORE THAN WE ARE OVER HERE are doing it just to make money and just spraying every plant; they’re using those seeds to sell and telling you that they’re feminized. They are really good lookingseeds, but they’re not feminized.”

On Being A Dutch Seed Co. “The DHSC is going fully-feminized this year, so we’re trying to bring every available clone that is popular in Amsterdam, and release it with the feminized label.” When choosing strains for feminization, the DHSC have one simple criterion: they select what they like to smoke. “When we find something that is ‘our’ flavor – and our flavor is our flavor; it doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s flavor – we go with it. That’s what gets our interest going, is something with a really good flavor. It doesn’t really matter to us about the yield or how it’s grown; number one is the flavor. After that we get to know the strains and how difficult they can be.”

for us to do it here; it’s very difficult for us to resource everything. Even though you may think it’s legal in the Netherlands, it’s not and it’s in fact frowned upon – very hard for us to do. But we love doing what we do and that’s why we keep doing it. If we had a legal way of doing it, we’d be able to do it even better. So, even though we’re restricted with our resources here in Amsterdam, we still provide as well as we possibly can. That defines us: we’re restricted in such a way that some of America has more freedom than we do right now. But that can change very fast. “Canadians kind of learned their old school growing from the Dutch. Typically, the Canadian growing style is very similar to ours over here. And again, they’re more legal in Canada than they are in the US. They can do things there that we can’t over here, but I think it all comes back to Amsterdam. No matter where

So, what does the future hold for DHSC? “A million dollars [big stoner laugh; he tells me to just print ‘$$$$$$$$’] Retirement! To keep developing and looking for new strains and to outsource strains in different countries. “We need to go backwards to go forwards. We’re currently researching into old-school genetics and old strains, rather than going for the hype of the new ones that are available now. We are looking into older generations. The older, the better. The more of a challenge it becomes, the more fun it is, and the more interesting it can be. Otherwise, it would only end for us. We need to keep it going.” Photos by DHSC » www.thedevilsharvestseeds.com » devilsharvestinfo@gmail.com


ADVANCED INDOOR GROWING The lighting you choose depends on your purpose. Plants in a vegetative cycle thrive under a blue spectrum. This blue spectrum, more than any other, promotes chlorophyll production. Too much of the red spectrum during this early growth phase can cause internodal stretching. These red spectra are what plants utilize for flowering. The intensity of your lights/ lumens they produce also play a large factor in the penetration of your leaf canopy and density of the buds you produce. There are four major modern lighting groups. The first to be developed was the incandescent bulb. While these bulbs have faithfully lit our nights for over a hundred years, they have never been practical for flowering. Even for supplemental lighting they are marginal at best, with a lumen output that is small – compared to the wattage they consume. The only reasonable application for these lights would be using green ones for allowing you to work in a flowering room during its dark cycle. Much of the green light is not absorbed by plants, so they appear that color; there is no worry of interrupting photo-periodic response. The second lighting groups are Low Intensity Discharge, commonly known as fluorescent. These tubes have a phosphor coating that emits visible light as electricity excites the mercury vapor contained inside. While these lights do produce ultraviolet radiation; in most, the amount is trivial. An eight-hour exposure would be equivalent to a minute under the mid-day sun. The greater health concern is exposure for long periods under cool white fluorescents. These lights have a profound physiological and psychological effect from wavelength energy penetrating the skin and acting at the molecular level. Fortunately, full-spectrum lights help eliminate these concerns.

Didymium Glasses LIFE THROUGH ROSECOLORED LENSES Growing indoors requires various types of lights. These different lights give off a diverse spectrum of visible and non-visible electromagnetic radiation. This changes how colors appear – and can even F.Red pose a health hazard to unprotected eyes. lamps. Of this HID group, two are most commonly used in growing: metal halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS). At one time they were only available as such, now there are some crossover bulbs having more of each other’s spectra. MH is traditionally used for vegetation; some growers feel that even though flowering under them does not produce the quantity, the quality is greatly improved, giving off a light similar to sunshine. Just like the sun, they also give off a good amount of ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Some people compare exposure to snow blindness, so wear sunglasses with UV protection whenever you are working around them. HPS lights can produce large and delicious flowers, but growing vegetatively under them will cause serious stretching. The bright, yellow-orange light is not damaging to the eyes unless

you look right at it, but it can be uncomfortable and makes it impossible to see colors accurately. Luckily, the sodium flare produced by these lights is similar to the ones that glass blowers make working with borosilicate, and there is eye-wear that eliminates those orange spectra. This eye-wear allows you to see the true color of your plants and spot nutrient issues several days before they would be obvious to naked eyes. In a hydroponic system or in soil, this few day heads-up could save your crop. These glasses, called ‘didymium’, were developed a generation ago by Aura Lens and are distributed by great glass suppliers like ABR Imagery. They have purplish-pink lenses and start at around thirty dollars.

The light at this altitude contains a larger amount of UV-B rays, and there have been several studies showing that THC levels in particular strains increased in direct correlation to UV-B light. This THC production in the plants may be acting as a photo-protector (like melanin does in humans) dissipating the harmful rays. All of these lights give off some serious heat energy, so be careful with how close these lights are to your plants. The fourth and final of the lighting groups is the Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs. They produce light from tiny semiconductor chips, imbedded in a plastic housing, and are usually from three- to eight millimeters in circumference. LEDs can produce light across the ultraviolet, visible and infrared spectra. Three years ago I would have said, save your money; wait till the technology advances. Now I would say: make sure your purchase is from a reputable company, as not all LED panels are equal. LEDs are, at this point, comparable to fluorescents and are on their way to challenge HID supremacy. Some people believe that – with their power consumption up to half that of an HID and a much lower heat signature – not only do they compare, but they are better for small space and stealth room applications.

Fluorescent bulbs are much more efficient than incandescent ones and are an excellent choice for growing. Vegetate using full spectrum 6500K bulbs for the blue spectrum. Fluorescent bulbs can also be used for flowering as long as you do not grow the plants over two feet tall by completion, and keep the lights within a few inches during their lifetime. HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM LIGHT WASHES OUT COLORS. A mix of three or four 3000K for a nice red spectrum to one 6500K will provide a modest yet wonderful harvest of medicinal delight. The third group creates light by an electric arc in short tubes filled with various gasses and mineral salts, which become electrified into plasma. These lights are known as High Intensity Discharge


Mercury vapor (MV) is last type of highpressure light used in growing. These lights were banned in the US in 2008 and will be in 2015 by the EU, because they give off cancer causing UV-B rays. If you decide to use mercury vapor lights for supplemental lighting, make sure you TURN THEM OFF when working around them. The reason some growers would choose a potentially dangerous light has to do with the historical origins of Cannabis in the Parvati Valley, at the foothills of the Himalaya range.


Most LED lights are classed as ‘one’ or ‘two’ under the laser safety guide for maximum permissible exposure. This basically means they are pretty safe, as long as you are not staring directly at them – your blink reflex will limit your exposure as you work around them. As these lights become more specialized the spectra available will increase. Just as fluorescent bulbs are now available with increased UV-B radiation, LEDs will be as well. These lights will either need to be turned off; or, at the very least, special clothing and eye protection ought to be worn around them. Whether you are a professional, novice, young or old; if you spend a brief or extended time under the lights, protecting your eyes is important. If we live long enough, most of us will develop cataracts. There is no reason to speed up the process. Wear the proper eye protection. UV lenses are available from clear to Limo. Get some polarized lenses to reduce glare or a pair of rose-colored didymium glasses to see the true color of your plants as they flower in the warm light. Take care of yourself, so that you can see your future grow.



Mila’s Journey TAKE A TRIP WITH THE HASH QUEEN OF AMSTERDAM Mila Jansen, proprietor of the Hemp Hotel and Pollinator Company in Amsterdam, has been long-considered one of the pioneers of the Cannabis movement in Europe. Since 1994, she’s been helping us all to make super-clean, high-grade hashish, and is now the subject of a moving documentary in which you can pick your way carefully along the same path to her beloved India, which ultimately led Mila back Sativa Diva home to Amsterdam. One bad breakup was all it took – Mila’s half of the 8mm film reel was not to be reunited with that of her ex-husband until three decades later – the documentation of their pilgrimage through one of the world’s most spiritual landscapes. She and Hans were lucky to obtain much of their footage, due to being some of the first Westerners to pass through this rough terrain. It was 1976 and they were on a threemonth voyage, covering over 1500km (932 miles). Tired and suffering from the elevation, their captivating footage presents a time capsule, showing a part of the world formerly untouched by Western influence – a sparkling gem of nature and spirituality, which has drawn millions of pilgrims since that time.

It was the unfortunate event of Hans falling ill with cancer that brought the two back together: Mila realized that the film had remained without audience for over thirty years – including the filmmakers themselves. So the footage was cleaned and digitized, and thus the time capsule has been cracked open. For Mila, the film also represents a different time, one that has been lost in the shuffle of modern progress. In the ‘60s and ‘70s,

The pair were on foot, trekking from Manali all the way to Leh, then from Leh to Lamayuru, where they encountered a visit from the Dalai Lama. Finally, it was back to Manali via Zanskar. Weeks of walking and high altitude had taken their toll, but Mila and Hans pressed on, determined to capture the majesty and nature of the Himalayas and its people. When you begin watching Mila’s Journey, something magical starts to happen. Whether you know Mila or not, her voyage is an amazing experience to behold and it’s difficult not to get as excited about the trip as if you were, yourself, about to embark. It’s not simply the rolling green hills or craggy mountaintops, frosted with snow, that compel you to keep watching. Nor is it the amazing shots of indigenous people, quick to share a beaming smile with the camera, naive to their own uniqueness. It is perhaps these universal themes: freedom, exploration, love, family, spirituality, acceptance and loss, which allow each of us to find something of ourselves in the story.

