I’m trying to get the facts of 420 up on wikipedia, but, of course, the trolls take down every word I post faster than I can type it.
The 420 code for marijuana was started by students at San Rafael High School in 1971 and spread through their friends and younger siblings at the high school. They were fans of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and often stopped by the Grateful Dead headquarters located near the school to see if any new releases were available. (Jerry Garcia was the original pedal steel player in that group, although he stepped aside to make room for the king of pedal steel, Buddy Cage.)
The annual Grateful Dead tour had captured the center of energy on the counterculture, and kept their winter home in San Rafael, after having moved out of nearby Haight-Asbury after junkies and undercovers ruined the scene. An entire gypsy caravan of merchants followed Dead tour around, many of them also living in Marin County over the winter. Sometime in the 1980s, one of these merchants made a 420 product, most likely, a 25-cent button or sticker. When this button sold out, other merchants got hip to the fact the teenagers in Marin County would buy anything with 420 on it. Meanwhile, the Waldos had long since graduated and moved on and they celebrated 420 for many years, often on April 20th, although their devotion to pot was fading somewhat as many got married and started families.
But in the mid-1980s, teenagers began spontaneously gathering on Mount Tam on April 20th at exactly 4:20 PM. This gathering only lasted three years however, because police ended the celebration as they did not want a massive display of weed smoking going on in the park.
This might have been the end of the 420 phenomenon, except that in 1990, a crude flyer designed to draw people to the Mt. Tam ritual was brought to the High Times office. This flyer had been distributed at a Dead show in Oakland over the Christmas holidays. Honestly, that flyer may have played a part in killing the annual event because the Dead scene was totally penetrated with under-covers and pretty soon, the Mt. Tam ceremony was over.
But when I saw that flyer in 1990, a light bulb went off in my head. I knew Mt. Tam was a very spiritual place, one of the most spiritual spots on the West Coast, in fact. I’d also recently been zapped by attending my first national Rainbow Gathering, which had demonstrated the spirit of Woodstock was alive, just completely ignored by the mainstream. I latched onto the idea that this Mt. Tam ritual was a spontaneous emanation of my culture, which was a baby, infant spirituality being born in my lifetime, a culture I had helped shape as a high school kid, just like the Waldos had shaped 420 while in high school. It takes a long time for a tribe to birth a religion, but eventually, over decades, the rituals and ceremonies fall into place. And its funny how a lot of the new developments come from kids around age 16.
So I started doing a daily 420 ceremony with my staff. We would get high and then talk about anything we wanted. These conversations ended up improving the magazine immensely as well as improving office morale. I’d started the Cannabis Cup as a low-budget event, and had not even attended the last four, instead a different High Times staffer was sent over. But issues had developed at the last one, and for the 6th Cup, I returned with some ideas about how to expand and spiritualize the event. I was bringing my concepts for 420 ceremonies as well as new trophies by Robin Ludwig.
Jack Herer was at that Cup, but when I held a circle at 4:20 PM at the venue, Jack had no idea what 420 signified. And he’d been a vendor on Shakedown Street for a decade, only he lived in LA, not Marin, so that just goes to show that 420 was not that well-known inside the Dead community outside the Bay area. It was primarily a thing for teens growing up in Marin. Since my first Cannabis Cup 420 ceremony sort of fizzled (we had a lot of tension that year at the event and little harmony), I came back the next year and my ideas were a bit more thought out.
I put video of the first real 420 council held at the Cannabis Cup as part of my history of the Cup on youtube. On my way to set-up the first expo venue (Pax Party House), I ran into a guy named Eagle Bill who was carrying a wooden staff. In case you didn’t know, “Pax” means “peace” and I couldn’t have imagined a better venue. Arjan of the Green House had found it and it was located near his only shop naturally. That first real 420 council was a very powerful event. We used Eagle Bill’s staff as a council feather and passed it around to signify the speaker. Ben Dronkers, Arjan, Eagle Bill and I all spoke from the heart. Mark Emery was there and would go home and write a scathing review of the “hippie spirituality.” That was the first indication I got all was not harmony inside the pot culture and some people didn’t want tribal councils or the spirituality that comes with them.
