Better Know a Stoner Song – ‘After All’ by Pete International Airport

Peter Holmstrom and his 1972 Gibson SG

Somewhere in Portland, Oregon, Peter Holmstrom (The Dandy Warhols, Pete International Airport) is layering a complex web of sound woven by himself, and various collaborators, into a electro-rock sonicgasm. That’s just how Pete works, based on my conversations with him in the past.

Pete was briefly playing bass for a gent by the [stage]name of Highway, during some Dandy down time around 2009 or 2010, when they visited Bob’s Java Jive on South Tacoma Way, on a December night. Pete and I sat at the bar, and he told me about the Pete International Airport project. He detailed the lineup, and the personal mission he was on to explore the space between the notes with the layering of sound.

Two albums later, and Pete International Airport is widely known for their intricate layering of sound, as well as the somewhat rotating cast of modern psych-rock influencers in addition to Holmstrom. Perennial favorites and contributors include Jsun Atoms (The Upsidedown, Sun Atoms), Collin Hegna (Federale, The Brian Jonestown Massacre), Jason Anchondo (The Warlocks, Spindrift), and many others from bands such as The Black Angels, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Dark Horses.

The song chosen isn’t particularly oriented towards stoners in terms of lyrical content, but they are deep, and the music is about as ‘modern psych-rock’ as it gets. So spark up a pre-roll, infused J, bowl, or bonger of your favorite herb, then get down on some Pete International Airport. Enjoy.

Things to do while stoned: McKinley Park, Tacoma, WA.

While honoring a friend and former budtender of House of Cannabis, Miguel Gonzales, who passed away recently, I had the opportunity to check out the hidden gem that is McKinley Park, in Tacoma, WA.

McKinley Park is situated on the bluff overlooking the Tacoma Dome and Commencement Bay, adjacent to the south side of I-5, looking north. The park includes some beautiful landscaping, great views, multiple ins & outs, gentle slopes, and if you prefer, serious, short climbs.

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Things to do while stoned is a whimsical look at general and specific activities that many people who are stoned oft enjoy. It’s meant to be a fun look at the lifestyle.
Photos by Krista W.

Parking is located on the extreme south side of the park, part way up the hill, towards the Lincoln District from the Dome District. I approached from downtown, passing directly adjacent to the Dome, going over I-5, and up to G Street, where you hang a left. It looks like a dead end, but it’s not. Take a right, and parking is plentiful. You are at the top of the park.

As you walk down the hill, you will pass tons of native plants, trees, and wetlands. There are several mini waterfalls in the park, as well. At the bottom of the hill, you are treated to the visual pandemonium of cars merging from the S. 38th/HWY-16 northbound collector, and I-705/HWY-7 onto I-5 near the final merge point. It’s easy to dip off park grounds to burn one to help heighten the experience here, while the cars stream (or crawl) by.

Walking along the trail, the length of the park is covered to the east before you switch back and start walking up through the thicker hillside woods. Most of the water features are on spectacular display on this portion of the path. The scenery is beautiful, and I saw two snakes, several squirrels, and a few songbirds on this walk.

It took about 45 minutes to walk through the park at a fairly leisurely pace, but if you were exercising, it could be done easily in probably 10-15 minutes, depending on level of exertion. Overall, it was a beautiful walk in one of Tacoma’s most beautiful parks.

Halloweed at Haunted House of Cannabis – 2021

HAUNTEDHOUSEOFCANNABIS

It’s that time of year again, friends — HALLOWEED.

We are running our costume contest, again, this year. Come in to any of our locations in costume, and get 25% off your order during that visit (through 10/31/2021).

Get your picture taken in your costume to be involved in our costume contest, with voting on Facebook, and via email blast, starting 10/31/2021. Winners receive gifts from our friends and sponsors at Shocktreatment Management.

Prizes will include rigs, bongs, pipes, gift bags, etc. Everyone will win. EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATES WILL WIN!

So, when you put your halloweed costume on this year, be sure to stop by and save yourself some cash on your purchase.

The Club of the Hash Eaters

This story begins in 1844 on a cold December night. Journalist, author, and poet Theophile Gautier made his way to the Hotel de Lauzun, a grand townhouse nestled in the middle of Paris. The mansion sits on a peninsula surrounded by the Seine, and tonight it was to hold a seance. This meeting of spiritualism and minds was not the traditionally understood ritual that people know as a ‘seance.’ In attendance would be among the most bright and popular writers and philosphers that France held. All in attendance had some degree of renown and to this day their names hold common value in the minds of those who read them. Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas, Charles Baudelaire, Gerard de Neval, and Honore de Balzac (my favorite off this list.) were among those in attendance.

But in this ritual, there was no summoning of spirits or attempts to speak with the dead. This gathering had the purpose of consuming dawamesc. Dawamesc is an emerald-green, marmalade-cream, whipped together with: sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, nutmeg, musk, pistachios, and pine nuts. The main ingredient however, is none of these, instead it was a particular substance of high potency that had found its way to Europe not long before this meeting.

Almost 50 years prior to this night, in 1799, Napoleon had invaded Egypt. Egypt was alcohol free since it’s an Islamic nation and alcohol is banned. That being said, people of all nationalities like to blur the lines of reality, and Egypt’s drug of choice was hashish. Napoleon’s soldiers, hungry for some mental muddling, quickly fell in love with the smoking of hashish, drinking infused teas and coffees, and eating laced confections. Even when the French general issued an ordre du jour banning the production, sale, and use of the hash across Egypt, the privates from the French army continued their consumption. When France eventually left occupied Egypt in 1801, the soldiers took as much of the Egyptian hash back to Europe with them as could fit in their packs. This influx of hash brought, for the first substantial time, the popular substance back to Europe.