Mila points out a virtue of travel: “You can create a situation where there’s space for yourself... I was very lucky, I think.” The ability to travel was indeed lucky for her, as she needed a break from the Dutch Police. After running an extremely successful tailored clothing boutique, Kink 22, with Henk Koster (where she also acted in the film De Verloedering van de Swieps [The Whipping Cream Hero], 1967), Mila opened her own ‘tea house’, which is debated as the first-ever ‘coffeeshop’ in Amsterdam. “But we never sold anything there;” she recalls, “we just shared!” After a few years of blissful tea-sharing, the Dutch police caught on and began raiding the spot weekly, deporting foreigners across the Belgian border. It would be a combination of this police harassment – as well as stories of “India live” that were recounted by the latest traveler to patronize her tea house – that would impel her to seek a life of less restriction. He had heard about her place (and the fact that hitchhikers could sleep upstairs) while traveling – in Afghanistan! For the first time ever, Mila could juxtapose her book-learned education on Hinduism with

carry ID at all times, a move that incensed Dutch citizens, as it reminded them of the not-so-distant WWII. Indicating how much change has occurred since then (for the worse), within the past five years the same measures were re-introduced in the Netherlands – and were met with little or no protest. Mila’s Journey covers multiple visits to India and shows just a glimpse of that ethereal world; it is one that also has changed, and unfortunately no longer exists. Upon her return to this verdant land, she encounters trash-filled rivers (once sacred), satellite dishes and MTV. The magical place has succumbed to the temptations of the Western world, in one short generation. For this reason, re-connecting with the past is all the more important. One of the most poignant moments is her return to a mountaintop oasis, in an attempt to reconnect with her 1970s guide, Tashi – a young Tibetan whom they had met in the Manali Bazaar. In fact, the proceeds of this documentary’s sales are earmarked for the education of his grandchildren, in an homage to the familial-type bond that was forged between them during their three-month mountain trek.





the phenomenon of ‘dropping out’ held less of the negative stigma that it does today. Especially in the Netherlands, quite a small country, young people were excited about exploring the vast, interesting and different world out there, and sometimes even encouraged to do so. That freedom was what drew Mila back to the spiritual center of Hinduism, after learning about it through devouring philosophy texts in her publisher aunt’s French home. Freedom meant that anyone could go anywhere and do anything they wanted. You could go, do or think... alone or with friends and family. The possibilities were limitless.

actual stories of the place. The desire to experience India first-hand overwhelmed the wish to stay (and put up with the cops), so she decided to pack everything up and leave the country. It was 1968, and they were about to hitchhike to India. She recalls that, at the time, the decision to relocate was not difficult: “People were actively looking for other ways of living than how our parents did it.” Besides that, “Everything was controlled in the West. I didn’t like that.” This was an era in which the Dutch authorities were suddenly insisting that residents

It is difficult to watch Mila’s Journey without being compelled to travel to India. Viewers are lucky to steal a personal glimpse into someone’s sacred, spiritual journey through such amazing lands. You know about her products, the Pollinator Company and Hemp Hotel. Now you can see for yourself the experiences that helped to lead Mila to the top of the Cannabis industry, as well as having a peek into the history of a part of the world responsible for some of the most amazing hashish ever. All of this against a stunning backdrop of re-discovered film. “I’ve stood at several points, with my arms as wide as I could stretch. I was as insignificant as a speck of sand, and the whole of nature was out there – totally – untouched by man. It is really a special feeling to be back here again.” » www.milasjourney.com





Anecdote Films Running Time: One hour Format: DVD Annie Perkins, Rinku Kalsy and Christina Jansen » www.anecdote-films.com/milasjourney


Rolling Papers IT’S NOT JUST WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS Although the most common way to ingest Cannabis in the USA is through the use of a bong or pipe, a large and growing number of pot users smoke joints or blunts as a primary or supplementary consumption method. In this article SSUSA takes a closer look at the papers themselves. It would seem that the bulk of any lung damage incurred through smoking joints is the fault of combustion of weed and sometimes tobacco at high temperatures, and therefore to be selective about choice of paper is pointless. However, we should always try to minimize the severity of the risk we undertake when we use Cannabis, so for this reason we should be considerate of the papers we use. Furthermore, it is surprising how much a slight difference between papers will affect the finished joint, in terms of taste, burn by Kali Mist rate and immediate effect on the throat and chest.

Rolling papers are an integral part of every joint, and not all are created equally. There has been much evolution since the original thick, rough incarnations first appeared. The first cigarette papers were produced in 1660 by the French company Lacroix (later to become Rizla+). They had been conceived of over a century prior to this, but production was not to seriously take off until 1796, when Napoleon began to order in bulk for his overseas troops. Their ‘fine’ weight papers appeared in 1799, but were still quite bulky by today’s standards. Competitors began to appear in the 1800s, and in 1894 the company Zig-Zag had the brainwave of interleaving the papers (in a ‘zig-zag’ fashion). Gummed papers came along in 1942 – another innovation by Rizla+. It wasn’t until 1977 that king-size papers began to be marketed (again by Rizla+), with the rise of global Cannabis culture. Nowadays, the range of papers available is staggering. Colored, flavored, transparent, aerated – the list goes on and on. But which choice should you, the joint smoker, make when selecting your preferred paper? Most papers are made from hemp, flax or rice, although some are made from Esparto grass and wood pulp (which may contribute to lung-, lip- and larynx cancer). The Spanish manufacturer of Smoking, Bambu and many other wellknown brands was convicted in 2006 of substituting such materials for the usual hemp and linen in an effort to cut costs, so it is to be hoped that they and other companies are now offering more considered products. Wood pulp papers are the worst environmentally, and also score poorly in terms of trace chemicals that may pose a risk to human health. Production of hemp, flax and other grassy fibers is far preferable – at least in environmental terms. Beyond the choice of base material, chemicals may be added to the papers during the production process in order to make the paper lighter, finer and stronger, or to make them longer-burning. Bleaches such as chlorine or calcium carbonate


Thicker papers not only make a fasterburning joint with a harsher taste, but have been reported to cause greater oral and lung irritation. However, hemp papers are often thicker than rice papers and others, so this rule does not always hold true. That said, many hemp papers now produced match their competitors in terms of thickness, and as their supporters are usually among the more health-savvy, they are often made to be chlorine-free and unbleached. Pure Hemp papers are marketed as ultra-thin and additivefree, as are Hempire and Raw Organic Hemp papers – also claimed to be vegan! Unbleached rice papers are huge in their own right – the two main brands are Raw (who make rice papers as well as the hemp variety) and Smoking Brown (a newer introduction, but as it’s from the ubiquitous rolling paper giant we may see a rapid takeover here). The idea when rolling a good joint is to always use as little paper as necessary, in order to experience the flavor of the Cannabis in as unadulterated a manner as possible. To this end, seasoned joint rollers have developed techniques to minimize paper usage, and many will tear off excess paper prior to rolling. The more expert will ‘back-roll’: the paper is turned inside-out so that the gum is on the outside facing the roller. When the joint is rolled the unmoistened gum then becomes tucked under a single layer of paper. The gum

IT IS SURPRISING HOW MUCH A SLIGHT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAPERS WILL AFFECT THE FINISHED JOINT (chalk) may also be used. Chlorine is highly toxic but calcium carbonate releases only CO2 when combusted and may, therefore, present a safer choice. There are many products on the market that are advertized as containing no chlorine, so it is not difficult to avoid as long as one is selective. Many papers, especially blunt wraps and colored varieties, may also contain potassium nitrate to aid even burning – this substance is linked to acute oral irritation and respiratory tract damage, as well as lung cancer.


and may contain additives that increase strength while maintaining low weight. Thin papers burn more slowly – another plus for most smokers. The thinnest papers are made from rice, which may be blended with other natural papers such as sugar and flax. It is possible to source additive-free papers; a good, clean, thin rice paper with little or no added chemicals should burn smoothly and consistently. If a paper is burned as a test, the ash it produces should be very small in quantity and a uniform light gray color. Dark ash suggests that the paper may contain contaminants, and such papers can safely be avoided as there are many others out there that pass the test.

Generally, the thinner the better, when it comes to papers. Ultra-thin, translucent papers have been around for a while and seem to have gained a majority in the market, although many are bleached

must be moistened through this outer layer of paper, and the excess can then be torn off along the gum line (see photo). This method ensures that the absolute minimum paper is used, and it is wellworth investing a few hours (and a few ruined papers!) to master the intricacies. Others will tear off the gummed strip itself, as the Acacia gum (gum arabic) that is commonly used as an adhesive contains glycerin, which is thought to be harmful if smoked. Some varieties advertise use of pure Acacia gum, but for true aficionados and those who wish to be extra careful there are non-gummed papers available, such as S.D. Modiano’s elegant range of regular and 1½-sized papers. Made from very sheer rice paper, they require some

27 sus seems to be that instead of adding to the flavor, most of these papers in fact detract from the taste of what you are smoking. Colored papers also are increasingly viewed as a pointless and perhaps harmful complication, and despite maintaining a presence in head shops nationwide, their use is not widespread and is more as a novelty. Blunt wraps, on the other hand, are very popular indeed. Glamorized in countless hip-hop songs, for many young stoners it is the method of choice. The link between teenage smoking and blunt wraps is so pernicious that several states have this year instigated motions to ban their sale – although in January 2011, Illinois House reps rejected the Senate-approved motion there, with some branding it ‘ridiculous’. Cigar companies back these campaigns, citing the negative impact on their image from the strong association that blunt wraps have with smoking Cannabis.







practice to master and can be expensive, but very rewarding. Fans point to the burn test as demonstrating their superior properties, and it is true that they burn very cleanly, but they are not alone in claiming this distinction, as even some gummed papers have similar properties. Transparent cellophane papers have sparked some controversy since their introduction a few years ago (although a transparent paper was apparently produced as early as the 1970s, it was brittle and difficult to work with). At first their use increased rapidly, but this seemed to diminish before long as the novelty wore off. Fans cite a cooler, slower burn with little tendency to ‘canoe’ or burn irregularly. Others say they go out quickly, and the taste, smell, and sensation of smoking ‘plastic’ is unpleasant (although this could be more attributable to hardto-shake preconceptions as they have a mildly sweet taste without the acridity one would expect from plastic). They are based on wood pulp (from eucalyptus trees) which relies upon heavy

chemical processing to release its pure cellulose. They are sold as being 100% cellulose and better for health than traditional papers, but many question this, as they are reported to contain around 14% glycerin (to increase the suppleness and smoothness of the cellulose) which, when combusted, produces acrolein. This substance, also known as propenol, is a pulmonary irritant that may be extremely harmful to health and has been implicated as a factor in the development of MS (as it may cause damage to myelin nerve sheaths). Research suggests that levels of acrolein released by smoking with transparent papers is negligible; however, the rumors have contributed to some decline in popularity. Although glycerin is also present in the gummed strip of ordinary papers, it is thought to be in too small of an amount to pose a risk. Colored and flavored papers deserve a mention. Rizla+ introduced menthol and strawberry flavors in 1906, and nowadays the range is very wide. Many of the flavorings are artificial food additives that are not intended for smoking purposes,

and some users have mentioned irritation of the throat after use. The FDA in 2009 banned clove cigarettes and other flavored cigarettes and papers (except

A US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ruling from 2008 defined them as drug paraphernalia, and many outlets have stopped selling flavored blunts and may soon follow by stopping sale of unflavored wraps too. However, a cheap cigar can be split and re-rolled with the same result, so the trend is unlikely to die out completely. Aside from the risks of harmful additives, blunt wraps are wholly or mostly composed of tobacco, and all the associated risks remain. Rolling blunts also encourages greater weed consumption as more is packed in, which is not only wasteful but unnecessary and potentially harmful. The wide variety of natural, unbleached hemp and rice papers offered by many companies today seems to present the safest choice for pot smokers. So many advances have been made to decrease the weight of the paper, while avoiding chemical additives, that it is now possible to find some really great papers out there, the likes of which would have been unseen ten years ago. A simple online search for additive-free, unbleached hemp or rice papers yields impressive

THE WIDE VARIETY OF NATURAL, UNBLEACHED HEMP AND RICE PAPERS OFFERED BY MANY COMPANIES TODAY SEEMS TO PRESENT THE SAFEST CHOICE menthol, for some reason), ostensibly in a drive to reduce teen smoking, but also with a nod to certain perceived inherent health hazards. Cloves release eugenol, a topical anesthetic that encourages smokers to inhale extra deeply, thereby exposing a greater surface area of the lung to smoke damage. There is very little information available that gives insight into what other additives are used in flavored papers and what the effect may be when smoked. However, manufacturers of such papers seem to be very reluctant to disclose these important details. The consen-

results, and they are not difficult to obtain wherever you reside, as long as you have the ability to order online or a good head shop within traveling distance. As none of us want chemicals in our pot, it stands to reason that we don’t want it in our papers, either. The more of us that support the trend for natural rolling products, the clearer the message sent to manufacturers: that we are conscious of what we put into our bodies, that we wish for greater transparency (pardon the pun) regarding what’s in the papers and that we will reject those that are found to be unhealthy.