The year after that, for the 8th Cup, Stephen Gaskin was brought in for the first 420 address. Stephen handed out free joints and then give an hour long introduction to non-violent philosophies and concepts about spirituality. Alex and Allyson Grey were also there that year. Rocker T started holding 420 AM ceremonies at the Quentin Hotel, where all the staff was located. At first, I was against this idea, as I wanted the crew well rested so they could work endless hours chopping wood and carrying water, but I did see the benefits of holding a 420 AM ceremony after the awards show. This soon became everyone’s favorite ceremony at the event.
Everything seemed to be going well, but the more successful the magazine and Cup became, the more others wanted to step in and take charge. In my usual fashion, I opted to go home and start studying video. One of John Holmstrom’s columnists, a porn writer named Mike Edison, took over for a brief time. His one big idea was “Potzilla” designed to come out in conjunction with the release of a new version of Godzilla, but that movie flopped before the magazine came out and Edison’s career hit a sandbar.
For a few torturous months, I was brought back in an attempt to guide and tutor Edison and maybe even teach him something. Unfortunately, Edison rejected everything I tried to bring to the table. When the Martin Luther King assassination came back in the news after a civil jury found the government complicit, I offered to have an expert in the field write an analysis of the case as it currently stood. Edison laughed and said nothing new of any importance could possibly be added at this point in history? He had no clue about deep politics or the role played by citizen researchers over the last fifty years.
I broke a major story at the time though when I discovered the Waldos, the creators of 420. When I came back to the office with video interviews and documentation proving their case, Edison dismissed my research as a fantasy. He’d banned my 420 office ceremony, by the way, forcing me and my staff to leave the premises every day at 4:20 in order to hold our that ceremony. He did not like pot, preferring harder stuff. Now Edison decided the Waldos was a fake story and he got others at the magazine to back him up. Soon enough, Edison was history anyway, although he wrote a hatchet job on me in revenge in which he claims I took 420 to “cult-like” extremes. This quote has now ended up on wikipedia, no doubt planted by Edison, which I find really annoying.
For many years, I was the only person openly organizing 420 ceremonies and my company ended up with the url 420 early on because of my efforts in promoting 420. If I was organizing a cult, where is this cult 30 years later? Yes, there’s a 420 cult, but it’s certainly not organized around me and I never even tried to take any credit for anything I started, until all this disinfo started coming out. At this point, I’d say Denver is the center of energy on 420. All I’ve done is try to promote non-violent spirituality as part of 420. Marijuana is the sacrament of my culture, but it’s really all about living in peace, without this constant threat of violence everywhere. If promoting non-violence is a “cult-like” activity, then every religion is a cult.
I only wanted to promote my culture because I’m sickened by the level of violence in the mainstream, and can barely watch many TV shows and films these days. I can’t take the gore. I hope there are some like me who are looking for a path towards a more peaceful lifestyle and I’m hoping we can eventually put our energies together for a better future for our kids. I did not invent or organize this culture. I am just another member.
I know it’s probably hopeless for me to get any of this information on wikipedia, as it will all be considered self promotion. The best thing you can do is pass this info so others know the truth about 420. No, it’s not a police code. Yes, like all numbers, there are lots of instances of others using 420 much earlier in time. But the 420 that’s celebrated today all across the world? That started with the Waldos, was promoted by the teens of Marin County, and then found it’s way to the Cannabis Cup. Within a decade, it went global.
Angelina Jolie is a major force in the United Nations and member of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations. She has stepped forward to show support for breast removal for women who test positive for a cancer gene that is patented and controlled by a major corporation. Cancer is big business. Only this company can legally test for this gene, by the way, and they typically charge over $4,000 per test, an enormous mark-up, and obviously a case of gouging. But since their patent runs out in two years, I guess they have to make hay while the sun shines.
