The legal access to weed we enjoy now, for most modern smokers, is new. And while the trend sweeps the nation, and national legalization is on our doorstep, it’s important to look back at some of the figures who got us there. It was a movement that has pushed against the U.S. and international prohibition, and one of the biggest voices was Jack Herer. You might know more about the strain than its namesake. A spicy and citrus-sativa perfect for getting stuff done reflects the nature of the man himself.
A fiery hemp activist, Herer was born in 1939, and grew up in Buffalo, New York. He was the youngest of three kids. He served in the Korean war, then moved to making a living off painting signs. Jack got into cannabis in his early 30s, gave up painting, and opened a head shop on Venice Beach. It’s said that it was her girlfriend who got him to smoke because, “He was too boring otherwise.”
Herer wrote his book The Emperor Wears No Clothes in 1985. It was born from Herer’s passion for the plant, a compilation of uses and benefits of cannabis, and data, statistics and accounts supporting legalization. He narrates the devastation of the planet from climate change while he expresses the many solutions that cannabis has to offer. He presents solutions to medical conditions, promoting the use of cannabis for pain management and its anti-anxiety properties.
Jack Herer promoted the idea of the entire plant, not just the dried flower, being useful for addressing the problems that we face as the world. He worked to reveal the diverse and reaching history of cannabis through societies, dating back at the earliest to 8,000 B.C.. Herer tracked the course it took in America, from being one of the most abundant and accessible medicines on the frontier, to the huge number of farms and plantations in the states, some of which were regulated to grow more cannabis in times of scarcity.
Herer died in April of 2010 at the age of 70. After a later-life of fighting heart-attacks, he finally succumbed to his final one after giving a speech in Portland, dying months after. But the movement hasn’t died with him. As an eternal testament to his lifelong pursuit, the back cover of The Emperor Wears No Clothes challenges readers to disprove the fact, with a bet of $100,000, that cannabis is essential to answer the problems that face the world.
As the pandemic drags on into the new year, a lot of folks are looking for creative activities to pass the time at home. While card games and board games are great, sometimes you want something more mellow—that’s where jigsaw puzzles come in. Chances are, you’ve done a jigsaw puzzle of some kind at some point in your life. But if you haven’t put together a puzzle as an adult, you might not realize how well it pairs with cannabis! And as an added bonus, you can frame the finished puzzle and use it to decorate your home or gift it to someone else!
I recently made an impulse buy when I found a 500-piece puzzle of “The Big Lebowski” for just $10. It had been a decade or two since the last time I had put a puzzle together. My partner and I set up a small table in a spot safe from our cats, knowing this project might take several sessions to complete.
Step 1: Sorting the pieces. The first task when starting a puzzle is sorting the pieces–the perfect task for while you’re stoned! We found it was easiest to pull all the edge pieces and start building the puzzle with those, and to sort the middle pieces by color and/or texture. We enjoyed Vortex by Bondi during the sorting process.
Step 2: Assembling the puzzle. If you’re planning to frame the finished puzzle, make sure to assemble it on a smooth surface, like a piece of cardboard or poster board. It will be much easier to do the gluing and framing if the puzzle is on a separate surface, rather than directly on a tabletop! It took us 3 nights to finish the puzzle. Even when there was a long period of time without any puzzle pieces being placed, we didn’t mind–after all, we were spending time together, doing something new, and smoking lots of cannabis! Some of the strains we consumed during this process were: Peach Rings by Puget Power, Do-Si-Do by Bondi, and and Rose by Loud.
Step 3: Gluing. After we finished the puzzle, we used a paintbrush to apply a thin coat of adhesive. There’s a few different options that you can use–we just happened to have some Mod Podge around the house, so we used that. Depending on what kind of adhesive you use, you may want to do two or more coats, letting each coat dry completely before applying the next.
Step 4: Framing. From here, you just need to transfer the (completely dried) puzzle onto whatever matting you’re going to use for framing. If you’re skipping the frame, you can just glue the puzzle to a piece of thick cardboard or something similar.
