More Pot, Yet Again
by Jeff Costello, August 30, 2017
Pretty sure the AVA is correct is saying the small-time grower is screwed. It will be like growing tomatoes in the back yard, eat them yourself and give some away to friends. The corporate world is on to marijuana in a big way. And just like home grown tomatoes compared to the ones in the supermarket, people will buy the crappy ones and not know the difference. Bob Marley came to Maui to do a show when I lived there. Worshipful local growers lined up to give him samples of their stuff. Marley, a rastafarian who regarded ganja as a sacrament, smoked some of one guy's weed and told him, "Too bad you used chemicals." He could tell. This got around quickly on the island.
Supermarket tomatoes, here we come. They won't know the difference. The best tomato I ever ate came from a friend's small garden in Sebastopol. Imagine Monsanto Marijuana. Comparable to grainy, tasteless Safeway tomatoes. Like most everything else I remember from the 60s, the mystique of pot is gone. Maybe it always was just another drug and we were kidding ourselves. We were against war and were rewarded with Kent State. My war protest was strictly personal. I was drafted in 1964 and secured a 4-F rating, only dimly aware of Viet Nam. We thought pot would advance the human condition and were rewarded with methamphetamine. I should have realized this in the 80s when my roommate habitually drank beer, swallowed a handful of Vicodin and/or Valium, and smoked a joint. Just one ingredient in the process of getting loaded. I remember when pot heads regarded beer drinkers as slobs. Snobs and slobs. Now they're making pot-infused beer. Snobbery and Slobbery together in a drink.
Is it true that Mendo growers can barely get $500 a pound? During my brief career growing pakalolo on the Big Island, the going rate was $1600. That was the 80s and the gun people were moving in. I was done with it when a friend and I were greeted by a guy with a shotgun as we walked up his driveway. In those days most Hawaiian pot was shipped off to the mainland, and the risks, aside from the gun wielders and helicopters (Operation Green Harvest), were in the shipping process. When the pot sniffing dogs were deployed in Big Island post offices, growers began sending people - mostly women dressed as tourists - to Honolulu to send it from there. FedEx and UPS were also used. One guy used big musical instrument cases for shipping. Despite the anxiety, evading capture or ripoffs was part of the fun. Breaking the law, flouting the rules. But with the new corporate growers it's all business, no fun other than stepping on the little guys.
Sometime in the 90s, Starbucks coffee started selling stock at $14 a share. Once again I'll miss an opportunity to invest in big things to come.