In all the coverage coming out today, no one questions the science behind this cancer gene technology. I learned a long time ago science has a way of shifting ground. After all, isn’t “science” one of the major forces keeping marijuana, the most medicinal substance on earth, illegal? Science can easily be skewed.
I’m glad Angelina was able to keep her nipples and rebuild her original breasts with implants and only wish her the best. Many women taking this option probably won’t have her financial resources. I do wonder, however, whether she has discussed the anti-cancer effects of cannabis with her husband since Brad used to be a huge stoner, although that phase seems to have passed.
I sure wish some qualified medical clinic would launch a research project testing the use of cannabis extracts to treat breast cancer. Maybe that could be an alternative to surgery for some? If only someone of Angelina’s stature could step forward and start working on developing some effective, lower-cost alternatives to the current cancer monopolies.
For about two or three weeks, I was actually put in charge of developing a line of hemp products for High Times. Although my prize goal was to produce some hemp denim pants, I couldn’t locate a factory capable of producing hemp denim fast enough, so I started with a hemp hat, hemp jacket, hemp t-shirt, and hemp bag. These items were produced by Headcase.
Of course, I wanted a new logo, so I asked Jeff Wood to make a phoenix High Times logo that would rival the Harley Davidson logo. He didn’t disappoint. It’s a phoenix because the phoenix represents the rebirth of marijuana after centuries of oppression. I was pushing this sigil so hard some people around the office started calling me “phoenix.” I even changed my email address to phoenix420 for a while and still use the original Whee phoenix as my avatar on my facebook page, although later on, though, I realized it was too exalted a name to claim for oneself. If I was a phoenix, it was just a little baby phoenix in training. So I changed my email to templedragon, which is a title anyone can claim who manifests peace magic. Marijuana is the phoenix and I am just a humble shaman who practices soy wax alchemy on the side.
Unfortunately, my hemp line was dropped almost immediately and the logo as well. I probably have the only copies of these items in existence which makes them very, very valuable. I’ve got one Levis-style jacket, one hat, one bag, one XL t-shirt and 3 medium t-shirts. I’d sell the shirts for $100 each and sign them however you want. The bag for $500. The jacket for $2,000. The jacket is a size medium and cut a bit large.
Ever get the feeling something is going on behind the curtain in Wizard of Oz land? Might be a good time to sell stock, if you have any.
According to gold analyst JS Kim, gold vaults at major banks in Europe and the United States are rapidly being emptied as the old money takes gold home. I guess you realize gold is a scam and they don’t even have enough to cover the paper gold receipts (unless they dip into the secret black funds, which ain’t gonna happen), so if everybody ever does want their gold at the same time, someone’s likely going to be left holding an empty bag.
Meanwhile, billionaires are dumping stock like crazy. Even the banking stocks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are getting dumped by people like Warren Buffet. Also drug company stocks. This stuff was untouchable for decades, but I guess stormy seas lay ahead? I imagine a lot of money is being poured into tech companies.
I don’t fall for apocalyptic thinking, mostly because the obvious disinfo sites are always trying to make people paranoid enough to believe a complete break-down in society is about to happen any day. To my mind, war is the real complete break-down of society and it’s almost always orchestrated long in advance for the purpose of generating profits. And when there aren’t any major wars being planned, the economy can fall into a tail-spin.
I would not be surprised if the stock market didn’t get some sort of correction soon, after which Warren Buffet and his cronies will come back in and buy it up stock for pennies on the dollar with all those gold bars. So plan accordingly.
Pump and dump. They should put those words on the doors over Wall Street because it’s their real mantra.
I have way more art than I need and although I would never sell my paintings, I do have some posters that have been rolled up for years, so maybe I should bring them back into the light and take a look at them?