Breeding Grubbycup’s Stash

When I first started smoking weed, I learned a few things. The first thing I learned is that I wanted to smoke more of it. Shortly thereafter, I came to the conclusion that it was too expensive, and I didn’t want to buy it. I didn’t want to spend the money, and I didn’t want to deal with finding someone to buy it from. As I used to say, ‘I don’t mix greens’; the greens in question being Cannabis and cash. I didn’t want to buy weed, I didn’t want to sell weed, I didn’t want anyone not in my circle by Grubbycup to know I knew anything about weed, I just wanted to smoke it.

After careful consideration of my options, growing it myself seemed the safest choice, since no money would be changing hands; plus once I had seeds, I wouldn’t need to involve anyone else. The biggest threat to any marijuana garden walks on two legs. My first grows were all from friends’ bag seeds, and to be fair, we were more concerned with just having enough to smoke and not all that picky about how good it was. This was in the 1980s, and pre-Internet, so accurate information was much more difficult to come by than it is today. The buds I grew were harsh, uncured and of very ‘iffy’ parentage. They were also better than a lot of what my friends were used to smoking, which was often seeded Mexican brown, broken off of bricks (or very expensive). Over the years my growing and harvesting techniques improved. I found better seeds to grow, and the quality of what I smoked improved. I smoked most of what I grew, and gave the excess to friends. It takes the same effort to grow average genetics as it does to grow superior genetics; the trick is in getting the seeds for superior genetics in the first place. That would become a lot easier to do once seed banks became more common. I had grown up on a dairy farm, studied botany in college, and had always enjoyed gardening. Growing marijuana came very


naturally to me. Although information about marijuana-specific breeding was scarce, information on genetics and for breeding plants in general was much easier to come by. (The same basic principles apply, whether breeding pea plants or Cannabis plants.) I also decided that if I was going to grow my own, I was going to breed my own. The first step in starting a breeding program, is collecting the original pool of genetics to start selecting from. I tried a lot of different cultivars, and made a lot of different crosses. Anytime I’d join a circle with friends, I’d bring my latest test buds to share, and I’d ask them their opinion afterward. Since these were all experimental plants, they had names that were more for record keeping than ease of use. For example, one promising candidate was: ‘(nl x bb) x bm) x (d x blueb) x black) #2’, which was an abbreviation for ‘Northern Lights crossed with Big Bud and the result crossed with Blue Mystic and the result of that crossed with a Durban Poison that had been crossed with a Blueberry and then had been crossed with a Blackberry, second plant in the set.’ Which doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue. If a line showed promise or had a trait I liked, it might show up again in some form. For example, both the Blackberry and Blueberry were used in the final selection.


It was during this time that Grubbycup’s Stash got its name. I didn’t name it; it wound up naming itself. Everything in my stash was labeled with an almost unpronounceable code, but often had something worth trying in it. My friends would ask to load up a bowl of whatever was in ‘Grubbycup’s Stash’. As time went on, finally I settled on a White Rhino x Blueberry father crossed with a couple of different Purple Lady x Blackberry mothers, but the name stuck. Besides, even if I wasn’t working with different cultivars anymore, it was all Grubbycup’s Stash. I was still labeling with codes for specific traits. Genes may be hidden, but they are set and finite. If the genes don’t exist in the starting pool, they won’t exist in following generations. To create a starting pool of genetics, make sure that you select from plants that have traits similar to what you want in your final line.

On the father’s side: The White Rhino male’s sisters were very potent, but other than a slight citrus, didn’t have the fruity-flowery sort of flavor I had in mind. The Blueberry mother had a very nice flavor, but didn’t have the plant structure I wanted and was a bit cranky to grow. In selecting the father, I looked for the most robust and best flowering out of



the group to declare early. Using this father, I pollinated several mothers. When breeding, it’s easier to track one father with several mothers than the other way around. One drawback to this method is that it creates a bottleneck; if the father has dropped an important trait, the generation may have to be repeated.

The mothers: The Blackberry male’s sisters had a berry flavor; but similar to the Blueberry, they didn’t have the sort of plant structure I was looking for. The Purple Lady mother had an amazing kick and a very interesting floral flavor. The pairs were selected by what I thought would be give me the best smoke while I worked on combining all four cultivars. By matching potent plants with nicelyflavored plants, I hoped to start to accumulate the genes needed for a potent, nicely-flavored variety. If I had paired the two most potent, I may have gotten potent offspring; however, I wanted flavor as well in each of the crosses. Once the two lines were crossed, it wouldn’t matter which of the four was paired with the others. Meanwhile I’d be smoking each of the pairs. The breeding project had taken over my entire garden at the time, so it was my only source of personal smoke.



30 the gene pool, and that information can be used to extinguish unwanted traits. It is a work in process, and it’s going to continue to be a work in process until inbred depression sets in, or I find something I like better. I would never claim it to be any better than anyone else’s work, but I can grow pretty much any strain I want and Grubbycup’s Stash still makes up most of what I put in my pipe. I’m okay with showing a little favoritism to it though; after all, I’m who I bred it for.


Advice for those interested in trying home breeding: GS MALE NAMED ‘GOLIATH’ THIS GS 3 PRODUCED FOUR LEAVES PER NODE. GRUBBYCUP’S STASH I kept working with the White Rhino x Blueberry until potency and flavor regularly showed in the same plant, and did the same with the Blackberry x Purple Lady. As a result, I felt confident that I had a White Rhino x Blueberry male that had a good chance of contributing desirable traits to the Blackberry x Purple Lady line. The Blackberry x Purple Lady mother was easier to select, since I could taste test the buds off of clones to select the best ones for seeding. In a large-scale operation one option would be to grow very large numbers of the seeds and make selections from hundreds, if not thousands of plants. This method is commonly used by corporate vegetable seed breeders. However, it is also possible to breed using much smaller numbers of plants, grown in groups. Record keeping becomes absolutely critical, but it can be done. The key is being able to match each bowlful of final product to its seeds and parentage.

GS-A and GS-B were grown as two separate cultivars and did not cross-pollinate for several generations. Both lines were bred using the same criteria in parallel. It was my intention to use only the best between the two lines, but GS-A developed to be the more potent of the two; GS-B had superior flavor and structure. Whenever I would get close to deciding in favor of one, the other would produce a superior specimen. Eventually the best of the two lines were merged. The process continued as much more of the same, isolating and recombining. Over time, the plants became similar to each other, and today have many more traits in common. New traits have surfaced as recessive genes found matching recessive genes. As with all traits, some of these were kept, some discarded, some ignored.

AND USED FOR BREEDING the most important to me as a smoker. That isn’t to say that they aren’t also bred for bud size, but that trait holds a lower priority to quality of smoke. The goal of the breed is to be my favorite and to that end, it succeeds. There is a technique known as ‘cubing’ that is very useful to stabilizing a genetic line. Anyone interested in breeding is heartily encouraged to learn about it. However, all you really need to know to make use of the principle is that you should grow out multiple generations at the same time and cross the best plants together, regardless of what generation they are. Any plant showing a superior example of a trait was marked as part of the label. For example, the GS Gol indicates it has

Clear and accurate labels are a must. Personal label machines can help if poor handwriting is a hindrance. A few buds of each plant grown are seeded. Each growing container is labeled, and each stem at harvest. Seeds are collected and labeled, and so is the bud as it goes through the curing process.

1) Even if you don’t learn the math or the science behind it, if you just keep breeding your best male to your best female (and don’t add new genetics into the mix) you are off to a good start. People bred both plants and animals using this principle for hundreds, if not thousands of years, to good effect. Marijuana is not particularly sensitive to inbred depression, and by the time you have enough generations under your belt to worry about it, you will likely have learned how to deal with it. 2) Learn the basic principles of Mendelian genetics. You don’t have to become an expert, just learn how dominant- and recessive genes work, and how to use them to make educated predictions. 3) To benefit from cubing, grow plants from different generations together; cross the best plants regardless of generation. The tracking of traits, and making educated attempts to adjust and recombine


Each container of weed lists the exact plant that it was harvested from. This way, seeds from the best smoke can be selected and seeds from only average buds can GS 3 MALES TEND TO HAVE THREE LEAVES PER be disregarded. NODE, ALTHOUGH INFREQUENTLY FEMALE THE LEAVES ON THIS GS 3 The seeds from the five mothers were PLANTS HAVE DEVELOPED THE TRAIT. IF THE labeled GS-A, GS-B, GS-C, GS-D and TRAIT WERE TO BECOME CONSISTENT, IT MALE HAVE AN EXTRA FINGER GS-E. More bags with codes: this is why COULD BE A METHOD OF EARLY SEXING. OR TWO AT THE CENTER. people just tended to say ‘Grubbycup’s Stash’ or ‘GS’. The standard for the breed includes a a GS male that was named ‘Goliath’ in its One grow was dedicated to each of the nice initial effect, distinctive floral/bou- ancestry; GS 3 has parents that displayed five mothers. The best of GS-A was cloned quet garni aroma, smooth clean flavor, whorled phyllotaxy (3 or more leaves per and grown again with the GS-B lot for potent long lasting ‘creeper’ stone, bud node), etc. Part of the reason that these comparison. This process was repeated structure and plant structure. The reason types of notes are so important is not with GS-B, but the GS-C, GS-D and GS-E that the effect and flavor are higher- only for breeding toward, but for breedlots did not produce specimens better rated and more stable than the plant ing against. Any plant that displays an structure is that they are traits that are undesirable trait can be eliminated from than the GS-A and GS-B mothers.

