By Jed Midnight
Special to Toke of the Town
For the past few years I've had the privilege and responsibility to be a Cannabis Assessor. It is my task or duty to sample medical marijuana for projective buyers. Thousands of dollars change hands based on my opinion of the herb.
My expertise is based on many decades of research and the ability to say what is good in one sitting. I've been a judge in a few cannabis cups and there are some who know me as an intelligent, sophisticated snob with a strong sense of separating the diggity-dank from the swag on the spot.
And just like Peter Parker found out from Spidey, I know that with great power comes great responsibility.
Today a regular customer enlisted my services. As always, I am brought blindfolded to someplace in the city where anxious gentlemen with dreadlocks imprisoned in wool caps sit with bulging military duffle bags at their sandals as they wait with prospective dispensary buyers for me, the Ganja Taster to arrive.
Years ago when I started assisting nervous buyers who were unsure of their senses when so much hinges on snap judgments, I dealt with growers more my age. Now the average seller is in his thirties or younger, the grandson of the typical Northern Cali farmer. They hate me. The looks on their faces say right away, "Why in the fuck do we have to get this old geezer's opinion. We know we got the Shit!"
While most dispensaries have their own people, there's a lot of shit floating through the City and let's just say one's taste buds can get over run by the quantity and quality of buds we're seeing. That's where I come in.
Today was different. Today I looked at some of the best bud I've ever seen. From the moment the twisties came off the turkey bags, I could tell I was looking at something different.
It was gnarly. It was crispy. I didn't need anything extraneous like a magnifying glass or light to see that the trichomes glistened like stacked glass balls on a moonlit night. The coloring was perfect with dark reds wrapped tight around lime-green dense tops. Trimmed and manicured in an asymmetrical pattern allowed the buds to jut out like baby Matterhorn Mountains.
I took a hit. I coughed.
One of the seller dudes said the classic hippie retort, "Smooth, huh?"
That's what us stoners used to say in the old days when smoking that Mexican rope that we first had in Sixties. After taking a hellacious hit and virtually spitting up a lung, your buddies would taunt you with, "Smooth," while you tried not to lose your cookies.
Today was different. I coughed because I was smoking indoor grown marijuana. After the first drag I said, "This is indoor, right boys?"
I got nothing but big smiles and nodding heads acknowledging validating that the Old Guy might know something after all.
For the most part because of my affection for the part of California called the Emerald Triangle and the philosophies that are involved with that kind of lifestyle, I prefer and have partaken in mostly outdoor grown medicine. More to the point, lately I've been partial to rainwater-fed, clean-green grown cannabis. Its part of the slow crawl to the world of organic living that I'm trying to reach. For me, alongside of the food I put into my body, I worry about what I'm smoking.
I am not against indoor marijuana; I grew up in a place where it is winter for nine months out of the year. People will find a way.
All I'm saying that in the last five years, my taste buds have changed and I now can tell the difference between indoor and outdoor. Until today.
The stuff I smoked today was definitely indoor grown, but only the most experienced palette is going to be able to tell that. If the sellers were to say it was grown outdoors, by the appearance, density and smell, most buyers would be all over this shit like it came in directly from a field somewhere in Mendo.
|Early Misty, grown outdoors|
But there was that cough. The tell-tale cough that some saw as a sign of its awesomeness. The Cough that becomes like a rodeo ride and you're a pussy if you fall or try to get off before the bell goes ring. The Cough that says it takes a real man to handle this shit.
Then after a couple of tokes, I could feel the real ride begin. The roller-coaster ups and downs that many take as being really, really stoned; I took for additives. The juice they add in their gardens to give the buds these days that power-lift that the young connoisseurs are beginning to expect from what they call, boutique bud. The high-end medicine that does exactly what it is supposed to do. Which is to get you higher, more stoned than you've ever been.
'Cause that's what you want to tell your friends. How good your bud is.
Buds these days are high in THC and will get you higher than anything in the Day did. But is it good?
Do people really know what they're smoking besides for that fact that they're getting ripped?
What happens if all stuff that makes you go zoom-zoom is from the deep labs of Monsanto and DuPont and Gro-Master? What if the Ganja Scientists of Green Dank Industries discovered how to make Johnny higher in order to sell that bud?
What happens when you don't need the Sun anymore?
I will state again. I am not against indoor. I am boycotting the High Times Cannabis Cup this month because it allows only indoor grown pot or else, last year's not so fresh harvest. I digress about High Times. I make that point because I favor the harvest cups that happen in winter that allow for the outdoor growers. You know the ones that have been supplying the country for the last fifty years.
After today, I think I could be for nuclear energy. I might even be able to be talked into voting Republican. I've been converted to believe that indoor marijuana is just as good as outdoor.
The only drawback for me is that carcinogenic thing that comes with even the most "organic"sounding chemicals and that subtle cough that feels like brandy going down the wrong pipe.
The young guns who were selling the beautiful bud guaranteed me that one sure-fire way you can tell if the medicine is good, is that it will make you cough.
All good weed makes you cough. Yeah, right.
I think we're heading to the Age of the McBud.