There are probably a few still left alive who will take their stories to their graves, for fear of Patriot-Act-inspired confiscation of their estates built on crimes committed 40 years ago. I was in NorCal and Oregon from the late 50s to the present as a participant and observer. I guess I am slated to be a chronologist of those events?
I have no ego to protect or product to peddle, and the statute of limitations are up and/or weed is legal in the states that I have lived in. Some people have contacted me on several forums to complain about my seeds! Sorry guys, I have never sold any seeds through any channels (except in bag weed back in the day). Though that has become a controversy in itself, in that people do not believe that I froze many now otherwise non-existent strains of seeds, or that Cannabis seeds can be frozen and remain viable. You can look on 420rag at my posts there of my older list of strains, and all the flap that those posts have stirred up (google: original source seeds from the 70s). Back in the 70's pretty much every bag of weed had seeds. Also in the 70s there were the hippie ideals of he late 60s, free love, peace and understanding. In the 80s he hippies became yuppies grabbing cash, buying houses, and all the rest. Anyway, I am intrigued with people's interests in the weed scene in California in the late 60s/70s/80s.
Many keep asking me about it, and I am putting together a book of short stories with a theme similar to In Watermelon Sugar. I am interleaving that with a simple book on growing weed, based on the theme of my first and favorite book on growing weed, called The Complete Cannabis Cultivator by Mary Jane Superweed. As an aside, I was never exposed to or involved with BOEL. I never saw their logo on any product that I bought or moved. I had an array of drug sources around Monterey Bay, including: Big Sur where truckloads of weed was pouring in from Mexico and where strains like Big Sur Holy/Zac Purple were grown early on; gobs of Thai sticks and hashish from military stationed at Ft Ord; tons of Colombian brought up through Los Angeles; and after the paraquat spraying, lots of local weed grown in Carmel Valley, Big Sur, the Santa Cruz mountains, the Salinas Valley, the Santa Clara Valley, and last but not least, the Lost Coast. I was never involved in the grow scene in Humboldt or Mendocino until much much later. The Lost Coast to me became more of a story of disrupted economy and disheveled population as weed took over the local economy, much to the area's detriment in my view. The Monterey Bay area was always expensive, so the impact of the weed grow scene was never that great on the local economy there, if at all. I was also never involved in Sacred Seeds or any seed company or collective, though I was aware of some of them. My oldest brother was involved with breeders in the South Coast/Big Sur area, and they focused on hybridizing African strains (rather than Afghani strains that most people were). I supplied a lot of landrace sativa seeds to them, as well as to some other independent growers in the area that grew landrace weed like I did. I am trying to sift through the bread crumbs of those entities myself. Most of what is said about SSSC is through Watson or one of his many aliases. When I was there in the 70s I never heard of SSSC, Watson, or the Haze Bros. I never saw any Haze weed there either until much much later. The Story of 'Skunk', the Drug Your Mum Warned You About. How all high-grade weed came to be known as "skunk", and the history of slave-labour that led to its popularity in the UK. A Cannabis Freedom Festival-goer with marijuana leaf face-paint, pulling on a joint, in Brockwell Park, Brixton, London, 2001. In the spring of 1985, a heavy-set American landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport with a box of seeds. Or was it – as he'd later come to be known – "Sam the Skunkman"? It mattered not to his greeters, Michael Taylor and Wernard Bruining – the latter of whom owned Mellow Yellow, Amsterdam's first coffeeshop – because these seeds were for strains of cannabis which would go on to supply Amsterdam with the dankest weed known to mankind, usurping the Moroccan hash that had previously held a monopoly over the Dutch capital. It was an intriguing event for a number of reasons – one being that, a month earlier, Watson had been arrested in Santa Cruz, California for growing cannabis. Just how he had managed to then make his way over to Amsterdam has led to some dubbing Watson a spook, an undercover DEA spy sent to the Netherlands to infiltrate its burgeoning weed industry. Another reason is that it represents the arrival in Europe of the strain with which Watson shares an alias – Skunk #1 – having been involved in the invention of its prototype in the late-1970s. A hybrid of Afghan Indica, Mexican Sativa and Colombian Gold Sativa, and named for its strong smell, Skunk #1 would go on to win the Cannabis Cup in 1988 and be sold to seed banks throughout Holland, becoming the world's first commercial hybrid strain. In 2017, however, the word skunk has a different meaning; it bears no relation to any specific strain of cannabis – rather, it's become a catch-all term for the high-potency weed you'll find all over Britain, a product driving a £1 billion a year industry, inspiring numerous tabloid scare-stories and triggering police seizures of around 366,000 cannabis plants per year, or roughly 1,000 a day.
A substance whose effects can apparently be seen on the UK's citizens, with it claimed that between 8 to 24 percent of all psychosis cases are linked to the drug, including many hundreds every year in London alone. So how did all high-grade weed come to be known as "skunk", and are its effects as serious as is thought, or part of a tradition of scaremongering that dates back decades? In the 1990s, the Netherlands was at the forefront of the global cannabis industry. While other countries continued to rely mainly on imported hash resin, the Dutch – and the American ex-pats filling Amsterdam – were experimenting with different ways to grow weed. The Dutch had long combined electric lights and fertiliser to manufacture some of the world's best produce and flowers in small indoor areas, and it didn't take long for them to start applying these techniques to the cultivation of cannabis. Weed farmers then nailed the use of hydroponics equipment – which allowed them to manipulate the nutrients supplied to the plant's root – as well as techniques that made it possible to control the amount, intensity and wavelength of the light directed at the plants, and the carbon dioxide content of the air. In doing so, an expert grower could accelerate a plant's lifecycle to the point that it would flower heavily in just under two months, all while taking up no more space than a table lamp. "[These techniques] delivered a generous yield of high-grade weed without it growing into a monster ganja tree or it taking three to four months to flower, which is normal," explains Top Shelf Grower, a YouTuber and cannabis expert.
"Essentially, it gave growers the best of both worlds." This meant that anyone outside Holland – provided they read about these new methods in magazines like High Times – could now cultivate weed stronger than anything available to them locally. What's more, the technology required was easy to come by in garden centres and the seeds could be ordered online. As a result, the use of hydroponics among British weed gardeners tripled between 1994 and 2000, while the implementation of high-powered lighting more than doubled. All this came at a perfect time for cannabis smokers worldwide, as the importation of the weaker hash resin had begun to fall. Part of this could be attributed to a Moroccan crackdown, with the government there destroying a third of its own crop in an effort to curb exportation – but also terrorism, as it was becoming much harder to ship large amounts of contraband throughout the world.