Gilbert Shelton is one of my favorite artists and I do have an original Freak Brothers drawing (not for sale). But I wonder if anyone would be interested in purchasing this extremely rare and signed Furry Freak Brothers poster? Gilbert even drew a Freak Brothers cartoon and signed it to me at the bottom, something he doesn’t do too often anymore, leaving the cartooning to others at this stage in his life.
I would take $1,000 for this as it would help me launch my Shaman Shop.
And speaking of cartoonists, this is one of R. Crumb’s most famous images and has been reprinted many, many times, although this is one of the originals. It has a couple of slight tears. Most of the posters are mint, but a few have some damage. Obviously, these are sold in as-in condition, and I will gladly autograph any and all posters with any inscription you want. I’d let this one go for the bargain price of $50
Here’s one of my favorite all-time black light posters, and a very early one from Cypress Hill. You can have this rare masterpiece for $300.
As long as we are on black light posters, how about this one from Blues Traveler? This is also a rare item but I will let it go for $50.
I have a lot of posters from the Filmore and around the Bay area, many of which reference one of my favorite bands, the Chocolate Watchband. Some of these are slightly damaged. If you are interested in any of these I will let them go for $75 each. I take paypal if you want instant delivery, but prefer cash and will negotiate down the price if cash is being offered. So feel free to contact me via this blog, or on facebook or twitter if you see anything here that interests you.
And speaking of favorite posters. This Native America image (below) was so favored by me that I actually was able to engineer it on the cover of High Times and it sold very well. And then when Jeff Wood did his first poster for the Cannabis Cup, I brought back the Native theme and Jeff did an update on the beadwork design. Jeff’s image also made it to the cover. These two posters are very special to me, but I would part with them for $500 each. Both are in mint condition.
Who was that military man who arrived at Danny Casolaro’s funeral in 1991 and laid a medal on the casket as it was lowered into the ground? No one knew him. He disappeared as quickly as he came.
Danny was a journalist for the emerging computer industry when he stumbled into a lawsuit that changed his life forever. A legal battle going on inside the NSC over ownership of a software named PROMIS, which could merge government databases. Although designed to track case files for prosecutors, PROMIS had possible applications in banking and intelligence. Danny discovered the software had been fitted with a secret backdoor that reported everything the host computer was doing. This software was then secretly distributed to almost every USA-friendly intelligence agency in the world. This operation may have transferred immense power to the highest levels of the NSC.
Right before he died, Danny made some mindblowing discoveries, including the truth about the black gold stolen by the Nazis and Japanese, most of which was simply transferred to secret bank accounts controlled by CIA selected operatives. We’re talking trillions of dollars worth of gold and precious gems. This reservoir of black loot has been used to foment operations and stage dialectics ever since. WWII may have been staged to set-up the United States as a new empire to police the world while maintaining the dominant central bank’s monopolies.
Daniel Estulin has just written an entertaining novel involving Danny’s research called The Octopus Deception (Trine Day), and it sure is a lot closer to the truth about the world situation than anything written by Dan Brown, who I always suspected was a manufactured media creation designed to create smoke and mirrors to hide real secret societies, since his stories are so absurd. In Estulin’s view, a major center of Octopus energy is located inside the Rockefeller-controlled Citibank, which he refers to as Citybank to avoid a lawsuit.
Although Estulin lives in Spain, he’s Russian and the best parts of this book describe his homeland, like the cemetery in Moscow where Chekhov is buried, a wonderfully-written passage. I loved his previous book on CIA connections to Wikileaks, but have to admit, I would have enjoyed this book better had he just updated and investigated Danny’s story for real. He has connections into the KGB, and some of the info he presents may actually be real, but since it’s a novel, I have no way of telling fact from fiction.
I hope a competent film can be made on Danny someday. I know a play has already been written by a family member. Danny was on to something big, and someday the rest of the country is going to catch up.