THE LABEL MEANS THAT IT’S FROM THE LAST GROUP OF ORIGINAL SEEDS, AND ITS MOTHER HAD SUPERIOR COLOR. them is the heart of any good breeding program. It is not a fast process, but with time and patience you can produce noticeable changes and put your own mark on the weed you smoke. Peace, love and puka shells, Grubbycup



The Pollinator Company Sativa Diva The Pollinator Co. in Amsterdam enjoys legendary status: Mila, proprietor, activist and entrepreneur, is responsible for revolutionizing Dutch hash by starting a craze for clean, ice-water extracted resin products. Established in the winter of 1994, the shop is perhaps most famous for three mandatory pieces of hash making equipment: the Pollinator dry sieve machines, Ice-o-lator bags for water extraction and the latest addition to the family, the Bubbleator all-in-one system. Located on a picturesque canal near Amsterdam’s famous Waterlooplein market, the Pollinator Co. is a staple for locals and a beloved destination for returning tourists and Cannabis connoisseurs. Mila’s shop is not a grow shop, nor is it a head shop. The Pollinator Co. is, quite simply,

unlike any other spot in the industry. In addition to the hash extractors for which the company is famous, the shop is loaded with books ranging from how to grow a variety of plants, mushrooms or cacti to accessing your spiritual side through mindaltering substances. Activism, good health and enlightenment are common themes throughout the shop and its products. Of course, vaporizers, smoking accessories and related products are featured, with a range of glass-, wooden- and natural substances available. Hemp is also heavily featured, from wallets to cosmetics. Additional merchandise includes items for your meditation space, enigmatic herbs, psychedelic clothes and a full range of posters, videos and magazines.

After you’ve chosen the correct texts and accessories, browse the cactus garden or visit the hallucinogenic plants and flowers in the back of the shop. Seeds, plants and advice are all available, making the Pollinator Co. your one-stop-shop for all things esoteric. Check out the website for virtual demonstrations of and ordering information for the Pollinator, Ice-o-lator and Bubbleator machines. The Pollinator Co. Nieuwe Herengracht 25 1011 RL, Amsterdam, NL » www.pollinator.nl » info@pollinator.nl


High Times Medical Cannabis Cup, San Francisco by Grubbycup

As the laws surrounding Cannabis and medical marijuana in California become more reasonable, its use becomes more mainstream and normal. This year the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup in San Francisco even had a nearby billboard. Attendees were of all shapes, sizes and colors – all brought together over a common interest in marijuana. Regardless of its legal status, it was obvious that while there were plenty of 20-somethings in attendance, there were plenty of 30- to 70-somethings as well. Last year when I attended the HTMCC the line to enter the event was nightmarish. At last year’s awards ceremony High Times magazine’s executive editor Dan Skye promised they would improve the process for this year’s show. To give the organizers credit, the 2011 entry was both quick and painless in comparison. It was nice to see that promise kept. The venue was larger, and had a better layout as well. It also appeared to have a lot more attendees; if this year’s event was any indication, next time they will need more room, at least in the smoking section outside. Seminars and panels were held by Cannabis celebrities and experts, including

author Jorge Cervantes, Harborside’s Steve DeAngelo, and the senior cultivation editor of High Times, Danny Danko. The main floor of the indoor area was busy, but with a festive atmosphere. Vendors sold pipes, bongs, and a wide variety of marijuana-related products. Handcrafted wares by artists were sold next to slick commercial products. Credit card grinders and a staggering variety of ways to consume were available to eager shoppers. Several booths were rented by LED companies, each seeming to make a bigger claim than the last. I even renewed my California patient identification card at one of the booths.



The Results:

Upstairs had a nice mellow area, which made for a very relaxing place to visit after making a circuit in the 215 patient area. Artwork lined the walls, rugs and tables set in the center.

Hybrid 1st Place: 2nd Place: 3rd Place: DEMONSTRATING THE USE OF A

In sharp contrast, the 215 patient area had a very nightclub/party atmosphere. Oversized joints were passed around, loud music played in the background, and it was wall-to-wall with people. Marijuana was sold and sampled. Edible samples were handed out, including some tasty treats by last year’s medal winners Bliss Edibles. A visible haze rose above the crowd like a fog.


Indica 1st Place:

Boggle Gum (Harborside Health Center) 2nd Place: The True OG (Elemental Wellness Center) 3rd Place: 7 Star Pure Kush (7 Stars Holistic Healing Center)


At the end of the show on Sunday night, the winners were announced to much fanfare and cheering.


Peace, love and puka shells, Grubbycup

OG Kush (D & M Compassion Center) Star Dawg (Buds & Roses) The Pure (Leonard Moore Co-Operative)


Bay 11 (Granddaddy Purple Collective) 2nd Place: Alpha Blue (OrganiCann) 3rd Place: Sonoma Coma (Happy Lil’ Trees)



International Seed Market: A GROWING COLLABORATION

In the first two issues of Soft Secrets USA, we introduced The Attitude Seed Bank and discussed the recent history of the seed industry. Established five years ago, The Attitude has grown at an explosive rate to become the largest seed bank in the world today, representing more than ninety seed companies in the effort to bring their customers throughout the world the widest – and best – choice of Cannabis seeds and strains. But the staff are not complacent – they are determined to continue their quest to provide quality strains globally, and are hard at work sourcing new companies to work with every day, bringing never-before-seen products from all corners of the globe. To conclude our three-part series, we’ll take a closer look at the changing nature of the international seed market, particularly focusing on Europe and the Americas, and what the future may hold Kali Mist for The Attitude and other companies like it. Now that the focus of the Cannabis industry is moving towards the Americas, we should not forget the many years of research and development that our European cousins have put into breeding viable strains, not just in the Netherlands but also in countries, such as Spain and Europe. The Attitude, and other companies like it, are important in that they have always attempted to provide a good selection of seeds from breeders all over the world – and

Over many decades the great breeders worked at creating the varieties we now have, with the Netherlands as a base for their activities. Although Cannabis itself is found all over the world, including parts of Europe, the Netherlands has been a focal point for many years due to the importance of the industry there; most of the original and still most significant seed companies were founded during this period there. However, times will always change and industries in a free market will

THE ATTITUDE TEAM maintaining biodiversity by seeking out interesting and unique strains is one of the most important things the collector can do to ensure the future of these genetics. In the vaults of The Attitude Seed Bank, interesting and unique strains are thankfully not in shortage, and a quick glance through the online catalog will demonstrate how effectively they have covered the whole spectrum, providing diverse brands perfect for the requirements of thousands of collectors across the world.

achieved the massive success they currently enjoy. Now that the legal Cannabis industry is expanding globally and many collectors are seeking to complete their personal catalog, the spread is assisted by the efforts of The Attitude, who offer a range that runs into the thousands. Their efforts to represent as many seed companies as possible and stock the greatest variety of quality strains show exactly why The Attitude has made it to the top spot – and they’re showing no signs of slowing down! The team has that special something in that they always seek to be where other seed banks have not even thought of venturing yet; wherever there is a new company producing quality items, The Attitude wants to know about it. It’s important for a serious collector to preserve a wide selection of varieties for the future. As with any crop that is selectively bred by people, rapid advances in techniques (along with the explosion in new varieties that we’ve seen in recent years) has meant that strains are also in grave danger of being lost. It’s simply not possible to preserve every strain out there, as even with careful management it is possible to lose a whole lineage, but The Attitude is doing a very good job of attempting it. Seed stock exists in massive quantities, enough to keep customers happy for years to come. However, innovation is always rewarded, and despite all our knowledge of genetics, we cannot entirely predict what will happen in the future to a certain strain. Therefore, wherever possible it is important to keep a full inventory of present-day, stable seed stock to avoid strains disappearing – and so that experts

sibly decades, are even more important in a time of new grows in Europe being more difficult to complete, and sufficient stabilization of new strains often is in jeopardy. If new strains are unstable, they give varied and potentially unsatisfactory results, and are definitely unsuited to breed further strains (until they have undergone a lengthy process of crossing and back-crossing to fix desired traits into the genome). Yet the valuable heirloom stock safely stored at The Attitude alone could provide stable, healthy parents for innumerable new strains, time and time again. The sheer choice one encounters when browsing the vast lists of products is enough to delight and possibly bewilder even the most choosy and specific of us. The team has worked closely with major European breeders for years to provide the connoisseur collectors among us with a steady selection of original genetics, and it’s important work – keeping strains alive and stable in nature is hard enough in a perfect world, due to the vagaries of genetics. Without the efforts of the seed banks, many genetics would have been lost forever – some have been lost already, despite such endeavors. Seed banks are also highly important gateways for other breeders and seed companies to become part of the wider network: many of the smaller companies are limited in budget and the opportunities for publicity that The Attitude team offers, such as promotional videos and representation at major international events, are vital. By their constant presence at conventions, The Attitude also have the chance to really explore what’s out there. Many smaller breeders are unable to network fully with potential customers due

THE ATTITUDE IS AN AWARD-WINNING SEED BANK. naturally seek the best and most appropriate setting and methods of operation. As telecommunications and exchange of goods and services have expanded, the community has had increasing opportunities to transfer information between countries, with the rise of the Internet seeing relevant websites springing up every day. This ability to exchange ideas and techniques is the backbone of the international Cannabis seed industry, and without it The Attitude could not have

can continue to create strong new ones. This is where The Attitude comes in. Although their customers are sure to receive high quality, fresh products and the widest possible selection of new strains, you can rest assured that the vaults at The Attitude also contain a vast array of seeds from all places and from all points in time – from the early 1980s up until now. These heirloom genetics, many of which will remain viable in seed form (when properly stored) for years and pos-

to the intensive nature of their operations, which can demand a huge amount of time and dedication. The guys at The Attitude take great care to meet with breeders and discuss individual strains in order to give the best and most accurate information to the customer. Providing reliable information is extremely important to the Attitude, and customers can be sure that their queries will be dealt with in a prompt and supportive manner, but it must be noted that the information that is provided cannot concern topics that

34 may encourage customers to contravene local law. The Attitude is also committed to continuing their work of seeking out a wide range of sources, by representing all the major players – as well as a plethora of smaller and lesser-known organizations.

auto-flowering genetics to the status of being worthy of consideration by the most serious collectors. While the major Dutch companies are still a force to be reckoned with, repu-

famous out there, with global renown. It stands to reason that any one of the new and unknown companies of today could be the next big thing, and the contribution of such people is therefore highly important. That’s why The Attitude works

