Category Archives: Dispatches from the Hills

Dispatches from the Old Man in the Hills (#5)

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Many moved to Humboldt during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s as part of the back to the land movement or to simply get away from the mainstream American machine. Corporatization, the military industrial complex, the nine to five – whatever the reason for getting away, Humboldt was (and still is) a bastion for those moving a different direction than the masses.

These people are the counter culture of America. A profit driven materialistic society is what they fled. Cannabis was their misunderstood companion plant. They didn’t move to the emerald triangle to get rich from growing weed – as later generations intended. They moved to get back to the land, to be around like-minded people, and live a simple life, protesting with silent civil disobedience.

Weed was apart of this equation. First as a way to “turn on, tune in, and drop out” as Timothy Leary put it, then as a way to pay the bills, weed, already apart of the (counter) culture, became an asset.

Slowly many-a-counter-culture-forefather/mother watched the plant, which first opened their doors to another reality, become increasingly mainstream. Like hip-hop in the late 90’s, cannabis moved from counter culture counter part to mainstream pop icon. It now seems cannabis has defected and is opening the door for mainstream takeover of the emerald triangle. With legalization on the horizon, land is being snatched up that was once owned by back-to-the-landers (who nursed it back to health after clear-cut logging). Increased demand leads to increased prices as many living a subsistence life style might become priced out.

Diesel rigs have replaced old VW vans. Kush has replaced Haze. Times are changing, and like the Haight and Mission districts in San Francisco, is Humboldt and the emerald triangle gentrifying? Is it inevitable? Must we adapt or move? Whatever one decides, the old man in the hills reflects as he watches from afar…

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Dispatches from the Old Man in the Hills (#4)

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The fear is that mega corporations will inevitably take over the cannabis industry in California – ripping away middle class jobs and opportunities in favor of the same low wage jobs we see in almost every other sector. For many around the world, cannabis is a way for rural families to make ends meet. Urbanization and globalization has left rural farmers and their workers in desperation. Cannabis has filled the void and provided a means for those otherwise forced to find meager employment in cities to stay in the countryside: their home. In many ways this is true in California. The Emerald Triangle, Grass Valley, etcetera; have become strong rural communities with cannabis making it possible.

Urbanization, globalization, special interest, Wall Street monopolization, the plight of the middle class – these are all themes coming out of the presidential primary. With many tired of the old establishment, many are seeking alternatives. Yet, when it comes to cannabis legalization, we see the opposite – the establishment is moving into a traditionally counter culture industry. The cannabis industry is seemingly under siege in California – many believing a mainstream hostile take over is emanate. So what does the old man in the hills think of all this? Well lets ask him…

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Dispatches from the Old Man in the Hills (#3)

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Jack Herer is personified as a saint by many of his fans. In his groundbreaking book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Mr. Herer documents history and research that leads readers to believe cannabis, mainly hemp, can mend our unsustainable economy built on finite resources and endless growth. Industrial hemp is woven into the evolution of modern society. The Chinese produced paper by mixing hemp and other fibers – granting the ability to record history, ideology, statistics, innovations, etc. In Europe, hemp fiber was used to fabricate sails and rope – making long distance naval travel possible. Hemp – a strong hardy fiber – contributed to European travel across the Atlantic (in the 1700’s) and subsequent discovery of the America’s. Hemp seed and fiber was mandatory in early long distance travel. Used as grain for food or seed, hemp could be brought anywhere and offered the ability to reproduce sustainable supply of food and fiber. Hemp was an integral part of society prior to Reefer Madness and the War-on-Drugs. This resource had been largely lost in modern society until Jack Herer and others reminded us of its potential. Some believe hemp can save the world, but as we are too often reminded: ideology is constantly confronted by material realities such as economy and law. With cannabis legalization seemingly inevitable, this beneficial crop continues to face scrutiny. On the North Coast, hemp – the cousin of medicinal cannabis – is seen as more pariah than savior. And why we collectively ask? Well, as Mr. Herer curses from his saintly perch in the clouds, let us ask the old man in the hills…

The views and opinions expressed by the old man in the hills does not reflect the views and opinions of the Humboldt Underground. HU feels obligated to provide a voice for all in our community. Our goal is to move the conversation forward and all points-of-view are legitimate (unless hateful or discriminatory). Every voice in our community deserves to be heard.

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Dispatches from the Old Man in the Hills (#2)

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Taliban captive/accused deserter Bowe Bergdahl in Mendo visiting friends? Freeway Rick Ross pulled over in Sonoma headed for Humboldt with $100k, then his charges dropped? What’s going on in NorCal…? Northern California is quite the experience… The tolerant yet harsh Wild West boasts its host of characters. A mix of history and modernity, nature and industry, Hollywood and Haight Ashbury… Tinfoil hats are always in style… It can be a crazy place to live but if one can stay open to the ideas tossing around these towns, rivers, and hills; much can be gained. Staying open is key… Here at HU, we concentrate on digging to the root of knowledge. What seems crazy to some is just outside the box to another. Applying this lens to cannabis horticulture has culminated in a recipe for break through! Much like artists, musicians, and poets; egoless attention turned toward the cannabis plant has resulted in an expert cannabis culture. Art, ideology, and personal expression have historically interrelated with the cannabis plant. Cannabis aides creativity. Cannabis aides personal expression and personal expression aides cannabis horticulture; cannabis culture. This said, the Old Man in the Hills has graced us with another touch of knowledge. Cryptic yet tangible, what does his voice give the modern cannabis conversation? What can we learn from the past? What can we learn form the old men in the hills?

The views and opinions expressed by the old man in the hills do not reflect the views and opinions of the Humboldt Underground. HU feels obligated to provide a voice for all in our community. Our goal is to move the conversation forward and all points-of-view are legitimate (unless hateful or discriminatory). Every voice in our community deserves to be heard.

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Dispatches from the Old Man in the Hills

Through cannabis prohibition many strong, defiant, and boundless individuals have adopted ideologies that reflect their situation. Here in Humboldt and greater Northern California, the Wild West still exists. Many have flourished without help from the government or mainstream America. Roots are strong and networks are entrenched. The old timers are superbly united with their principles – as they fittingly should be. The corner-of-the-world they have carved out for themselves is threatened. These more-then-mysterious men and women walk the line between Bukowski and Thoreau – they hold a flame like terriers on the prowl. They represent America’s counter culture… That said, the Humboldt Underground would like to introduce: the old man in the hills…

The views and opinions expressed by the old man in the hills do not reflect the views and opinions of the Humboldt Underground. HU feels obligated to provide a voice for all in our community. Our goal is to move the conversation forward and all points-of-view are legitimate (unless hateful or discriminatory). Every voice in our community deserves to be heard.


wrong question carpetbaggers

i have been here awhile and have seen the trends…. people complain about the carpetbaggers coming to ruin our lives and our livelihood but I say to you it’s already happened… i remember the days when folks would come to town to buy weed and they would ask two questions is it organic? is it indoor or outdoor? These are the only questions that matter but now the only thing anyone asks is what strain is it?

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