From The Underground: Illuminating ‘Pot Culture’ Guide Hits Streets 4/20

—by , April 16, 2008

High Times was fun because it was advocacy journalism. I believed in the marijuana cause and wanted to change people’s opinion on legalization. I stress in Pot Culture how we don’t use negatives. The government spends billions convincing people marijuana’s bad. I didn’t want to play into that. We didn’t refer to pot as a vice or ‘lesser evil.’ It’s the opposite—within reason. Nobody should sit on a couch watching tv all day toking and being inactive. That’s the stereotypical perception—passive apathetic people with no life ambition. Be open for discussion. Pot may cause bronchial problems but is it causing cancer? No. And the THC in pot inhibits the expansion of tumors,” he insists.

The loquacious Bloom acknowledges modern marijuana is much stronger than the ’70s stuff he used to toke. He admits marijuana was condensed, flattened out, seedy, brown, and came overseas from exotic countries back then. There wasn’t radiant green marijuana with flecks of red, orange and purple covered by snowy oozing resin. Truly, today’s beautifully delicious plants with grown-out buds are spectacular.

Bloom goes on to explain the disparity between indica and sativa strains.

“There’s a genetic difference between tall, tropical, spindly sativa, an energetic, uplifting strain, compared to indica, shorter, bushier, tighter nuggets—sleep-inducing mountainous weed from Pakistan that withstands harsher weather conditions.” He swoons, “Most marijuana’s a combination now. Pure sativa is haze, but it’s been crossed. Indica is generally Northern Lights. I like mostly skunky, fruit-flavored indica with full taste that won’t make you gasp for breath strength-wise, but has a deep flavor you’d get from a Cabernet Sauvignon red. I love the fullness on the palate of a good strong smoke, the fruity bouquet and the nice heavy pull into your lungs that has a thick impact. From the second you smoke it, you think, ‘That’s good stuff!’”

Dutifully, Pot Culture advocates proper smoking etiquette. Lighting the corner of a bowl instead of passing a scorched pipe is an obligatory nicety. Childproof lighters are a no-no. And while pot smoking isn’t a replacement for nausea-inducing chemotherapy, according to singer-guitarist Melissa Etheridge’s two-page scoop, it’ll ease the recuperative pain. Bloom encourages readers to move around the book instead of going front-to-back. The index quickly guides readers to subject matter. While lengthily discussing the stoner album covers illustrated, Bloom cites David Peel’s ’68 mandate, Have A Marijuana, as the first to feature the “good herb.”

Then my 50-something buddy leads me on a journey through marijuana’s dark, glorious past.

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