Tell people around here you have a garden, and invariably they’ll end up suggesting a pot crop.
The gardening conversation typically begins with placid curiosity. What do I grow? Do I start from seed? Do I add soil amendments? How do I water? How can I possibly decide what to plant? Questions of that ilk.
After they run through a series of vegetables and, uh, herbs they would like to see on their plate, I’m told that marijuana would be an “awesome” addition to the plot. It’s as if a fat ganja and tomato salad would hit the spot. Besides, weed doesn’t take up too much space, right?
Wrong-o, buddy. Weed probably loves San Diego County, with its bright, sunny days and workable soil. The plant even seems to vibe well with the locals, forever kicked back, invasive and mostly non-native. Ganja will command and conquer a small plot quicker than Hitler in Poland. You could cultivate a fast growing variety and dub it the Adolph Strain.
I tend to keep all this in mind when I’m poking around my exposed community garden, located just two blocks from I-5 in a residential neighborhood.
“Oh, what’s that officer? Just a huge, overgrown nuisance that smells like a dead skunk. I’ll chop it down ASAP. Care for a tomato?”
Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
I’ve never grown ganja. It seems too complicated for such a mellow herb. There are males and females and pollination and timing and law enforcement and stoned thieves and on and on. It’s a weed, for crying out loud. Why doesn’t it grow like one?
I personally choose to keep gardening as simple as possible: amend the soil, bury seeds, give transplants a new home, water, watch plants grow, mess around with black widows, drink beer. Repeat in the spring.
Once, in the same day, I was asked by a longhair if I’m willing to grow weed and then by a chain smoker if I’m willing to grow tobacco. I said I’d call the DEA for their opinion. While I’m at it, I might as well grow hops and barley for my homebrew. The Circle of Black Lungs, Addiction and Good Times would then be complete.
But perhaps these curious potheads are on to something. Ganja smokers just might have a chance to legalize their favorite plant if Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has anything to do with it. According to estimates, the weed business could potentially pump $1 billion of tax revenue into state coffers. Where they gather these numbers is anybody’s guess (are you supposed to claim weed transactions on tax forms?).
If I am to procure a few million of that $1 billion tax revenue, I have a ton of work to do. The day lawmakers let their anti-weed guard down, I’ll need a few helping hands up in the garden. It seems I have hungry clientele to feed. In the meantime, I’ll stick to growing my legal “salsa garden.”
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