ESTABLISHED FIVE YEARS AGO, THE ATTITUDE HAS GROWN AT AN EXPLOSIVE RATE In this way many names that would never normally make it into the spotlight have become popular and well-loved in the global community. During their work in Europe, The Attitude team have seen firsthand the diversity that the continent has to offer. Much of temperate Europe is ideal for developing great varieties that will flourish in similar conditions elsewhere. The continent encompasses a massive diversity of climate zones, and a great range of altitudes – sometimes even within one country, such as Spain, which boasts semi-arid plains, mountains and two very different maritime climates on the north and south coasts. There are vast swathes of undeveloped land where few venture: the remote valleys of alpine Switzerland, the sunny pastures of southern Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey and Albania, or the hostile steppes of eastern Europe – where monoecious hemp and autoflowering ruderalis thrive. Auto-flowering hybrids are improving and are increasingly popular among the customers of The Attitude. From humble beginnings, breeding programs have elevated some

table Spanish seed companies are also now appearing, and have been attracting much attention over the last few years with some amazing sativa- and hybrid genetics. The diversity of climate, which reaches subtropical conditions in the Canary Islands, allows for a range of adapted varieties to be developed. In the Czech Republic, possession and cultivation of small amounts of Cannabis is now legal, and signs that small seed companies may be emerging are apparent. The Attitude supports such legal enterprises:

so hard to get out there and talk to the countless organizations that now exist, wherever they may be. Over the next few years, the team expects that as techniques and exchange of information continues to improve through the community, the strains of the future will be spectacular – as far removed from the strains of today as ours are from the varieties of the 1970s and 1980s. The next generation can only benefit from our efforts to strengthen the gene pool: if current

their global efforts to provide Cannabis seeds for storage or for legal cultivation. The network that exists, linking several continents, is allowing for the creation and preservation of amazing strains that deserve a place in any connoisseur’s library. International collaboration is, and always has been, the key to a healthy industry, as without it none of our indooradapted hybrids would ever have been conceived of in the first place. Without it, future research cannot happen, and improvements to techniques cannot benefit the community as a whole. But as long as companies like The Attitude provide their efficient service to the planet, we can be sure that high quality seeds will be available worldwide for collectors. As for The Attitude team, it’s back to work – there are more breeders out there to meet and represent, and by next year the list is expected to grow from ninety to a

PROVIDING RELIABLE INFORMATION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO THE ATTITUDE customers will find seed companies from many countries represented within their catalog, and new ones are being added all the time. It’s taken many years – decades, in fact – for the seed business to reach its current status as a serious and profitable concern, and as the seeds of industry were sown by initially small and unknown companies, so have those same small companies grown to become the most

progress is any indicator, they will enjoy a myriad of stable feminized and auto-flowering strains that current collectors can only now imagine. The Attitude Seed Bank is looking forward to a long and exciting role within this revolutionary movement, and is proud to represent the talented and professional organizations that are behind this vital research. It is crucially important for organizations such as The Attitude to continue

hundred-plus! With every new addition bringing their contribution of fresh quality strains to the market, it’s going to be difficult not to spend hours scouring the pages of The Attitude’s online catalog to find that special something to round off your collection. Whether Cup-winner, infamous cult classic or new and undiscovered gem, you can be sure that The Attitude team has it waiting for you and is ready to dispatch your order, prompt and efficient as always!







Thanks, Jacques Before the dreadful events of 9/11 it was common to travel by air with all kinds of sports equipment. The surf board was a longtime favorite of the hippie smuggler. Due to lax airport searches, many a board stuffed with marijuana made it through, but it was the diving tank that had the real potential. Hippie surfers were synonymous with marijuana use, but divers were a different breed by O’Riodon altogether. With the introduction of the aluminum tank the perfect smuggling tool was created. It only required some simple milling equipment to reduce a twenty-five kilo tank down to twelve. Access was usually through a screw-off bottom, which was hidden under the rubber boot. Professionals would use a small internal compressed air tank containing just enough to give a convincing phssst should customs open the valve. A twelve liter tank could carry almost thirteen kilos of Afghani hashish, lighter hash, maybe ten. A double-tank set had real potential, but tanks alone were not enough; this kind of smuggling required physical fitness – a double set with suit and fins weighed around seventy five kilos (ca. 165lbs.) Imagine carrying that with a bounce in your step.

and there’s not so much as a puddle for hundreds of miles, but they still did it. Back in Amsterdam the circular plaques of black border hash were christened ‘banjos’, but it was the real Afghani hash that people wanted. The real stuff also fetched double the price, so it was well-worth locating. With Pakistan’s neighbor at war it was much easier operating out of India, as there was less security – and when Afghani hash was not available there was always Manali or Kashmir. At one point there were hundreds of ‘divers’ traveling the world with loaded tanks. However not all of them had the ethics of the Cannabis smuggler; the method was also unfortunately used to transport hard drugs. Having loaded the equipment, the next step was the route. Most would travel to a neutral nation before attempting to enter their destination country; some even changed passports en route to disguise where they’d come from. The Emirates, with its oil industry, was a popular transit point, despite the fact that if you were caught they’d lock you away for years. Those traveling to Australia often passed through Singapore, where they executed hash smugglers. That took balls. Africa was the popular transit point on the route to Europe, but first you had to get out of the source country.

but this was a period when officialdom didn’t seem to realize that tanks could carry more than air. It didn’t always go as planned. One group traveling from India transited through Nairobi, a popular route because of its lack of baggage controls on entering the country. In fact, the luggage would just arrive on the carousel and you’d have to fight a taxi driver to get your bags back, as he’d already loaded them into his taxi. On this particular occasion a driver had grabbed a couple of diving bags off the belt and started to swing them onto his shoulder. Halfway through the movement he felt the momentum of the seventy-five kilo weight, but there was nothing he could do about it. When the bags reached shoulder height they just kept going and took him straight through a plate-glass window and down a flight of stairs. The owner of the bags picked them up from the stunned driver and left in another taxi before the police showed up. Bags sometimes went missing. There was a case of an airline putting the bags on the wrong flight; by the time they were finally reunited with their owner a month later, they’d been around the world. One group even stole the bags off another while in transit and got away with it. They loaded identical bags with bricks and placed them on the same flight. In Nairobi, airport accomplices picked up the real bags before the actual owners had cleared immigration, and it wasn’t until they reached their hotel that they discovered the switch.

groups would employ runners who’d never been near the source country to make the last part of the journey. Others just relied on timing, arriving on a Sunday morning when staff levels were low and multiple flights were also arriving from innocent destinations. The trick was to pick up the thirty-five kilo bag off of the belt as if it weighed nothing. Should customs have a look, a tank covered in sand and seaweed usually did the trick.

When things did run to plan, it was routine. After a week on the beach it was time to think about the final leg home. Some

Unfortunately, terrorism has changed many things in the world; lack of exotic hashish is one of them.


Filling the tanks was also a problem as there’s not much sport diving in Pakistan, so you needed a reason to travel. Most used the cover of professional oil rig divers, but for that you needed paperwork. Some didn’t bother with such niceties. One group of crazies operating on balls and stupidity used to fly out of landlocked Peshawar (in northern Pakistan)

In Pakistan bribery was often the way to get bags on a plane without a search, which in this day and age is a rather disturbing thought. Most used intelligence to beat the controls, for example finding out the search schedules. India was a victim of its own class system. Air India flights had virtually no searches for first class passengers and a huge baggage allowance thrown in; although I’m sure it’s not the case today, back then the discovery was gold. Many just traveled through the airport on combination of luck and guts,









Kalamata Greece has a long history of cultivating Cannabis – mostly sativa varieties that could be selected for fiber and seed as well as to produce higher-THC cultivars. It is likely that the prevalent phenotype for centuries, if not millennia, was a compact sativa with some indica characteristics – similar to other Eastern Mediterranean strains still in existence (such as those found in Lebanon and Egypt). The wideranging explorations of the Greeks in their golden era, and its prominence as a destination for sailors from all corners of the globe, must have yielded genetics from many sources. It is also believed that the original Greek strains may well have been influenced by some of the by Kali Mist purest African sativas, as well as those from Asia. Many of the secrets of Cannabis that are only now becoming common knowledge to us were known thousands of years ago to the ancient Greeks. Although much of this learning has been lost to the general populace through increasingly harsh domestic drug policy, a handful of lineages were able to flourish up until recent times. In Crete there is a fair amount of cultivation to this day – attitudes towards mainland Greek policy are hostile and many Cretans are prepared to defy the law of the land. On the mainland itself, the pot-smoking population relies heavily upon imported hash from Morocco or Spain, and low-quality weed from Albania. High-quality local cultivars that

Kalamata is high in THC with an intense, racy effect. The flavor is reported to range from citrus to woody, with long, compact flowers that may have a rosy or reddish coloration, and a flowering time of around 14 weeks – very similar in description to many African landrace genetics, as well as some Thai and Cambodian. It can grow up to 15 feet tall and can yield up to five pounds per plant when well-tended. Alongside (and arguably due to) police crackdowns, growers who still manage to finish a crop are increasingly choosing quicker-flowering Skunk varieties, and as with so many of the exceptional landraces out there, Kalamata has virtually disappeared off the map as a producer of this

unique sativa. But if you ever find yourself there and you have a trusted connection to help you navigate your way around the tricky politics of local weed cultivation, be sure to find the last few remaining guys who grow it and beg for a seed sample.


were widely available in the 1980s are now almost impossible to find, due to police crackdowns on outdoor grows and excessively harsh penalties. One that does apparently remain (albeit in massively reduced quantities) is a strain developed and made famous over many generations in and around Kalamata, second city of the Peloponnese (a region on the south coast of mainland Greece that enjoys a very pleasant climate). Kalamata pot is a closely guarded secret and examples are exceptionally rare. It is sativa, and we can possibly trace its lineage back to East Asia around 1,100 AD when the advancing Mongol armies invaded Asia

Panama Red Wherever humans have gone, Cannabis has followed soon after. Wild or escaped communities now exist on every continent save Antarctica, and in the intervening centuries since their introduction various landraces have evolved. Local growers also often selectively breed for desired characteristics, leading to highly morphologically-distinct Cannabis populations worldwide. ‘Phenotypic plasticity’, or the ability of a plant to change its genetic structure in response to environmental pressures, is very apparent in the Cannabis genus. This enables rapid localized adaptation, and it is suggested that the species can therefore survive significant climate change and – is indeed already responding to ongoing changes. Unfortunately this means that a particular phenotype can become insufficiently suited to its surroundings as conditions change by Kali Mist and newer, fitter examples evolve or are introduced. In much of Central America, the ravages of the cocaine trade have left an indelible mark on Cannabis cultivation. In some places Cannabis is intensively cultivated, and represents a significant percentage of overall narcotics trafficking; in other locales production has been sidelined in favor of the more profitable coca plant. Both extremes can affect the gene pool; however, when intensively farmed, the single most profitable strain may be

Minor. They brought their own Cannabis genetics, which then interbred with the local sativas of the time.

exhausted while others are allowed to die off. Conversely, when land is cleared for intensive coca production, existing populations are depleted and phenotypes lost. The ‘War on Drugs’ has, of course, led to eradication of Cannabis fields throughout the region, further compounding the problem. In Panama, cultivation began in earnest when growers brought seeds (thought to


be mostly of the Colombian Red cultivar) to the country from Colombia in defiance of the harsh crackdown on drug production there. Panama’s near-equatorial latitude and forgiving climate allows for the harvest of very pure, long-flowering tropical sativas. The hilly terrain and numerous small islands provide many opportunities for covert growing, and in the recent past Panamanian Cannabis was widely available.

and Cannabis has lessened in importance as an export in recent years. It is still available from seed banks in hybrid form, commonly crossed with White Widow or Skunk to enable successful indoor grows, but it seems that unless undiscovered communities exist out there in the rugged Panamanian hills and islands, the Red is now truly a lost strain.

