Cannabis & Counterculture
The beauty of the plant has always been a symbol that I’ve identified with through the years — mesmerizing colorful flowers sparkling as if they were coated in tiny crystal gems. To me, the pot leaf is a sign of rebellion — a sign of who I am. With that connection came an attraction to the counterculture.
The counterculture was spawned from the beatnik and hippy generations. The people involved were rebels against the corruption of society who would not conform to the stiff traditions of American and British cultures at the time. I grew up idolizing the icons of the counterculture, wanting to make a difference in my life, willing to stand up against the establishment — wanting peace, not war.
The Future of Cannabis Needs a New Direction
I didn’t have to search out my path in life. I followed my primary passion: cannabis. The counterculture still exists, and even though it’s our heartbeat, in some ways it’s becoming counterproductive to the cannabis movement. For those who’ve battled and endured the drug war and now seek a career cultivating cannabis in a future legal industry, we need a better image. It’s important to remember our past, but to make a better future for ourselves and future generations. We need to be accepted by the rest of society while keeping our ideals and integrity.
We need the types of leaders that will gain our acceptance into the hearts of Middle America and the Republican Party. People like Ed Rosenthal and Mel Frank pioneered cannabis cultivation. While they are still valid leaders and experts whom I greatly admire, we need new enthusiasm from the next generation of leaders to help us move forward as an industry and as a culture.
Although many see cannabis as an opportunity for business, to me and many like me, it’s also a lifestyle. As more and more people wish to be involved in the cannabis industry, it’s up to the veteran growers to set a good example, showing that we are not criminals. We are hard-working, contributing members of society — no different than any other profession. It’s up to us to influence the next generation of growers to become positive members of their communities and to ensure they employ integrity and responsibility in producing the cleanest, safest, highest quality cannabis possible for people to enjoy. I see cannabis, its culture, and its industry quickly becoming a growing obsession. We need to promote it as a healthy lifestyle.
— Ganja D