When I started smoking cannabis in the late 1990s, there was still a major stigma around the plant.
- I had to hide it from my parents even after I graduated from undergraduate college.
Only a handful of my college friends used the plant in the first place, which is a far cry from the 2020s now that we have major celebrities being open about their frequent cannabis use. These days you can get on the internet and in seconds have megabytes of information about cannabis, its effects, and its long and assorted history. But when I was first starting out as a marijuana smoker, everything I knew about the plant I had to learn from friends and acquaintances or from clandestine books. Some people might have heard about the Anarchist’s Cookbook and its infamy as a guide on amateur bomb-making, but it’s just one of hundreds of other famous books that were published by underground companies working within the grey areas of the law. My marijuana grower friend first learned how to grow the plant from one of these books, and he bought it at a head shop with his other books on cannabis. Although he works in a legal marijuana market for a reputable cannabis producer, he cites the information gleaned from those books as his foundation in growing cannabis. One of those books was called the Marijuana Growing Bible, and I ended up buying a copy at one point. That’s where I learned about the history of landrace sativa and indica strains, along with the often forgotten ruderalis category of cannabis plants.