Panama Red was the name given to the bushy red cultivar that ultimately emerged: reportedly of an airier structure and lighter color than its predecessor, and with a racy, clear sativa high – as opposed to the stupefying narcotic effect of the Colombian Red. It exhibits long red hairs on the flowers, as well as a reddish coloration to the leaves and flowers themselves. The Red first appeared – and rapidly achieved fame – in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and is apparently now unavailable. As with many disappearing landraces and cultivars, selection pressures have acted against it as cultivators prefer a more robust, quicker-flowering, higher-yielding plant, and are introducing hybrids that are flourishing in the benevolent climate – and rapidly gaining dominance. Also, while little coca is actually grown in Panama, its massive importance as a trafficking route has meant that local criminal gangs have turned their attention to cocaine,




LED Trial with Critical Jack LIGHT EMITTING DIODES LEDS ARE USED TO TAKE A PLANT FROM SEED TO BUD Light emitting diodes are electroluminescent, they use small doped semiconductors to emit light. They have two leads, a positive and a negative. When current is applied from positive to negative, they produce light. The individual diodes are usually one to five watts each, with several wired together to make a single light fixture. For example, a single 30w LED light might be manufactured from 30 x 1w by Grubbycup diodes, or 10 x 3w diodes. LEDs create about the same amount of light per watt as fluorescent lighting. An advantage LED lamps have over fluorescent lamps is the ability to project specific wavelengths (colors) of light. Chlorophyll uses light with wavelengths primarily from the red, blue and violet bands. Green light is reflected back away from the plant, which is why the plant appears green. A fluorescent lamp will use its power to broadcast light in many colors. This includes spending some energy on producing green light. However, if green light is not used by the plant, then that energy is wasted. LEDs are made to emit specific wavelengths, so by using red, blue and violet lamps, energy is not spent on creating green light. A higher percentage of the energy spent is converted into light that the plants can use. Prototypes of LED grow lights disappointed a lot of early adopters. The first units arrived on the scene with a lot of hype and a high price tag; they either didn’t work, or didn’t work well. Today’s units still come with the hype and the price, but I was curious if the advances in technology had advanced to the point where they were a viable alternative to HIDs and fluorescents. The unit I tested is a commercial 104w combination of one- and three-watt LEDs from the Netherlands. It seems well built, and being mostly solid-state, is more shock resistant than glass lamps. It runs much cooler than HID lighting, and at least in theory, should last longer without needing bulb or part replacements. However, it is not an inexpensive unit to purchase: retail price runs in the same ballpark as a budget HID magnetic coil 1000w, ballast, bulb and socket. The 1000w light would generate a lot more waste heat, would require more electricity to use, and would add the expense of bulb replacement, but may be more appropriate if these factors are not a concern. The self-contained unit is heavy for its size, but was easy to set up in a small space. To ensure that the plants were from quality genetics, Dinafem’s Critical Jack seeds were used. The plants were grown in perlite with small plastic pots as containers, in an indoor vented closet.

The testing took more trials than expected, and the learning curve on use was steeper than it appeared. My experience so far with LEDs has shown them to be unforgiving of errors, and as such I would not recommend them as a good choice for novice growers. Trial one ended prematurely due to low temperature issues. The LED unit runs much cooler than traditional lighting, and as a result the plants suffered from the cool temperatures in the space. The lower waste heat of the LEDs could be useful in conditions where excess waste heat is a problem. Trial two also ended prematurely, due to a combination of complications from having the light too close to the canopy, and nutrient uptake problems. Plant transpiration under the unit was reduced, and as a result, water moved through the plant at a slower rate than I am used to. Since I used perlite as a growing medium, overwatering wasn’t an issue, but when using LEDs over soil, be careful of over-watering. The third trial successfully completed from seed to harvest without incident. Four seeds were put in to sprout on December 17th. They sprouted normally, and early growth was compact and vigorous. Internode length was shorter, and foliage was denser than my experiences with HPS or fluorescent lighting. Lighting was switched to 12 hours on/12 hours off at 130 days from seed. The spacing of the branches was still very short, and the plant was very bushy, but it was also small for its age. Gender declared itself as normal (being feminized, it declared female); bud development was very tight. Overall, the plant appeared to be a miniaturized version of a much larger plant.

pare the success of grows even if the number of days taken for each is different. Compared to the GPDs from other tests, the 104w LED unit performed better than a 250w HID, but not as well as a 400w HID. The Critical Jack has a woody aroma with subtle notes of lemon. The smoke is sweet tasting, smooth with a hint of bite, and has a very pleasant exhale. It delivers a nicely potent hit, and leaves a nice warm afterglow. LEDs have come a long way since they first hit the market. For use in stealth cabinets or in a location where heat is an issue, they are worth taking a look at – if the cost of purchasing the unit doesn’t break the budget. I can confidently say that it is possible to grow good weed under a well-designed LED light, and that, watt for watt, they perform better than HPS or fluorescent technologies. I have no doubt that a 400w LED array could easily outperform a 400w HID light. However, at current market prices, 400w of LED array is substantially more expensive than 400w of HID lighting, so initial cost may be an important consideration.



Peace, love and puka shells, Grubbycup




THE CRITICAL JACK FROSTED NICELY. During mid flowering, to ensure the plants did not suffer due to crowding, three of the plants were removed. The plant finished in 55 days (just under 8 weeks). Bud development started very slow, but picked up dramatically in the last couple of weeks. Wet weight was 2.7 ounces (75 grams) which trimmed and dried to .7 ounce (20 grams) of nice smoke. Start to finish it took 185 days, and final harvest was 20 grams for a GPD (grams per day) of .108. Calculating the GPD for each harvest will allow a gardener to com-




2.7 OUNCES (75 GRAMS).


Male Cannabis: LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS! For most growers, the first sign a plant shows of being male is their cue to rip it up and dispose of it – but is there any use for the males besides causing your precious females to be ruined by seed growth? Unless you are a breeder, you’ve probably never thought much about it. It’s a terrible feeling staring at a bunch of males, knowing that they must be removed from the grow straightaway and that all the care and attention you’ve lavished upon them up to now was wasted. But male plants do have their uses, and this article will tell you a little about them. Any alternative to simply throwing them in the trash has got to be worth considering. by Kali Mist In the drug Cannabis industry, strong males are prized by breeders. Yes, female plants can be cloned for many generations, but at some point male pollen should be introduced and new seeds grown as the genetic begins to weaken. A good, stable father can be the basis for hundreds of successful crosses. When selecting males for breeding, the observable traits that are most desirable are low hermaphroditism, vigor, good height (neither too short nor too tall), and rapid maturation rate. Scent and floral structure may be discernible from male plants also, but the effect a male’s genes will have on the overall look and potency of his daughters can only be known by growing out the progeny to maturity.

Various males must be allowed to pollinate identical groups of female clones to ascertain which male produces the most viable offspring. It is impossible to create and stabilize a new variety without doing it the old-fashioned way (breeding males with females). Feminized seed crops must be treated repeatedly with colloidal silver or gibberellic acid to prevent normal flowering, and strains of cultivated monoecious hemp must be re-developed from parent stock every few generations to prevent reversion to the normal dioecious growth. Having males and females is an integral part of the Cannabis plant’s nature – just as it is for humans – and maintaining unnatural reproductive cycles for many generations is impossible without great effort. Apart from the world of breeding highpotency Cannabis, male plants have a very important place in hemp farming. They are obviously vital for seed production as, without their pollen, new healthy generations cannot emerge. But their fibers are also prized, and their properties have been long-studied. The archaic English word ‘fimble’ (from the old Dutch femeel) specifically refers to the male hemp plant and male hemp fiber. Male plants mature faster than females, release pollen, die and are harvested for fiber. The females then ripen and are harvested for seed and fiber. Male hemp grows 10-15% taller than female- and

A MALE SUPER SILVER HAZE PLANT IN FULL FLOWER – PART OF A BREEDING PROGRAM ©RIKVA 2009 were world-famous. The coarser, stronger female fibers were used for ropes, sacking and canvas. The dioecious nature of Cannabis and the different uses for male and female hemp were recorded as early as 221 BC in an early Chinese dictionary, around 1,900 years before Western botanists ‘discovered’ sex in plants – also by studying male Cannabis! For this reason alone, the male of the species deserves a special place in the annals of botanical history. Although levels are low compared with female plants, male specimens of psychoactive Cannabis strains do contain varying amounts of THC and other cannabinoids. The male matures much faster than the female: it is already producing pollen and is ready to die in the initial few weeks of

len, the stalk and foliage may be treated in various ways to extract the psychoactive compounds, either in the form of hash, oil – or butter for cooking. Some enthusiasts claim the products they create are comparable to or even better than those produced from female plants. The method to produce butter from males is identical to that for females. The plant matter is ground up as small as possible, and stirred into melted butter (or a mixture of butter and water to prevent burning) with reportedly good results. It is improbable that good results would be yielded from most methods of hash-making. On the other hand, as THC levels are so low: in many traditional hash-making communities (such as Morocco) males are not separated from females – except for

THROUGH HISTORY, WEAVERS HAVE USED THE EARLIER-HARVESTED MALE FIBER TO MAKE FINE LINEN-STYLE ITEMS SUCH AS TOWELS, CLOTHING AND BEDDING has thinner stalks; the fiber is finer but lower in tensile strength. Through history, weavers have used the earlier-harvested male fiber to make fine linen-style items such as towels, clothing and bedding. Some, such as the almost silk-like fabrics manufactured by some Italian weavers,

the female’s flower period, allowing pollination to occur and seeds to develop within the flower as it grows. Therefore THC production has already peaked by this point. In a greenhouse or indoor grow room, if the males are cut just before the flowers mature and begin to release pol-





very select crops – and hash containing male pollen is said to be yellowish and lower in strength and overall quality. However, some indoor growers of highpotency strains have attempted to make ice-o-lator from males, and some have reported producing hash of medium- to good quality. It is said that males make good oil – when extracted by soaking the plant matter in high-quality ethanol – and it is possible that this is the best use for your grow room or greenhouse males. When attempting any of the above methods, remember that a higher quantity of male plant matter will be needed than for female plant extraction. So perhaps, armed with these facts, you’ll be a little more forgiving when you next find yourself staring at a tiny, newlyformed male flower basking in the glow of your expensive HPS lights. Console yourself with the thought that you’ve actually got some usable THC, weeks before your girls will be ready. Don’t throw them away – try making a batch of brownies, or an eighth of ice-o-lator or oil – who knows, by the time you next have to cut down your males you may be looking forward to it!




The occasion was my first marriage, a miss-match way back in the heady days of the ‘80s. She was a money dealer and I was a gallery owner; it seemed like a good idea at the time. We married in Amsterdam and the reception was held in the gallery. The guest list was varied due to our different professions and wide circle of friends. My seventy-four-yearold grandmother even attended, hav-

Eating Cannabis is still one of the best ways of consuming nature’s gift; it’s tasty and only as dangerous as the sugar that goes with it. If the dose is right, it can be a pleasant and enlightening experience, but there’s a darker side to eating Cannabis – the surprise effect. Unwittingly eating a cookie that takes you into another state of mind can be a little unnerving, especially if it’s your first time. I have to confess in my younger, less sensitive days I was inevitably responsible by O’Riodon for giving nearly sixty people just such an experience. in. The cake tasted so good, people kept asking for more and my constant refusal seemed weird. When somebody walked past carrying a large piece, I freaked. Rushing into the main room, I discovered my wife’s uncle had found the cake and was passing it out to little old ladies. In complete panic, I rushed up and grabbed what was left and disappeared upstairs.

