Beginning with a static-y 1996 AM radio interview during a power outage on the island of Guam Micronesia, then checking in from a goat farm in Japan decades later, then again from tiny isle in Indonesia, Uncle Weed weaves hempen stories and personal anecdotes about life on this remote USA “territory” including: selling hemp bags at Jeff’s Pirate Cove, advocating for legalization of cannabis in all forms, weird jobs (and quitting same), and current situation as Grassroots activists seek to fulfil will of voters for medical and recreational uses.
On a 2005 ramble through a few western European countries (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal), i carried a satchel of art supplies and painted / sketched along the way. Mostly on 11″x17″ canvas sheet and watercolour paper.
In most cases, i “finished” the pieces in one sitting using acrylics or sometimes watercolour pencils or pastels (these are catalogued, sold/gifted and posted elsewhere).
Anyhow, i have a several which never quite got finished and now sit in a folio in a storage locker elsewhere. I snapped photos and have considered how to finish – even soliciting advice which ranged from “they are finished” to “consider gouache” or “make a colouring book” which i did for my nieces and nephews.
Regardless, they are nowhere near and as such, lonely and sad. So, here are rough drafts in ragged spontaneity and various forms and mediums.
This is Vol. 1 of a few (maybe), pardon repeats and redundancies.
Upon the untimely passing of a friend Ian Christiancy (aka Gazoo), Uncle Weed cracks a tall can of beer and sparks a bowl of sour diesel on a dock in Harrison Lake to share memories of friendly adventures to Darrington Rock Fest, Amsterdam Cannabis Cup, curling in Portland, parties at the cabin and hangouts on Steamboat Island and anecdotes about living tough and timely, yet unseemly, advice, leather jackets and souped up Novas.
Featuring music by Numbskulz, Nazareth and excerpts from The Pudcast with Gazoo and Sajo.
Featuring Uncle Weed, The Unabonger (AKA Cosmo G Spacely), Gazoo (rip) and other friends. We judged the Cannabis Cup, put on a screening of the HempenRoad, took train trips to Deventer and Haarlem (for the Dutch Grower’s Cup) and van rides to Madurodam and other outlying areas.
Filmed in 11 second pieces at 320×280 or something on a borrowed early Sony digital camera.
I don’t know Lee and Sachi personally but seems i am only a degree or two of separation apart … either way, I’ve been following along on their round the world trip and they’ve recently come ’round to Europe and into Amsterdam.
Yup, it’s all about the harm reduction and tolerance and it turns out that decriminalization and normalization does statistically reduce abuse and use – perhaps getting high and screwing whores really are less enticing when the risk/thrill factor is removed ;-).
I described Amsterdam to my Mom as “A bastion of hedonism”. Sure, it has beautiful canals, nice people, amazing sights, about a billion bicycles and a ton of charm, but what is truly impressive about Amsterdam and what differentiates it on a worldwide scale is the liberal policies of the Dutch government concerning drugs and prostitution.
For instance, we stayed in a guesthouse in the Red Light District and within two blocks of our guesthouse, anyone with the money can legally buy “soft drugs” like marijuana, mushrooms and hashish in small quantities and sexual services from a host of licensed prostitutes who display their wares in large windows under red lights. I suppose you could also see some music and complete the hedonists triumverate of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
The view from our place:
For the visitor to Amsterdam, these elements of the city can be surprising and intimidating – we talked to some people who would not step foot into the Red Light District. However, I think it is more surprising that the city doesn’t have the overall feel of a “bad neighborhood” with a high frequency of drugs, sex shops and prostitutes. There is a ragged and depressing element to the Red Light District, but I don’t think it is much different than any other city – it is just that tourists are exposed and invited to participate in activities that would otherwise be managed in dark alleys and controlled by criminals instead of government agencies.
The Dutch policy seems based on the idea that people are going to do what they are going to do, regardless of the government or the potential for punishment. And if this is true, their only tools are regulation, taxation and tolerance. It makes sense to me and the Dutch folks we talked to about it.