Any stoner born in the U.S. in the 90s will know this song. And a surprising amount will be able to sing it word-for-word. And while Crazy Rap” also known by its famous misnomer, Colt 45 & Two Zig-Zags, holds second place on Afroman’s hits, it takes first place for its influence among young people in the late 90s and early 2000s. While Because I Got High was more popular at the time of release of Afroman’s album The Good Times, Crazy Rap found its way into the culture through its catchy chorus, its over-the-top stories of Afroman’s sexual experiences, and its titular character, Afroman, who somehow makes it across the world smoking weed and meeting women.
Afroman the man is part of why “Crazy Rap” made its way into pop-culture. The over the top character whose story we get to listen to is at the same time funny and mischievous, and understanding of the diverse experiences of the world. Part of why his stories are so alluring comes from the fact that so much of what he raps about is based on his experiences, experiences that many of his listeners will never have. He raps about the experience of a black man in a white neighborhood, and the terrible prejudices that live on the surface. But he also raps about rolling up shitty weed and drinking cheap beer. He finds a way to unite a multitude of experiences and pains into a hilarious and catchy song.
In an interview from 2014, Afroman had this to say about the truth behind the stories featured in Crazy Rap, “I lie. That’s the first thing I’ll admit. About 83% of it is true. I never met Dolly Parton. Might as well have slept with the daughter of the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, though. Her dad was an L.A. County sheriff; he wasn’t the leader. I don’t know, though — I was just trying to get the hell out of there. I’ll e-mail him later tonight and find out.” (Westword).
In retrospect, Afroman may have been a two hit wonder. Afroman still makes his way across the country, playing shows at festivals and private venues to this day. In modern interviews Afroman speaks about how he is working to promote weed as a positive force, whereas some of his musical history frames the herb as a means of escapism. Aside from the change in tone, Afroman has pivoted to spend more time on the technical side of his music, putting a greater emphasis on his guitar playing, the thing that got him into music in the first place.
Yeah, so it’s a cover…. So what? The video, alone, makes it worth its weight in pressed vinyl. Music by Tommy Chong, and lyric credits include both Cheech & Chong, they originally inked this modern pop/country classic with the movie ‘Up in Smoke’ in mind.
However, this version features a better metered approach to the music, which makes it a bit more peppy. Immigrant Union is an Australian band fronted by a dude named Bob that I met once in Portland, at a cool recording studio. When they first got going, this band featured Courtney Barnett for a while. Another dude, Mitchell, who grows weed for Bondi Farms introduced me, and we all smoked a fatty blunt together on New Year’s Eve of 2019 -> 2020. Good times.
Kid Cudi has no problem tackling serious issues in his lyrics. We’ve all felt a little hopeless and lost some times, but my personal takeaway is that the subject of this song is a self medicating man with is grappling with some large questions surrounding his life. We’ve all been there, right?
The lonely stoner is swimming through self reflection, life analysis, romance remembrance, and a path forward. It’s kind of sad, but hey — we don’t always turn to cannabis during a party, do we?
We’re back, with another stoner song. The Dandy Warhols of Portland, OR, have re-tuned and re-mixed their 2005 hit “Smoke It”, to help seven States that recently legalized the herb celebrate their legal conquest. The Dandys have a history replete with cannabis references in their music, and the band logo has a weed leaf just below a classic VW bus, for crying out loud. They played the Marijuana Policy Project fundraiser at The Playboy Mansion in 2008, with such luminaries as Jack Herer, Vivian McPeak, and Eddy Lepp in attendance.
Bassist Zia McCabe was our first celebrity visitor at House of Cannabis – Tacoma, back in 2018. Their most recent release, “Why You So Crazy” (iTunes Music, Spotify) features several Neo-psychedelic tracks, including a personal favorite, “To The Church”, which is like a walk down the aisle on a fistful of Mushrooms.