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18+ For adults only. Soft Secrets is published

six times a year by Discover Publishers USA, Inc.

In this issue:

Spring has Sprung!

The days are getting longer, the tion, the Baron of Barranquilla himself has So, while you’re waiting for your spring
penned an exciting tale about his adven- crop to germinate, sit back, relax and
temperature is finally rising (for tures as a 1970s smuggler of some of enjoy issue two of SSUSA.
those of us not lucky enough to Colombia’s finest dope.
enjoy California’s climate) and
the seeds are germinating. After
such a long and harsh winter for
THE KIND DOCTOR so many, it’s great to see the ver-
Soft Secrets USA interviews Dr. Frankel, master
of medical Cannabis tinctures. Find out why this
dant green of new life springing
is the safest way to medicate and why people up everywhere. Get your garden-
all over the country are exploring this therapy. ing gloves ready!
Dr. Frankel was even kind enough to reveal how
his famous tinctures are made. ››5 So, here we are with our second issue
of Soft Secrets USA, shaking off the win-
ter sleep and enjoying our new US
readership. We hope you had a chance
to catch our first American issue; if
not, our entire international archive is
available at
(to all readers above 18, of course). You
can download all our issues for free, in
nine languages. Find out what growers,
smokers and the medical community
The Scoop on Soil are experiencing around the world.
›› 21 In issue two of SSUSA, we will help you
to mix fresh soil properly, give you tips
on making organic fertilizers and intro-
BLACK TUNA DIARIES duce you to many new strains and seed
Robert Platshorn, a.k.a. Bobby Tuna, was companies.
released from prison in 2008 after almost
three decades of Federal incarceration. His Medical marijuana users should make
book, Black Tuna Diaries, has recently been sure to check out our interview with
re-published in its original, unedited form. Dr. Frankel, a master of marijuana tinc-
tures. Find out why dosing with thera-
Read all about his rise from small stage
peutic Cannabis is so difficult, and how
actor to one of the largest US smugglers of you can figure out what dosage works
Colombian weed in the 1970s. This heart- best for you.
pounding tale will capture your imagination,
and perhaps scare you out of ever smuggling We also take a trip around the world
with Bobby Tuna, the alleged leader of
anything, anywhere. ›› 7 the Black Tuna Gang. Recently released
after almost 29 years of Federal incarcera-

A look at innova-
tions in the industry
today ›› 26

Calling all Females!

Hey, ladies – want to be famous? Ever of Soft Secrets to throw into the photo,
dreamed about being a lingerie model? we'd love to see it!
Here's your chance: Soft Secrets USA is look-
ing to print some steamy photos of you, Those whose submissions are printed will
dear readers, in and among our favorite receive one of a selection of the latest and
plants. We want to see beautiful babes and most informative grow books around.
beautiful buds, and lots of them.
Remember: keep it classy! Think lingerie
Those of you gents familiar with our UK runway model or beauty queen, not red
edition have likely already drooled over light district!
the sexy European version of 'Dear Soft
Secrets' – now is your chance to start an Submissions may be emailed to:
American sensation!

Girls, perhaps you'd like to show off your

curves in some sexy clothes while tending
to your outdoor garden? Or guys, maybe
you've got some semi-naughty pics of
your lady friend(s) in your grow room?
HPS lights are so romantic... DEAR
Send us your photos (high-res only; no
scans of 35mm!) of your in- or outdoor SOFT
grow, plus a lovely lady or two in the lat-
est boudoir fashions, and we will print
the best ones. If you can find a copy SECRETS
Spring Has Sprung! 1 FROM THE EDITOR
The Kind Doctor 5 MEDICINAL
Magic Bud


Magic Bud is a fine blend of Indica and Sativa. Strain Awards 10 STRAIN REPORT
This plant produces beautiful resin coated nugs
in a relatively short time, approximately 56 days Organic Tea 12 ORGANIC CULTIVATION
indoors. Her appealing velvet looks during flower- Germination 101 13 ORGANIC CULTIVATION
ing are a pleasure for the eye, and you have to be
careful that you (or your friends) do not give into A Dutch Shift 14 MADE IN HOLLAND
the urge to cut of a branch before she is fully rip- Amster-rant 15 OPINION
ened! Your patience will be royally rewarded with
Slider Smoke Reduction System 17 MEDICINAL
very tasty aromatic buds.
Cannabis and Pregnancy 20 MEDICINAL
When dried and cured the Magic smokes smooth The Scoop on Soil 21 ORGANIC CULTIVATION
with a pleasant floral aromatic taste. The body
relaxing effect combined with a strong potent Green Prisoners: Ken Unger 22 MEDICINAL/LEGAL
high is magical, you will feel at ease with every- LED Lights 24 SERIOUS GARDENING
thing you do.
What’s Happening with Hemp? 26 HEMP INNOVATIONS
Type: Indica/ Sativa Sweet Seeds 29 INTERVIEW
Flowering time: Approx 56 days indoors. Outdoors
Dear Soft Secrets 32 FROM OUR READERS
Middle of October (n.L.)
Yield: 400 grams per m2 indoors. Outdoors Morocco Bound 33 SMUGGLING
approx. 500 grams per plant The Green Door 34 DISPENSARY
Suitable environments: Indoors. Outdoors between
50º n.L. and 50º s.L. Mountain High 36 MADE IN HOLLAND
Effects/Buzz: Pleasant Sativa-Indica high Sexism in Pot Culture 39 OPINION
Smell/Taste: Floral -aromatic
THC: 12-15%
The Attitude Seedbank 41 GENETICS/BREEDING
A Stoned Selection 44 MUSIC
Photo: Paradise Seeds
Grubbycup’s Simple Hydroponics 45 BOOK REVIEW
Devil Weed 45 COMIC
able and consistent delivery conduit. In ferent formulations. Physicians and the

The Kind Doctor

addition, when a patient uses a tincture AMA at that time were very supportive of
in their mouth, they can enable some Cannabis, in part due to its safety and effi-
lung absorption by taking deep breaths cacy; and in part because not much else
in through their mouth and out through was around. Aspirin didn’t come on the
their nose. While not widely used yet – scene until 1899. In reading the physician
Two blocks east of Barrington Avenue, in the heart of the San Vicente most doctors are recommending vapor- notes of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s,
izers – Frankel is a tincture pioneer. I learned about tinctures and soon was
corridor, sits the 80's glass and stylistic Jon Douglas Medical Center, bringing them into my practice.
housing psychologists' offices, top-notch dental hygienists, and some SSUSA: how did you first come across
of the most expensive dermatologists in Los Angeles. And they all tinctures? SSUSA: what are tinctures, exactly?
Dr. Frankel: When I first began my Cannabis DF: Tinctures are liquids into which the
have a new tenant: Greenbridge Medical, the Cannabis practice medical practice, it became clear that any essence of the plant, flower or vegetable is
owned by the pioneering Dr. Allan Frankel, a.k.a. 'The Kind Doctor'. broadly effective medicine must be able extracted. Tinctures are thousands of years
to be dosed during the daytime. You can old and each one of us has seen many of
imagine that most patients would not be the brown or blue tincture bottles on the
entirely forthright and generally told me shelves of various homeopathic pharma-
With its fresh roses, mustard yellow walls adorned with Buddhist art,
and pretty secretary, the office feels much like an acupuncture-herb TINCTURES ARE LIQUID THC THAT IS DISPENSED
clinic. Greeting me at the door is the smiling and amiable doctor him- THROUGH A SMALL SPRAY BOTTLE BY SQUIRTING THE
self: wearing jeans, an Izod polo and tennis shoes, the sixty-something
Frankel looks every bit as Dr. – minus the whites – because, well, he MEDICINE UNDER THE TONGUE
has been a board-certified internist for over 27 years, with big chunks they used a puff or two a few times week- copeias. Cannabis tinctures themselves
ly. I never believed it and soon helped were first introduced to the planet 3,500
of that time practicing at UCLA Medical Center. By Robert Michael
patients become more open and honest, years ago. I presume there was some
but still there was this issue of how are we bucket of alcohol into which some early
Although a child of the sixties, Frankel According to Frankel, the lion’s share of really dealing with pain, anxiety, nausea, teen dumped some Cannabis plant mate-
didn’t try pot until his mid-forties, and Cannabis doctors are not smokers and etc. during the day? People rarely can rial. Finally, when forced to throw it away,
it was not until eight years ago, when a don’t understand the medicine: “A lot of smoke or even vaporize during the day. some of this first tincture splashed into
vicious virus in his chest attacked his heart, these doctors are using edibles but since Furthermore, even IF they could smoke/ the teen’s mouth and Cannabis tinctures
that he began smoking on a regular basis. those are absorbed through the stomach vape, how do you know what dose to were born. Most professional tinctures are
and must go through hepatic metabo- use? How many ‘puffs’? Are all puffs equal; made in several steps:
“For years at UCLA I worked with chemo lism – which turns the Cannabis mol- absolutely not. Every puff is different in
and oncology patients,” he recalls. “They ecules into a much longer lasting and very probably 20 different ways. This is true 1. Bud, trim or whole plant material is
were in so much agony that I would wheel stoney medicine – it is almost impossible whether using a pipe, joint or vaporizer. ground up.
them out into the garden and give them a to quantify dosage, and too much can 2. It is then placed into a complex
joint. And every single one of them would cause psychotic reactions.” He continues: So, the question of my first year of machine, a Super Cooled CO2 Extractor.
feel better. I never saw it as a moral issue “Smoking has some of the same issues, Cannabis medicine was, how do patients 3. A pound of Cannabis is turned into
but a human issue.” plus the possible harmful effects on the medicate in a predictable manner, without approximately one oz. of a thick and
lungs; vaporizers definitely have less tar smoke or vaping? Edibles did not turn out very potent goo.
So after suffering a similar fate as his for- but, again, it’s very hard to define dosage.” to be the answer, as they were and remain 4. The goo is diluted into various tinctures
mer patients and being told he had less way too variable and dependent upon depending upon the chemical makeup
than a year to live, Frankel began smoking The solution? Tinctures. Tinctures are hepatic metabolism. So, I began reading of the extracted tincture.
heavily and, well, here he is. liquid THC that is dispensed through a about the Golden Era of Cannabis, which
small spray bottle by squirting the medi- was from the late-1800’s through 1940. When a tincture is made properly, the can-
“Look, I can’t say definitively that the med- cine under the tongue. The medicine During these years, all US-based ‘pharma’ nabinoid content (THC/CBD/CBN) is criti-
ical Cannabis saved my life, but…” he trails is absorbed through the sub-lingual companies were creating Cannabis tinc- cal to know because various new tinctures
off and smiles. veins which, unlike edibles, are a reli- tures. Different strains were used for dif- now have very different effects, depend-
ing upon the cannabinoid content as well
as other chemicals in the plant (such as
the terpenes). The created tincture is used
sublingually in the patient’s mouth and is
absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
The dose is predictable – as well as the
effects – and this is the only known meth-
od that allows such dosing.

SSUSA: have you been involved in tinc-

ture or cannabinoid research?
DF: I am currently and have been
involved in cannabinoid research for
several years. I would love to be involved
with clinical trials; but other than very
few, they are still illegal. Even when pos-
sible, the Cannabis used comes from the
University of Mississippi, and is of very
limited strain availability. Tincture and
cannabinoid research are really entire-
ly intertwined. We need to learn what
combinations and ratios of cannabi-
noids will make what types of tinctures.
In addition, much more research into
the plant’s terpenes is critical. Terpenes
probably account for a lot of the psy-
choactive effects of Cannabis and most
tinctures remove the terpenes, as they
are within the plant waxes.

So, what else are we losing? What known. The dosing should begin with the medication; it is much longer-acting who tend not be satisfied by tinctures
causes the paranoia associated with _ of a dropper of the tincture placed and much more ‘narcotizing’. Tinctures are are often patients who wish to get more
some Cannabis use? When is it really under the tongue. The fluid should be dose-able and predictable. ‘stoned’, or ‘narcotized’. Even many of
best to harvest a plant? These and brushed throughout your mouth with these patients will be satisfied using
hundreds of other questions can only your tongue. Before swallowing the SSUSA: better than smoking? tinctures, as we get better at re-instill-
be answered by careful study of the tincture, one needs to take ten deep DF: Smoking can certainly be used to treat ing the terpenes after extraction.
plant’s genetics, and control of its breaths. Slowly, in through your mouth, a patient’s symptoms but there is lung
growing environment. Various stresses and then slowly exhale through your irritation (not cancer or COPD). The little SSUSA: what percentage of your
can affect the expression of various nose. I would suggest waiting 30 min- hairs or cilia in our airways are partially, patients is using tinctures?
genes and change how the genetics utes to see the peak effect from this but reversibly, paralyzed by Cannabis and DF: I would estimate that 30 – 40 %
is morphologically expressed. I could initial dose. I would then add another _ hence the chronic cough. However, cough of patients will use them from time to
on for days. We have many more ques- dropper full and repeat. Most patients and irritation aside, the primary advan- time, and perhaps 20% use the tinc-
tions than answers. There are some require between _ and a full dropper tage of tinctures over smoking is that tures exclusively.
questions we know HOW to answer and full. Soon, however, as every tincture with smoking, dosing is impossible and
many questions where we don’t even has a stated 5 mg THC or CBD dose, we the effect on symptoms becomes a wild SSUSA: who is currently making the
know where/how to start. My view of will have very exact dosing by mg. up- and down curve; with tinctures it is tinctures?
Cannabis research would be to have much smoother. DF: A large number of small manufactur-
non-investment money be donated to SSUSA: how many doctors are using ers, in their kitchens. This must change.
a research organization that will begin this method? SSUSA: what are the best ailments to
obtaining these answers. I would love DF: I think very, very few doctors are use tinctures for? Why? SSUSA: where do you see the tincture
to be involved with that team. educating patients on this method. To DF: Tinctures are just one form of application going in the near future/
a large extent it is simply that not many Cannabis delivery to the patient. Any long-term future?
SSUSA: how do you determine dosage? physicians even know about tinctures. illness where Cannabis is effective, it is DF: I believe it will be the next aspirin,
DF: To begin with, let me clearly state that I Additionally, most tinctures are made very effective. In my opinion, using the tinc- Tylenol and cold medicines wrapped
am just referring to dosing using Cannabis poorly, not tested and are inconsistent. ture for pretty much any ailment where together while also being used for anxie-
tinctures. With puffs of smoke, puffs from I try educating patients and physicians Cannabis is helpful is still the best way to ty, mood disorders, insomnia, etc. In other
a vaporizer and certainly with edibles, about the use of tinctures as much as pos- medicate the patient. Tinctures are com- words, I believe that Cannabis tinctures
dosing is very difficult and needs to be sible. I also believe some physicians are monly used for pain, anxiety, insomnia are the largest new medical market to
started very slowly; I mean very slowly scared that it is illegal to discuss this with and nausea. Rich-CBD tinctures will be come along. It will be both supported by
and adjusted. For those of you interested patients. That is just not the case. effective in many areas of cancer treat- ‘pharma’ as well as the medical Cannabis
in dosing with edibles please be well ment and most likely it will be in tincture world, or ‘non-pharma’.
hydrated and try _ of a dose, and wait a SSUSA: why are tinctures better than form. So, if Cannabis works, the tinctures
full two hours to assess the effect. Drink edibles? will work as well, if not better. SSUSA: what else is on the horizon?
some more fluids and try another _ and DF: Edibles require eating a lot of wasted Anything new?
again wait a full two hours. You will get a calories and dosing in edibles is very poor. SSUSA: who are the best candidates for DF: The most exciting new development
reasonable dose in this manner. The patient’s liver metabolizes the edible tinctures? on the horizon is out of UCSF under an
as it goes from the stomach into the DF: Any patient who wishes to benefit NIH grant. We are seeing incredible anti-
With a good tincture, the amount of bloodstream. This change moves the OH from Cannabis will benefit from tinc- breast cancer effects from CBD. This is
THC/CBD and terpenes is generally group and entirely changes the nature of tures. The primary group of patients something to stay tuned for.
his ice cream pushcarts for the tourist
BOBBY TUNA'S TALE OF SMUGGLING AND CAPTIVITY season. Luke ran a concessions business
and needed a place to store his trail-

Caught and Released: ers and off-season merchandise. Thus, a

partnership was struck.

