Monthly Archives: December 2015

Taking the Plunge

So……….  I started writing this book some time ago.  Wrote about twenty pages when life intervened and I stopped.  Now, here we go again.  The last couple of weeks, I have been thinking more and more about just what I want to accomplish.  To get my mind in shape for this project I ordered several books.  Some for research and others for method and style.  Generally, I have decided to take things I know about, take my basic take on the things I have seen that will embody the meat of this book.  Then I decided that it would be a first person narrative about the pot industry in this area.  But it is going to be a fictional story molded by some actual events.  I have decided that the narrator is a hard boiled, jaded man of fifty some who comes to this area with a lot of baggage.  What he finds in his fictional life does nothing to change his view of human nature.

Regardless of what marijuana purists would have you believe, my experience has shown me that, at least in this area, the growing of pot has been influenced by the use of other drugs.  Some people use pot as an alternative to other drugs, others use it to finance the purchase of other drugs.  Very few people over the age of thirty have used pot exclusively.  I have personally met only one single person who uses pot for its medicinal properties only.  Most use it to get high, all else is hype or rationalization.

So given my belief that there are a significant number of people who came to the medical marijuana community as growers, have at one time or another used meth.  For that reason, I am giving meth a voice in this book.  I have never done meth.  I have used cocaine.  I have used ecstasy.  In the few years prior to writing this sentence, I smoked a lot of pot.  My drug of choice is alcohol.  I have given up all other drugs including pot.  I have never used prescription drugs.  My current research includes a book on the history and use of meth, ‘No speed Limit’ and a book by William S. Burroughs, ‘Junk-y.’  For style and method of writing, I’m going to read books by Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie and oddly enough, James Joyce.

William S. Burroughs was a rich kid who lived off his parents during his youth.  In his thirties he got into drugs.  He used heroin, (was actually an addict), cocaine, pot, bennies, opium, morphine, peyote, and alcohol.  This was in the 1940’s and 50’s.  He cleaned up in the 1960’s.

So, after getting a good start, with really no moral or purpose for writing this book, other than to see If I could make some money, I am going to try and make it some sort of literature.  I will leave you with the last two paragraphs of Burroughs book ‘Junk-y.’  At this point in his life, he had left America to Mexico to avoid prosecution.  While in Mexico, he accidently killed his wife, was actively using drugs and still looking for a mystical fix…(junk in the following paragraphs is heroin, yage is a drug he has just heard about, supposed to have telepathic qualities)

“I decided to go down to Columbia and score for yage.  Bill Gains is squared away with Old Ike.  My wife and I are separated.  I am ready to move on south and look for the uncut kick that opens out instead of narrowing down like junk.

Kick is seeing things from a special angle.  Kick is momentary freedom from the claims of the aging, cautious, nagging, frightened flesh.  Maybe I will find in yage what I was looking for in junk and weed and coke.  Yage may be the final kick.”

 

 

 

The times, they are a-changing

It’s harvest time for all the outdoor growers of marijuana in the area.  It’s also a dynamic time in the evolution of the pot industry in Washington.  The rules for growing medical marijuana are changing, or so they say.  They, being the state of Washington.  And this is the first large outdoor crop for the 502 producers, the legal recreational growers sanctioned by the state.   It is about to turn the pot industry upside down.

In the area where I live, there are families who have been growing pot for generations.  The black market for pot has been alive in this country since the 1940’s at least.  A guy I used to work with tells of visiting the back porch of people in Louisiana before World War II, and selling them “smoke.”  But for people in this state, the game has changed.  The state of Washington is already collecting millions of dollars in tax money and are on the cusp of collecting a whole lot more.  These “revenuers”, as the used to call them in the 1930’s, are about to put the kibash on the medical growers who just may have made a few bucks on the side, by selling their “medicine.”  But don’t expect the black market on pot to go away any time soon.

I spent part of my twenties in Alaska during the pipeline days.  I flew on a Hercules (C-130) as a loadmaster, flying cargo from Fairbanks to the north slope of Alaska during that time.  The north slope of Alaska was full on men, few woman and a whole lot of cold and darkness.  Selling booze and drugs to those guys was a profitable business for anyone who could get it to the oil camps in those days.  Two states east of Washington is North Dakota, where an oil boom is going on today and a state where pot is illegal.  Profit motive insures that the black market will not go away any time soon.

So the times, they are a-changing.  There are so many young, motivated and passionate people getting thrown into this cement mixer of the burgeoning pot industry.  There are a fortunate few who will turn this opportunity into personal fortunes.  There are some passionate, some say spiritualistic few, who are enamered with the drug marijuana, who will try to be among those fortunate few.  The winners in this endeavor will have to go up against some corporate and government juggernauts that are driven only by the profit/tax motives.  In the end, I think that some very shrewd, well monied people will gain the most.  But this is America, and there will be a Deschutes brewery or two who will prevail against the Budweisers of the world.  How this fundamental change in American culture will effect us and what legacy is left behind, is the meat that I want to chew on.  Marijuana is after all, a drug.  It alters your thought process.  It alters your personality.   The things and processes that you value may be altered buy the use of the drug.  Some say for the better, some say for the worse. None of this is new of course.

 

In the 1960’s marijuana came into wide use by the generation coming into adulthood in those days.  Timothy Leary spoke about, Ken Kesey wrote about it and a legion of rock and roll stars sang about it. Bill Clinton smoked, but did not inhale it.  Those baby boomers of that era are now running the county.  Bob Dylan’s prophecy still rings true, “The times, they are a-changing.”   But, so are the drugs.  Today, the drug has been refined by growing techniques and breeding techniques.  In the day, the 1960’s and 1970’s, the pot we smoked was mostly Mexican rag weed, seeds and stems included.  Today, pot is a highly refined.  Nowadays, only the “bud” is smoked.  I’m not a scientist but I would guess the THC content is probably three or four times higher than the pot we smoked in those bygone days.  And the method?

A lot of todays users smoke “dabs.”  Dabs are a product made by refining the pot, reducing it to an “oil”.  This oil, which is actually a pasty substance, is  then dropped on a superheated bowl, atomized into smoke and inhaled via a bong device.  I refer you to a youtube video called “ophichus explaining dabs.”  The person in the video’s name is Brendon.  He was a medical marijuana grower in this area until he died in a shootout with a sheriff’s deputy about a half a mile from where I write these words. It is believed that he was high on meth at the time. (I have found out since, this is not true)  I knew Brendon well.  He came to this area to pursue his dream, growing and making a living from marijuana. He is the inspiration for one of the main characters in the book I am writing.  One of Hitler’s legacies, methamphetamine, may have aided in the death of Brendon, but so did marijuana.  And therein lies the dilemma, the enigma that is marijuana.  Brendon came to this area to find peace and grow marijuana.  In the process, he found some demons that destroyed him.  Another person I met that same year is now serving hard time as a result of the very same dream.  A man named Britton got arrested after he chased his partner down the highway firing at him through his side window with a high powered hand gun.  What was Britton doing in this area?  Growing medical marijuana with that same partner he ended up shooting at.  There is, or at least was, a dark side to the miracle bud, marijuana.

 

I have been lax, both in the writing of the book and the posting on this blog.  That is changing now.  From now on, I will post weekly and write diligently.  I would welcome any sort of input and respond to it.