The Weed and I: A Mari Memoir
My name is Will, and I’m a 40-year-old cannabis-loving dad and husband from Bellingham, Washington. Everything about weed fascinates me—the high, its ancient history, its medicinal powers, the social movement that made this blog possible. Needless to say, I’m honored and overjoyed at the chance to write for 2020 Solutions.
My vision here is to discover and share what’s new and who’s who, and to be a voice for Northwest cannabis culture. And, since we’re just getting started here, I thought I’d introduce myself with a brief history of me and my favorite plant.
At one time, my parents were hitch-hiking hippy drop-outs. We lived in a little house in the woods in Duvall, Washington, and some of my earliest memories involve “That Smell.” I’m two, on the wood floor, surrounded by loud bluegrass, dancing bell-bottoms, a bushy black dog, and that pungent, smoky scent that always coincided with parties.
When I was 5, my parents split. My mom re-married, and we moved from Duvall to the Bay Area, California. Being a kid in the ’80’s meant I had to endure “Just Say No” and D.A.R.E. propaganda every day at school. But in the neighborhood, plenty of people—mostly friends’ older brothers and sisters—got high and it was no big deal. Of course, I soon realized that That Smell from my past was marijuana—my parents used to (and sometimes still did) get high. Look at them, their brains aren’t fried!
In high school, I read Jack Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” went to music festivals, and hung out in “The Haight,” in San Francisco. By the time I graduated, I was a total believer in cannabis. At 19, I sold my van and bought a ticket to Amsterdam. There, I rented an apartment in Leidseplein Square with a couple I met, and we spent the summer filling it with back-packing tourists who wanted a cheap place to stay.
These tourists—from all over the world—wanted tours, so we started taking them around to the coffee shops (marijuana cafes), sampling hash and space cakes (little cannabis cookies that were available everywhere), usually ending the day at a pub. We called it Kind Tours, and though short-lived, it taught me the magic of wandering around—high—in foreign city with people who don’t speak your language. Amsterdam inspired me, and I wanted to carry that home with me.
Back in the States, Proposition 215, California’s “Compassionate Use Act of 1996” passed and Medical Marijuana was born. The author of Prop. 215, Dennis Peron, ran for Governor of California, and I had the chance to do some radio interviews and broadcast some events for the campaign. It was exciting to do real work, because we still had such a long way to go. As great as Prop. 215 was, I thought it should also be okay to smoke just to get high—just because you like it. (Incidentally, Peron felt the same way.)
In ’98, I moved to Humboldt County, California, and spent 6 years in the Emerald Triangle. There, casual users didn’t have to worry so much about the law. In my experience, smoking in the open, growing your own, and being an outright stoner were all totally acceptable—even expected. Of course, the people who made it possible—the big-time growers and dealers—still had lots to worry about, like C.A.M.P. helicopters (California’s “Campaign Against Marijuana Planting”) and—equally scary—armed robbers.
After a while I needed a change, and decided to return to my Washington roots. I moved to Port Townsend, where I worked on boats and washed dishes. Of course, the weed followed me. Boat builders and chefs like to get high too, and my new friends were all over me whenever I returned from a Humbodt run.
Then it happened. What began decades ago, with (seemingly) fringe hippies urging all to read “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” the popularity of “High Times Magazine,” the ground breaking passage of Prop. 215, and the dedicated work of how many thousands of activists, culminated in The Vision—full-on legalized recreational cannabis. I-502.
This is exciting, uncharted territory—just like this blog, which will grow and evolve with your help. I invite all the comments and feedback you can dish. How can this blog improve? What would you like to see covered? What speaks to you and what doesn’t? As readers and fellow cannabis lovers, your thoughts and opinions will be highly appreciated!
Thanks for reading, and be sure to stop by 2020 Solutions for all of the greatest and greenest in Cannabis Culture!