Cool Hand was using his concessions

trailers to deliver shipments for smug-

Black Tuna Diaries glers and thought it would be the perfect

spot to unload. This would promote him,
and Platshorn, to dealers in their own
right. Tired of being a simple delivery boy,
Luke convinced Robert that this was their
Get ready for a long, strange trip. The unedited, limited edition of Black although the smallest crimes would result chance to enter the game. Unfortunately,
in a nasty encounter with one's folks. Luke would later turn informant.
Tuna Diaries is now available, and what a read it is! From South St. in The heightened attention paid to kids by
Philly to South America, Robert Platshorn weaves an almost unbeliev- those other than their parents worked This small initial load of dope was handled
able tale of his rise from a skinny five-year-old stealing caps for the both for and against them. by Luke and Robby, while Platshorn was
setting up shop in Florida – relying on his
'South St. Gang' to the alleged captain of the Black Tuna Gang, the so- It was perhaps the very hard-working two friends to slide him his cut.
called leaders of the US pot smuggling game in the 1970s. The Sativa Diva people around him that shaped Robert's
early work ideals. He would graduate from Eventually, Platshorn would run a
an arts high school in Cherry Hill, NJ, small empire from a suite in the luxu-
The DEA accused the Black Tuna Gang of drug of choice for many, whether smok- where he enjoyed some success as an ry Fontainebleau in Florida. With luxury
smuggling – or attempting to – between ers or smugglers. actor and dancer. Platshorn then moved yachts docked in front of the hotel, he
one- and three-million tons of primo on to college at both Temple University operated the South Florida Auto Auction,
Colombian ganja into the US in just a few If you think about it, clearly the Tunas (Philadelphia) and the University of among other businesses. It was the auto
years, supposedly earning them more were not aiming for celebrity status. Miami. Communications and journalism auction that provided a perfect excuse
than three hundred million dollars. 1970s They liked to smoke dope, fish and fly were studied but not completed, and he for traveling to Latin America, especially
dollars, that is! After Nixon left office, planes, and their customers were more would later study law. when one is friends with people who are
many Americans truly believed that the than happy to reimburse them for their able to produce a variety of planes and
time for Cannabis legalization had come. extra cargo upon their return to the Then came the barking at state fairs, boats with which to smuggle prime-grade
Gone were the archaic views towards the US. Many people in this era loved to boardwalks and showrooms. No big Colombian pot.
plant; the party was supposed to have smoke (not just the hippies); however, event of the time was complete without
started. Before the cocaine craze of the few were willing to assume the risk of one. Shouting and roaring and making In '77 Platshorn was living in the Spring
1980s, high-quality imported pot was the importing such a stinky, pungent cargo the ladies swoon, Platshorn seems to Gardens area of Miami and restoring an
all the way from steamy South America. have had a natural talent for sales. A true old 40 ft. Elco Sportsfisherman, which

Likely one of the most-covered smugglers THE DEA ACCUSED THE BLACK TUNA GANG OF SMUGGLING
with regards to the media, Platshorn and
his cohorts represent the severity and BETWEEN ONE- AND THREE-MILLION TONS OF PRIMO
often ridiculous nature of Cannabis sen-
tences in the US. The Black Tuna Gang, a COLOMBIAN GANJA INTO THE US
moniker applied erroneously by the DEA,
could be viewed as the very first casualties showman, crowds of several hundred would later come in handy. His pal
of the emerging War on Drugs. people would gather to hear him pitch Captain Crunch knew someone with
the latest blender or no-run hosiery. It 1,500 lb. loads of Colombian weed
Platshorn and his childhood friend Robert was at the 1976 Wisconsin State Fair that were being smuggled into Florida
THE DYNAMIC READING INSTITUTE, Meinster (another member of the South where his initial connection with the through the Everglades. Robert and
LONDON, 1968 St. Gang, naturally) were sentenced to smuggling game surfaced. Robby were to become partners with
more than 108 years between them. the supplier and find customers to
Originally, 64 of those years were meant While contemplating a return to the whom they could offload each ship-
for Platshorn. After serving nearly 29 years University of Miami to pursue a law ment. Posh canal houses presented the
in various levels of the Federal correc- degree, Platshorn met a fellow barker perfect unloading spots, with their pri-
tion system, Robert was finally freed on called Cool Hand Luke. Luke knew that vate house-adjacent docks for yachts
April 1st, 2008. Perhaps the most famous Platshorn owned the Ice Cream Factory and semi-discrete settings among the
first-time, non-violent Cannabis offender on South St., where he also housed wealthy and disinterested.
in the history of the War on Drugs, the
alleged ringleader was released to a half-
way house with no money, no job and
very little surviving family or friends.

Platshorn, a.k.a. Bobby Tuna, a.k.a.

Barranquilla Bob, does not represent the
typical smuggling story. Rather than a
bid for freedom from a life of poverty, as
prompts many into the smuggling and
dealing game, the Baron of Barranquilla
hails from a comfortable childhood in
Philadelphia, the son of two hard-working
Jewish parents. Raised on the famous
South St. of the 1950s, where his father
worked in a shoe store and his mother
owned a children's clothing boutique,
young Robert was left to learn the rules
of the street, all the while under the aus-
POSING AFTER HIS BULL FIGHTING pices of dozens of 'aunts' and 'uncles',
DEBUT IN 1970 the babysitters of that time period. Kids
worked small jobs and hustled coins,
something interesting and appealing for did, but were also apprehended. Others
readers of all types on every page of were successful, but the Tunas' bust
Black Tuna Diaries. The text is important; certainly served as a warning to any
not necessarily because it outlines the would-be entrepreneurs. Ultimately,
perils and triumphs of pot smuggling – by removing the Tunas from their posi-
and it does – but because it shows how tion as trans-continental runners, the
desperate the War on Drugs has been DEA/Feds only served to prompt a
since its inception. The groovy, party- renaissance in smuggling techniques.
laden view that many have of the 1970s Not only that, but the dawn of the
is belied by the '20-to-life' statute of the cocaine-fueled 1980s was approach-


decade for pot possession or dealing. ing, and in terms of discretion, it was
Busting the Fishing Fools – sorry, the much less smelly – and far more profit-
'Black Tuna Gang' – was a notch in the able – to switch products. A new smug-
belt of the DEA, who were burdened with gling trend was born.
the now highly-publicized task of polic-
ing the infamous and heavily-trafficked Bobby Tuna would never have entered
smuggling routes of the day. that game, even if he hadn't been nabbed
THE FABULOUS FISHING FOOLS: BOBBY TUNA AND RANDY by the authorities. He had far more respect
ON DOCK; BARRY AND MARTY ON NATURE'S WAY With the 'Just Say No' campaign right for himself, and for Cannabis, and had no
around the corner, the Tuna take-down
signaled that even more drastic and
Platshorn and crew were known pub- Buying 2,000 lb. loads of pot at $60 per depressing changes were about to befall
licly as the 'Fishing Fools', a title earned pound sounds pretty cheap, by today's American Cannabis users, dealers and
as a result of their highly competitive standards. However, you must remember smugglers. Rather than legalize, the States
– and highly successful – jaunts at that this was the mid- to late '70s, when entered the dark period that only now
local fishing competitions. Of the many pressed ditch weed cost about $12 per seems to be lightening. As stated by many
ridiculous claims asserted by the DEA, pound. When part of one batch was stolen social observers, the War on Drugs created
one was that the smugglers' radio code by the police, the remaining 850 lbs. was the need for sophisticated drug cartels; it
for loads of ganja was 'Black Tuna, Black pre-sold to their customers at $240 per wasn't ever the case that so many smug-
Tuna'. No such code ever existed. pound. The stuff the Tunas were hauling glers were clogging the water- and air-
was like gold to pot smokers. Their profit ways with their stinky contraband.
Besides, as Platshorn points out, anyone margin was unbeatable.
who has ever fished knows that Blue Whatever the case, when Bobby Tuna desire to associate with 'cocaine cowboys'.
Fin Tuna are much bigger – 'giant' even All went well, for a while. At one point, was busted in September of 1978 (after Now a medical Cannabis user – but still
– than their black-finned cousins, and Platshorn was held 'hostage' in Puerto attempting an elusive maneuver that occasionally hocking non-stick cooking
the Fools' legendary fishing success in Atlántico while the weed supplier wait- will make the reader break out in a cold pans or one of Ron Popeil's inventions –
Bimini competitions became so largely ed for his partners to pay up. Unlike sweat), a golden era ended. The relation- he was released just over three years ago,
due to the sheer size of their usual many hostage situations, he was invited ship between US smokers in the '70s on April 1st, 2008. Perhaps the day should
catch. In fact, they were even awarded to stay with his captor's family, fed well and the legendary Santa Marta Gold had be renamed 'Fishing Fools' Day'. The first
special medals for winning a Grand and entertained. encountered an unfortunate hurdle. No thing a newly-free Bobby Tuna did? He
Slam fishing contest. Photos of the gold longer would this particular 'gang' supply went fishing, of course.
medals would find their way onto the In 1977, their 5,000 lb. load of Santa Marta them with the sacred cargo.
DEA website, where it was claimed that Gold was hijacked by the Colombian To order your limited-edition copy, or
the medallions were used to identify Army. The boys were loaded into a moldy Few other smugglers at the time risked make a donation to Robert Platshorn, visit
members of the Black Tuna Gang. step van and driven through the sweaty transporting such large loads; some »
jungle to be coerced into paying a 'land-
In fact, the Fools did their best to maintain ing fee' or be shot by firing squad, as
normal profiles while on missions, includ- an example to others. These problems,
ing radio silence, and even had someone however, were to pale in comparison
monitoring all radio traffic from inside a to the Federal charges levied by the US
surveillance van: marine-, air-, state- and government against the Black Tunas.
local police, DEA, Bahamian customs, etc. Among their smuggling fleet were two


After the second load was delivered, 44 ft. Striker yachts, one 54 ft. Striker, a
Robert and Robby were invited by their 53 ft. Hatteras yacht, a 43 ft. Rybovich
partner to join him in Colombia. From yacht and a 110 ft. Elco. Planes included
Bogotá to Barranquilla, the pair were several trips on a Lear jet, their own DC-3,
sent on a wild goose chase. Intent on Cessnas, Pipers, a Beechcraft D-18, an Aero
finding a silver lining, they stayed in Commander, Constellations and more. The
Colombia to see what sort of business alleged haul of over three hundred million
would arise. It was on this trip that dollars, the planes and the boats were all
Platshorn met 'Johnny with the Camaro', nowhere to be found when it was time for
who would become his solid connec- the DEA to present their evidence.
tion and provide him with enough con-
tacts, and dope, to fill several ships Whether you're an airplane buff, boat AUTHOR SPEAKING ON STAGE AT THE HEMPSTALK
each time he visited Colombia. connoisseur or fishing fiend, there's
Spring Planting
It may still be a bit chilly, but spring will soon be here. For indoor gar-
dens the change in seasons isn’t all that dramatic. Spring, summer, fall
and winter are just different settings on the lighting and temperature
controls. For outdoor gardens, however, there is a pre-spring moment
that is very special, when the ground has been cleared and the only
seeds in the garden are ones of hope and anticipation. Outdoor gar-
dens are a cheap and natural way to grow smoke. However, they can
also attract drama like a magnet if discovered by some idiot, so even
(LEFT) SHOWS MORE PROGRESS THAN legal weed should be grown with discretion. The biggest threat to
(RIGHT). CLONES SHOULD BE GIVEN outdoor Cannabis walks on two legs. by Grubbycup
Marijuana grows well in containers or One drawback to starting indoors is
directly in the ground. It is a very simple that the plants need to be 'hardened'
spice to grow (to be correct, it’s a spice – before they can be left outside perma-
not an her – since the flower clusters are nently. To harden a plant, it is placed
the part of the plant that is harvested). In outside in a mild location for a longer
my opinion, it is easier to grow a nice crop period each day for anywhere from
of marijuana than a nice crop of tomatoes a few days to about a week. It will
or peppers. If you’ve had a successful veg- ease the transition from the protected
etable or flower garden, you already have indoor environment to the harsher out-
most of the needed skills. doors. Plastic domes can help protect
young plants. Depending on condi-
Depending on the 'gardening zone' of tions, plants not hardened may die if
your area, spring may be just right the change in environment is too great.
around the corner. In most of the US,
Cannabis is planted outdoors in April If starting from seed outside, you can wait
ALTHOUGH NOT ABLE TO STAND UP through May in anticipation of a fall until your planting date to start. The same
TO EXAMINATION, THIS TOMATO COM- harvest. Check with your local garden gender concerns as when starting seeds
zone guide; but as a general rule, plant indoors apply here.
PANION AFFORDS SOME COVER no earlier than a week after the last frost
date. Plant near the spring equinox and 'Companion planting' is a method
harvest around the fall equinox. often used to help prevent outdoor
plants from attracting certain types of
You can put them outside later in the pests. Nearby, indeterminate, tomato
season, even up to midsummer, but the plants bring natural defenses against
more time the plants spend growing, some types of insects. A brief glance
the larger they can grow, and the larger at green foliage with tomatoes on it
the harvest should be. Once you know can appear to be a tomato plant, and
when you want to move the plants out- the marijuana can help provide some
side, count back the weeks to figure out support for the tomato plant. Besides,
when to start them. home grown produce is a worthwhile
harvest of its own.
Outdoor plants can be started indoors
by cloning or seed. Start clones indoor Tying open branches allows a more even
by taking cuttings from a known female distribution of sunlight, and training tall
– at least three weeks in advance, to plants to bend over with twine can limit
have them ready to move outside. Take height concerns.
cuttings that include a growing tip,
and at least below the next node. Dip Fertilize with more nitrogen before the
in rooting hormones if desired, and summer solstice, and gradually reduce the
bury the node into the growing media amount afterward. Do the opposite with
with the tip above the surface. Keep phosphorous and potassium: start with a
the media moist, but not soggy. Roots small amount, and gradually increase use
should be formed in two to three weeks. after the summer solstice.

Start seeds indoors at least two weeks Marijuana is a very tolerant plant, which
in advance to have them ready to can do well under a wide variety of condi-
move outside. When starting from tions, both indoors and out. An outdoor
seed, germinate at least twice the temperate grow can be spectacular, pro-
number of seeds as plants desired for ductive and save kilowatts of electricity
harvest, as a little under half tend to over an indoor grow.
be male. To avoid investing too much
time and energy into male plants, once If you are blessed with a circumstance that
established, clones taken from the will allow outdoor gardening, be thankful.
outdoor plant can be sexed indoors to It is a wonderful way to grow, as long as
learn gender. An alternative is to start you can do it in peace.
GROWING VEGETABLES ALONGSIDE MARI- with feminized seeds, which will all be
JUANA CAN PROVIDE NUTRITIOUS TREATS female. Sprouts should be kept moist, Peace, love and puka shells,
but not too wet. Grubbycup


Have You Tried These?

Best Pain Relieving Strain Award Oklevueha's Blue Dream Haze – with well-placed hairs and bright alive
(High THC) trichomes throughout. This mild sativa is
24.99% THC great for an energy boost around lunch
Two-Way Tie! < 0.05% CBD time. Feeling lonely? Wrap your lips
This issue brings us a two-way tie between 0.38% CBN around nature's most fertile White Widow.
Humboldt County Housewives' Skywalker HIGH RATING: 10
OG and Oklevueha's Blue Dream Haze. SLEEP AID: 8
The Skywalker OG has the highest total PAIN RELIEF: 10
cannabinoid content; while the Blue NAUSEA RELIEF: 1
Dream Haze has slightly more THC. With ANXIETY RELIEF: 1
both strains scoring high at nearly 25% APPETITE STIMULATION: 10
THC, these indicas are sure to take your
pain away and probably your sensibili- Best Anxiety Relief Award
ties too. Beginners beware! Too much of (High CBD)
a toke from these beauties and you'll While we see many great rating THC
find yourself in couch lock paranoia. Even strains every day, the rarest of the rare Whittier Hope Collective's Black Kush –
the cartoons you're watching on the tel- are high CBD (Cannabidiol) strains.
evision set will know how high you are. These are an interesting breed that, 9.73% THC
Connoisseurs: rejoice, relax and enjoy. strangely enough, are known for their < 0.05% CBD
properties in not getting you too high. < 0.05% CBN
They maintain many pain relief quali- HIGH RATING: 4
ties, but are best known for their excep- SLEEP AID: 4
tional anxiety relief. It's a completely PAIN RELIEF: 4
different experience that we highly HUMBOLDT COUNTY HOUSEWIVES’ NAUSEA RELIEF: 3
recommend. So if you need to pass ANXIETY RELIEF: 3
that calculus test, but need to take the APPETITE STIMULATION: 5
edge off, pick up some ATF from M-Pire.
Remember though: not all strains are Humboldt County Housewives' PMS Uncle Harry's Mistress Award
created equal! We've seen several ATF White Widow – Harry likes 'em hairy, and the Red
strains with no CBD content at all. So 10.75% THC Warrior doesn't disappoint. At 12.70%
hats off to these master growers for < 0.05% CBD THC she's not the strongest weapon
cultivating this rare gem. < 0.05% CBN on the battlefield, but she'll visually
HIGH RATING: 4 enchant anyone who sets their on eyes
SLEEP AID: 1 upon her. This red-headed stepchild
PAIN RELIEF: 4 is bursting with supermodel appeal.
NAUSEA RELIEF: 4 Beneath that amazing head of thick
HUMBOLDT COUNTY HOUSEWIVES' ANXIETY RELIEF: 4 sunset hairs are glowing white bulbs
SKYWALKER OG APPETITE STIMULATION: 5 just begging for your vaporizer.

Pretty in Purple Award

Humboldt County Housewives' We can't help ourselves. We're always
Skywalker OG – blown away by the purps. They leap off
24.47% THC the camera lens begging "Look at me,
1.02% CBD dahling!". It's a difficult choice to choose
0.26% CBN the best; however, the Black Kush from
HIGH RATING: 10 Whittier Hope Collective is a clear winner.
SLEEP AID: 8 She's a dark burgundy, reminiscent of
PAIN RELIEF: 10 a plum-colored Cabernet. Her trichomes
NAUSEA RELIEF: 1 are lined up in perfect single file for your
ANXIETY RELIEF: 1 viewing pleasure.

