This 1990s High Times themed photo nearly destroyed a relationship. Let me tell you how it happened.
💰 An Opportunity Not To Be Refused 👨🌾
Two seasons ago I found myself in southern Oregon on a black market commercial ganja farm due to visa problems in Cambodia. I had to leave the lady and kids behind because they didn't yet have Cambodian passports and my residency visa renewal came suddenly and without warning.
I hadn't seen my family in the USA for several years, and an old friend made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I'd have a chance to make $15,000 to $20,000 in 4+ months on a hügelkultur ganja farm in southern Oregon, also known as the State of Jefferson by some of you.
the three-sided cabin I called home for 5 months
complete with air mattress and woodburner
🧬 Ganja Is A Sacrament 🙏
Even though I despise labels, I guess most would attach the Rastafari label to me, although in Oregon that only means you love reggae, ganja and have dreadlocks. It has nothing to do with the divinity of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, and most people carelessly throwing around the term Rasta haven't a clue who Haile Selassie is.
To most true Rastas, ganja is a sacred plant, although it's not a requirement to believe that or to smoke it. Even though many Rastas profit from the marijuana industry, I've always had a hard time mixing capitalism with something so personally holy.
I can tell you with certainty that the majority of people in the marijuana industry on the west coast of the USA are focused on profits before respecting the plant. There are heaps of lazy folks in this industry looking for an easy buck, and many ganja trimmers like to think they could grow high-grade natural marijuana easily. It's not respected as the "healing of the nations" like it is by many here in the Caribbean.
💊🧘 Too Much Hedonism Can Be Dangerous 👯♀️🥂
Let me just say I knew what I was getting myself into when I went to this ganja farm in Southern Oregon. I knew there would be copious amounts of ridiculously enlightened white people doing ridiculous things and talking about dharma.
My buddy failed to tell me he hadn't grown up much in the last 10 years though. Better yet was finding out the farm was illegal halfway through the season. I wouldn't have gone had I known that, because my family was in Cambodia at the time, and an arrest is not what you need when you're trying to leave the country again soon.
I did enjoy the daily hash ball scraped from my hands
Anyhow, I digress, but I needed brief breaks from the drunken insanity that was a hedonistic playground disguised as a permaculture ganja farm. My old friend, the farm owner/operator, had hooked up with a very young gypsy trimmer, and she was living on the farm trying to transition from trimmer to farmhand.
To prove she could grow weed, she wanted to grow her own plants that season. My buddy and I found 7 or 8 of the smallest plants on the farm, and put them in pots for her right next to the house where they were living and cooking.
The only real job was to water the plants, something I kept taking care of for her, as she forgot often. But since it defeated the purpose to work all day on a ganja farm, then come back downhill and water someone else's plants, I decided to let them go, as much as it pained me to watch ganja slowly die a little more everyday.
After three days, my buddy mentioned to his girlfriend her plants didn't look too good. She promptly reminded him she was taking care of them. So far my buddy still didn't know I was the one watering the plants everyday.
Well, by day 6 the plants really started to look like hell. Knowing that my buddy and his girlfriend fight like cats and dogs, and I didn't want to create a problem, I thought I would remedy the situation with some humor, the best natural medicine of all.
🚪 Enter The 1990s High-Times Selfie 🤳
Something inside me told me to take a picture with the dying plants, but not just any picture. For some reason I decided to re-create a guerrilla 1990s High-Times style photo, complete with facemask and ego. The only difference was that this photo was going to be of some sad and dying plants.
I thought if I sent the picture to her via SMS, she would get a chuckle and water the plants ASAP. However, that's not how it went down. I was up on top of the hill pruning when I heard my buddy return from a roadtrip and commence arguing with his girlfriend over the state of her plants.
A week of awkward energy and silence followed, and I was only able to show them both the picture after a month had passed. It eventually got a laugh like I intended, but in retrospect, I wonder if it would've been easier to just approach her every morning and remind her to water her plants.
Maybe I went about it wrong, but you be the judge. I still look at this photo occassionally and laugh. After working on that 300+ plant massive ganja farm for months and months, it's only one of 10 photos I took during my entire stay.