Deep political research is a wilderness with few water holes, but many dry wells and tons of smoke and mirrors. There’s far more money going into producing propaganda than real research. Just turn on your TV and watch the parade of documentaries on aliens. Or if you don’t like aliens how about the secret history of Christianity (although, curiously, none mention the cannabis-Christian connection)? But just try to find something about Dimitre Dimitrov, (left, AKA General Donald Donaldson) an important whistleblower who disappeared while making overtures to President Carter to break open the JFK case, and you won’t find a wikipedia page.
A few years ago Hank Albarelli wrote a groundbreaking book on the death of Frank Olson, a chemist working on weaponizing LSD for the CIA. After spending years poking around Ft. Detrick where Olson worked, Hank turned up evidence Olson was murdered because he violated the CIA’s version of omerta by telling someone about a French town they’d poisoned, resulting in four unexpected deaths and tremendous traumas.
Hank’s research trailed into MKULTRA and the Kennedy assassinations. And now comes Hank’s just-published A Secret Order: Investigating the High Strangeness and Synchronicity in the JFK Assassination (Trine Day). This is the first installment and a second volume is expected soon. Unlike many researchers, Hank remains a detached observer of facts, and always keeps a keen eye for rabbit holes. The Kennedy case is filled with manufactured rabbit holes, which just shows how complex planning was in the operation.
Thanks to dozens of citizen researchers, however, the JFK case has largely unraveled in the last few years, and this book does an excellent job updating the reader on latest developments.
I particularly loved the chapter on Dimitre Dimitrov, an anti-communist leader in Bulgaria, who was imprisoned after the CIA caught him trying to sell secrets to France, a dangerous game often played by spooks looking to exploit multiple sides of the fence. I have a feeling Dimitre’s going to make an appearance in part two and I’m looking forward to it. Long before Guantanamo existed, Dimitre was renditioned to a torture center in Greece and worked over. He didn’t talk much about those years, but did reveal they put his finger in a vyse right away and kept squeezing until it turned into a bloody mess. Lots of drugs and electro shock, no doubt. When it was determined he hadn’t done anything serious enough to warrant execution, he was sent to a brainwashing center in Panama and held there for years while they massaged his mind. Then they made him a CIA-connected general with a name right out of a Nabokov novel. But at some point, I guess the brainwashing wore off, the years of torture got the best of Dimitre and he decided to spill the beans.
Of particular interest today is a description from an hypnosis expert who claimed Oswald was under hypnosis. The evidence, according to this doctor, was in how Oswald had no escape plan after his crime, yet the crime itself required complex advance planning. Instead of getting away, Oswald went home to retrieve his revolver, walked deeper into a residential neighborhood, sneaked suspiciously into a theater, and, then, when the lights were turned on and he was surrounded by officers, he drew his revolver and fired. The gun did not go off, otherwise Oswald never would have lived to say the word “patsy.”
Now this doctor suspected the brainwashing had taken place in Russia, but today we know Oswald was likely worked on quite early in his life in New York, and later in New Orleans, Japan, and likely Mexico City right before the assassination. I find the similarities between Oswald’s post-event behavior and the situation with the Boston bombers chilling. The reality is that mind control is very real and the technologies have likely progressed beyond our comprehension. I wonder if the technology is so advanced at this point they can capture subjects just via the internet.
When I met Richard Belzer we immediately launched into a deep conversation about JFK. He was a huge buff on the subject, like me. At the time, I’d just developed a theory and I tested it out on him: “What if Angelton prepared a report stating JFK was the Russian mole he’d been looking for, and that report used to divert the “kill Castro squad?” Belzer’s eyes really got wide when I laid that scenario on him. And now, nearly 30 years later, I still haven’t seen anything that conflicts with that theory. We know many of the operational people: Harvey, Roselli (also spelled Rosselli), Morales. We know the Cubans and the Mob were involved. We know George Bush of the CIA was involved in monitoring the Cuban presence at the scene. But if you want to get a quick primer on the state of the JFK conspiracy nation, just pick up this highly entertaining book.