M-Pire's ATF –

7.65% THC
8.63% CBD
0.10% CBN
NAUSEA RELIEF: 10 Oklevueha's Red Warrior –
< 0.05% CBD
Sexiest Strain Award < 0.05% CBN
Humboldt County Housewives return HIGH RATING: 5
with another winner this month, with SLEEP AID: 5
their picturesque White Widow. Behold PAIN RELIEF: 5
the greenest of greens! It's as if you could WHITTIER HOPE COLLECTIVE’S NAUSEA RELIEF: 4
OKLEVUEHA’S BLUE DREAM HAZE see nature's essence flowing through BLACK KUSH ANXIETY RELIEF: 4
this beauty. She boasts a gorgeous glow, APPETITE STIMULATION: 6

There is plenty of debate surrounding chemical vs. organic methods to react differently in combination with Advantages and
of cultivation. Many organic gardeners argue that plants cultivated different compounds. Disadvantages
One of the main advantages of using
using naturally-sourced ingredients make for healthier plants that Likewise a small cup (250ml) of urine adds organic tea as a source of fertilizer in the
display a more extensive arrangement of essential oils at harvest. extra nitrogen to the tea (if required). garden is visible in healthier, more robust
Urine is sterile when produced; although plants. Growers using chemical applica-
Others argue that organic methods of cultivation are simply less it acts as an accelerator when it comes in tions often require additional chemical
stressful on the planet. by lazystrain contact with foreign bacteria. This further supplements to provide their plants with
aids the fermentation process. just the correct sources of micro-nutrients.
A well-balanced organic tea, on the other
In this issue of Soft Secrets USA, we shall organic home-grower. Many stores offer The resulting tea is applied liberally to hand, provides all the nutritional require-
take an alternative look at producing what at first seems like a vast array of the base of plants when still young. Note: ments needed for healthy growth.
organic fertilizers (or ‘teas’) using natural ingredients, including guano, seaweed urine containing contraceptives and ster-
ingredients. The aim of any organic tea extract, worm casts and even ready- oids should never be used in organic tea, One of the main disadvantages of organic
is to produce a well-balanced base of made ‘organic’ solutions. since they contain hormones that may tea is that the preparation time requires
nutrients which, when applied to soil sub- affect plant growth and the health of more input than simply pouring nutrients
strates, is made freely available to plants. Guano is usually the first ingredient many the consumer. This is especially important out of a plastic bottle into a watering
Organic cultivation is, therefore, the pro- tea makers will discover. Guano is the dried when crops are consumed as ‘medibles’! can. Another disadvantage is the space
cess of feeding the soil beneath – not or fossilized remains of bat or sea bird required to ferment organic tea, in a buck-
the plant itself – with all the nutritional manure. Rich in essential nutrients, each Wild Organic Tea et of water, with an air stone. Plus, of
requirements needed to further sustain guano comes with its own NPK reading to Wild organic tea is the cheapest and most course, the often unpleasant smell that
plant growth. indicate the strength of the nitrogen, phos- natural way to produce a reliable source some teas generate as the most beneficial
phorus and potassium level. For example, of organic fertilizer. Nature is full of use- bacteria become active.
Cultivating Healthy Bacteria a guano labeled 10-2-2 is suitable for the ful wild plants and minerals just waiting
The basic principle behind any organic tea vegetative stages of growth; while, in con- to be brewed. Nettles, for example, are a Enjoy!
recipe is that EVERYTHING on earth (unless trast, a guano labeled 0-3-7 is more suited great source of nitrogen (N) and iron (Fe)
sterile) is surrounded by bacteria. As things to the later stages of flowering. and make perfect teas for the vegetative
decay, the more these bacteria start to stages of growth. NETTLE TEA
work. Some of these bacteria are more Organic Guano Tea
beneficial to soil and plant life than oth- The following recipe has been tried and Burdock is a reliable source of trace ele-
ers. In making organic tea in water, we are tested over many years in various gardens. ments including calcium (Ca) and mag-
therefore aiming to cultivate a small ‘micro- The guano used is usually quite strong, so nesium (Mg). Added to a bucket of warm
herd’ of beneficial bacteria. This is achieved only a small teaspoon of sea bird guano water, the leaves of both wild plants fer-


by using natural ingredients already cov- and a large tablespoon of Kenyan or ment into a thick soup in only a few
ered in micro-bacteria and by enhancing Peruvian bat guano is added to each gal- days. The soup can then be sieved and
the environment surrounding the bacteria lon bucket of warm water. Depending on sprayed onto the leaves of plants to pro-
so that they can rapidly multiply. season and visible signs in the plants’ well- mote healthy growth, or applied directly
being, then the quantities may change. as a base-feed.
The bacteria we are dealing with here are
‘aerobic’, meaning they need oxygen to Next, a small splash (5ml) of seaweed Another natural substance that can be
survive. This is provided by an air stone in extract and a tablespoon of honey, maple added to organic teas to increase the
a bucket or by hand-stirring the bucket of syrup or sugar is added to the bucket as a levels of phosphorous (P) and potassium
water twice daily. The bacteria also require carbohydrate. This aids fermentation. The (K) during the flowering stages of growth
a source of carbohydrate to feed on. This is bucket is stirred twice daily and kept at a include charcoal and wood ash. Likewise, NETTLES MAKE A NUTRITIOUS
provided by a basic source of sugar, such temperature of 70°F (20°C). This helps the worm castings and mole-hill soil are also
as honey, molasses or cane sugar. Once natural bacteria generate at an even rate. excellent sources of free organic minerals.
situated in a warm environment the con- Both can be added to any organic tea at
tents of the bucket of water then slowly The tea is ready within 7-14 days. To add any time of year, without any fear of over-
start to ferment. some extra depth to organic tea during fertilization. When fresh, both are mineral
vegetative stages of growth, a large table- rich in trace elements and contain a pleth-
Store Bought ‘Organic’ Tea spoon of wood ash is added to promote ora of additional natural bacteria that are
Today most DIY depots, garden nurser- root growth. This is something still being known to donate beneficial properties to
ies and specialist stores cater to the experimented with, since guano is known soil life and, in turn, plant life.

Germination 101 The Sativa Diva / Photos: Cannabis College Amsterdam

Now that the weather has gotten warmer, lots of folks are starting up their outdoor gardens. Many people do this by germinating
their seeds indoors first, and allowing the seedlings to grow into small plants before their transition to an outdoor climate.

Since the US is such a large country with that these alter their pH- and EC levels
stark climate and elevation changes, it is and have even burned their seedlings;
essential that you choose the best strain you must obtain specific product details
for your outdoor environment. Medical at your local garden center or grow shop.
patients should be especially stringent
with their standards, as the correct vari- Small Plant Pots
ety can be the perfect therapy for their If you are already have a flower or vegetable
ailment; however, the wrong strain may garden, you may re-use your small (3” x 3”)
worsen their medical condition. pots if they are washed and rinsed thor-
oughly (to prevent disease and infestation).
Once you have decided which variety to Seedling soil is available at most garden cent-
grow, there are a few different methods ers and is specifically used to prevent nutri-
that you can use to successfully germi- ent burn on the tender new shoots. Normal
nate the seeds. Those of you with regular growing soil often has too much food for the
gardening experience (tomatoes, herbs, seedlings, which can not only burn them
etc.) will find that some of the gardening but also occasionally spoils young plants
techniques that you already know will be by deterring them from spreading copious
sufficient. PLASTIC-WRAPPED ROCKWOOL CUBES HELP TO KEEP roots in search of nutrition.
Before you place the seeds into the germi- For more information, ask questions at your
nating medium, make sure you first soak local grow shop or plant nursery. Plenty
them in a glass of water for around 24 of Cannabis grow books are also available
hours. When the seeds sink to the bottom online. Experiment to find out which meth-
of the glass, they should be placed in your od best suits your gardening needs.
chosen medium.

Damp Paper Towels

This is a common method often used
by basic gardeners. The soaked seeds
are placed between moistened layers of
paper towels or cotton pads, and checked
at least once daily for sprouts. The paper
should be kept damp at all times, while
avoiding pooling or uneven distribution
of water (which could lead to mold).

Rockwool Cubes
Rockwool cubes are found more readily
within the hydroponic growing commu- PELLETS ARE AN EASY WAY TO KEEP A STRONG SEEDLING LEADS
nity, as it is a preferred substrate for some TRACK OF SEEDLINGS AND PROTECT NEW ROOTS TO A HEALTHY ADULT PLANT
hydro systems. One benefit of these cubes
is that they protect the delicate seedlings
as they emerge, sometimes allowing for
a better success rate. Downsides include
the fact that rockwool doesn’t really bio-
degrade (think: fiberglass made out of
molten rock), nor does the plastic in which
many of the cubes are wrapped.

Peat Pots
Peat pots are a more natural alternative
to rockwool, as they are often made of
organic materials. Moisture holds rela-
tively well and the peat pots may be filled
with your choice of seedling soil. Trays of
peat pots are handy for organized germi-
nation, after which each seedling is cut
apart from the rest when it is transplanted
for the first time.

Seed Pellets
Pellets are bullet-shaped vessels into
which your soaked seeds are inserted.
These may be purchased dry or already
soaked, occasionally with a nutrient or IF YOUR ROOT SYSTEM IS HEALTHY, IT WILL LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS
hormone solution. Some growers report

A Dutch Shift… for the Worse?

It’s a sunny, cold and crisp January day in Amsterdam. Groups of All in all, past decisions put in place by the This would prove an absolutely disas-
government have led the amount of cof- trous decision, pushing the Cannabis
tourists wander about – staring in disbelief for some, fascination for feeshops in Amsterdam to drop from 452 industry farther underground, to the
others – through the streets of the Red Light district. Farther along in 1994 to around 230 today. great benefit of the criminal organiza-
the street, the smell of growing Cannabis comes wafting through the tions these same people claim to be
But that's not all; 2010 also brought with fighting, and to the detriment of just
ventilation system of the Cannabis College. Inside it, a group of tour- it a shift in politics. The previously cen- about everyone else – including the
ists listens attentively to one of the volunteers while he explains the trist government became more conserva- tax payers. There are, however, those
tive/right wing with the VVD (Party for who realize that such repressive actions
way the Dutch system works with regards to Cannabis, the changes Freedom and Democracy), PVV (Party would only make the situation worse,
the industry is undergoing and the effect this is having on one of the for Freedom) and the CDA (Christian preferring to have an open dialogue as
Netherlands’ main attractions: coffeeshops. Buddy Kush Democrats) leading the government. to how to better regulate the production
This does not bode well for the future of and distribution of Cannabis. This would
Holland's Cannabis culture as the Dutch ensure a safe environment, reduced
To a large percentage of the people between 15 and 64 years of age have tried government is backtracking – slowly turn- criminal activity and better product
visiting the Netherlands, the prospect Cannabis, versus 40.6% in the USA.) To top ing its back on the progress it has led by quality. An overall win-win situation!
of freely accessing a coffeeshop is the it all off, a comfortable amount of money example over the last 40 years. And the
equivalent of visiting a candy shop as goes straight into the government's pock- worst thing is the lack of rational or coher-
a kid: a mouth-watering experience to et, thanks to the 52% income tax applied ent argument behind this move.
say the least. This does lead to some to coffeeshops – more than double that of
misunderstandings, however: “You guys traditional businesses. In an attempt to diminish the so-called
are so lucky, with Cannabis being legal 'misery' caused by the actual tolerant
and all...” states a tourist. Things have been changing over the stance, the government has been work-
last couple years, however. In 2010, ing on a proposal to establish a pass sys-
The fact is that Cannabis has never been the government decided to close any tem to restrict non-Dutch residents from
legalized in the Netherlands. The reason coffeeshop located within 250 m. (273 accessing coffeeshops. As a whole this is
behind the open sales of Cannabis lies yd.) of a school. A highly ineffective not entirely surprising, as it sticks to the THE EASY GOING COFFEESHOP
in the Dutch government's decision to decision as explained by Amsterdam's essence of the tolerant stance put forward IN MAASTRICHT
tolerate the sale of weed and hash in small former mayor, Job Cohen: “Students in the 1970s, providing initial access to
quantities, to adults, via licensed estab- that wish to go to a coffeeshop will not coffeeshops to the Dutch.
lishments: coffeeshops. be put off by a couple meters more.... So this is where the situation lies at
Added to this is the fact that youth can- Marc Michel Josemans, owner of the Easy present. An uncertain time with three
Taking a tolerant stance has been quite a not enter a coffeeshop and that this is Going Coffeeshop in Maastricht, contest- possible outcomes: in one, coffeeshop
successful move if you look at the results: strictly applied. New research has con- ed this decision in 2010 but his arguments access is restricted to Dutch nation-
safer distribution, less crime, one of the firmed what we already knew: students were rejected by the European Court. The als. In the second, the Cannabis pass
lowest consumption rates per head in obtain soft drugs via-via and therefore Court stated that this was not the case, system fails and the minority cabinet
Europe. (Around 22.6% of Dutch residents do not go to coffeeshops.” given the Cannabis plant’s illegal status lobbies to eradicate coffeeshops from
outside of the Netherlands. Holland altogether. The third – and
for us the only rational option – is for
A sad conclusion for us all, but the ques- the government to push for further
tion now is how the Dutch government decriminalization and regulation of
could possibly apply this, given the fol- the Cannabis industry.
An interesting time indeed…
coffeeshops, according to the Dutch Any comments/questions?
Office of Tourism. Feel free to get in touch with us at the
distribute the pass.
such discriminatory practices.
trade, violence and less control over the
quality of Cannabis available.
sumers' ill health.

Given these facts, most cities (Amsterdam

included) have stated they would not
implement this system, bringing the
entire debate to a standstill. For some,
however, the weed pass is a halfway meas-
ure; meaning that if it fails, certain political
parties will put all their energy behind the
The Cannabis College
closure of coffeeshops, as stated by Alex
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 124
Meij, VVD representative in Maastricht:
1012DT Amsterdam
“The VVD believes that this policy and the
The Netherlands
Cannabis pass should be put into applica-
T: +31 (0) 204234420
AN ORGANIC STRAIN IN FLOWER tion. If these measures do not help with
IN THE CANNABIS COLLEGE the present situation… then the closure
of coffeeshops is unavoidable.”
If you hadn’t noticed, the present Dutch

Amsterdam through the government has some very extreme

views, especially concerning Cannabis.
The Minister of Justice, Dhr. Opstelten,

Looking Glass
would like to close down the whole
Most here in NL grow to supplement a low Cannabis scene, imagining we’ll all sud-
income: single mothers, the unemployed denly stop smoking weed. In reality
and people with chronic illness unable to this will simply push everything under-
afford coffeeshop prices. I started growing ground and into the hands of criminals
when I became sick and had to undergo
chemotherapy. Medicinal weed was $16
a gram, good coffee shop $10, so I decid-
ed to grow my own. Over the following
years the plant supported and eventu-
ally helped to heal me. Tending garden
brought me peace in a difficult time and I
dream of doing it again, but without fear
of arrest. Most growers would love to pay
tax; it would be a small price for doing
Amsterdam is a small city with a big name. The epicenter of the something we love.
Cannabis world, it is a place we all want to visit at least once in our Amsterdam has unique living libraries
lives. In the hearts of the American tokers it holds a special place. In containing hundreds of varieties of the IVO OPSTELTEN, THE J. E.
darker times, when the plant was demonized in the U.S; Amsterdam Cannabis plant that one day could benefit HOOVER OF HOLLAND
mankind. Should they be discovered by
shone like a beacon of freedom and hope of how things might be. the police they’d be destroyed and that
would be a crime against nature. who are willing to sell you anything.
Up until now the city has always displayed a tolerant policy toward Until now the Dutch had such a good
Now, I may sound like disgruntled aging reputation for getting it right with the
the plant. There was a time when the hash and weed prices were hippie, but I’ve done my time, unjustly drug scene. What happened?
given out over Dutch radio each morning. Dealers would gather in a spending years in a shithole prison for
cafe behind Dam Square to test each other's samples and listen to the love of a plant. Remember, when the I have been a Cannabis user for over forty
US government was busy persecuting its years, run a business, traveled the world
prices of the day. Just like the stock market around the corner, it had Cannabis growers, the Dutch held firm, and still don’t have a brain that looks like
its own gold standard called 'NPL': a variety of black Pakistani border giving refuge to those fleeing its unjust a fried egg.
prison terms. Now the growers of Holland
hash that never varied in quality or supply. Against this, the value of and all the people here who care for the Send the Dutch government an email and
everything else was measured. By O’Riodon plant need a little support. We want to tell them how it should be or you’re not
enjoy the same freedoms that seem to coming to visit! The Minister of Justice
The city had every kind of Cannabis is becoming so dangerous to grow that be opening up for you. It’s so ironic that would be a good start.
you could imagine. From the odd kilo eventually only real criminals will do it. our roles have been reversed and now we
of exotic hash smuggled in by travelers The latest maneuver is to close the grow have become the persecuted. Email:
to multi-ton loads that were eventu- shops. It smacks of hypocrisy to me.
ally exported across Europe, it all passed
through Amsterdam. This business Previous governments aren’t entirely to
generated lots of money for the Dutch blame for the situation. Continuous pres-
economy. The coffee shops flourished, sure from the US over the years has
creating a unique form of tourism that prevented the Dutch authorities from
brought in even more money. People acting positively at a time when it would
came in droves from all over the world have made a difference. Instead they
to enjoy the Dutch 'Cannabis experi- did nothing, allowing the production
ence'. Getting a light for your joint from a and distribution to fall into the hands of
policeman in the Vondel Park was a tour- organized criminals who use their profits
ist ritual. Legalization would have been to finance weapons and people smug-
the next logical step, celebrating it as a gling. In the eyes of the law it is with
gift, but then from across the Atlantic these people that the honest growers of

came a hail of criticism. The Dutch gov- Holland are associated. It’s true we are
ernment at the time was forced to back- 'legally' allowed to grow five plants, but
track and begin the slow dismantling of you can’t use lights and it rains a lot in
our free alternative lifestyle. Holland; you also can’t legally feed, clip
or give them any kind of attention. If they
So when you come to visit Holland these do flower and are visible from the street,
days for your Cannabis experience; the there’s still a chance that the police will
liberal freedom you’re experiencing is show up and confiscate them.
purely superficial, a ghost of what it once
was. Sure we still have coffee shops and So, it is with a sense of irony that we look
they’ll sell you some of the best weed to the US and see growers over there
in the world, but where does it come producing crops without the constant
from? Criminals! That’s what the govern- threat of arrest and confiscation. Getting
ment terms the growers. On one hand busted here is a life-changing experience;
they allow the sale of Cannabis, benefiting it's financially devastating and leaves you
from the business and taxes it generates; with a criminal record. So there are lots of
and on the other, authorities hunt and nice people you’ll never ever get to meet, SMALL-TIME GROWERS SUFFER
persecute the people who produce it. It because they’re banned from America.

You think you've seen it before, but you haven't. The Slider System
series of 'paper-less cigarette' hand-blown glass tubes presents by far
the most modern and functional re-design of a known smoking prod-
uct. Placing Second for Best Glass at the 2010 High Times Medical
Cannabis Cup in San Francisco, each piece is individually crafted by
the artists at the Home Blown Glass company, suiting all tastes and
levels of consumption. Gone are the days of hacking and choking over
a bowl of well-grown ganja, as the Slider delivers a smooth, efficient
and effective hit with each and every toke. The Sativa Diva

Paper-less blunts and cigarettes have which I faithfully grew and passed on were, prices [ranged] from free to half Luckily, the strong survive, and a combina-
been on the market for decades but to as many people as I could. By 1997 the black market value.” tion of Fred's passion for both glassblow-
they never really caught on; that is, until I was caretaker for over 50 people with ing and helping patients led to the crea-
Fred of Home Blown Glass decided to every thing from AIDS, cancer, chronic However, the dream of helping peo- tion of his company. “Within two months
ple with affordable, natural medicine I had turned my hobby into Home Blown
“AFTER SEVERAL YEARS [OF] MANUFACTURING BOWLS turned into a nightmare when Fred was Glass. We were lucky in our state that
busted for cultivation. He recalls, “Even 'paraphernalia' is [considered] multi-use
AND TRADITIONAL PIPES, THE INEXPENSIVE FOREIGN though I obtained a Cannabis dealer's items and not... illegal unless used with
license from [my home] state, I was illegal substances.”
PRODUCTS BEGAN FLOODING THE MARKET.... THIS WORRY unable to use it in my defense after a
commercial supplier turned me in to Freedom was not wasted on Fred, as he
WAS A CATALYST IN US RETHINKING A 1970'S DESIGN.” stay out of jail. I [had been sitting] on went straight to work researching the
my couch reading a book on contem- glass market and ]trying to figure out
put countless hours into comparing pain, MS, depression, alcoholism, glau- porary glassblowing when the officers... exactly what was missing. “After several
old designs and brainstorming ways to coma, etc. Considering the destitute broke through my front door, nearly years [of] manufacturing bowls and tra-
improve upon them. Eventually he deliv- state in which many of these people shooting my dogs in the process.” ditional pipes, the inexpensive foreign
ered the perfect alternative to paper-
rolled joints for even those who perhaps
aren't usually into glass. Easy to use and
even easier to clean, the Slider is one of
those cool gadgets that every smoker
should have. Fred shared his story, and
that of the genesis of my now-favorite
piece of glass, with Soft Secrets USA.

