Quid Pro Cannabis

Toking with turkey


PLEASE PASS THE WEED What's your secret Thanksgiving ingredient?

On the big day, there were two kinds of stuffing, the cook warned—one with cannabis and the other without—though she couldn’t remember which was which. Yes, the cook was stoned.

This happened last year. Guests to that Thanksgiving dinner near the Russian River had better be very careful—or not at all, she said. I didn’t take any chances. I helped myself to both stuffings, and dark meat, cranberries, mashed potatoes, yams and a river of gravy. I’d carved the turkey before I’d had anything to smoke or eat that might have led to intoxication. Best not to take chances with a sharp knife, even if you’re an expert carver. My mother taught me how to carve a turkey and I’ve never forgotten how. Both of my parents—who lived not far from the cozy house where I celebrated Thanksgiving in 2018—smoked the marijuana, which my father grew in the back 40, and kept a secret from my mother.

For the last 20 years or so I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with more or less the same people. Not everyone smokes weed. But most of the guests do, including the host who, like my father, grows his own. Some years ago, when I first began to explore the weed world as a journalist, I asked him whether there was organized crime in the Sonoma County cannabis world. “Well, I’d hate to be an unorganized criminal,” he said.

This Thanksgiving, he has a lot to be thankful for, including a bumper crop, though I know a half-dozen West County residents who didn’t get to harvest their weed because county officials swooped down and confiscated their crops. Another grower was the victim of a home invasion and a robbery in the middle of the night. The thieves got away with his weed, which he had harvested, cured and dried.

What surprises me most of all are the folks from out-of-state who arrived shortly before Thanksgiving this November, bought all the weed they could buy with cash and shipped it back to Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. Their friends and family members, I’m told, also had a lot to be thankful for.

How much longer the so-called black market can go on, I don’t know. But as long as growers and traffickers can make big money out-of-state it will go on big time. Anyone who talks about the cannabis industry as post-capitalist is as phony as the Republicans who claim their president did nothing wrong with, to, or about the Ukrainians. Hey, we live in a quid-pro-quo world. You scratch my cannabis back and I’ll scratch yours.



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