Filed under: marijuana
by Jason Walsh
25 years ago
From the Sun vaults, July 15-21, 1983
Marin was one toke over the line 25 years ago this week.
By 1983 the county had developed something of a reputation regarding its affection for the tetrahydrocannabinol-induced effects of inhaling trichomial residue of the pistillate plant.
And, according to Sun reporter George Frazier, it was time to put the bambalacha down.
Frazier, an acknowledged recreational marijuana user with his finger stamped firmly on the pulse of the county (the finger not holding the roach, that is), was running into “balding potheads” everywhere who’d declared themselves moocah-free. Even Frazier copped to the gradual realization “that I couldn’t smoke pot and speak coherently at the same time” anymore.
“As I stood there admiring my shoelaces,” reported Frazier about a turning point in his life, “I made a solemn vow: Never again would I smoke reefer.”
And Frazier kept that vow. For a full 24 hours even.
Despite his initial struggles to get the funky off his back, Frazier eventually kicked the habit as something of an afterthought—life was getting in the way and the next thing he knew it had been six months since his last date with the dinkie dow.
The rolling—er, roving—reporter smelled a trend.
“I’m convinced that yesterday’s hippies are today’s straights,” wrote Frazier. “We saw the enemy and grew up to be exactly like them.”
Take Frazier’s doobie brother Jim Furman, for instance. Jim owned a small music-equipment business and once instituted a 5pm employee “dope break” where it was company policy to spend the final hour at work stoned. By ’83 he was a model citizen, served on the county grand jury and was even so straight he wrote letters to the editor at the IJ!
Perhaps San Anselmo artist Bill summed it up best. “People used to smoke a joint at a party,” the painter waxed nostalgic. “Now they drink or snort cocaine.”
At the close of his story, Frazier reverted to the quiet solitude of introspection: “The same concerns that bothered our parents—career, property, children—now plague us,” he wrote. “I hate to admit it, but we are getting more conservative as we grow older.”
These days Frazier works as a brand-naming consultant. He’s been on the wagon for more than two decades and jokingly says he has “no memory” of having written the story from 1983. But he does recall the incident that finally made him “sell [his] stash to Hippie Bob.”
Frazier was over at his girlfriend’s house when he sparked up a joint after she put her young kids to bed—and one of them caught the alluring aroma of the notorious Devil Weed. Suddenly, our hero “had the entirely misguided belief that continuing to smoke reefer would send her kids the wrong message.”
“I’m not sure what the right message might have been,” Frazier says, in retrospect. “But those kids are now my adult stepchildren—who turned out great despite having smoked their fair share of weed during their formative years.”
Besides, adds Frazier, “back when we were smoking shake and seeds from Mexico, a joint might produce a pleasant buzz. Today, a couple of hits of Humboldt Dumb-bolt is likely to send me into some bizarre paranoid hallucination.”