The Cannabis world rarely experiences

revolutionary products. When they do
arrive, it's usually to some fanfare, consid-
ering how information spreads in under-
ground communities. With the Slider,
however, success has come with less of a
bang and more of a, well, puff of smoke.

Fred, founder of Home Blown Glass and

the creative mind behind the Slider, has
had a long personal history with Cannabis
and its beneficial effects. “After going to
school for holistic health and working
with patients who had written off allo-
pathic [traditional, Western] medicine,
I became aware of how well Cannabis
helped people gain relief from a variety of
conditions. I met Jack Herer in 1989 and
he blew me away with The Emperor Wears
No Clothes, as it was validation for what I
had seen and believed.

“Shortly after our meeting a friend intro-

duced me to Neville's original strains,
you're looking for gifts and souvenirs problems. The Slider is a multifunc-
while on vacation. Due to their com- tional smoking tool. People tell me
pact size (2.5˝ or 3.5˝), ease of use and how they smoke coltsfoot to treat their
portability, the Slider family appeals asthma and how they kicked cigarettes
to all consumers from light medical with a lobelia ['asthma weed'] and mul-
users to heavy recreational smokers. lein mix. Doctors in California have told
However, the Cannabis community me, if you are going to smoke there is
isn't the only one to enjoy and benefit not a better tool to use, because of the
from this little glass tube. natural filter. There is even a large fol-
lowing of people who enjoy vaporizing
These days many people are research- with a Slider.”
ing tobacco alternatives, or even ways
to stop using tobacco altogether by The Slider appeals to the full range of
means of smoking or vaporizing a com- smoking customers. Rarely can a glass
bination of herbs. Fred is highly enthu- product cross so comfortably through
siastic about the positive implications most, if not all of the subcultures of
of the Slider with regards to lung- and the Cannabis community. Joint smok-
upper airway health, whether for medi- ers, glass purists; even those trying
cal patients or simply long-term smok- to quit long-standing tobacco hab-
ers and tokers who want to cut back. its will all enjoy its compact size,
“[I]t's concentrate friendly for a mix of sleek design and modern improve-
solids, pollens and oils,” he points out. ment upon an old idea. Besides, it's
easier to carry, and conceal, than your
“My favorite video, 'Slider Layer favorite three-foot party bong.
products began flooding the market,” he are complemented by a wide range of Cake,' shows 60 herbs used by Native
remembers. Cheap imports lower the available colors, from fumed to color- Americans to treat physical and mental »
overall quality of the market, are often less to amethyst or emerald, as well as
easily broken and sometimes even rely carefully-crafted critters ranging from


upon sweatshops or child labor for pro- penguins to frogs to dinosaurs. Pieces
duction. The benefits of supporting local may even be special ordered to per-
glassblowers extend, therefore, beyond fectly match your personality.
simple differences in quality or being able
to choose your favorite color. Sliders can be purchased online (con-
tact Chuck at or even
“This worry was a catalyst in us rethink- from various retailers in Amsterdam, if
ing a 1970's design, marketed under
several names over a few decades,
[including] the Paperless Cigarette, EZ
Slide and Slider. This product had seen
a resurgence on the market as a Glass
Blunt, but fundamentally there was lit-
tle difference with its design in over 30
years. So, with the insistence and con-
stant badgering of my friend Glaucoma
Jim, we redesigned this old product.”
So what is it exactly that upgrades
users from the duplicate products of
the past? Fred elaborates: “We elimi-
nated the vinyl sleeve, shrink wrap,
rubber grommet, the plastic piece used
to hold the tubes together – that makes
you choke when you get to the juicy
bits. We replaced it with a stainless
steel clip that acts as a spring, screen
and carb. This change is revolutionary
as now you can back-load your herbs
and never have to put fresh [product
through] ash, allowing you to use a
natural filter by keeping it loaded and
not burning it down into your clip –
keeping ash out of your mouthpiece.”

The Slider family consists of three

main types: Sliders, Blunt Sliders and
Magnum Sliders. All are hand-blown,
with three fused marbles for easier han-
dling. The marbles aren't just functional
– the aesthetic details of each piece
Black Jack Auto

Photo : Sweet Seeds



Cannabis and Pregnancy

The existing research into the effects of Cannabis on the developing post-natal depression. That Cannabis
may assist the mother's ability to pro-
child is inconclusive at best and confusing at worst. I feel great sym- vide a high level of care suggests a
pathy for any pot user who finds herself pregnant as a huge decision positive overall effect on the long-term
awaits, with little evidence either way to support the final choice health of her children.

of whether or not to continue use. It is my intention to clarify these Studies that concentrate solely on the
muddy waters, where possible. by Kali Mist effects during pregnancy of Cannabis
CANNABIS-USING WOMEN WHO use through methods other than smok-
BECOME PREGNANT FACE A TOUGH ing are apparently non-existent, and
reduction in growth rate averaged out The available Cannabis itself may be much needed. There is a shocking
at around 0.49 oz. per week. Tobacco, of poor quality or grown with poten- scarcity of research from recent years.
on the other hand, slowed growth by tially harmful chemicals. Even in the The increasing prevalence of Cannabis
Cannabis use is most prevalent in the approximately 0.14 oz. per week.
18-25 year age range – also the demo- EXISTING STUDIES MAY BE INHERENTLY FLAWED AS
graphic that is most likely to reproduce. As deprivation of oxygen to the devel-
In the USA, around 15% of the population oping fetus's brain is considered to be THEY ASSESS CANNABIS USE THROUGH SMOKING ONLY
are regular users, and of these, 3% are a major factor for low birth weight,
pregnant. With medical Cannabis being perhaps the difference here could even Netherlands, where retail sales of being prescribed by doctors as a uni-
used long-term for many chronic condi- be explained simply: Cannabis users Cannabis are tolerated but wholesale versal panacea for all manner of ail-
tions, the issue of its safety for expectant tend to inhale more deeply, and for distribution and cultivation is not, these ments cannot continue without con-
mothers demands attention. longer, therefore depriving the brain factors must be considered. firmation of its safety. From an ethical
of oxygen for longer than a cigarette perspective, conducting incomplete
It is easy to assume the worst about smoker. Levels of carboxyhemoglobin In a locality where Cannabis use is tra- clinical trials on any new medicine
Cannabis use during pregnancy, as with (formed when carbon monoxide reacts ditional, users are generally from across would imply full responsibility on the
all unfamiliar medications. However, while with hemoglobin in the blood) are five the social spectrum so economic disad- part of the medical profession if anoth-
there may well be women out there who times higher after smoking Cannabis vantages will have less effect on sub- er scandal of Thalidomide proportions
– consciously or otherwise – put their than after smoking tobacco. jects and, therefore, results. This argu- then occurred. Even if all future tri-
unborn children at risk from continued als proved its benevolence, Cannabis
exposure to known harmful substances, requires further scrutiny.
we can't assume this is a brush with which
to tar weed users. Most women can't com- At this stage, there is little definite con-
fortably continue their use of a medica- clusion that can be drawn, save that
tion through pregnancy while uncertain smoking Cannabis is likely the most
of its safety. It is proving to be a tough unsafe way to medicate; and that while
choice to make for many. Cannabis use may bring many benefits
to the mother, the harm that it could
Existing studies may be inherently do the developing fetus may outweigh
flawed as they assess use through them. With patients for whom medi-
smoking only. While research concludes cation is a necessity, there is no clear
that the effects of smoking Cannabis way to decide on whether to continue
and tobacco are disparate (recent news their Cannabis use or to switch to an
suggests that Cannabis smoke may in alternative pharmaceutical. For many
fact exert a 'protective' action on the the initial clincher will remain: that
lungs), it is irresponsible to suggest Cannabis is a non-invasive drug with
that smoking any substance is entirely far fewer side effects than many. For
beneficial to health. Studies should LOWER AVERAGE BIRTH WEIGHT, STUDIES HAVE SUGGESTED these women, to simply use as little
differentiate between the effects of of it as possible (ideally in tea form, or
smoking Cannabis while pregnant, and vaporized) would surely be the advis-
those of alternative techniques such as This study concludes that the effects ment may be borne out by Dr. Melanie able way to avoid the potential for
vaporizing or ingesting orally. of smoking marijuana are indeed det- Dreher's work in Jamaica during the adverse effects occurring.
rimental to the developing baby – but 1990s on Cannabis-using mothers and
Arguments against consuming the question of whether cannabinoids their children. Long-term studies con-
Cannabis during pregnancy include themselves play a part in these findings ducted on development of children
results of research conducted last remains unanswered. Other factors must exposed to Cannabis in utero found no
year by the Erasmus University of also be taken into consideration, such evidence of inferiority to the children
Rotterdam, which states that babies as socioeconomic status of the mother, of non-Cannabis using mothers; in fact,
the former group showed fewer signs
MOST WOMEN CAN'T COMFORTABLY CONTINUE THEIR of stress-related anxiety, and better
organizational skills. Significantly, her
USE OF A MEDICATION THROUGH PREGNANCY WHILE research does not solely concentrate on
smokers but also users of Cannabis 'tea'.
Her research also highlights the
born to Cannabis-using mothers tend her level of general health and stress importance of Cannabis to expectant
to have below-average cranial cir- and prevalent cultural attitudes towards mothers as a remedy for nausea, not
cumference and birth weight. It was Cannabis in the location of study. In uniquely: there are many references in THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIS TEA,
discovered that Cannabis, when used a country where Cannabis is illegal or medical literature to this application. WHILE NOT YET STUDIED SEPARATELY,
only in early pregnancy, slowed fetal frowned upon, users are often more likely Mothers reported increased appetite
growth by around 0.39 oz. per week. If to be of lower social status and subject to and mood stability. Cannabis was also
use continued throughout pregnancy, stress-inducing economic disadvantages. considered helpful in treatment of EFICIAL THAN THOSE OF SMOKING
at many garden centers. Garden centers
are also a valuable resource for knowledge

The Scoop on Soil

on the conditions in your area.

Now that you are familiar with some of

what is in the soil (yes!) it is time to get
your hands in the dirt and learn some
more ways to improve your growth and
flowering. Physical appearance of soil
is misleading as a gravelly soil can be
What you grow in is as important as the quality of the strain you grow ber from chemistry class. The macro- very productive, which is very evident in
nutrients are the largest quantities of hydroponic systems where lava rock or
with. As an herb farmer you need to make an intelligent choice as to what nutrients plants use. They are nitro- clay pellets are used with nutrients in solu-
kind of soil you want to grow in. It is often very easy to distinguish the fla- gen, phosphorus and potassium. The tion. Soil color can also be misleading and
vor of an organic or naturally grown product over a synthetically fertilized secondary macronutrients are calcium, does not equate fertility. A red soil can be
sulfur and magnesium. Some of the as productive as a brown one.
one. That in itself ought to help you understand how important natural micronutrients, also known as trace
soil is. There are a few other reasons to stay away from commercial ferti- minerals, are boron, iron and zinc. Compost is a great way to add life into
These are all important for the process your soil. It can be as easy as stirring up
lizers. These inorganic fertilizers are primarily produced from natural gas. of growing, flowering and fruiting. If kitchen scraps into a pile of dirt. Add
This is ultimately unsustainable as they pollute our waters with excessive the individual or groups of these nutri- worms and you have vermicompost.
nitrogen, and destroy both micro fauna and the beneficial effects humus ents are missing in your soil, plants Worms are natural soil builders with dirt
will respond in their growth, leaf and castings coming out 10 times richer than
creates in the soil. While the last 60 years has been a boon for agri-busi- stem colors, giving clues as to what is going in. These wiggly worms turn brown
ness, I'm not sure that as individuals or as a society we benefit that much. missing. As a plant grows through its dirt and decaying matter into black gold.
life cycle some of these nutrients are
Fortunately, we can make an informed choice and we have thousands of needed more than others. There are also a great number of natural
years in cumulative knowledge on how to make good soil. F.Red fertilizers and soil conditioners on the
For a plant in its vegetative state nitrogen market to improve the quality of your soil.
is important. Nitrogen aids in growth and Guanos are excellent sources of natural
Before we get our hands in the dirt we the organic matter and free nutrients into chlorophyll production. Be careful; more fertilizers. I have used cricket-, bat- and
ought to know what's in it. the soil for plant growth. This process is not always better. Plants with excessive fish emulsion with great success. Many of
creates humus, a complex polymer that nitrogen in the soil or hydro solutions these guano fertilizers are good on their
A healthy soil is a dynamic system of life. acts like a sponge helping to hold water after harvest will not burn as well and own. Some farmers like to boost flower-
The living components are bacteria, fungi, and minerals. Humus tends to have a flavors are destroyed by an ashy taste. ing with phosphorus from bone meal
protozoa, algae, small insects and animals. negative charge, attracting minerals to it. Nitrogen is less important as the plant and potassium from green sand in their
An acre of land could have two tons of this In this way, it acts as a catalyst in the ion begins to flower and more phosphorus mix. With a good blend of these in either
life in it. A bottle cap of this precious earth exchange of nutrients through bacteria, and potassium are consumed. indoor or outdoor containers a plant can
may contain upwards of 100,000 proto- aiding absorption into plant roots. go through its whole cycle without the
zoa, 30 million fungi and 2 billion bacteria. Aggregate is the bulk of what makes up need for supplemental fertilizer. If you find
When these organisms die, enzymes from Nutrients are necessary for plant life. soil. It is what gives soil texture and deter- you that your soil is depleting faster than
fungi and bacterial action break down Some of the following you may remem- mines how well water drains through. anticipated – for instance, if your shade
In nature it can be found in multiple leaves yellow during vegetative growth –
combinations from the microscopic clay you can add a small amount of the guanos
particles to the visible silt, fine- and coarse into water for additional nutrition.
sand, pebbles and rocks. Soil with poor
drainage can suffocate your root systems If you have no budget for these or other
and cause your plants to rot. Proper drain- store-bought items, your local community
age is essential in any mix of soils. will be a wealth of resources for compost-
ing and making your own fertilizers. Many
All these different mixes of soil give various businesses dispose of excellent materi-
pH readings – the measure of soil acidity or als. Cast-offs from salons, grocery stores,
alkalinity. The pH of your soil can affect the restaurants, breweries and even your
ability of your plants to absorb nutrients. neighbor's lawn clippings can be used to
Dolomite or limestone is a great addition produce excellent soil.
to help soil maintain a neutral pH. While
planting mixes sold at your local store There is no excuse not to get started.
generally have a neutral pH, the ground Soil is everywhere to be found. Do it
A FARMER'S BEST FRIEND where you live can vary from highly acidic right, the natural way. Stay organic for
to alkaline. Test kits and strips are available awesome flavor. Recycle your dirt, com-
post your kitchen and yard waste. Make
your future grow.


and if you sell any amount of weed
PRISONER OF (THE) WAR (ON DRUGS) within 2,000 ft. of a public school or
1,000 ft. of public housing, the sen-

Ken Unger
tence is also ten years to life with no
hope of probation or parole.

On March 18th of this year, a closed

grand jury set Ken's pre-trial date for
April 27th, 2011. Despite multiple pleas
from Green Aid and other groups, plus
With around two dozen states in the US currently allowing medi- countless individual protests, he still
faces five to fifteen years in prison for
cal- or recreational Cannabis to some degree, it's easy for people opting to treat his physical and emo- Green Aid, the Medical Marijuana Legal
to conveniently forget there are still plenty of victims of harshly tional suffering with a natural, safe and Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
punitive state- and Federal legislation. Ken Unger is the perfect proven herbal medicine.

example of one of America's drug war prisoners – a severely If you would like to donate and support
In 2002, Ed Rosenthal was facing a
injured US Navy veteran (with no prior record) charged with Ken Unger with his legal battle, find 20 year sentence for mass-cultivating
'felony possession with the intent to distribute' the Cannabis he out more about his case or discover the Cannabis. The jury convicted him, as
stories of other victims of the US war they were forbidden from hearing that
so desperately needed for his own therapy. The Sativa Diva on drugs, please contact Green Aid or
check out their site at www.Green-Aid.
Ed was hired by the City of Oakland, CA
Location: Granada. Year: 1983. ant knows that person [sic] who cultivate com. Add a Green Aid banner to your to handle the cultivation and manage-
Serviceman Ken Unger receives a blow marijuana will distribute marijuana they website to help spread the word about ment thereof for local dispensaries.
to the head from a 50-ton crane hook. produce for others for profit.” America's 'green prisoners'. According to Angela Bacca, the other
The resulting injuries include pain, two
half of Green Aid, Rosenthal was sen-
herniated discs in his back, muscle Unger never sold any of his medicine. Ken says, “The thing I find hardest to
spasms, weakness and numbness in This is one aspect of the medi-weed believe is the state is OK with me being tenced to “a day in jail with credit for
his legs. Six coronary stents hold open industry that Cannabis foes don't seem a morphine addict, but a small grow of time served. Ed appealed it anyway
the arteries in his heart and he received to understand: people are sick and medical marijuana is out of the question. because he doesn't believe he is a felon.”
an arterial bypass in one leg. As is to dying. The last thing an ailing medical So seeking relief is illegal?”
Since then, Ed and Angela have been
be expected, depression has presented patient will likely do is to give away or
itself as an extension of his symptoms, sell the only thing that works for them. hand-selecting cases to support through
and the ensuing weakness from the Ken Unger was no exception. legal action and fundraisers.
injuries and subsequent treatments GREEN AID
have lead to diabetes. Under Missouri law, Ken is prohibited 484 Lake Park Ave. #172 She adds, “Ed's trial is responsible for
from claiming medical use in order to Oakland, CA 94610
After serving his country in the Navy, at help his court case. Not only will no 1-888-271-7674
the New York Times taking the quotes
the price of his health, Ken Unger was sympathy for the ill and injured be lev- off of 'medical marijuana' in print.”
ultimately deemed unemployable by the ied, but since it is illegal in Missouri to
VA (United States Department of Veterans cultivate Cannabis (for any reason), the
Affairs) in St. Louis, MO. medical defense will not hold water.

