In 1993, i began researching and uncovering the unique history of Cannabis in Japan, later (1998-2004) publishing my treatise “Hemp Culture in Japan” in several magazines and books (with encouragement from John Roulac and collaborations with Joe Wein and others).
At the time, hemp was still very taboo and only a secret crop used for the emperor’s new clothes (really).
Now, some decades later, hemp culture is so very alive in Japan with dozens of licensed crops, trade associations, conference forums, film screenings, museums and gentle activism and education campaigns. I am working to connect to this community as i have much to share and learn.
Anyhow, I am a very proud uncle to see all of this.
And now coming full circle in a way, i can enjoy great quality CBD tincture delivered to my new home in Okayama – specifically from Elixinol (an Australian-based company with divisions + relationships in Japan and elsewhere) is rolling out high-quality products with great promotional materials and messaging. The potential is truly boundless.
Thanks and congrats to Paul Benhaim and Makoto Matsumaru. Please let me know how i can help your noble efforts.
PS Worth noting for the record that I deal with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
Only took since 1997, but finally listed HempenRoad 1997 feature documentary film on IMdb. Have a variety of info, posters, stills and whatnot there. Kinda laborious but want to be thorough (especially out of respect for Eiji Masuda – rip).
There are now IMDB listings for:
Ian Hunter (rip)
Dennis Peron (rip)
D. Paul Stanford
with more to come (be patient &/or diy, its all the same process)
& links to where you can view the film (Reelhouse, Vimeo, Youtube – thanks to Brad Rees).
From SXSW 2008 – amidst sirens and Austin, Texas 6th St. street noise – comes an interview with filmmaker Erich Weiss premièring “Hori Smoku, Sailor Jerry” about the originator of contemporary tattoo-ing – and iconoclastic libertarian American – Norman Collins who combined Japanese technique, Polynesian traditions, and American motifs in Hawaii during WW2.
The interview delves into the the “screwed, boozed (blued), and tattooed” wild culture as a million sailors and soldiers descended upon the idyllic islands (especially Hotel Street), plus Mr. Collins’ complex life, the artistic lineage of Sailor Jerry, rivalries and legacies of various tattoo artists/legends, mentorships of Don Ed Hardy and others, and the remarks about “fad” tattooing and (lack of) regret.
High in Jamaica, Uncle Weed visits Black Ras’ abundant mountain growfield to discuss “swamp weed” grown in morass versus “hard land weed” grown in volcanic soil with bat guano, plus varieties of ganja strains – both domestic and imported. Plus background about his family teaching him the ways of growing most anything and living an Ital lifestyle.
In-depth discussion with rock art photographer bev. davies including: hippie days with Neil Young and Joan Anderson (Joni Mitchell), shooting punk pioneers DOA and Subhumans, Motörhead in a park, David Bowie in a stadium, Brian Jonestown Massacre flipping off crowd and so many more.
Also stories from backstage with Iron Maiden and Twisted Sister, Nardwuar collaborations, Duran Duran posing at soundcheck, and remarks about various Vancouver venues.
Plus insights about role of photographer as artist, conundrums of accreditation and access, reasons for a long hiatus, crafting the perfect shot, shoes versus sneakers, origins of calendars and exhibits, and plans for a book.
Recorded August 2010 in Strathcona, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Embarking on meandering natural healing journey around Asia, Indian sub-continent, Arabia, Mediterranean, across Canada, US rocky mountain canyons, and to Grateful Dead anniversary shows while emerging from a fog after chronic and complex illness diagnosis resulting in lost years due to prescription meds.
Now, rebuilding after period of de-identification, I’m sharing stories into the world again – plus riffs about upcoming dispatches, other audio/video projects, annoyance about former prosecutors / cops / “carpetbaggers” getting into nascent legal cannabis industry… and hence, the importance of recognizing hemp pioneers.
Background soundscapes from a balcony in Istanbul, trail in Nepal, cafe in Rome, Whiskey Hickon Boys (from Utah) in Chicago and others in Grateful Dead lot + Lazarus by The Black Tories.
And i misspoke saying “Desolation Row” when i obviously meant “When i Paint my Masterpiece” – drrr
Dennis Peron – who clearly made a global impact with his efforts to normalize medical cannabis – died
An exceptional public speaker with charisma for days, goodly Dennis Peron (as seen in my documentary HempenRoad film) speaking at a Hemp event of some name or another in Olympia, Washington in 1996, just before Prop 215 passed – which was the (arguably i suppose) first big domino to fall in the cannabis legalization / normalization movement. He stood up to the government stooges with bravado and vigour and rallied disparate communities to the crusade with compassion as the central theme – a brilliant communications strategy among other things.
Was charmed and captivated by his style and amazed at his polished & nuanced public speaking style with frankness & subtle wit. Serious topics delivered with casual ease and fierce determination. A pro in a league (at that time) of well-intentioned amateurs.
When making my lil film i wanted to give new voices a chance to share their stories and as such, avoided the then “big timers” who were churning out books and on the pulpit banging circuit, but wanted to include him as he was “not a hippie” and coming from a different direction at the problems than the usual suspects. He was gracious with his time and invited us to come to California to film part 2 – something i so very much wanted to do but never happened.
He lived long and well but (as we all will) succumbed to a health conundrum a few days back – as i live elsewhere in the world most of the time these past years i lost track of his actions but when asked about him in SF a couple of years back, he was spoken of in revered terms usually reserved for mafia dons. Be it known, there are not many of us who can pass away knowing we changed the course of history and he is definitely one who can. He likely didnt remember our encounter (or maybe even see the film) but he made a significant impact on me as an activist and communicator.
Glad he lived to see the results of labours – while situation not perfect by any means, at least folks in majority of states can access medical cannabis safely(ish) – and/or can relocate to said states… and in many states everyone can (as he says in the doc) “self-titrate.”
PS See his bit in HempenRoad and witness charm in action at the Olympia Hemp (something) at Capitol Bldg in 1996. Go to 35:55 minute mark.
Moreover the riches of the earth are for all … – Ecclesiastes 5:9, the Peshitta (Aramaic Bible), circa 2nd century BCE That we may work in righteousness, and lay the Foundation of making the Earth a Common Treasury for All, both Rich and Poor … – Gerrard Winstanley, The True Levellers Standard Advanced, April 20, 1649 There is a debate in the cannabis activist community.