And in a 50 year hop, hash would find its way into the diet of a particular group of artists who called themselves the Club of the Hash Eaters (Club des Hashischins). The members would wear traditional Arabian clothing, drink strong coffee, and partake in this emerald jam, dawamesc. Most members would take about two to four grams of the concoction. The green jam was served from a crystal vase onto Japanese dishes and the members would eat it with silver spoons. The concoction was noted as being absurdly potent in smell, part of this coming from an effort to mask the harsh hashy smell that came from the cannabis contained within. Heavy spices made the dish reek of a spiced musk. Some modern recipes I have found have the content in one batch of dawamesc upwards of 43 grams of hash. Recipients were given a thumb sized serving to start their trip. What Dr. Moreau, the proprietor of the event, would tell Gautier when he gave him his dollop, “This will be deducted from your share in Paradise.” After consuming said share, dinner would be served, at the end of which the full effects of the hashish cream would blanket the mind.

Gautier wrote that the feeling shifted faces of his neighbors into those of animals, a dark warmth filled his mind and body, and a presence entered into his being alongside his mind, hallucination. One of the attendants, Charles Baudelaire, though known as the lightest of consumers, wrote extensively on his experiences with hash. In his book Paradis Artificiels, Baudelaire compares the experience of wine against hash, saying, “wine makes men happy and sociable; hashish isolates them. Wine exalts the will; hashish annihilates it.” Baudiler also breaks down the phases of the hashish high. It begins with the muddying of the relations between ideas, to the point that only your fellow intoxicated peers can understand you. Then your senses become sharp, your sight infinite, and you are entered into an enveloping wrap of fantasy where sound is color and color is music. Finally is a phase of complete happiness, all is calm and the sea is still, all problems find their answers. This, Baudelaire writes, is where, “Man has surpassed gods.” All this comes from just a spoonful of green-jam paradise.

Cannabis Prohibition Part 1: The Early Years

As we’ve discussed here previously, the cultivation of cannabis has an extensive history reaching past the 1st century. The debate around the ‘morality’ and ‘values’ associated with cannabis use have been present just as long. The evolution of cannabis in society has forced a long debate and is emblematic of wider drug persecution, drug prohibition, and particularly cruel drug enforcement laws. 

The modern conversation surrounding Cannabis has paved the way towards the discussion for legalizing and regulating vastly different but culturally tied substances. The closest analog here is psilocybin, which has begun to trail close behind cannabis in the push for legalization in the United States. This modern discussion has framed a misconception that prohibition started in the mid 20th century. But governments around the world have been trying to stomp Cannabis use out for centuries. All of the terrible points in its history share stark evidence of bias around class and ethnic disparities. Just as the more modern War On Drugs has done the most harm to the working class and people of color, the far reaching history of cannabis prohibition has bitter rhymes as it persecuted religious and ethnic minorities, and those precarious people at the bottom of the ladder.  The idea that cannabis is a threat to the order of society has been a permissive perspective, and the ruling class has often sought to outlaw its use as a tool of suppression and control. 

Ancient China was likely home to the original cannabis farmers. The Chinese were the first to note the psychoactive effects of the plant and the first to outlaw its use. The rise of Taoism in 600 BCE brought with it a cultural rejection of mood-altering substances. To this day in China, cannabis culture has failed to decouple itself from harder drugs like opium. There is no greater evidence to this than the fact that possession of cannabis in China is punishable by the death penalty. Talk about crime and punishment. 

Just a historical stone’s throw away from China is the history of cannabis prohibition in Muslim society. Hashish, still a common export out of Afghanistan and many other Middle-Eastern states, had wide spread growth during the rise of Islam in 700 CE. Books from the time refer to the cannabis crop as the “bush of understanding” and the “morsel of thought.” Traditionalist Muslims believe that Muhammad prohibited the use of cannabis, but the definition of the term intoxicants can be debated. If the plant can bring one spiritual clarity, is it intoxicating? There was greater confusion and obfuscation of the role cannabis had in Muslim society when theologians began associating the plant with the dreaded mongol empire. This link pushed the idea that its use would disrupt labor and sow seeds of discord in the working class. 

Sufi Muslims historically have had a different relationship to cannabis. Sufi mystics believed that spiritual enlightenment could be reached by altering the mind. Cannabis could help that process of transcendence along by putting one in a calmer and creative state. The Sufis have historically been members of the lower, working class. Religious association with cannabis resulted in further persecution of the plant as Sufi populations faced governments that sought to quell the religious sect.

In 1253 Sufis cultivated cannabis in Cairo, Egypt. The Egyptian government sought to persecute the religious population, and in the process destroyed the cannabis farms. But that did not stop the Sufis. They moved farming elsewhere, forming contracts with farmers in the Nile River Valley to grow it for them. This pact survived for a time, until 1324 when the Egyptian government once again destroyed the crop throughout the valley. 50 years later, in 1378, this would happen again, though this time the assault was more precocious, resulting in Egyptian troops razing entire farms and villages. But as often happens, the demand for cannabis only grew, and so the process of cultivation and persecution continued.

Christianity also had its early cannabis prohibition. In the 15th century Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal decree, banning the use of cannabis along with many other psychoactive drugs. The cultivation of cannabis was largely driven by Pagans. The ban resulted in a vicious cycle, cannabis was banned in to persecute non-Christains, and the persecution of non-Christians resulting in attacks on other cannabis users. Those who broke the law were either imprisoned or killed. A rough cycle for sure.