Unlike many other states these days – If Unger were to take a plea he would be
perhaps most notably CA, CO, AZ, NJ and subject to five years' probation, includ-
RI – Missouri holds true to the archaic anti- ing drug testing. This means that he
Cannabis laws that still clog our prison sys- would be forced to revert back to the


tems with first-time, non-violent offend- legally-prescribed morphine and would
ers. Not only are patients not allowed be unable to access even the smallest
access to Cannabis as a natural alternative therapeutic amount of Cannabis. If he
to prescription drugs, but Unger was pre- is convicted, he faces between five and
scribed morphine to ease the symptoms fifteen years in state prison.
of his injuries. He had three heart attacks
as a result. This ultimately lead to the deci- Although Ken only had five grams
sion to try medical marijuana. of product and two plants in his St.
Charles, MO home, the penalties start
Ken grew a small amount of Cannabis to high and the cultivation charge really
alleviate his pain and depression. Only tipped the scales against him.
five dried grams of weed and two plants
were being grown. He had no prior local-, The cultivation of five grams or less in
state- or Federal convictions. The penal- Missouri is a felony punishable by a
ties would have been a misdemeanor if seven-year prison term and $5,000 in
he had only been busted for possession. fines. Between five grams and thirty
Instead, sale and cultivation landed Ken in kilos pushes the prison time up to five
the 'felony' range of punishment. to fifteen years and a tariff of $5,000 to
$20,000. Growing 30 to 100kg. results
O'Fallon police raided Unger's home and in those fines plus prison stints of ten
the tiny stash was discovered, although years to life. If you're caught in MO
the distribution charge appears to be the growing 100 kilos or more, that's life in
product of assumption on the part of prison without the possibility of parole
Officer Justin Hill. On his warrant appli- or probation. Selling to a minor tacks KEN UNGER AS A YOUNG NAVAL SERVICEMAN
cation he stated, “Furthermore your affi- on an additional five to fifteen years,

Let’s Talk about LED Grow Lights

In this article, we will try to shed some light on this subject: do LED
grow lights work? Are they useful for blooming? Is changing over to
them at this time worthwhile? Here are my impressions after a year
and a half of growing with LEDs Mr. X

Some 'pioneers' already began talking to avoid the frequent light bulb changes
about and introducing this new type necessary with incandescent lighting.
of lights – including their functionality
regarding our valuable crops – a few years The first of my five experiments took
ago. LED grow lights are nothing new to place in the summer. This trial already
the industry; the only reason their arrival demonstrated an unheard-of, almost uto-
on the Cannabis scene has been delayed pian possibility for indoor growing; that
until now is that they have never pro- is, cultivating during the summer season
duced a sufficient yield so far. The amount (although with a lower yield) as room tem-
of light obtained with the available watts perature near the lamp's glass rises by just
was always significantly less than that one degree. This can also be considered, INITIAL BLOOMING (AFTER TWO WEEKS)
achieved with sodium lights. But LED effi- at least in part, its Achilles heel.
ciency at this time is competitive and will
no doubt keep increasing. The fact that this type of lighting doesn’t
need reflectors – as its opening angle over
Do LED grow lights work? 120 degrees is very small – represents yet
The best way to discover how something again both an advantage and an incon-
works is to try it yourself, which is why I venience. On one hand, this allows an
purchased a few LED screens a year and important savings in light and wall reflect-
a half ago and began experimenting. For ing materials; on the other, if we only use
me, the easiest way to ascertain their a single unit, it needs to be turned up in
effectiveness was a comparison with the order to illuminate everything, and this
SOG (sea of green) I have used multiple is where problems arise. Turning the LED
times in the past. Thus, in the same way lights up too high means losing their main
as I've described before in Soft Secrets advantages: the ability to move them
Spain – but modifying the 600 watts of an close to the plants, and the fact that they
electrical ballast with two LED units of 120 give off a large amount of light without
watts each that include a range of flower- burning their leaves.
ing – I created my first SOP (sea of purple)
– which is the name I have taken the The farther these lights are kept from
liberty of baptizing this type of cultivation the plants, the more their effective-
with. But let’s start from the beginning… ness is drastically reduced. The solution,
however, is simple: it is much more CORRECT BUD FORMATION
When you turn on an LED lamp, the first effective to use several low-wattage
surprise is the large amount of visible light units, well-distributed and placed close Their perfect green shade is aided, dur- develop just as usual (except your light
it gives out, (not to mention how quickly it to the plants, rather than a single huge, ing the entire flowering period, by mov- bill will be more reasonable). As the days
starts working) as it immediately reaches high-wattage unit six feet away. This is ing the light closer without needing to go by, the plants form open and resinous
full power. One advantage is that the extremely important advice. raise the temperature. flowers whose qualities are already well-
entire system is integrated and doesn’t developed. The absence of heat seems to
require external ballasts or complex oper- Among the various differences result- They defend themselves very well dur- better maintain the flowers’ organoleptic
ations. It is a practical system, heats up ing from growing with LED lights, the ing the vegetative phase, giving excellent properties. Thus, LEDs can be considered
more than enough and its initial duration most noticeable is that the plants usu- results as regards taking root and main- a successful form of lighting during the
without losses is excellent, allowing us ally do not show deficiencies or spots. taining mother plants with very few watts. summer, also for mini- and mother plants.
This is a lifesaver during the summer or
for growers who don’t have much space Problems begin when using them during
available for mothers. We will speak of this the winter. After years of being accus-
factor in more detail in future issues. tomed to using incandescent lighting
as heaters, we no longer have those
As far as fertilizing goes, standards of necessary degrees. Low temperatures
care vary slightly. In the case of low tem- affect the plants’ weaker parts: their
peratures plants need to be watered less roots, which tend to atrophy and the
frequently; therefore, watering them less, pots are impossible to dry for weeks.
we must make sure to adjust the slightly This fact cannot be ignored, because if it
higher EC parameters in order to be able becomes necessary to use extra heating
to provide the same amount of nour- equipment (such as a radiator, air condi-
ishment (although we water them less tioning or anything that consumes a lot
frequently). of energy) it will have all been in vain,
since paying for the electricity required
Are they useful for blooming? by the air conditioning will cancel out
The plants begin blooming correctly, with what we otherwise save. For those whose
an internodal distance that I wouldn’t crop isn’t much bigger than a few cubic
hesitate to describe as better than the feet, the ideal solution is to combine
one achieved with HPS. This shows us both types of lighting. This way you will
that the plant doesn’t go to seed needing enjoy a much more efficient synergy
HEALTHY AND REGULAR CLONES more light, nor does it grow more slowly that achieves both the temperature of
in a different photo period – in fact, things sodium lights and the yield of LEDs.
When I did this during the winter, when- Should I change over to LEDs? lamps are much more complete, com- Nowadays, several companies offer
ever the plants aligned between the two This subject has already created much bining the spectrum with more effi- LED grow lights, especially online. New
types of lights were able to choose which controversy on the web and in the cient LEDs. Also, and most importantly, models and combinations become
way to bend their leaves, it was invariably sector’s press, with many critics who we now know what to expect and what available every day, so I won’t recom-
towards the LEDs. I think this fact is signifi- keep mentioning that 'they’ve been not to expect. Prices have come down mend any particular brands – what’s
cant enough on its own. told' that LED grow lights don’t work and will continue to do so. useful today might be ancient history
for the flowering period. This is unde- tomorrow. What I can say, however, is
What sort of yield can we hope for? niable, but there is an explanation. The more creative growers can learn to that most lights sold on eBay are very
I was very pleasantly surprised; my first When the first models were being pub- build their own lights; there are many low quality, and are not even useful
SOP allowed me to exceed the gram/ licized, they came with false data, in excellent online tutorials that show how for cutting; in fact, they are of hardly
watt ratio, which rarely happens with excess of actual performance. Some to assemble them with the desired dis- any use at all. But a widespread and
HPS, especially without CO2. My aver- people even declared a 90-watt lamp tribution and wattage. Currently, many general ignorance ensures their con-
age was about 440 grams per three to be superior to a 600-watt lamp (no observations give reliable, non-manipu- tinued popularity on the market, which
square feet, using twenty-five select- comment). These high expectations lated results – and growers who obtain is a pity because – given the tendency
ed clones and 240 watts; afterward I inevitably worked against LEDs; people good results with sodium lamps actu- to generalize – this contributes to the
expanded to three units and, with bet- who bought these expensive models – ally work more efficiently with LEDs. Those poor reputation of LEDs.
ter light distribution, have managed which also lacked a sufficient spectrum who have already begun to or usually
to slightly improve my ratio. Therefore to work correctly – found themselves have problems harvesting their crop cor- We need to try and find out where to
the efficiency of LED grow lights is with very poor results. Thus, the first rectly, on the other hand, find their mis- obtain tried and tested (and guaranteed)
extremely interesting, provided that generation of ground breakers suffered takes magnified. Carelessness makes it models. And to stop expecting to earn
cultivation is performed properly. quite a disappointment; but now these easy to stunt a plant’s growth. without investing.

In the coming issues, we will continue

investigating this fascinating subject,
focusing on some of the current avail-
able models. ‘Til next time, and happy
smokes, X.

LED grow lights: pros and cons

Summarizing this introduction to LED

grow lights, we can definitely state
that they work – not as efficiently
as they were advertized when they
first came on the market, but they
are definitely between 30% and 60%
more effective than incandescent
lighting. They are still fairly expensive,
but prices are steadily going down
while quality increases. If you have
the luxury of waiting, wait a while for
a change that will guarantee satisfac-
tion. If you think decreasing wattage
in a medium- to large crop by combin-
ing with HPS is a good idea, you can
reduce consumption by around 30%
without losing any grams in product.
LEDs are also a luxury for summer
growing or those growing in limited
spaces. They are already a useful real-
ity for many growers.

- Low consumption
- Durability without losses
- Heat up instantly
- Very effective
- Possibility of growing in the summer
and in limited spaces

- High price
- Necessity of raising temperatures dur-
ing the winter
- Hard to know which brands are more
- Several units needed for correct distri-
annual hemp fairs and Cannabis aware-
ness demonstrations. It is important to
A LOOK AT INNOVATIONS IN THE INDUSTRY TODAY stress the significance of the ongoing
policy of openness and transparency in
the hemp industry, which over the years
has led to a general perception in the

What's Happening
Netherlands and throughout Europe of
hemp products as safe, ecologically-
sound and indeed fashionable.

with Hemp? HempFlax's creation of a political presence

with consistent visibility at events and
demonstrations has, along with the efforts
of other hemp activists, assisted in render-
ing the industry credible. In the future,
Today, cultivation of industrial hemp is legal in every industrial- harvested, the woody part of the stalk the company aims to expand the level of
must be separated from the fibrous inner integration throughout the industry, from
ized nation in the world except the USA, where misinformation 'bast' used for rope and fabric production. supplier to consumer, creating a transpar-
disseminated by the anti-drugs lobby continues to hinder many This was a process traditionally done by ent and cooperative system that is wholly
farmers' valid desire to be part of this vital and growing market. hand, and no specific machinery existed ethical. Sustainability is key: HempFlax's
to do the work efficiently. HempFlax cre- mission is to “serve humankind and the
Misconceptions regarding the cultivation of hemp must be put ated one, a device known as a 'decortica- environment by providing affordable,
right once and for all if there is to be any hope of future legislation tion line', which also separates the seeds, modern, natural hemp products for a sus-
leaves and remaining by-products. tainable future”. Further development of
being approved. The differences between the hemp and marijuana their highly-rated existing products – par-
industries must be re-emphasized, and the argument that per- With hemp, not a single part of the plant ticularly building materials – is also on
mission for hemp farming will lead to an increase in cultivation is useless. The main bulk of the fiber and the agenda, and there are plans for future
wood goes to various industries, where it production of whole-plant biomass.
of drug Cannabis must be deconstructed. Hemp farmers must be will undergo further processing accord-
recognized as respectable producers of an important industrial ing to requirements. Pressed hemp-board HempFlax and numerous other hemp pro-
is a highly durable and flame-retardant ducers, operating without hindrance not
commodity rather than would-be criminals. by Kali Mist
substitute for wood, and can be used in only in the Netherlands but in most devel-
construction, or molded into dashboards oped countries, are exemplary: proof that
Most Cannabis users are aware of its ver- year, its harvest now being used for a and panels by the automobile industry. hemp growers can be professional, cred-
satile nature and numerous applications wide range of products. The company has
in medicine. However, few people could continually pushed for innovation and HEMP FARMERS MUST BE RECOGNIZED AS
accurately describe, when questioned, development in farming practices. These
the differences between marijuana and developments are vital – bringing down RESPECTABLE PRODUCERS OF AN IMPORTANT INDUSTRIAL
hemp. They are fundamental. Cannabis the production costs of the hemp industry
sativa can be selectively bred for vari- is imperative to increase its competitive- COMMODITY RATHER THAN WOULD-BE CRIMINALS
ous qualities, and has been for millennia. ness in the marketplace.
Varieties that produce no cannabinoids Fibers are woven into fabric and rope, ible and open, and truly not much differ-
but abundant seed or fibrous, woody As hemp had been neglected in many pulped and pressed into paper, and used ent to any other agriculturalist. Now in its
stalks are categorized as hemp, or sepa- countries after the anti-marijuana as insulation in construction. HempFlax 18th year, HempFlax has decisively proven
rately as oilseed or fiber Cannabis (the campaigns of the 1930s, research and turns by-products into animal bedding, its sustainability as a business model. As
latter is also occasionally referred to as development in the industry stagnated fodder and items for horticulture, such awareness of hemp products and their
Cannabis oglalas in scientific literature). throughout a period of rapid moderni- as protective felt disks that shield tree advantages continues to grow, the value
zation for most other farming methods. roots from climatic extremes. From the of the industry as a whole is set to go on
Those containing poor fiber quality but When developed nations began to renew seeds, HempFlax produces oils primarily increasing for many years to come.
high THC-rich resin content are termed their interest, hemp production had some destined for the equestrian sector. Their
'marijuana' or 'drug Cannabis'. The devel- rapid catching up to do to achieve com- products contain trace amounts of THC Innovations in the hemp industry are con-
opment of the former qualities is usu- petitiveness with rival crops. Hemp itself at most, and have no psychoactive effect. tinual: improvements to building materials
ally a hindrance to development of the has some highly specific requirements, and procedures has allowed for construc-
latter, and vice-versa. The farming prac- and much adaptation to existing farm HempFlax has recently funded an initia- tion of sustainable houses at remarkably
tices utilized are also hugely different; for machinery had to occur before equip- tive to plant 120 square yards of hemp low costs – equivalent and possibly in
instance, fiber hemp is usually harvested ment was capable of processing its tough, for every purchase of special packs of fact cheaper than current low-cost con-
before flowering commences, as beyond fibrous stalks. HempFlax has designed and 5,000 hemp seeds, and consistently struction methods. In November 2010, the
this point little energy is used for vegeta- produced specialized hemp harvesters to attempts to increase public aware- USA's first 'hemp house' was completed
tive growth. This renders the harvest com- meet this need, thereby enabling mod- ness of hemp through participation in in Asheville, NC, using Hemcrete® 'hemp
pletely useless for drug purposes. ernization of the entire industry. Once political discourse, and events such as concrete', but currently the high cost of

Let's take a look at how a modern hemp

farmer operates. We will take, as an exam-
ple, a small organization based in the
Dutch town of Groningen, some two
hours' journey north-east of Amsterdam.
Established in 1993 by Ben Dronkers of the
Sensi Seed Bank, HempFlax was the first
to reintroduce a crop that – prior to the
20th century – had long been produced in
the Netherlands. HempFlax, among other
companies, has been instrumental in aid-
ing the emergence of hemp products into
the mainstream consciousness as viable
alternatives to current practices.

