When his eyes first cracked open, a bit crusty around the edges, the sky looked more blue than it had before. He’d fallen off into a delicious nap under a towering eucalyptus tree. Surely he had only dozed off — it wasn’t even evening yet.
Slowly the man in white clothing — a long wraparound skirt, layers of sweaters and shawls and an ivory woolen cap on his head — unfolded his thin body and stretched towards the sky. That was when he noticed that the tree he had been slumped against was no longer fully standing. Most of it had fallen over, seemingly of old age, and only the stump remained. A squirrel hustled along the decaying trunk with a curious look in his eye.
From where he was on the hillock, he could see just the edge of the meadow below where his 75th birthday party was happening, yet it looked like everyone was gone. He’d wandered off, and remembered thinking, “Why not, only for a second, I’ll sit here under this tree, just like I did 50 years ago in Golden Gate Park, and roll a joint.” He pulled out his Emerald Cup grinder and some papers and other necessary accoutrements he always carried in his colorful hand crocheted bag and got to work rolling.
He smoked, and then he slept. Deeply and fully, but only for maybe 20 minutes? Oh well, he felt rested, and it was his birthday. Surely they were all just around the corner, starting to pack up.
Making his way back down the incline he noticed that all the eucalyptus trees were gone in fact, replaced by native growth plants and some cypress trees. “They are certainly much more appropriate for the environment than the foreign eucalyptus, but how did that happen?”
Stepping around a corner of bushes and into the open space, the vision he beheld was equal to being physically hit by a cyclone force wind. He was pushed back with shock. Before him lay a vast expanse of healthy and happy cannabis plants in the glory of the full sun. Then that hit him too: “The sun!” How did what had been a typically cold and foggy San Francisco day turn into a beautiful 80 degrees with just the right about of humidity? What magic was going on here? What was in that last joint he smoked? Who gave him that birthday bud?
Let’s face it though, the real question here was: where did all this weed come from?
This was a huge farm, yet no one was visible, but it was the heat of the day. Easing his way into the field, not knowing if it was highly protected property now, he came upon a path through the cannabis plants to the other side of what had been the meadow. The ground was soft and cushy, and covered in an emerald moss. It was like walking on clouds. Clearly there was so much water in the ground that no extra water sources were necessary to keep these girls very happy growing under this glorious sun. These were ideal growing conditions and they just magically appeared! And on city land!
Diving into the pathway between the 5-foot-high plants was like jumping into terpene heaven: his olfactory senses went wild and his whole body tingled from the lightly brushing leaves as he jogged through it all. He remembered it being about a football field to the other side of the meadow, yet this seemed to go on for much longer. And then, abruptly, it stopped. But there was no road. No houses. No cars. Just more green.
The man in white began to aimlessly wander, confused yet in awe of what he saw. Vegetable gardens flourished and orchards lined the edges of vast cannabis farms. A few clusters of buildings dotted the Western horizon, and he could swear he could hear the waves when he saw the proof: five healthy young men were strutting West towards the ocean, each carrying a sleek surfboard. None of them wore shoes or wetsuits. These were not the old tough surfers from the San Francisco beaches that he knew. But that wasn’t going to stop him.
“Wait a minute!” he shouted as he ran to the guys. “Can you help me out?”
The lead surfer came right over so he didn’t have to run anymore. “Certainly old man, what can we do for you today?”
Not knowing where to start, the man began his story with, “They used to call me Swami…” and took it from there. The more they looked at him as if he were a relic, the more he realized he was in another dimension altogether.
Swami could sense real compassion emanating from the young and fit lads and clearly curiosity. So he decided to trust them, and told them everything. At last the lead surfer, whose name was Entagon, asked the obvious: “What year do you think this is?”
“Why 2018, of course, I think, well I thought…” replied Swami. Bewildered, the surfers looked at one another until one finally said, “But, it’s 2093. That was 75 years ago.”
“Om Nama Sivaya!” exclaimed Swami, the color leaving his face. His dreadlocks practically stood on end with surprise! How can it be? A few deep breaths and more mantras and he regained his stability and asked, “So what is going on here now?”
“This is the City Cannabis Project,” was the answer by all of them at once. “Old Man, we have a lot to fill you in on!”
And so they did, as they explained the climate crisis which emerged on the other side with this perfect weather. It seemed the globe just needed a little shift, which happened with the Grand Global Gyration of 2040, when it all slipped into a better place. Like fitting on a glove just right. Food now grew in places where it never did, so virtually no one on the planet was starving anymore. Alternative energy sources were the only providers of power. Due to education, the population had begun to decline globally and cannabis was the primary medicine used in hospitals everywhere. Opioid crisis? What’s that? Things were sounding pretty good!
The young men continued: “Across the bay, where it is flatter and far away enough from the sinsemilla plants over here, there are vast hemp crops. No one uses plastic anymore. That’s so gross and they are still cleaning up that mess in the oceans. No one smokes tobacco anymore either, at least not the mass-produced kind as a habit. Organic everything is the only way to survive, from cannabis to food. Now that the family farms have returned and the economy is on the rise, why eat processed food? The food factories have mostly all shut down.”
Swami was flabbergasted, and wondered whether to really believe it all. ”Can it be true? Is there anything I recognize?”
Being an athlete who also appreciated being a spectator, Entagon had some news that he thought might jog the man’s memory. “Do you like sports? Remember the old 49ers stadium in Santa Clara? They finally moved back to The City. Silicon Valley is so over. They now play at the Jack Herer Stadium out near South Beach. In fact, the Cannabis Olympics are about happening there right now. You want to go?”
“Whoa, hold on. It’s all too much! And so how do we get to the Jack Herer Stadium? The Jack Herer Stadium? That’s unbelievable!”
“Not as unbelievable as how we are going to get there. Just trust me,” assured Entagon.
TELL US, what are the visions you see in regards to the future of cannabis?