I am not prepared to leave the Emerald Cup behind just yet, but I am pretty sure I know why. I interrupted my run of Cup pieces with a political statement about the greed, avarice and hatred of the Republican Party, a theme that dominates news feeds, and it left such a sour taste in my pen, that I want to go back to what brings me joy.
Correct me if I am wrong, but that goes contrary to what we normally would see when that many human beings gather in one spot. Tack on to that, the fact that when Damian Marley performed late Saturday night, more than a thousand ticket-holding music fans were turned away at the door.
Small Boy was one of them.
Did these disappointed fans take out their frustration on those responsible for maintaining decorum? Evidently not, because then there would have been a police report, and that did not happen. Take any baseball game in the country on any given night, and there will be fights in the stands, fights in the parking lot and plenty of alcoholic disturbances tossed in for good measure.
I know, however, that folks waited as long as an hour and fifteen minutes on the off-ramp alone, before waiting as long as 45 minutes more, to get through the line and into the venue, because my friend Spencer experienced exactly that.
I will tell you unequivocally that had I been required to jump through those hoops, I would not have. I know because I came as close to that mousetrap as is possible without tripping the mechanism. It went something like this.
I have a friend named Kevin. In my adult lifetime, I have had a total of five dudes I would classify as friends. I have a goldmine of close acquaintances, with whom I feel a close kinship, but when I say friend, I mean someone with whom I have spent more time than I could even remotely calculate.
Kevin and I worked in the trenches at United Auto Stores in San Jose, and we went to San Jose State together, where we majored in billiards. Then when I moved up on the mountain, back in 1982, I lost track of Kevin. Thanks to the miracle of social media, we were able to reunite, and we have been able to reestablish our connection.
Kevin makes the trek up to Mendo to get medicine when he gets close to running out, so he figured he would hook up with us in Rosa, and save a couple-three hours of driving. What he was not interested in doing was paying to get into a venue that he did not have an interest in (this year), and hassling with the traffic.
We agreed he would come straight to our rental unit, Saturday morning, and then give me a ride to the venue. Having spent time already, on-site on Friday, setting things up, I was not worried about finding my way around.
All worked well, except that when he went to drop me off, how did you guess? The highway did not part its waters for me to traipse up to the front of the line, and for a second or two there, Markie was getting pretty antsy.
My goal had been to just get within sight of the pavilion, and I would walk the rest of the way. Unfortunately, we had come to a stop with a line of vehicles in front of us that stretched as far as we could see. I fidgeted for about two minutes before Kevin recognized the warning signs, and took preventative measures.
Bidding Kev adios and much love, I blasted on out of there and arrived back behind the fairgrounds, assuming I would then just go through the “vendors’ entrance,” and on to our booth. Much to my surprise, there was a line as long as Laytonville, of folks just waiting. I hit the closest dude up, “Is this the vendors’ line?” knowing even as I asked that it was a dumb question.
“No, Man,” was all he said.
I headed right up to the barricade and asked the closest guy on the other side, where the vendors’ entrance was. He shrugged his shoulders and ignored me.
You can always tell when someone doesn’t know Markie. I asked again, politely, but at a volume that would make a heavy metal concert sound more like mewling kittens. Not only did that get the attention of folks on the inside, it served as a vacuum for all of the nomadic vendors, like me, trying to gain entrance.
Magically the waters parted, as well as the barricade, and moments later I was at our booth, ready for action, ready for danger. Prepared for an onslaught at the outset of the festival, we were mildly surprised at a slow start, but realized that the traffic was the reason. Moreover, personnel at the fairgrounds did an inefficient job of handling the anticipated thirty thousand.
On the other hand, you pay to play. Folks just like you and me want access to high-grade medicine, and the best in the world was represented at the Cup. The best in the world may seem like hyperbole to some, but not to anyone who experienced it.
Again, laugh all you want at a bunch of stoners gathering to get high, but don’t forget what these folks represent. I think Jove sums it up pretty well: “In early spring we started filming for our documentary Family Trees. Our very first interview ended with a sentence stating ‘and that’s why I believe cannabis has the potential to save the world.’"
Continuing on, Jove said, "I initially didn’t think anything of this comment, but as our interviews continued I found more and more people to repeat this same sentence. I’ve been thinking about this comment all year now, and after attending the Emerald Cup this weekend, I can say that, I also, believe that cannabis has the potential to save the world.
Some examples I noticed from this weekend were…
There were between 20,000-30,000 people attending and I did not see one fight or altercation break out. Weed > alcohol.
Every person who won spoke about love from their community, love for their craft, and love for the plant.
Multiple vendors we spoke to were incredibly passionate about creating positive environmental change & growing organically.” Speaking for myself I look forward with excitement to Jove's finished product. I have seen him on-farm numerous times this past summer, so I have high expectations.
I also believe that cannabis has the potential to save the world, and have thought so all of my adult life. I have been categorized, marginalized, criticized, politicized, satirized, ostracized, and SURprised more times than I can count.
But I have not ceased and desisted.
Cannabis is the reason I was able to attend-and revel in-The Emerald Cup. Cannabis allows minds to meet and for communication to flow, and I must say, if anything is going to be needed in the upcoming months and years, to save this planet, it’s communication on a united front.
So yes, I believe cannabis has the potential to save the world.