From initial establishment of a small 140- THIS PHOTO CLEARLY SHOWS THE TIGHTLY-PACKED STEMS WITH NO
duces 5,900 acres of fiber hemp every
importing hemp into the country makes it The level of support for legalization is
nonviable as a construction industry norm. informed and widespread, despite the
government's repeated attempts to mis-
However, the publication by the construe this. After the North Dakota
University of Connecticut in October appeals, in a perfect example of the ongo-
2010 of research into hemp as a poten- ing policy to place marijuana and hemp
tial bio-fuel source has caused great into one blanket category, Tom Riley of
excitement in the pro-hemp lobby. the White House Office on National Drug
Dependence on fossil fuels is one of our Policy is quoted as saying:
biggest issues in this current economic
climate, and any new developments in "Let's not be naive... the pro-dope people
this area cannot be ignored. This factor have been pushing hemp for 20 years
may well prove decisive in any forth- because they know that if they can have
coming debate over this issue. hemp fields, then they can have mari-
juana fields. It's... stoner logic."
THE HEMPFLAX FACTORY, GRONINGEN By now, the USA is one of the few remain-
ing countries worldwide not to have legis- But the pro-hemp sentiment extends far
lated in favor of hemp. Since the infamous beyond the ranks of the unfairly-depicted,
media campaign perpetrated by Hearst but nonetheless powerful pro-marijua-
and DuPont and supported by Harry J. na 'stoner' lobby. The farming lobby is
Anslinger in the 1930s, the US government increasingly vocal, as are environmental
has chosen to perpetuate the deliberate groups such as the Resource Conservative
ambiguity regarding the two very sepa- Alliance, the Body Shop and Rainforest
rate industries, relying on dangerously Action Network, in slowly aiding pub-
flawed reasoning. For example, the oft- lic recognition of hemp in its own right.
cited argument that hemp fields would Given our current economic instability,
provide natural camouflage for drug crops rapidly dwindling fossil fuel reserves and
is easily debunked: hemp fields are grown
with no discrimination between male and
female plants, unlike drug crops, where to
ensure seedless flowers the males must be
pulled. Not only would the females pro-
duce seed, instantly reducing the crop's
HEMPFLAX HARVEST TIME, WITH SPECIALLY- value, but the seed itself would produce
flowers far lower in THC than the mother.
Therefore to ban the production of hemp
on the basis of perceived similarity to mari-
juana is and always has been fundamen- THE USA'S FIRST HEMP HOUSE, IN
tally contradictory. ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

The potential of hemp as a sustainable increasing food insecurity, it is seriously

and ecologically sound solution to many questionable that our government will
global problems has long been cited by not at least consider legalization of a crop
its supporters, who have in turn long that could demonstrably assist in alleviat-
been described as merely disguised pro- ing all three problems.
marijuana lobbyists. But with nine US
States so far having passed legislation The fact that Detroit car-makers buy
allowing licensed hemp production, it huge amounts of hemp products from
is purely the reluctance of the federal Canadian farmers 20 miles north of the
government to recognize the viability of border is financially nonsensical when
hemp that is stopping farmers – and the farmers themselves in neighboring states
nation – benefiting from its great poten- are eager to grow it. Farmers state that
tial to generate 'green' profits. Although hemp is an “ideal crop to rotate annually
it is legal to import hemp for the man- with wheat and barley;” any added bio-
ufacture and distribution of products diversity that deviates from the damag-
domestically, it has been illegal to grow ing trend for monoculture pervading the
hemp in the US since 1937. The DEA has farming industry is sure to be positive.
had authority to issue licenses for hemp
cultivation since its establishment in There is a huge, and growing, difference
1973; however, this is a power it has cho- between the respective causes of hemp
sen never to exercise, allegedly prefer- and marijuana. Those who wish for legali-
ring to ignore applications that farmers zation of one may not wish for legaliza-
must pay thousands of dollars to make. tion of the other. Legalization of hemp is
perhaps more of a priority for a sustainable
In Montana, the state approved legisla- national farming industry and healthy eco-
tion for commercial production of hemp system (eradication of hemp/wild ditch-
in 2001. Vermont and North Dakota have weed is badly damaging certain bird and
both passed laws permitting licensed animal habitats, for example) than legaliza-
hemp cultivation, and are awaiting DEA tion of marijuana. It is important to make
approval. North Dakota attorneys are the distinction. Many of the reasons for
appealing to the courts on behalf of legalizing marijuana simply do not apply
client farmers in an attempt to force to hemp. Both are important medically,
a decision. Oregon licensed industrial and for their own reasons; but hemp is an
hemp production in August of 2009. important part of the American ecosystem
Maine, Maryland, Kentucky, Hawaii and in a way that these selectively bred high-
Virginia have all legislated in favor: but, THC variants are not. Also, the misconcep-
ONE OF HEMPFLAX'S SPECIALIZED MACHINES, due to DEA opposition, none of them tion of hemp as having the same narcotic
PART OF THE INITIAL SEPARATION PROCESS has so far been able to issue a single properties as marijuana must end in politi-
license for hemp production. cal dialogue. It is clear that it does not.

Attractively priced feminized

quality seeds
The Spanish Sweet Seeds, a seed bank specializing in feminized At the same time it is also important for techniques to arrive at populations of
us to offer shops and distributors a good, 99.9% female plants. At the moment we
seeds, conquered first Spain and then went on to conquer the whole fast service. And naturally you always are also very busy with the development
of Europe. The secret of this seed bank is that they’re close to the have to be aware, stay alert and remain of new varieties of feminized, 100% auto-
grower and they have a good nose for what the public wants: in the open to the possibilities of innovation and flowering varieties.
improvement in a dynamic global market
first place, of course, feminized quality seed for an outstanding price. that is completely exploding. We think that Cannabis is a gift from
In addition to that, Sweet Seeds offers a number of unique package nature and that no single variety should
Can you say something about your be the property of anyone; but is some-
deals. For example, there are special Collector's Editions with three breeding philosophy? thing that should be for all humanity to
different varieties per package, or the possibility of putting together We have a simple breeding philosophy: benefit from. We try to share with peo-
a combination of different strains one’s self. most importantly we are Cannabis con- ple who are looking for the (according
sumers and collectors of genetics; which to us) absolute best quality genetics,
Sweet Seeds is one of the first seed banks to plunge into auto-flow- is to say, we make a selection of the best people who recognize our passion and
genetics that we can get our hands on love for the Cannabis plant. The best
ering varieties, a section in the catalog that is still being developed. and store these for an unlimited time, so way to protect a Cannabis variety is to
Before the lads from Sweet Seeds began their company they were that we can enjoy them today, tomorrow share it with us.
growers themselves, who, out of dissatisfaction with what was on or in 20 years.
When you had just begun you gave
offer, decided to tackle things quite differently. Undoubtedly their The criteria that we apply in order to out a lot of information on how to
customers are grateful, and that is proven by the rapid growth of the select our best mothers have to do with make feminized seed. Are you going
the desired qualities of the plants; and to do that again?
company and the many prizes with which Sweet Seeds varieties have not with their origin, ancestors or family When we began making feminized seed,
been crowned in various Cannabis competitions. Meanwhile, the seed tree. With these exceptional plants we use we published reports of our experiments
bank has been steaming full ahead… J. Searcher both traditional and modern breeding on, the most popular

In recent years you have had an impres- various Cannabis competitions where
sive series of prizes credited to your they live. Often we do not even know
record. In fact, thanks to the entries who they are. Every time one of our vari-
from various Spanish growers you eties wins a prize we feel very honored,
have even won more than any other so thanks again, champions!
seed bank, and this year too there
have been more awards bestowed Although you have been around for a
upon Sweet Seeds. What are your most decent amount of time your seed bank
honored plants, and to what do you has only recently taken the interna-
think they owe their success? tional market by storm. What is behind
Sweet Seeds is delighted with the this sudden international expansion?
recognition and the success achieved We assumed that our success in Spain
by our varieties both in Spain and was a visiting card with which our dis-
abroad. We have not been in exist- tributors could present us to other mar-
ence as a seed bank all that long, so kets. In the last two years we have made
at this moment it is the varieties that a huge publicity offensive at an inter-
we have in our range that have won national level, in order to increase our


the most prizes: Cream Caramel, Black name recognition and to get attention
Jack, S.A.D., Sweet Tai and Ice Cool. It for our range in the important Cannabis
is clear that their success in Cannabis periodicals in other countries.
competitions is down to the recogni-
tion from gourmet experts, who know We should not forget that it is the qual-
what the end product of a Cannabis ity of the seed that is the most impor-
plant should be all about: an intense, tant factor with which to keep your
pleasant aroma; potency, a good taste, customers happy and build sustainable
the quality and quantity of the tri- success on the Cannabis market, both in
chomes, the strain’s effect, etc. Spain and elsewhere. Thanks to our low
prices we offer an outstanding quality-
We really want to take this opportunity price point, and that is certainly (in this
to thank all the Cannabis growers for time of economic crisis) something to CREAM CARAMEL
entering Sweet Seeds varieties in the be reckoned with.
Spanish language Cannabis forum on the the inherent genetic variation of het- hybridization. This last point is easy to In the same way that gardeners make
Internet. In that time the method of femi- erozygote or non-stable populations. check by performing progeny testing. bonsais you can re-model the shape of
nization without using gibberellic acid plants bit by bit by pruning them, letting
was still a well-kept secret, one that only a We aim to create plants as homogenous Above all, the female plants must react them grow or by bending branches, as
few growers worldwide knew and, at the as possible, so we are always looking well to the sex conversion technique appropriate. These kinds of plant were kept
time, had only just started to creep out for that difficult balance between sta- and produce enough fertile pollen for in three liter pots, but as time went on, the
onto the Internet. We were at that point bility and hybrid vigor. Variation need the fertilization to take place without salt concentration in the soil rose consist-
not busy with Sweet Seeds, and it seemed not always be a problem, for example manual assistance. ently higher, with the result that the root
to us a nice gesture to share this knowl- when the various phenotypes have dif-
edge with the world via the Internet, and ferent – but still desirable – qualities, “IT IS A NEW GENERATION THAT SMELLS
in doing so the forum members could such as two interesting aromas within
determine its truthfulness. the same variety. BETTER, CREATES MORE RESIN HAIRS, GROWS HIGHER AND
These days there are a huge number of Do you give any advice to growers DEVELOPS MORE SIDE BRANCHES.”
seed banks; it is a sector that has devel- who are growing with feminized
oped very strongly in Spain, and the seed, or do you reckon they should When we begin with seed populations, as system was damaged. Before the plants
competition is enormous. We have not just work in the same way as they is the case with the auto-flowering varie- begin to show symptoms of deficiencies
stopped experimenting and perfecting would with ordinary seed? ties, we use both feminized and regular that are not soluble by simply rinsing the
our techniques; but, although there is There is no difference between growing seed. For the reproduction we have also soil, which happens about once every six
certainly good communication and from feminized seed and regular seed. In tried both ways, with the final phase both months, the roots need to be trimmed and
exchange of information between the the substrate replaced. At the same time as
majority of Spanish seed banks, it is also a these interventions we inoculate the roots
fact that there is a lot of information that with various microorganisms that stimu-
is not shared with competitor companies. late the growth of new roots.

What is your take on the issue of stabil- The stems of Cannabis plants are not
ity? Do think it is more important that designed to be alive for so long, and with
plants are homogenous or that you can plants that are three- or four years old the
choose from various options? stems begin to rot quite easily, or they
For us a variety is stable when the indi- become infected with mold. Keeping a
viduals that form a population keep the bonsai Cannabis plant alive for longer
characteristics that define a variety in than four years is really difficult.
future generations. We describe a seed
generation or population as stable when These days we no longer work with bon-
there is no variation in the characteristics sai plants; we prefer to keep our mothers
of the individual plants that come from it. strong and healthy, and replace them
The famous F1 seeds, for example, consist after a maximum of six months with new
of a population or generation of stable young clones.
seeds, but there are no stable varieties
because the following generations that Which of your plants are you most
ensue are not. proud of, in the sense that most of its
potential has been realized?
The most extreme example of a stable fact the only genetic difference between regular and feminized seed; or we work To be honest, that is a question that is
generation or population - that is to say populations of regular seed and popula- in a breeding program starting with only not easy to answer. It is just like asking a
100% stability of all characteristics – is a tions of feminized seed is that those from female plants. We figure it is better to father which of his children is his favorite,
population in which the individual plants the feminized seed have no males among complete the feminized program without or which one he is most proud of. But
are clones of the same mother. In this them. Because they have been grown the use of males, since by doing so we anyway, we can say of our first varieties
example every plant is an identical copy from a seed, plants from feminized seed avoid the probability of surprises at the that they are now at a point where there is
of each other and we should find no indi- are usually more productive, with better end of the program, in the response to the nothing left to improve. I mean the varie-
vidual variation. aroma and are more stable than clones sex conversion technique. ties that were mentioned at the beginning
from a strongly selected mother of the of this interview, the quality of which is
However, those of you who have grown same variety that had been raised from These days more and more attention not just recognized by ourselves, but by
plants from the same mother will have regular seed. is paid to bonsai plants. When we the Cannabis scene. Although there may
noticed that there are always a couple first met, which must be more than still be room for improvement in one
of plants among them that are higher How do you select your mother plants? ten years ago, you already had bon- of those varieties, it is very difficult to
than the rest; that some get sick while If you begin from seed, are they femin- sai plants of three- or four years old. say something has really achieved all the
the rest remain healthy, root a cou- ized or regular seeds? Can you briefly explain the experi- development it is capable of.
ple of days earlier than the others or For the selection of the mother plants ments; say something about the sys-
yield more – while they were all iden- for a breeding program it is important tem that you used for making bonsai Among our more recent varieties there
tical clones of the same mother. The that as well as the selection for excep- plants and what the most important are indeed a few with the possibility of
differences or variations were caused tional structural, agronomic, organolep- problems were that were encoun- more improvement. Sweet Cheese, Snow
by environmental factors, such as cli- tic (taste and aromas) and chemotypic tered during the process? Fruit, Speed Devil, Fast Bud and Big Devil,
mate or growing medium; and not by (quantity and variety of cannabinoids) The bonsai plants were a nice experiment for example, were still under development
genetic differences, ultimately, if we’re qualities, you are also sure that the that came about in an almost spontane- in 2010, and in early 2011 there will be
talking about clones. So you must not plants have no hermaphroditic tenden- ous manner when we tried to keep moth- improved versions added to our range.
confuse the environmental factors with cies, and that they lend themselves to er plants as small as possible – mainly
for reasons of space-saving – so that we Can you recommend a sativa and an
could provide the mothers in our grow indica to us?
space with enough light. The longer you As a sativa I’d recommend the Jack 47 for
try to keep your plants small by taking everyone who loves strong sensations,
cuttings and snipping branches, the more a lovely incense aroma and a potent,
the stems age and fatten. After a couple euphoric effect. For an indica I would go
of months the soft tissue begins to harden for the Cream Caramel, with its unbeliev-
into wood, making them start to resemble ably sweet aroma with earthy tones and a
bonsais, although the process is not liter- super relaxed effect.
ally a bonsai technique: though the leaves
do get a bit smaller, you don’t get real Which varieties from your catalog do you
miniature leaves, which is what you get reckon are best suited to medicinal use?
AN OLD BLUEBERRY MOTHER with real bonsai trees. Normally medicinal users give the nod to
varieties with a strong indica proportion, Seeds genetics and represent a leap for-
which have a high level of THC – the most ward in quality when compared to the
important medically active constituent auto-flowering varieties currently avail-
- and with sufficient CBD to compensate able. It is a new generation that smells
for the euphoric psychedelic effects of better, creates more resin hairs, grows
the THC. For that kind of user, Cream higher and develops more side branches.
Caramel, S.A.D. or Mohan Ram are the They look more like non-auto-flowering
most suitable. But you also have medici- feminized varieties than we’re used to.
nal users who prefer the more sativa-ish
varieties. For them, Ice Cool, Sweet Tai or Many breeders are at the moment busy
Psicodelicia are very effective. hybridizing auto-flowering varieties
with their best mothers, so the auto-
Nowadays you also have feminized flowering varieties will only get bet-
auto-flowering varieties in your range. ter. Sweet Seeds has also worked hard
How do you tackle that challenge? to improve the quality of Speed Devil
We believed right from the beginning in #2, Fast Bud #2 and Big Devil #2, the
auto-flowering genetics and think that three auto-flowering varieties in our
in the future these will only increase in THE SWEET SEEDS SHOP catalog, and the results of this work too
importance. Auto-flowering varieties have will become visible in the beginning of
been occupying us enormously in recent 2011, when they become available.
years; there is more and more demand rooms – especially thanks to their short at creating, from our classic varieties, femi-
for these sort of genetics because they cycle and acceptable quality. nized auto-flowering seed. The first results Can you tell us, out of all your experi-
have a number of advantages when com- from these projects will start to become ence of growing, one key piece of grow-
pared with regular varieties: first of all Do you think that the auto-flowering available in early 2011. The first varieties ing advice?
their speed, discretion and the opportu- varieties in the coming year will be that will see the light will be S.A.D. auto, Let’s not forget that that Cannabis is a
nity of getting more harvests from outside better? How far can improvements con- Cream Caramel auto and Jack 47 auto. It magical plant that since time immemorial
growing each year, even in the spring. In tinue to be made, do you think, and is our intention that in the foreseeable has evolved through the actions of man,
the meantime, auto-flowering varieties how many years will it be before we get future we will make and offer auto-flower- and that still she rewards richly the care
have finally achieved sufficient quality; to see the final results? ing versions of all the varieties in our cata- and attention we humans lavish upon her.
thanks to which many growers are choos- At Sweet Seeds we have already been log. The new auto-flowering varieties will
ing them for growing in their indoor grow working for two years on projects aimed be hybridized and improved with Sweet »


Readers Stuff
Hi Soft Secrets, these are the pictures of my sec-
ond grows. Both of them were indoors or should
i say “intoilets” grown in Bio Bizz All-Mix soil,
under HPS 400, with two weeks of vegetative
stage. I have used Advanced Nutrients Iguana
Grow and Bloom with Sensizym,and Canna
PK 13/14. First one is Skunk 47 from Legend
Collection (World of Seeds), which unfortu-
nately had to be harvested a little bit too early,
because of the mud appearing on main stem.
Second one is “Space” from Diamond Collection
(World of Seeds), which was blooming for 9
weeks, including one week of flush. Buds were
very dense and sticky, with a harsh smoke.
Perfect mixture of head high with body stone,
which helped me to cure the constant pain in
my knees ;) Unfortunately variety has no smell,
even after 50days of curing.

P.s. Check out the pic “One love, one Soft Secrets” :)
Luv Ya All :P

Not bad at all for a second grow, pat on the back

to you. A good example of what you can do with a
400 watt. The Skunk 47 (Skunk x AK47) is a pretty Attention Readers!
plant to grow, and one of Space’s original parents Become part of the world wide growers com-
is reported to be a Black Domina x AK47. If these munity and star in Soft Secrets legendary
are favorites of yours, you might try some other
‘Dear Soft Secrets’ column. A marihuana
AK47 crosses as well.
plant, a copy of Soft Secrets and preferably
your wife or girlfriend in a sexy bikini must
be in the frame.

Simply e-mail your entries to NOTE: All entries
are handled with the utmost discretion.
Remember, we don’t publish out of focus or
low resolution pics, and we don’t like photos
of young plants in the veg stage. It’s fat buds
and sweet babes we want to see!


