In light of our 50th anniversary, we’ve been doing some digging through the Georgia Straight archives, and needless to say, we’ve come across more than a few gems—especially when it comes to cannabis.
In one particular story, we were so intent to normalize the plant that we published a chain-letter-type guide to growing your own cannabis. Featured as a two-page spread in the March 28, 1969 issue of the paper, an authorless story titled ‘PLANT YOUR SEEDS’ gave readers tips on how to start their own grow. The cover bears a child seated in front of a garden of hemp plants, and the following proclamation:
‘Cannabis — Our objective is clear: To bring about a situation in which it is extremely unlikely that anyone will go to prison for an offense involving only possession for personal use or for supply on a very limited scale.’
Following the issue’s publication, the Straight, founder Dan McLeod, and managing editor Bob Cummings were charged for sharing the alternative-gardening advice with readers.
“The police used to dig up these laws out of the Criminal Code that were rarely used, and that was one of them: telling people how to grow marijuana was called ‘counsel to commit an indictable offence’,” says McLeod, who was convicted before appealing and winning the case.
“They were really after us to close us down, so according to my lawyer, if we were to start losing cases without appealing, we really could have been closed down.”
While we can’t claim the growing instructions found within the piece come close to any modern hydroponics system, we can guarantee that at the very least, they’re good for a laugh.
THIS IS A CHAIN LETTER. WITHIN THE NEXT FIFTY-FIVE DAYS YOU WILL RECEIVE THIRTY-ELEVEN-HUNDRED POUNDS OF CHAINS.
In the meantime, plant your seeds.
If a lot of people who receive this letter plant a few seeds and a lot of people receive this letter then a lot of seeds will get planted.
Make a few copies of this letter (five would be nice) and send them and this copy to friends of yours. Try to mail to different cities and states, even different countries. If you would rather not, then please pass this copy on to someone and perhaps they would like to.
THERE IS NO TRUTH to the legend that if you throw away a chain letter then all sorts of catastrophic abominable and outrageous disasters will happen. Except, of course, from your seeds point of view.
Growing and cultivating pot
This should help you grow better quality plants in less time.
The first thing in growing a better plant, naturally, would be to start with seeds of good quality. If you or some of your friends have had access to good grass, use those seeds. After all, not all the grass we smoke does the same thing for us.
Select the largest seeds and place them between two napkins, blotting paper, etc. and add enough water to cover the napkins. Then cover the top or put them in a dark closet for two or three days, until the seeds have sprouted at least a half inch or longer.
In the time it takes to sprout the seeds, you can prepare your garden. To do this, you can use one or two methods.
Method Number One
Use a flat wooden box like an apple box, tomato flat, etc. and add about one inch of gravel to the bottom. Fill the rest of the box with a good grade of soil or add a commercial fertilizer per manufacturer’s instructions. Remember, too much fertilizer will burn the plants and retard or kill your charges.
Moisten the soil thoroughly, then level the top. Using a pencil or similar article, punch holes two to four inches apart with interspacing rows. In an apple box up to 35 plants maybe be planted.
Plant your sprouts with the seed above the ground and the sprout in the soil. Tamp the soil firmly, but not packed, around each plant as you insert the sprouts.
Method Number Two
The second method is to use small flower pots made up the same way as the first method and plant one sprout to each pot—a kind of a ‘potted pot’. This method saves transplanting later.
Through with adequate nourishment and light the first method is the easiest for both space and time. From here on, both methods are the same.
If you have a closet you can use, fine. A garage or any place where you can set your plants without them being trampled on will do also.
One word of caution on any transplanting to the outside. The little ‘beasties’ of the wild love young, tender plants and unless some method of protecting them is taken, more than likely you will only find stalks and stubble to harvest.
Now as to the lighting—grass grows from three to fifteen feet high so lighting is important. If you use artificial light you can keep the unwanted stalk down in size, without sacrificing the lovely foliage simply by using a blue light for the first 30 days.
You can leave the light on for 24 hours a day though 17 hours is as good. Plants don’t need to sleep; the more light, the faster they mature.
Blue light keeps the stem from growing in height but will make a sturdier stem to hold our head factory. Set your lights (as many as needed to give good illumination) so they are 12 to 14 inches away from the top of your plants.
If the temperpature at plant level rises above 100 degrees use ventilation or less light. At the end of 30 days you will have quite the garden.
At the end of 30 days, change to red bulbs and start the gradual cut down on the time you have the lights on, from 24 to 16 hours. After a week cut to 14 hours, at the end of that week, to 12 hours. Leave at 12 hours until the plants begin to flower.
When the plants flower you will be able to tell the worthless male plant from the sweetness of the female, as the female will have larger and heavier flower structure while the male will be skimpier and usually taller.
Some people smoke the male plant also, but it has nowhere near the strength of the female. Of the female plant, the top leaves and the flowers are the best, but the whole plant, root and all, have the quality we are looking for.
When your plants are ready to harvest, (you’ll know by the flowers and seed pods) wet the soil and pull the whole plants out, root and all.
Remove the flowers and top leaves (this is the best and is referred to as ‘supergrass’). Dry these, whole, in the sun for two weeks or until they are crumbly—this is grass at its best.
If you like, after drying, sprinkle wine or rum lightly on the dried leaves and put it in a ‘baggie’ or a covered bottle and it will enhance the flavour of your grass immensely.
For the rest of the plant, remove the leaves from the stem and dry the same way or hang the whole plant upside down for two weeks and pick off the leaves as you want, saving the stem and root for the last as it is much harder to smoke.
Or you can remove the leaves and place a small quantity in the oven under low, low, heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crumbly, and run them through a strainer. A word of caution on the oven. Too much heat will burn the leaves—need I say more?
Chain letter originated in Los Angeles at Christmas time in 1968 as a joint effort of the Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric and the Bavarian Illuminati of Chicago and the Tamapa Society for the Laughing Buddha-Jesus. Received and passed on by the Express Times along with growing tips from ‘Growing Marijuana’, a pamphlet by Langdon Enterprizes.
PLANT YOUR SEEDS.