Vintage Tales

Cannabis Cultivation in Southern California 1970s

We who lived through the 1970s Cannabis Prohibition remember without a speck of fondness the scary moments arising from encounters with police and other authoritarians who had no idea what a boon to humankind was the Cannabis plant.

If you were caught with a film can containing a bud, you could lose your home, your career, your reputation. Smoking or imbibing Cannabis had to be kept tightly under wraps. We lived in a Green Closet with clowns to the left of us, and jokers to the right.

Before we met, my partner cultivated buds in the 1970’s. First he grew some hefty plants in his father’s backyard on an urban San Diego slope. When he met with success he decided to try a larger crop. Thus began his search for a perfect plot of land out in the SoCal wilderness with a lot of sunshine and a water source.

He and his buddy found a patch of land out in Mesa Grande where the two drove a couple of times a week to care for their crop and divert water from a nearby stream. That year yielded a fine crop of 1978 Nectarball – so named because of the honey-like resins on rounded flowers.

This homegrown cultivar – a blend of Afghani Indica and Mexican sativa, became the namesake of his Nectarball Collection.

Millennials and the generations that come later will hopefully never have to experience the cold sweat feeling of police lights in your rearview mirror after you have just smoked a bowl of righteous herb. We still both suffer from a minor case of PTSD – because we had to hide who we were from just about everybody in our lives. Only the most trustworthy friends or family knew of our relationship with Cannabis.

We look forward to the day when it will be legal all around the world to cultivate your own medicine in your own backyard. We have no doubt that the Cannabis plant has been orchestrating that dream this whole time.

Vintage Tales

Cannabis and Mountain Biking

I have long thought that Cannabis and Mountain Biking were perhaps made for each other. My partner and I have been mountain bikers since we first discovered the sport in 1986. We married on our mountain bikes in 1987 in the Southern California wilderness and we produced the world’s first instructional mountain biking video in 1987.

We raced as seriously as a couple of amateurs could race in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I placed first in a few races simply because the women’s field was so small. And when we were racing, we were in training. And that meant no beers and no marijuana.

A hiatus on Cannabis. How silly was that. Look at Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Ross Rebagliati and Jamie Anderson, four Olympian gold-medalists who all enjoy Cannabis. Knowing what we do now about the Endocannabinoid System and the way the plant interacts with our cell structure, Cannabis would have certainly helped with all the aches and pains acquired from racing hard and at times crashing and literally shredding muscles and skin.

After the end of the race, it was a different story. Revelry ensued with our fellow mountain bikers and we would celebrate our successes or lick our wounds by sharing a doobie and a mug of beer. Thomas Jefferson once opined that beer and wine were the great social lubricants. I don’t think that it would be a stretch to think that Jefferson may also have imbibed some of the flowers from his hemp crop. It’s not been proven, but it’s not been disproven, either.

We have met and hung out with a few of the pioneers of Mountain Biking and smoked a bowl or two with them. Mountain biking and Cannabis have always been great buddies (pun intended).

Vintage Tales

Classic Cultivars of the 1970’s

The 1970’s yielded some interesting cultivars despite the attacks on Cannabis by our own government, specifically President Dick Nixon whose war on drugs (really it was a war on hippies and people of color) resulted in demonizing a plant, and adding it to a list of Schedule 1 drugs that were considered dangerous. 

Meanwhile, Cannabis aficionados cultivated some classics including Acapulco Gold, Columbian Gold, Panama Red and Thai Stick, all of which still exist in the Nectarball Collection, the largest and oldest known collection of flowers.

Acapulco Gold 1972 – the nug that began the Nectarball Collection
The Nectarball Collection
Columbian Gold Dark 1978
Panama Red 1978
Pacific Beach 1978
Columbian Dark
Columbian Gold 1978
Thai Stick 1978
Humboldt 1979
Nectarball Black Indica 1979
Thai Stick 1978
Educational

An Afternoon with Tommy Chong

Tommy Chong, Cannabis Ambassador

We interviewed the esteemed Tommy Chong in his beautiful Pacific Palisades home for our documentary, “Cannabis Tales from the Nectarball Collection.”

He is as kind and humble as he appears in all those Cheech & Chong movies, and he regaled us with some great stories of his Canadian childhood, how he first became acquainted with Cannabis, his early musical career, and how Cheech & Chong came to be.

What was it like when he took his first toke?

Tommy: “My first marijuana trip was, I was 17 years old. I was in a jazz club called the a Flat Fifth and this Chinese bass player came back from LA and he had two gifts for me. He had a Lenny Bruce record and a joint and he handed me the Lenny Bruce and the joint and I put the joint in my pocket. And so he lit up his other joint that he had from his private stash. And that was the first toke I’ve ever had in my life. And I can tell you, it changed my life. It really did. The music that was playing, I heard music for the first time when I was high. It was an Ornette Coleman song called lonely woman. I’ve looked it up and it’s still incredible and when I heard that song being played when I was high on pot, I could literally see the lonely woman sitting in a hotel room looking out the window.”

There’s more but you’ll have to find out when you see the documentary.

When will it be finished?

We are still collecting interviews, mostly from medical practitioners, Cannabis nurses and people whose health has improved from the use of Cannabis.  If you have a great Cannabis Tale and are interested in sharing it with us, and possibly with the world, then email us at patty@nectarball.com.

Meanwhile, here is a live recording I found on Youtube, Ornette Coleman performing “Lonely Woman.”

Video

Emerald Cup 2017

The 2017 Emerald Cup was an amazing venue.  Farmers, distributors, entrepreneurs and aficionados all gathered to learn and share information about their favorite plant – Cannabis. What better way to enjoy the holiday season than with the fresh piney-scents of sweet pungent flowers in the air?

It was my first experience with people speaking about Cannabis freely in a gargantuan space filled with all iterations of the plant – dabs, flowers, salves, ointments, etc. The fairgrounds were packed to the rafters with all things Cannabis.  It was frankly very stupefying, after all the decades I have had to look over my shoulder before whispering to only people I trusted about the topic of marijuana.

There was this one time in the 1980s when I was sitting on the local beach wall smoking a pipette when a bicycle cop busted me and put me in handcuffs.  He rifled through my bag and found a film cannister with a bud in it.  I tossed the pipette – a glass tube – onto the sand where try as he might, the cop could not find it. But that one bud earned me a $100 fine (that’s like $1,000 in today’s currency), derision from a “to-protect-and-serve” public servant, and a splash of PTSD.

So the idea of cruising through smoke-filled halls with wall-to-wall tables of goodies for three days was a dream come true.

We have been shooting a documentary called “Cannabis Tales from the Nectarball Collection.” So we set up a small green screen studio behind one of the halls where we interviewed many VIPs over the three-day event.  This included Emerald Cup Founder Tim Blake, the Humboldt High Five, Swami Chaitanya and many others.

This video features some of the sponsors and vendors at the Emerald Cup and this is what they had to say about it.

Our thanks to all the people of the Emerald Cup who welcomed us and introduced us to some of the most amazing people in the Cannabis Industry.