Great example of a simple plant in a simple pot. Natural SILVIA, VALENCIA
lighting is free, and plants love it. What every household Wonderful example of a proper
can have when reason takes the day and growers are Nice looking colas, if you trim off the lower limbs on the plant pair of panties. It looks like you
allowed to come out into the open. You are on your that don’t produce well, you will find that the top gets bigger. have enough room to let the plants
own on figuring out how to get beautiful women to run Her lower limbs are fine just the way they are. It also looks like get a bit bigger, or to grow more a
around topless in polka dot panties though. you have more space for another couple of plants if you chose. bit closer together.
Smuggler’s Tales 33

Morocco Bound
eous indignation of the innocent. Sharing
a small cell with five others didn’t help
and that’s not counting the bad food,
bed bugs and constant threat of sexual
assault. The Consul’s next visit found him
a lot more compliant.

a neat little block, was the extra ten grams Now Cannabis smugglers seemed to be
of hash. Within an hour he reached the blessed with a guardian angel that watch-
police road block, a permanent fixture on es over them. As long as you run good
the road to prevent smuggling. Smoking a hash and do it with a good heart, you’ll
joint and making no effort to conceal the (hopefully) be protected.
hash, the police arrested him immediately.
The normal procedure at this point was to A guardian angel was definitely present
offer a bribe; but our genius didn’t, even the when the Consul came to visit a few
refusing to do so when the police sug- days later. He’d spoken to a lawyer and
gested it. The police had no alternative but apparently the story of the police plant-
to really arrest him and so they did. With a ing hashish to extract a bribe was com-
police escort he and the camper were driv- mon practice in Morocco. The judge was
In a world of drug financed terrorism and blood-thirsty cartels, it’s en down to the nearest large town, which sympathetic and there was a reasonable
was Fez, and to the main police station. chance of a dismissal, but it would take
hard to imagine a time when it wasn’t about the money, but sim- time. As an afterthought he mentioned
ply having a few kilos of something primo sitting on your kitchen The Fez police suggested once again that the camper and the request to ship it.
table.Some of the craziest scams were hatched late in the night the whole thing could be cleared up with He was going on leave in a few days and
a little exchange of cash; again he refused, would be happy to drive the camper back
over a toke or two and a beer. Most died like vampires in the morn- accusing the arresting officers of plant- for him. Crossing borders wouldn’t be a
ing light, but some got further and then you heard about them ing the hash on him. The next day he problem because he had a diplomatic
repeated his story in front of a judge and passport. Our little genius’s heart did a
when they were busted. A few succeeded, despite enormous odds, was remanded for trial and taken to the somersault; this was beyond his wildest
and I’d like tell you about one of them.  By O’Riodon local prison. At this point the Consul from dreams. Of course the Consul could drive
his home country came to visit. He was it back; our friend would be very grateful...
For this we have to go back to the late prepared camper, he passed the village to surprised he hadn’t paid the bribe and he even offered to pay for the gas.
'60s, a far more liberal time. Morocco a farm deep in the mountains. By first light suggested he do so right away and save
was just starting to produce its first the camper was hidden from prying eyes, himself a lot of trouble. To the Consul’s A week later the camper, with its con-
good hashish. Only a few years prior an and preparation of the hundred kilos it amazement he refused. cealed load of 100 kilos, turned into the
American had shown the farmers how was to carry was already under way. driveway of his house. His girlfriend was
to process their kif into quality hash; Before the Consul departed our friend there to receive it and took a photo-
now loads of it were crossing the straits Ketama is in an area of the Atlas Mountains asked him one thing: could he take graph to capture the moment. She then
of Gibraltar on their way north. At first allowed to grow Cannabis by royal char- possession of the camper and arrange flew down to Morocco with the money
the Spanish Customs seemed unaware ter, and has been so for hundreds of years. its shipment home? The Consul agreed to get him out. It took a day’s work and
of the volume of traffic passing under Export is strictly forbidden and punish- and said he would return in a couple three fat envelopes before he walked
their noses, but they soon wised up. The ments for doing so are severe. This did not of days with the necessary paperwork. out the prison gates. That night they
southern Spanish ports became some of bother our genius; within a few days he Meantime, he should engage a lawyer were on plane home; it took a month
the hottest in Europe, at their peak aver- was ready to go. A hundred kilos of the and prepare for trial. but he had pulled it off.
aging a couple of big busts a day. It took finest 'Zero-Zero' had been pressed up
real genius to pass through unmolested. and all but ten grams had been welded Now, by this point you may have guessed It’s a great story and shows initiative, but
into the framework of the camper. our little genius’s ploy to get the load unfortunately he told it to me in the exer-
One such genius crossed into Morocco shipped to his home country by the cise yard of a Spanish prison three years
and arrived late at night in the mountain The following day he drove down the embassy, but this took time and Moroccan later, after getting ten years for a couple
village of Ketama, a place with a reputa- mountain on one of the only two roads prisons are notoriously bad. As the days of hundred kilos in a sailboat. Sometimes
tion for good hashish. Driving a specially- out. On the seat beside him, pressed into passed it was hard to keep up the right- it’s your time to get busted.

1968 bus, 100 kilos heavier

Morocco's finest Cannabis as far as the eye can see



Professional Pot Purveyors

The inviting, classy and sexy, green and orange neon sign welcom- access to a consistent range of top the tremendous responsibility we have to
quality medicine for affordable prices, our patients and community to be a role
ing patients to San Francisco's Green Door medical club isn't the while offering an incredible assortment model for the industry.
only thing that separates it from the hundreds of other clubs pop- of edibles, concentrates, dried prod-
ping up in California. As you enter the club, its spic and span inte- uct and much more. They run their SSUSA: And you give a lot back to the
business like, well, a business: custom- community, correct?
rior and professional ambiance put you at ease. It's not uncom- ers and community first. The club is a JJ: For patients we have 'Compassion
mon when reading patients' comments to see, "Hands down the breath of fresh air and represents the Sundays' where they get a free gift
only way to move forward in the medi- with purchase. We also are heavy con-
best dispensary in the city." Robert Michael
cal marijuana dispensary industry. Soft tributors to ASA (Americans for Safe
Secrets USA caught up with Green Door Access) and MPP (Marijuana Policy
manager Justin Jarin to 'talk shop'. Project). We also have donated money
to Yerba Buena Park and the beautifi-
SSUSA: How would you describe the cation of Howard Street. We also have
culture of the Green Door? many other local charities we donate
JJ: Words that come to mind are 'profes- to, like Black Rock Arts Foundation,
sional' and 'clean'. In eclectic downtown Friends of the Urban Forest and Maitri
San Francisco, we have easy access for AIDS Hospice.


our patient flow. State of the art technol- SSUSA: What is the key to running a
ogy and safety precautions, too, are very successful dispensary?
important to us.
JJ: The key is to provide the best product;
SSUSA: What was your vision when you the newest products, at a compassionate
opened up in 2003? price with service to match. At the Green
JJ: Our goal was to provide patients the Door we innovate and that is why we
highest quality medicine and the most continue to grow and keep the patients'
affordable price. We also pride ourselves interest and loyalty. Our patients' satisfac-
in being a compassionate dispensary. tion is our number one priority.

SSUSA: Do you feel you've attained this? SSUSA: What's next?

JJ: 110%. JJ: We have partnered with an upstairs
neighbor who is running a private events
SSUSA: You've always worked closely space, and we are covering our patients’
with the city from day one. Why don't admission to their lounge. It's a spacious,
more clubs do this? luxurious, ventilated place for patients to
JJ: Being active in the city is just some- medicate, with flat-screen TVs, comfort-
Then you marry that sentiment with to be the only San Francisco dispensary thing we've learned is in our best interest able furniture and a pool table.
the close ties the club has always had to take home an award. At the 2010 and the industry's interest because we are
with the city, the charity work it does San Francisco Cannabis Competition, the voice; we write and create the legisla- We are also in the process of updating the
and the community respect it has gar- the club's Boss OG Kush took home tion, too. It's helped our business thrive methods of medicating available.
nered, and you have a business model the honor for Best Strain, and their by us fighting for our patients' rights to
that should be emulated by other dis- Grandaddy Purple tied for Second service – and they do the same, which cre- The Green Door has also arranged time
pensaries. But that's not all: The Green Place; they also won Second Place in ates loyalty within our community. for Americans for Safe Access to use
Door took home a lot of awards at the the Concentrates category for their 'Lounge8four7' for their bi-monthly meet-
festivals last year. At the High Times G-18 hash, and tied for Second Place SSUSA: Words such as 'responsible' ings. We love what ASA does for the move-
2010 Medical Cannabis Cup they won with their Buddies Peanut Butter Pucks. and 'professional' come up all the time ment and the community, and are excited
Second Place in the Sativa category for when talking about the Green Door. to offer our support for their cause.
their Candy Jack, and tied for Second Since its opening in 2003, The Green JJ: We have always held the highest stand-
Place for Best Booth. They were excited Door has prided itself on giving patients ards of professionalism, and understand »
From the Mountains of Holland –
the Rise of King Cone
Sitting in the in the super-cool Greenhouse coffeeshop in machine but of course we could not pat- around saying 'Man. There’s gotta be
ent a centrifuge! a better way of making joints than roll-
Amsterdam, gazing at the carp cruising hypnotically in their ing them'?
10-ft., under-floor pool, I must admit to mixed feelings as I wait We sent plans of our invention to our- “Long story short: we went to Bali
to meet up with the legendary Arthur van den Berg – the ‘Henry selves by registered mail, opening one to check out the cigarette factories,
copy and leaving the other sealed. So where I had heard they hand-rolled
Ford of Cannabis consumption’. Jules Marshall we had that filed, and it cost us noth- cigarettes… (he breaks off to show me
ing. It is not worth anything, but it is a new packet of papers with a magnetic
On the one hand, he’s the creator of backstreets of Amsterdam: Arthur at still a good idea to do. flap). We had already invented how to
the pre-rolled conical cigarette papers the wheel, juggling phone calls, rum- So that’s... how things started: work for make the cones. Then we invented a
with the world-wide registered brand maging for merchandising in the glove yourself. And the big innovation was way of tapping down the tobacco/weed
name Cones and a range of gizmos for compartment and avoiding cyclists. the cone paper.” mix into the cone so it was not too fluffy
mechanically filling, rolling and packag- Arthur jumps around between stories but as tight as a Marlboro. We’d booked
ing joints that represent the biggest about his youth, excitement at current How is it made? Big bales of cigarette a hotel resort in Bali and in the morning
step-change in rolling technology since developments in mediweed, anticipa- paper… we’d been surfing together and were
pre-gummed rice paper. tion of his forthcoming trip to a fair really close, we were like ‘wow, we’re
“Yes, you have a bobbin of 11 miles of gonna do this mission, find where we’re
THESE DEMOCRATIZERS OF JOINT SMOKING FOR THE paper, supplied by one of the world lead- gonna produce them’ – and we did and
ers in paper making. Our idea was that just we still producing in Indonesia.
FUMBLE-FINGERED MASSES ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN MORE as in England the rolling papers are called
Rizlas, we hoped when people talked I’d heard about this factory where
THAN 50 COUNTRIES, FROM NIGERIA TO FINLAND about a cone, they were not talking about cigarettes were made by hand and
ice cream cones or traffic cones any more figured we could have a lot of work for
Essentially empty cone-shaped wrappers in Denver, Colorado, sliding between but my Cones, with the watermark that them. So me and my brother started
made from cigarette paper with an inte- past, present and future, with extraor- says ‘Cones’, with the TV station; traveling with a guide, meeting all the
grated cardboard roach, Cones can be dinary energy and enthusiasm for his it’s my word. factories. I had the sales training and
used in production machines and equip- business. The most common phrase my brother was the engineer super-
ment for creating pre-rolled joints, or they is: “Long story short…” It’s a huge- The watermark thing started 10 years ago man who knew the answer to every-
can be filled manually by consumers. You ly entertaining conversation - and a but before that we were under the thing, so together we made an impact
can see the range of cone-related equip- nightmare to transcribe and turn into at big factories where 10-15,000 peo-
ment and packaging at www.mountain- a linear story! Radar. We hit the newspapers with that ple were working. OK, I’m exaggerat- and videos of the technology in machine, demonstrating it in the old ing, but there are working floors there
action at SS: Take me through your early years Drugs Peace House in Amsterdam, and with 5,000 rollers, you know.”
prior to setting up Mountain High in the following Monday there was an arti-
They are an undoubted industry game 1994. What sort of things moved and cle: No More Licking With New Rolling You’re just back from America, and
changer. In street corner tobacconists, in interested you? Machine for Joints on the second page of you’re off there again in a few days.
blister packs of pre-rolled weed in coffee- AvdB: “I always wanted to work and do the Volkskrant, (newspaper) with a half-
shops and pharmacies, these democratiz- my own marketing for my own prod- page photo of me and my brother sitting “I was just checking out what’s happen-
ers of joint smoking for the fumble-fin- ucts. But until I was 30 years old I didn’t next to our own machine. It just looked ing over there and its amazing. If you
gered masses are now available in more succeed - although I had all the ingredi-
than 50 countries, from Nigeria to Finland. ents. I had left commercial school early “I WAS FOCUSED ON AMERICA RIGHT FROM
because I was dealing hashish and earn-
On the other hand, as a proud and capa- ing a lot of money. But I was driven to THE OUTSET OF OUR COMPANY.”
ble traditional joint roller, I can’t help do something for myself and ended up
feeling like a Luddite witnessing the doing many different jobs and learning very natural and innocent. Amsterdam imagine all the weed medical patients are
potential loss of the hand-rolled craft. different things in life. was different back in those days (1995), a using over there fitting in a Cone? Or just
OK, that’s maybe an overstatement, but very different situation to now.” one percent of that? It’s really taking off.
all you spliff-jockeys out there will know So I worked as a bus driver for a while; I travel to the US four or five times a year
what I mean, I think. It’s a new world I used to daydream of having an inven- So you’re the marketing guy and your and I’m off to Denver next Friday. There’s
out there…there’s 'BC' and 'AC' – Before tion and do my own marketing of this brother Martin is the engineer? What’s a Cannabis happening there they expect
Cones and After Cones. invention. I was always convinced that it like working with a brother? 20,000 people over the weekend.
I would become a company owner; “We grew up very close. My mother
Arthur enters in a whirlwind of energy, maybe selling black pearls, which I had ended up in a psychiatric hospital when I flew in my machine, so it’s gonna be in
greeting the staff (he still hand deliv- access to. I sold advertising for Yellow were small kids. My father was tech- the entrance to the show with a lounge
ers his wares to leading customers, Pages, smoked weed and came up with nical director of a cancer hospital in for other companies from Amsterdam.
to maintain the human contact) and this invention. Rotterdam and we didn’t care that we The machine will be spinning, and my
explains that he’d like to conduct the were alone: we had a lovely life, growing distributor also has a booth. After the
interview in his ‘office’ – a black behe- So the joint machine invention by me and up in this hospital. We met people, we show I have a meeting with Snoop Dogg’s
moth of a 4x4 parked outside. my brother, that started with us setting explored under the hospital in the ven- manager to maybe bring his Snoop rolling
tilation ducts, with a torch and a rope papers to Holland - it will be the first roll-
“MY MESSAGE IS: DON’T TRY AND RE-INVENT THE – we were less than 6 years old! We were
raised by the nurses and the 100 or so
ing paper we have had in our collection.
We never intended to do it; the cone thing
WHEEL. TALK TO ME; I’M ALREADY THERE. JOIN ME.” people working there. We were ‘the kids
of Mr. van den Berg’, chief of the hos-
is so unique we have our hands and heads
filled doing that.
So after sharing a quick joint (Cone of up a PO box and registered company and pital. Everyone knew we didn’t have a
course) of pure Shiva, it’s into his office already visualizing that it could be revolu- mother. That’s the big story made short!” But I was focused on America right from
that we clamber with cappuccinos tionary one day – at least, it was to us and the outset of our company; that’s why I
to-go, and for the next 40 minutes we we were convinced it was so unique. We And what about the moment of inven- called it 'Vandenberg'; there was a well-
cruise hair-raisingly through the small had invented a centrifugal joint making tion? Were the two of you sitting known band called that. My name is
to take off, used in joints for dispensa- moment, the night ended with his
ries. It’s like we’re selling auto tires: if brother sitting at a drawing board and
you drive a lot you buy a lot of tires. If designing the machine.
you sell a lot of joints you need a lot of
cones. We’ve helped a lot of companies A few months later and the van den
make serious money.” Berg boys are surfing in Bali where they
have traveled on the rumor that ciga-
A few days later he phones to say he rettes were still made by hand, ponder-
forgot the story about fire walking and ing how they were going to make the
how important it is to meet again. “(Our cones fill-able and compact-able when
business) kind of all started with a cou- it hit them: a centrifuge.
pon, clipped from a women's maga-
zine for 25 guilders, of a workshop He’s is clear about his ambitions for the
at the Marriott Hotel in Amsterdam, future. “My email and phone number is
where a carpet of wet turf was laid out spread worldwide because I feel that any-
and hot coals strewn on it to make a one who is enthusiastic about my products
33-ft. fire walk. You know, the 'think can send me an email and tell me what he
cool moss' thing? thinks. I can advise a company like Philip
Morris if they ever want a good packaging
Arthur made it across but his brother and production system; they’re stupid if
forgot his mantra. Unable to sleep, they don’t get in touch with me. My mes-
consumed with a feeling that this was sage is: don’t try and re-invent the wheel.
the catalyst of some sort of special Talk to me; I’m already there. Join me.”


Arthur van den Berg, which means ‘from

the mountain’. So I saw myself coming
down from the mountain and the com-
pany is Mountain High.

My job, I’m on the edge of the envelope,

you know? I deal with headshops and
coffeeshops; we surf through the whole
of Cannabisland but my product is fully
legal. So if one day somebody in NL thinks
they have to stop me, I’ll go straight on
TV and show my videos and ask: what am
I doing wrong? I’m 16 years in this busi-
ness now and cones will always be there.
I never had any trouble in the US. Once
only a pallet was sent back because it had
a Cannabis leaf on the packaging.”

The conversation is interrupted as we

search for a parking spot, and I finally spill
my reservations that, admirable as they
are, the first time I saw the cones I thought
NO, that’s killing off the old manual craft
of joint rolling…

“Are you recording? You know how

many times I’ve heard that in my life?
The most common comment in the
world from people who are good at roll-
ing by hand. What about all the people
who cannot roll? You no longer have to
do it for all the lazy girls!

We arrive back at the Greenhouse,

where Arthur drops me off and takes
a meeting with some Israeli medi-
weed suppliers, customers of his. I
speak briefly to Zach Klein, pioneer
of the Israeli medi-weed movement,
which bought 200,000 cones last year.
“Arthur’s cones were vital for our pro-
gress as they allow standardization of
dosage and therefore open up clinical
trials,” he says. “Also, they’re sterile, as
there’s no licking involved – vital when
you’re dealing with patients with com-
promised immune systems.”