THE COLOMBIAN AMBASSADOR HAD MOVED INTO THE BACK ROOM AND WAS HOLDING AUDIENCE OVER AN ANDEAN-SIZED PILE OF COCAINE. HE PROMISED TO LOOK AFTER THE CAKE. ing flown over from England with my mother. There was also my new wife’s extensive Dutch family. A friend offered to bake a wedding cake. At first it was going to be a normal fruit cake covered in icing, then the idea to give it a ‘sparkle’ crept in. The hash was actually meant to be a reward for the chef; I’d just suggested a pinch or two in the mix to mellow things out.

I must have seemed deranged, but not as much as when I discovered the Colombian Ambassador had moved into the back room and was holding audience over an Andean-sized pile of cocaine. He promised to look after the cake.

Having already eaten a piece, I was beginning to realize just how strong it was. Back in the party, I saw cake in all the wrong hands. I even took a half-eaten piece off my grandmother. To add to the weirdness, one of my more lecherous musician friends had turned up dressed as a priest and many of the older guests thought he was legit. My grandmother even commented on how nice it was that I had a priest for a friend. So, when he got drunk and chased women around the party, it just added to the bizarreness. I mentioned earlier that my new wife was a money dealer; well, befitting her status, the director of the bank dropped by to pay his respects. His Rolls Royce and escort were blocking the street. In less than a year he would become Minister of Finance and eventually go on to oversee the introduction of the Euro. When I met him he was just finishing a piece of cake. After a moment or two of pleasantries, he handed over a coffee machine and said goodbye, then headed for the cloakroom

to get his coat. I just beat him to the door. The coat (once found) was handed over smelling of weed. He left, unaware of the experience yet to come. This was a chapter out of William Burroughs and I was not enjoying it. Behind me, a shout announced somebody had found the remainder of the cake. The bearer, holding it high, tripped and fell down the stairs, scattering cake everywhere. Half the party fell on it like wolves; the other half were beginning to wonder why they felt so weird. Then, the next surprise. My partner’s Siamese cats had retreated to the back room. Playing with them on the floor were my wife’s teenage nieces, and that’s where their mother found them. I heard the explosion from the other end of the party. Numb and in shock, the haranguing I got had little effect, but did prompt a visit to the back room. All about the place the people were starting to turn green; one uncle had eaten seven pieces. When the end finally came it was quick. The guy I was talking to suddenly lay down on the floor and then got up again as if nothing had happened; a moment later he really passed out. Then it started; they began to drop like flies – fortunately I left before the ambulances arrived. Depending upon who you talked to, it was either the best party ever, or the worst. To my new in-laws I was the devil incarnate.

On the day, the wedding ceremony was over and the party was getting into full swing, thanks to that social lubricant: alcohol. The artists had softened to the bankers and even I had managed to shake off the stag night hangover. It was at that point the cake arrived, glistening white and sporting a big red ribbon, a delicious time bomb about to blow the party apart. The cake was handed over with the whispered words, ‘it didn’t seem like much, so we put it all in.’ Even in my inebriated state, I realized the explosive implications of a cake containing sixty grams of hash. Using the excuse of looking for a knife, I disappeared with it into the kitchen and locked the door. I couldn’t throw it away; they’d all seen it, so I decided to cut off a small piece and hide the rest. When I reappeared with a plate of minute portions there were lots of complaints, but that was the least of my problems. My new in-laws had just discovered the cloakroom was full of hairy people smokIT’S ALWAYS NICE TO HAVE A ‘PRIEST’ IN ATTENDANCE! ing weed. It was downhill from there on




Royal Queen Seeds Launches New Automatic Species For the past four years, the Royal Queen Seeds company has been an important actor on Europe’s constantly expanding Cannabis seed market. Thanks to reasonable prices, the high quality of the seeds and active participation in creation and distribution of female seeds and the socalled ‘automatic’ species, Royal Queen Seeds has become an extremely prominent company. Due to the enormous success of their so-called auto-flowering species, Royal Queen Seeds has decided to launch several new species on the market.

Northern Light Automatic: The other great classic, Northern Light, has been crossed with a Ruderalis strain to create another classic: Northern Light Automatic, a species that flowers even more rapidly than any grower could dream of!

Royal Queen Seeds Now Packages Seeds Automatically Royal Queen Seeds has recently introduced a Hapamatic automated packaging machine for packaging seeds. The implementation of the Hapamatic machine, already used for years in the medical sector for packaging large quantities of medicine, is a logical step for Royal Queen Seeds. Boy Ramsahai, owner of Royal Queen Seeds, explains: ‘Today’s Cannabis consumers know exactly what to pay attention to when purchasing high-quality seeds, and good packaging is of fundamental importance, not only because clients expect the correct number of seeds but also because they require them to be selected and packaged with care.

Royal Haze Automatic: If you cross a Dutch classic such as Amnesia Haze with a Ruderalis and a type of Skunk, you will obtain a spectacular plant, in every sense of the word: an automatic Haze that flowers in just nine weeks from bud to harvest!

Our seeds are hand-chosen before being machine-packed; great attention is given to factors such as humidity in the air and temperature, and the selection and packaging processes take place in a sterile environment. With the new system, our seeds are protected from the light and sterilized.’ For information: Royal Queen Seeds » info@royalqueenseeds.com » www.royalqueenseeds.com

Royal AK Automatic: The well-known AK-47 crossed with a Ruderalis strain to create a genetically stable automatic species.









By Kaz Peet

Bassnectar Divergent Spectrum AMORPHOUS MUSIC Bassnectar is the brainchild of Lorin Ashton, and exists as an open-sourced musical project that is as diverse as it is dogged, as raw as it is meticulous and as fierce as it is imaginary. Spanning the spectrum of sonic style, the music covers every conceivable genre and smashes it all into a synthesis of intense, wobbling basslines and hypnotic soundscapes. BY COMBINING SOUND AND FORCE WITH WEIGHT, THE BASSNECTAR EXPERIENCE ENGULFS THE SENSES. IT IS AS PHYSICAL AS IT IS AUDITORY – A LAWLESS ADVENTURE WITH NO LIMITATIONS, AND NO HESITATION IN FUSING THE FAMILIAR WITH THE STRANGE, OR THE CLASSIC WITH THE CUTTING EDGE. This latest EP release, Divergent Spectrum, is no disappointment. As always, disregarding the rules, it traverses a mashed-up aural continuum that reaches from dark to light, heavy to soft and pretty to ugly. It is like the next, unexpected chapter of Beauty and the Beast.

Marvin Gaye What’s Going On UNIVERSAL To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s seminal Motown classic What’s Going On, Universal present this super deluxe edition. A meditative act of artistic rebellion, this masterpiece broke the Motown mold. The album introduced Marvin Gaye, the company’s sexy prince, as an uncompromising singer, songwriter and producer. From the first day of release, the groundbreaking concept work was recognized as a magnum opus; his lyrics, stories and grooves remain timeless. This 40th anniversary edition couples the much-adored music with the wonders of modern day mastering, to produce an unparalleled insight into Marvin’s showpiece. The set, which focuses on Marvin’s LP and post-LP Detroit recordings, includes a fullyremastered version of What’s Going On, including original mono hit singles; the original, rejected, ‘no strings’ mix of the title track; several post-album outtakes; his single sequel, You’re The Man; and a series of recordings (mostly instrumental) made in Detroit before Marvin followed Motown to Los Angeles. The Motor City theme of this edition continues on the included 12-inch: the LP’s rare, original Detroit Mix, on vinyl for the first time. The package also includes rare and unseen photography from throughout the recording process and the remarkable, battle like story, behind What’s Going On. OVER ALL, THE SET PROVIDES NOT ONLY AN ESSENTIAL PIECE OF MARVIN GAYE HISTORY FOR FANS, BUT ALSO A UNIQUE AND COMPREHENSIVE INSIGHT INTO ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST CHERISHED ALBUMS FOR ANY SOUL SISTER OR -BROTHER.

Other Lives Tamer Animals PLAY IT AGAIN SAM At the crossroads of US 177 and State Highway 51, in the midst of a vast mid-western plain, sits Stillwater, OK, unlikely hometown to a remarkable band – Other Lives – and its gifted singer/composer and multi-instrumentalist bandleader, Jesse Tabish. Tamer Animals, their second album, is ambitious in scope: densely textured and uncompromisingly sophisticated, yet instantly appealing and alluringly mysterious. Produced by the band themselves and mixed by Beck’s longtime drummer Joey Waronker, Tamer Animals was written and recorded at Other Lives’s own studio over a period of sixteen months. Interweaving layer upon layer of intricately winding and pulsing orchestrations, these eleven tracks enfold listeners in a bounteous panoply of melodies and textures reminiscent of Brian Wilson’s daring Smile period. The term ‘chamber-pop’ readily springs to mind, but Other Lives’s music invokes everything from Phillip Glass’s dazzling minimalism to Morricone’s dark, epic sweep. The first single off of Tamer Animals, For 12 especially exemplifies the latter: its galloping rhythms conjure a feeling of uneasy expansiveness, a timeless aural sublimity of The Great Plains of the Old West, with nary a saddle nor spur in sight. For 12 has already gotten the thumbs up from Radiohead, and the band counts Zane Lowe, Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips and Bad Seed Jim Sciavunos among their burgeoning ranks of avid fans. UNDERPINNING THE ALBUM’S RICH PALETTE OF SOUNDS IS THE BAND’S NATIVE DUST BOWL AUSTERITY: A STARK, YET COOLLY ELEGANT BEAUTY THAT MIRRORS THE LANDSCAPE SURROUNDING THEM. ‘You go five miles outside Stillwater and it’s just untouched plains,’ muses Jesse. ‘I think that has affected me subconsciously.’

The Funk Ark From the Rooftops ESL MUSIC The Funk Ark is a world funk ensemble based in Washington, DC. The group draws upon influences from the African- and Latin funk/dance music scenes of the 1960s and ‘70s, and the result is a gritty and soulful mix of inspired afro-beat and big band funk. Delivering healthy doses of the sound, this debut album recalls the best of Africa 70, the JB’s and the Fania Allstars simultaneously. The group’s keyboardist and main songwriter, Will Rast, is well known for his work with a veritable encyclopedia of artists – both locally and internationally – such as Mya, Federico Aubele, Natalie Clavier, RAMP and Raheem Devaughn. He will also be featuring on ESL Instigators – Thievery Corporation’s forthcoming release. THE FUNK ARK IS YOUR NEW ONE-STOP SHOP FOR BOOTY-SHAKING VINTAGE GROOVES. SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!