“The new emphasis on medical mari- ARTHUR SHOWS US HIS MOUNTAINHIGH

huana is perfect for my business,” say AD IN THE HIGHLIFE GUIDE
Arthur. “About five years ago it started
Kaya 47

Photo: Advanced Seeds


Sexism in Pot Culture

Marijuana-related media is becoming known for photos depicting drinks. There is a number of respected
female growers, coffeeshop owners and
semi-clothed models splashed all over their pages, to the extent seed company bosses, but this is a small
that many women are increasingly put off most prominent pub- fraction of the total. I've heard, too many
lications. It is preferable to avoid alienating any reader group, times to count, that there is 'no place' for
women in the industry.
especially such a large and growing one – but many still take the
easy route of using sex to sell magazines, knowing that the male Some people have anecdotally sug-
gested there is an influence from the
readership currently far outnumbers the female, and using that Moroccan style of doing business, which
classic, lowest-common-denominator technique that unfortu- is apparently exclusive to men and plac-
nately shows no sign of losing its effectiveness. by Kali Mist es women firmly in a service role. While
this could be a factor, I also feel underly-
ing traditional Dutch attitudes towards IN DUTCH COFFEESHOPS WOMEN
While women may not have so far been Growers are mostly male – as I men- women play a part. I've experienced
as conspicuous as men in the battle to tioned, it's illegal to cultivate Cannabis, firsthand the odd male customer who
legalize weed our voice is steadily grow- and males are statistically more prepared refused to believe a woman could pos- AND DON'T TOUCH THE WEED
ing, and as cultural attitudes towards to break laws. However, that doesn't sibly know anything about weed.
Cannabis use continue to relax I hope we explain why in the coffeeshops them-
will see a sharp rise in the prominence selves the gender division is usually dis- Also, while there may not be a cul- reputation for selecting girls on the
of female activists and supporters. In tinct (but not always – a few of the most ture specifically associating pornogra- basis of looks and age, in the assump-
phy and Cannabis in Holland, a nation tion that it will boost their sales and
THE MAJORITY OF DISPENSARY OWNERS ARE MALE, whose idea of legalized prostitution keep male customers coming back.
involves requiring women to stand in
AND THIS TREND CONTINUES FOR LICENSED GROWERS a window like mannequins, displaying I can furthermore testify as to the dispa-
themselves for any passer-by to see, rate rates of pay given to the respective
this important incubation period for the knowledgeable and friendly dealers I surely cannot be deemed beyond the roles – in some coffeeshops, dealers
emerging industry we can afford few encountered were women, as was I for temptation of easy sexualization for earn upwards of 150% of a bar girl's
mistakes – lowering the credibility of a time): guys own and manage the cof- the sake of easy business. At least a few wage. Whereas here tips may be expect-
the pot world through over-use of tacky feeshops and sell the weed; girls serve coffeeshops in Amsterdam have a local ed to cover that shortfall, the European
centerfolds is bound to have this effect. attitude regarding tipping can often
It's not just women that are put off; it's mean a bar girl takes a far smaller pay-
the establishment, which is having a hard check home for working just as hard, for
enough time coming to terms with the just as many hours. I cannot see a basis
meteoric rise of Cannabis as it is, without for this. I am therefore heartened to
being able to lump Cannabis industry see that there is a growing disapproval
professionals into some sex-crazed smut- of the trend for pitching products at
peddling category first theorized during American marijuana conventions with
the whole 'reefer madness' stupidity. the help of half-naked girls. Not due to
prudishness – I just don't see why any-
Embedded in the industry's perception by body's intelligence should be insulted
outsiders is the very real possibility that that way, and when it's my intelligence
perpetuating misogyny in weed media they're attempting to insult, I feel the
could assist in perpetuating sexist practic- need to say something.
es in the wider weed industry. The major-
ity of dispensary owners are male, and It seems to me that there is still a lot
this trend continues for licensed growers. of work to do before misogyny in pot
There are some exceptions, but not many. culture is dead. Obviously it's still alive
I, for one, would be devastated if the and kicking in most every walk of life,
future of weed was one where women but I feel that we have a head start in
were relegated to a subordinate role, as THIS IS A FEMALE CANNABIS FLOWER. UH... JUST SAYIN'! a culture that is traditionally enlight-
I've seen this trend at work before. ened and progressive, and we should
fight to press home the advantage. I'm
During my years living and working in the not naive enough to think that remov-
Netherlands, I noticed a low level of sex- ing sexism from the Cannabis press will
ism within the coffeeshop industry, which remove it from the industry, but as long
at the time seemed surprising to me. I as the magazines that serve the sec-
mean, in the shady drug-dealing world tor encourage objectification of women,
that the Cannabis industry becomes they are definitely not helping to change
where it is criminalized, perhaps it's to prevalent attitudes. If, as many stud-
be expected that things will be a little ies will testify, people are influenced in
male-dominated – most organized crime their behavior by the press, then trashy
is. But in my naivete I thought that cer- centerfolds are a force for the negative.
tain original hippie values had somehow However, we also have a responsibility
survived intact in Europe and the industry – as weed loving women – to become
there would be free and egalitarian, and more active within the industry itself
without misogyny. Maybe it's because the (beyond trimming weed and making
industry isn't fully legal, and the wholesale BIO-HEALTH WELLNESS CENTER, LOCATED IN space cakes). As long as we remain a tiny
side of things is still a murky business, DENVER, CO, IS ONE OF A SMALL NUMBER OF minority we can expect discrimination,
but a sense of male superiority certainly RESPECTED FEMALE-RUN DISPENSARIES IN THE US so we must be fully prepared to over-
seems to pervade the scene. come it and become an equal force.

Complete your Cannabis Collection

With Cannabis laws loosening in several dozen states across the US, was much more sparsely-located. While were selected by local people for various
its origins have been (arguably) attrib- reasons, in some cases, over periods of
many more people are becoming exposed to the industry. New grow- uted to Kazakhstan – whom we have to thousands of years.
ers and smokers are popping up all the time, and we thought you thank for cultivated apples – one fam-
might want to know where it all started. The Sativa Diva ily of Cannabis is much older than the Keith reminds us of the dominance of the
ruderalis (a.k.a. Russian hemp) native to Dutch industry over the years, provid-
Eastern Europe. The indica family – those ing the original genetics to many other
In the charter issue of Soft Secrets USA, genetics from dozens of different coun- short, stocky dark green plants with large seed companies around the world. He
we introduced you to Keith, owner of tries and seed labels. Keith points out leaves and a relaxing effect – is indige- also recalls famous breeders from the
The Attitude Seed Bank, responsible for that with so many good growers out nous to Central Asia, with the Hindu Kush early days, such as Sam the Skunkman or
distributing the largest and most com- there and so many quality types of can- mountainous region holding a special Shanti Baba, with great reverence. They
prehensive list of quality Cannabis genet- nabis, it's easier to just offer customers significance in the ganja world. were at the fore-front of the Cannabis
ics – from over 80 international compa- as many choices as possible, rather than
nies. With more than 2,500 strain names
and flavor/effect descriptions to wade
just offering one label, or only Cannabis
Cup winners. With so much over-hybrid-
through, we thought we'd provide a sim-
ple background for the origins of these
ization bubbling up beneath the surface
of the industry, growers of all levels of
genetics. Since Cannabis has been around experience need to have a reputable COLLECTION OF VARYING CANNABIS GENETICS FROM
much longer than we have, the indus- source upon which they can rely to stock
try is constantly reviving and changing almost all of the old classics. It's becom- DOZENS OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND SEED LABELS.
thanks to hundreds of breeders around ing a necessity for people to keep collec-
the world, supplemented by private col- tions of old genetics (in the refrigerator, Sometimes referred to as 'the grandmoth- hybrid awakening, where tokers switched
lectors – who are quickly becoming an of course) in preparation for a particular er of all Cannabis,' the Hindu Kush was one from tossing some bag seed into their
important resource. strain's eventual demise. of the first few varieties to cross the barrier back yards to seeking out and purchasing
from landrace to cultivar to commercial quality genetics, becoming some of the
The Attitude, on a minor scale, is reminis- Unlike today, when Cannabis flourishes hybrid. A cultivar is a plant strain that orig- great growers of today. These days, it's not
cent of the Doomsday Vault, comprising around the world in a variety of climates, inated as a landrace variety (pure strains even uncommon for, say, a Spanish seed
a massive collection of varying Cannabis thousands of years ago, the hardy plant indigenous to one particular region) and bank to exchange seeds or clones with a
company from California, whose strains
may have originally come from Canada.
However, this practice was not common-
place as of a few decades ago.

In 1979 Sacred Seeds was established

in California and the Lowland Seed Co.
was founded in the Netherlands. Officially,
despite thousands of years of the plant's
existence on the planet, these were the
first two Cannabis seed companies. In
1980, Sacred Seeds released the Skunk
No. 1, Afghani No. 1, Hindu Kush and
Original Haze; these genetics are still avail-
able today under the Flying Dutchmen
label (Skunk #1, Afghanica, Pot of Gold,
Original Haze). If you research the origins
of the first Cannabis cultivars, 'it' all started
with these four. Others were now able to
grow out and select these pure, reliable
strains, leading to an explosion of new
'breeders' on the Dutch scene.

1984 brought about some competi-

tion in the form of the Sinsemilla Seed
Co., responsible for the introduction of
Hashplant No. 1, (Hungarian) Ruderalis
and Jamaican cultivars. By 1985 they were
joined by the label Cultivator's Choice,
who brought out the California Orange,
Early Girl and South African (a.k.a. Durban
Poison); while the new Super Sativa Seed
Club released their Chitral Indica. At about
this time the folks at Seed Bank graced the
industry with Northern Lights.

Another famous name from this time is

Positronics, who in 1986 released their
Skunk USA, which was joined by another
legend, the William's Wonder, under the
auspices of the Super Sativa Seed Club.
The Seed Bank's Early Pearl also arrived.
Positronics jumped into the game again
in 1987 with Hollandsch Hope (a.k.a.
Holland's Hope) while Dutch Passion was
being established, celebrating with the
release of the Amstel Gold, Purple Star,
Purple Wonder and Four-Way. This amaz-
ing decade in Cannabis history was round-
ed out in 1988 by the Shiva and G-13 and
in 1999 with the Hindu Kush and Hawaiian
Indica, all under the Seed Bank label.

The early 90's saw a shift from Seed Bank

to Sensi Seeds, then to the Sensi Seed
Bank label, credited with the new Shiva
Shanti hybrids. At this point it seems as if
the industry, with regards to both estab-
lished seed companies and fledgling new
brands, took some time off to work on
their hybrids. With a whole slew of cultivar
strains from around the world as raw mate-
rial, some of the loveliest and strongest
hybrids were created at this time. These
days, it's very difficult to find new strains as
stable and hardy as these founding moth-
ers, as few people have the time, amount
of space and dedication necessary to prop-
erly select parents for new varieties. All this
experimenting, however, did not diminish
the needs for new cultivars, and so in 1998
Dutch Passion thrilled the industry with the
release of Blueberry and Flo. In the follow-
ing few years, Sensi Seed Bank rounded out
the surge of new cultivars with the release
of their Maple Leaf Indica.

So there's your tiny history of where it all

started. These varieties and seed labels
are important, not because people need
to get high, but due to the persecution of
Cannabis around the world, we as a com-
munity are losing (forever) some of our
most beautiful hybrids.

By Kaz Peet

Nosolo ‘Aerosol Prankster’ AUDIOKIN.COM Etana ‘Free Expressions’ VP RECORDS

Arising from the San Francisco Bay area – that infamous hotbed of creativity from freaks of all fashion, flavor and Reggae singer/songwriter sensation Etana returns
form – five-piece outfit Nosolo release this free-to-all downloadable five-track EP. with her highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Free
Expressions’, a release that truly establishes her as an
Working together for the past ten years, the band exist to play and record live music, always delivering a highly artist of great might. Etana deems this second album
contagious, body rocking sonic experience that is embraced by both clubs and festivals alike. A unique sound has ‘Free Expressions’ because she adamantly refuses to
been developed, forged from their combined experience and influences, based on the live and electronic music be constrained by approach or lyrical content. Her
scenes of Johannesburg, London, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. beautifully sweet, yet pow-
erful voice easily adapts
there, this songbird flut-
This international ensemble not only draws together their individual cul- ters elegantly and ably into
tures but also deftly crisscrosses through the borders of musical genre, soulful R&B and hip-hop.
stepping into styles from disco to dub and heavy metal, to a well seasoned
crock of dance music expressions and strange electronica. Most definitely Penning 12 of the 14 tracks herself, Etana has already
experimental, yet unpretentious; this highly listenable and deeply dance- had three hit singles from the album so far- ‘Free’, ‘Happy
able mash-up, self-produced and mixed by Jonah Sharp of the sumptuously Heart’ and ‘August Town’. Socially conscious undertones
lovely acid and ambient Space Time label, will place your inner stylus on a can be found in tracks such as the brilliant ‘Mocking Bird’,
groove strictly bound for the far reaches of the cosmos. Rewind selector! ‘Retribution’ and of course the popular ‘August Town’. In
Download at the songs ‘Day by Day’, ‘Moving On’, ‘People Talk’, ‘Free’
and ‘Dance’ Etana croons uplifting messages of positivity.
What’s a reggae album without a little love? Etana sings
about the subject in the tracks ‘Happy Heart’, ‘I Know You
Love Me’ and ‘My Name Is’.

Africa Hi-Tech ’93 Million Miles’ Compilation ‘Generation Bass ETANA’S REGAL COUNTENANCE, UNCOMPRO-
bination of Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek, are ‘Transnational Dubstep’ is the first major com- TO BE A CHALLENGE TO THE DOMINANT PERCEP-
set to release their debut album this May. pilation to document the fusion of dubstep TION OF FEMALE ARTISTS’ IMAGES AND IDENTI-
and global roots music. Conceptualized and TIES. ENGENDERING REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES
Released by Warp following the two digi-dance- compiled by co-owner/editor and the driving IN JAMAICAN POPULAR MUSIC, ETANA IS THE JILL
hall releases ‘Blen’ and the ‘HiTecherous EP’, the force behind SCOTT OF THE REGGAE WORLD.
11-track album sees the two producers develop the Generation
their “love for all things progressive within music, Bass blog, DJ
whilst acknowledging that the roots of much Umb in coop-
of today’s popular music can be traced directly eration with
back to Africa.” Six Degrees Beats Antique ‘Blind Threshold’
Having started working on the project when album pulls Growing like wildfire under the canopy of live electonica
they found themselves, by coincidence, living together some and world roots music comes a masterful merge of modern
in Australia, the album takes in the wealth of of the most technology, live instrumentation and seductive perfor-
experience both artists have (Pritchard as part of exciting new producers in electronic music, mance, built of brass bands and glitch, string quartets and
Global Communications/Harmonic 313; Spacek who are incorporating sounds from around dubstep: the musical trio Beats Antique.
as a notable contributor to Dilla’s work and the the planet with the bass bin shaking thump
Spacek outfit), which sees them explore Detroit of dubstep. Since the group’s inception from the eclectic under-
techno, classic soul and Jamaican dancehall as ground of San Francisco’s performance art scene, Beats
expertly captured on the excellent lead single BY UTILIZING INFLUENCES FROM CUMBIA Antique has been notorious for making it nearly impos-
‘Out In the Streets’. TO BALKAN; CHINESE TO INDIAN; MIDDLE sible to sit still. They meld their mediums as attentively as
EASTERN TO JAPANESE, THE SONGS ON THIS they fuse the cultures that inspire their sound.
This 15 track hand picked compilation features THE MUSES OF CLASS AND BEAUTY.
established producers like the Midval Punditz
and the Bandish Project, while introducing With this, their third album, Beats Antique is best imag-
breaking talent from the bass music commu- ined as an innovative creature built from the cumulative
nity: including Engine Earz, Alexis K, Jajuoka heritage of the world’s music chasing its tail. However
Soundsystem, Knowa Knowone, Shem and vivid that image, when a
many more to a wider audience. marching band groove crash-
es into bluesy folk chords,
‘Transnational Dubstep’ is the flashpoint where the only to be accompanied by
ever-evolving bass music genre collides with the electronic beats and Middle
global music continuum. Eastern melodies, you’ll still
be surprised.
Grubbycup's Simple Hydroponics
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Index of ads Colophon

Name Page
Advanced Seeds 1 Soft Secrets USA is published by
Discover Publishers USA, Inc
All American Healing Group 43 Century Park Plaza
1801 Century Park East, 24th floor / Suite 2400
Apothecary 420 16 Los Angeles, CA 90067
Cream Caramel, Sweet Seeds Attitude the 2
Editor in chief: Kristie Szalanski
Attitude the 4
Contributors: Grubbycup, Buddy Kush,
SOFT SECRETS USA IS LOOKING FOR WRITERS Best Price Evaluations 23 Kali Mist, Robert Michael, The Sativa Diva,
Lazystrain, O’Riodon, F.Red, Kaz Peet, et al.

We want you! Do you have what it takes to become a

Devil’s Harvest Seed Company the
Dinafem Seeds
Translations: Jules Marshall, TranSarah
Traduzioni, Italy
Comic: O’Riodon

regular Soft Secrets USA contributor? Do Green Door the 48 Editorial adress:
you have a fluent pen and green fingers? E-mail:
Hemcy 43
Then don’t hesitate to apply as a freelance
Advertisements: Jessica
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A word from the publisher:
To the chagrin of the US Federal Government,
almost half of the states have embarked on a
process of relative liberalization towards the
use of Cannabis, and Cannabis activists are
engaged in broadening this progression. Some
townships, mayors and police chiefs – on a
local level – now actively support a ‘compassion
club’ distribution system as a way of separating
recreational stoners from the people who legiti-
mately need therapeutic help, simultaneously
decreasing the number of unnecessary arrests.
Whether they are finding their way to the local
medical distribution point or growing for per-
sonal stash, Cannabis users are a menace to no
one and are causing no discernible social prob-
lem. Some politicians, and even more non-users
than ever, are calling for the outright legali-
zation of marijuana. Taxpayers are frustrated
with funding the incarceration of first-time,
non-violent drug offenders (read: pot smokers)
as well as the social toll that high numbers of
imprisonment brings to some towns and neigh-
borhoods. Now we must be patient and see how
the debate develops during a period of relative
peace between both sides.
In the meantime, the publisher hopes Soft
Secrets will expose the positive aspects of the
normalization of Cannabis use to the public,
and is excited to offer a forum to both pro-
and anti-legalization advocates. Soft Secrets
forums operate under the assumption that the
publisher does not necessarily agree with the
views and opinions expressed in articles and
advertisements therein. The publisher therefore
distances himself explicitly from statements or
images that might give the impression that an
endorsement is being made for the illicit use
or production of Cannabis. Soft Secrets does not
advocate breaking any laws, whether local-,
state-, Federal or international.
Nothing from this publication may be copied
or reproduced in any format without prior
permission from the publisher and other copy-
right holders. The publisher is not responsible
for the content and/or point of view of adver-
tisements. The editors take no responsibility
for unsolicited submissions.

Soft Secrets USA 3/11 out:

Black Jack, Sweet Seeds June 21st, 2011