Thundercat The Golden Age of Apocalypse BRAINFEEDER If indeed ‘you blows who you is’, as Louis Armstrong once famously said, then Stephen Bruner’s bass is a mainline to the soul of a man whose DNA was transcribed from the stars onto staff paper. His Flying Lotus-produced debut, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, out on August 29th 2011, offers both stone-cold skill and uncanny astrality, picking up where the pair left off on 2010’s Cosmogramma – further distilling the jazz current running through that landmark Lotus release. A longtime contributor to others’ albums, Bruner (a.k.a. Thundercat) is accompanied by an impressive cast ranging from Erykah Badu to members of Sa-Ra and J*DaVeY, to pianist Austin Peralta and his own Grammy-winning brother, drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr. Still, the end result is unmistakably a Thundercat record – a lush and magical document combining classic jazz-fusion, futurist electronic strains and timeless musical seeking. Spanning a cosmic stew of players, locations and times, The Golden Age of Apocalypse was years in the making even though, LA-based, Bruner had never planned on releasing his own music. But Lotus spurred him on, and each song became a journey. There’s the ebullient Daylight, a soft whirl of bluesy piano, New Age synth, snapping beats and warm bass. There’s Walkin, an upbeat soul strutter powered by Bruner’s digitally-distorted plucks. There are raw, improvised numbers like Jamboree and virtuosic bass pileups like Fleer Ultra. ONE OF THE ALBUM’S MOST STUNNING MOMENTS ARRIVES WITH A SPACIOUS COVER OF GEORGE DUKE’S FOR LOVE I COME, A TAUT BEAUTY SPANGLED WITH CRYSTALLINE HARP AND KEYS. BRINGING THIS STRING OF DIVINELY UNEXPECTED MOMENTS TO A MOODY AND CINEMATIC CLOSE IS RETURN TO THE JOURNEY. THERE, BRUNER SINGS, ‘TIME WILL PASS US BY’, BUT LISTENERS NEEDN’T WORRY. INSIDE OF THIS SPACE, TIME REALLY ISN’T A THING.



Gil Scott-Heron: SOUL BROTHER SADLY PASSES AWAY; YET HIS SPIRIT SHALL NEVER FADE! Gil Scott-Heron, who died on May 27th, aged 62, was a composer, musician, poet and author whose writings and recordings provided a vivid – and often stinging – commentary on social injustice and the black American experience. His declamatory singing style, allied to the overtly political content of his work, made him widely recognized as one of the Kaz Peet most inspirational figures of rap music and beyond. Scott-Heron first came to attention with his 1970 recording The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, a compelling attack on the mindless and anesthetizing effects of the mass media, and a call to arms to the black community: ‘You will not be able to stay home brother./You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out./ You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,/Skip out for beer during commercials,/Because the revolution will not be televised.’ Written when Scott-Heron was just 18, it first appeared in the form of a spokenword recitation on his debut album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. The following year he recorded the song for a second time, this time with a full band, for his seminal album Pieces of a Man. The song went on to be covered, sampled and referenced in innumerable recordings. Scott-Heron’s music reflected something of the militancy and self-assertiveness of such theorists and polemicists as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. Over the course of 20 albums he produced a series of sardonic and biting commentaries on ghetto life and racial injustice, including Whitey’s On The Moon, Home Is Where The Hatred Is, The Bottle and the anti-apartheid anthem Johannesburg. But anger was not the only color in Scott-Heron’s music palette; songs such as Must Be Something and It’s Your World were moving affirmations of faith in the power of the human spirit. A tall, rail-thin man with a wispy goatee beard and a countenance of prophetic gravity, Scott-Heron sang in a roughly arresting voice that was once described as a mixture of ‘mahogany, sunshine and tears’, and one that always emphasized lyrical content over technique. The bass player Ron Carter, who played on ScottHeron’s second album, Pieces Of A Man, described it as ‘a voice like you would have for Shakespeare’. His vocal style, and his political message, would be a major influence on such groups as Public Enemy and NWA, and would lead to his being described as ‘the godfather of rap’. It was a title that ScottHeron himself always deplored. He said: ‘You don’t really see inside the person. Instead, you just get a lot of posturing.’ He preferred to call himself ‘a blues-ologist’.

Gil Scott-Heron was born in Chicago on April 1st, 1949. He was named after his father, Gilbert Heron, a Jamaican who had settled in America, where his prowess at football brought him to the attention of talent scouts from Scotland; in the early ‘50s Gilbert Sr. played football professionally for Celtic and Third Lanark, earning the nickname ‘the Black Arrow’, before returning to Chicago. It was there that he met Gil’s mother, Bobbie, a librarian and an accomplished singer. His parents separated when he was two, and he was sent to live with his maternal grandmother, Lillie Scott, in Jackson, Tennessee. Scott-Heron would credit his grandmother with being one of the primary influences on his life: ‘[She] raised me to not sit around and wait for people to guess what’s on your mind – I was gonna have to say it.’

Cultivating his interest in music and literature, she bought him a second-hand piano from a local funeral parlor and introduced him to the writings of the Harlem Renaissance novelist and poet Langston Hughes, who became a major influence. When Gil was 12 his grandmother died, and he moved to New York to be reunited with his mother, who brought up her son on her own. On the recommendation of his high school English teacher, Gil won a scholarship to a private school, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, before going on to study at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. In his second year at university he was given leave of absence to write a novel, The Vulture (1970), a thriller about ghetto life, while working as a clerk at a dry cleaners. On graduation he published a second novel, The Nigger Factory (1971), about campus unrest, and a collection of poetry, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. He was soon approached by the jazz producer Bob Thiele who, as head of the Impulse label, had recorded such artists as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Dizzy Gillespie, as well as being the cowriter (with George David Weiss) of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. Thiele released Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, a live recording of one of ScottHeron’s club performances. The followup Pieces of Man brought him together (on record) for the first time with Brian Jackson, a keyboard-player, flautist and

composer who would become his main collaborator on nine albums. He enjoyed further chart success in 1976 with Johannesburg and, in 1978, with the anti-drug song Angel Dust, but was to fall victim to drug abuse more than two decades later, serving jail time for various offenses. In 2010, there was a resurgence of interest in his work when he returned with his first studio album in 16 years, I’m New Here. Both a genius and a soldier, Gil ScottHeron’s legacy will survive his death. With mantra-like incessance, his songs that rumble from deep within his soul will continue to incite and inspire generations of young people to take up the struggle from where he left off.



Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco

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Soft Secrets USA is published by Discover Publishers USA, Inc Century Park Plaza 1801 Century Park East, 24th floor / Suite 2400 Los Angeles, CA 90067 E-mail: usa@softsecrets.nl

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Editor in chief: Kristie Szalanski

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While on my way to the Cannabis Cup, I happened upon a parade. On the 26th of June 2011, San Francisco held the 41st annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration. The annual celebration commemorates riots that took place at a bar in Greenwich Village, New York. In 1969 police raided a bar named the ‘Stonewall Inn’, which resulted in a riot. That event and its repercussions are often credited with being a galvanizing force that helped by Grubbycup unite the LGBT movement into organizing.

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In spite of its somber inspiration, these days the festival appeared to be more a demonstration of free speech – and as an excuse for outrageous outfits, but that didn’t seem like a bad thing. It looked like a lot of fun. Thousands of people were in attendance, and throughout the path of the parade, people stood three-deep or more to watch the festivities.

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I hadn’t originally intended to go to the parade; I was trying to make my way across it to get to the HT Cannabis Cup, which was on the other side of the parade route from where I was. But I was in San Francisco, and it was one of the biggest parades of its kind. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity; I had to at least stop and take a look. This year’s theme was ‘In Pride We Trust’.

messages. On the one hand a playful celebration of sexuality, and the other a stark reminder of the intolerance and bigotry that still exists. As oft-marginalized as Cannabis users are, we can certainly understand how difficult the fight for LGBT rights can be. Peace, love and puka shells, Grubbycup

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The costumes ranged from sensual to absurd, with a dash of Salvador Dali thrown in for good measure. Black leather, purple corsets and rainbows galore passed by, each vying for attention. I thought it was GO-GO DANCING FLOAT a fun show with some underlying serious

Advertisements: Jessica Telephone: +1-661-333 3151 E-mail: jessica@softsecrets.nl Distribution by: P.A.I.N. Distribution Carlos Garcia Circulation Manager www.magazinedistribution.org Telephone: +1-310-488-1911 A word from the publisher: To the chagrin of the US Federal Government, almost half of the states have embarked on a process of relative liberalization towards the use of Cannabis, and Cannabis activists are engaged in broadening this progression. Some townships, mayors and police chiefs – on a local level – now actively support a ‘compassion club’ distribution system as a way of separating recreational stoners from the people who legitimately need therapeutic help, simultaneously decreasing the number of unnecessary arrests. Whether they are finding their way to the local medical distribution point or growing for personal stash, Cannabis users are a menace to no one and are causing no discernible social problem. Some politicians, and even more non-users than ever, are calling for the outright legalization of marijuana. Taxpayers are frustrated with funding the incarceration of first-time, non-violent drug offenders (read: pot smokers) as well as the social toll that high numbers of imprisonment brings to some towns and neighborhoods. Now we must be patient and see how the debate develops during a period of relative peace between both sides.

Chaz Bono (formerly Chastity Bono; parents are Sonny and Cher) was this year’s celebrity Grand Marshal. As usual, the motorcycle club ‘Dykes on BIKES’ spearheaded the show. Floats, cars and people on foot paraded in front of an admiring crowd. Actor Olympia Dukakis made a personal appearance in a classic car. Churches marched in the parade, welcoming all to their flocks, while go-go dancers of all sorts gyrated for the crowd. Signs and flags proclaimed support for tolerSMILING PEOPLE IN BRIGHT COSTUMES ance. The parade itself is a symbol of the success of that tolerance, as suggestive REPRESENTED ALL TYPES. nudity was a common sight – despite not generally being tolerated in public. Usually presented in a very matter-of-fact, humorous or overly suggestive way, the sight of naked and semi-naked people appeared to have little adverse effect on the crowd. Even folks like myself, who had not planned on attending (and merely stumbled into the area) seemed far more amused than shocked by anything we saw. Overall, the crowd seemed very wellbehaved, polite and a smorgasbord for people-watching.

Editorial adress: E-mail: kristie@softsecrets.nl


In the meantime, the publisher hopes Soft Secrets will expose the positive aspects of the normalization of Cannabis use to the public, and is excited to offer a forum to both proand anti-legalization advocates. Soft Secrets forums operate under the assumption that the publisher does not necessarily agree with the views and opinions expressed in articles and advertisements therein. The publisher therefore distances himself explicitly from statements or images that might give the impression that an endorsement is being made for the illicit use or production of Cannabis. Soft Secrets does not advocate breaking any laws, whether local-, state-, Federal or international. Nothing from this publication may be copied or reproduced in any format without prior permission from the publisher and other copyright holders. The publisher is not responsible for the content and/or point of view of advertisements. The editors take no responsibility for unsolicited submissions.

Soft Secrets USA #5/2011 out: October 18th, 2011

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